Crushed Stone Path and Patio

windsorbecks(CO)July 24, 2008

I am landscaping our backyard, and we are at the max of our budget for the next few years with the amount of irrigation, etc that we needed. I dream of a small flagstone path and destination patio off of our main patio. In total, probably 150 sq/ft.

The cost to have a casual flagstone path and patio is prohibitive, and I am looking into alternatives.

Has anyone used crushed rock / tipple stone as a path and patio base? I am thinking that this might be a good way to go for few years because then we would have a base for flagstone at a later time.

Is stone too messy? Way too impractical? Way too weird looking? I know it wont be super stable; we hope to use the patio area with a couple of comfy chairs and a fire pit.

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I would prefer pea gravel versus crushed unless you have children or dogs that tear around. Use steel edging to get your path laid out and then dump the pea gravel. Cripple creek stone has great color if you want to use gravel.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:41PM
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I would personnally avoid the pea gravel. I'm currently in the process of removing the same and putting in crushed stone. The pea gravel I'm dealing with was left over from construction. It simply will not stay were I want it and is migrating thru the yard and making a mess of things.

I've used crushed stone before and it packs really well. It will NOT be as nice to look at as pea gravel though. If you have no kids then it may be okay. Kids and animals don't mix with the stuff.

I have placed some of the big, cheap, white pavers over the stuff and it allows you to walk on it. Even these big pavers migrate a bit.

If you put pavers in later, you WILL have to remove the pea gravel as it will work it's way out and make waves in your pavers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Yeah, I have read bad things about using pea gravel. We do have a dog, and I have no faith that pea gravel would stay put. I agree it does look nicer.

ikenlob, did you like your crushed stone? I don't think that this patio area will get frequent people traffic (4x per week in season) which is another reason not to spend $$$ on something we probably won't use everyday year round.

Anyone have pics?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:16PM
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DS/DIL just put in a stone pathway with crushed stone. The stone was set on a bed of crushed rock and masons sand, then filled with (I think) 1/4 minus crushed rock. It turned out really nice since they used a dark gray rock and the stepping stones are a contrasting color.

The path leads to a garden area that has the same crushed rock. It's a nice sitting area in addition to raised garden planters. I can take some pics this weekend and post.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 1:36AM
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I've used crushed stone many times for hard surfaces such as barns and parking pads. I have not used it for anything that needed to look nice.

I agree with annz, in that you will want to accent in some way if used. Even the crushed stone will turn up if your dog gets into it. It is quite literally as hard a concrete as long as the surface stays intact. Once you break the surface though... ... the important thing to do is moisten it up and tamp it as soon as you see it starting to open up.

If I knew how to put pictures in here, I would let you see my situation. There were a couple yards of pea gravel left from construction (drain fill because it won't compact) and I decided to use it as filler in a walk area and expanded drive until paving could be done. Even with the big white pavers on top, I'm constantly sweeping the stuff around and my yard has basically become 50/50 grass/ pea gravel. Even the existing asphault has become completely infected with it.

I think long term crushed stone will be best all the way around. Certainly if you can afford to put some stepping stones on it soon. The big bonus is it will be there when you are ready to lay down the paver walk later.

I don't know if annz is refering to the same post or not, but within the last couple days there was a big discussion on pea gravel for a patio. Look it up for a lot more opinions. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Windsorbecks, with regard to your budget...I don't know how prevalent Craigslist is in your area or if you are familiar with it - free online advertising for items you either want to give away, trade, sell or buy locally -

We installed a lannonstone retaining wall in front of our house. Found the stone online through craigslist for $400!! Of course, we had to pick up and haul ourselves, but no problem. So we rented a trailer for a day. We saved over $1000 by not purchasing from a local quarry. There are people out there who just need to get rid of stuff for various reasons, so we peruse craigslist all the time.

I gave my hollys and barberries away for free (was glad to get rid of them).

We just installed a patio in our back yard, didn't want to haul the dirt to the city dump - we ran an ad on craiglist and the heap of topsoil was gone in two days.

It might be worthwhile to peruse this site (locally of course) for items you could use for your walkway, and save money in the process. You know what they say - one person's trash is another's treasure.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:29AM
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have some questions . Putting in a small patio/walkway in front of our concrete porch. 5ft by 14ft. It used to be river rock and small retaining blocks. everything is ripped out and is dirt. Wondering what steps to take. Level dirt then lay fabric. Crushed rock on top then tamp. OR. not sure on all the steps. Just looking for some good ideas. Thank You

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 11:02PM
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