Pea Gravel Patio

DIY Pea Gravel Patio for under $200

Before & After House & Home

Spring 2021 editor’s note: check out our DIY Pea Gravel Patio 2-year Update to see how it’s held up!

2019 has been the year of paint everything that’s not moving here at Redeeming Hampton. Patio furniture, whitewashing the brick patio and numerous other smaller projects. I know you’ve been patiently waiting for this tutorial – so today, my friends, I’m excited to share something we didn’t paint! 🙂

Since you guys love to see the “before” photos, here are a few from about 4 years ago before we moved into the house.

Back Yard Before

What’s missing now? The tree and playset! The tree was unfortunately dying and every time it rained, another branch would fall – yikes! Our nephews and neighbor kids loved to play here, but once the tree was removed, the playset looked out of place (someone disassembled and moved it after I listed it for free on Facebook Marketplace)!

Before Tree Removed

After Tree Removed

Since the rubber mulch took up a large area, we dreamed of how we could expand our patio. We love hosting people here and using our fire pit, so we thought this would be the perfect spot!

Just like almost all of our projects, we were looking for an affordable addition that would last at least a few years. Today, we’ll share the tutorial with you of how we created this awesome space for less than $200.

Creating a Pea Gravel Patio for Under $200

Supplies Needed:

How to Get it Done:

Marking Off Circle

1. Decide your location (best if on level ground), measure, and mark with spray paint.

  • Initially, we planned for a 12 foot circle for the patio with 2 feet of mulch around it. But once Mike dug out the 14 foot circle, we realized we needed it all for the patio. Then, we “freehanded” and marked off how we wanted to connect the area to our brick patio.
  • To measure our circular area, we put a shepherd’s hook in the center, added a 7′ long rope/string and used our 7th grade math skills to circle around the shepherd’s hook with a $1 can of spray paint from Lowe’s.

Mike Leveling Off Dirt

2. Once marked, dig out grass and level off dirt.

  • Since we based our measurements off of the where our play set and rubber mulch previously laid, Mike didn’t have too much grass to dig.

Leveling Off Dirt

  • He used a regular ol’ shovel to dig up the grass and then a garden hoe to tamp down and level off the ground.

Installing Edging

Edging

3. Use landscape edging to surround your desired area.

  • We used plastic easy no-dig edging, but I’ve also seen people use stones, metal edging, or wood to enclose the area.
  • You definitely need a barrier separating the pea gravel and your grass or mulch.
  • The edging we purchased came with plastic stakes/nails that Mike hammered in every few feet with a rubber mallet.

Installing Landscape Fabric

4. Secure and cover entire area with landscape fabric.

  • We found our fabric at Aldi for $2.99 (a steal!), but you can also find it at your local home improvement store.
  • It’s key to secure the landscape fabric with lawn stakes so the pea gravel doesn’t get underneath!

Delivering Pea Gravel

5. Order pea gravel and schedule delivery.

  • I searched “pea gravel” + my city in Google and it automatically brought up everyone who sold it around me. It seems like most businesses that show up are more commercial, but they will work with you as a resident!
    • I called around to different businesses to get pricing for the gravel and delivery.
      • Questions I asked:
        • How much gravel would I need for a 14 foot circle, 2 inches deep?
          • After asking this question enough, I was getting a pretty good average of how much I would need.
          • *More than* 2 inches deep creates a surface that’s tough to walk in!
        • Will you deliver to my address and if so, what’s the cost for delivery?
        • Can you drive onto my property or will you only deliver on a driveway?

Shoveling Pea Gravel

Hauling Pea Gravel

6. Load the pea gravel into your space and level off!

  • Since the path to our back yard was too narrow for the dump truck to fit, they unloaded the 3.5 tons of pea gravel onto our driveway.
    • Funny note to say: the driver said “we definitely didn’t order enough,” but we ended up only using just over HALF OF WHAT HE DROPPED OFF! HA! We saved some of the pea gravel in buckets, but a friend picked up the rest for a project at their house. Here’s all the extra gravel we had:

Extra Pea Gravel

  • Use a shovel and wheel barrow to your desired area.
    • You can drop it off in different sections and level every few loads.
    • If you’re lucky enough, your kind neighbors will see you working and offer to chip in to help! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we love our neighborhood and our neighbors! So thankful!

Shoveling Pea Gravel

    • We thought it would have taken days – if not all summer, but hauling it to the back yard only took a couple hours!

Leveling Pea Gravel

7. Use a rake to level off the surface. You don’t want your patio to be any deeper than 2 inches or it will be difficult to walk through – like walking in deep sand!

Patio Chairs

8. Add some seating and a fire pit and RELAX, my friend. You did it!

PEA GRAVEL PRICING

The company we ended up going with didn’t deliver, but suggested a driver who would. In our experience, we just paid the driver. I was SHOCKED at the price and now want to recommend them to everyone for an inexpensive patio option!

Weidle Corporation, Germantown, Ohio
Cost: $13.50 per ton
Quantity: *3 tons (he ended up delivering 3.5 tons)
Delivery Charge: $60

Total Including Gravel, Delivery, and Tax: $110

I used a pea gravel calculator on Weidle’s website; however, we ended up only using half of the 3.5 tons delivered! So, here’s another calculator to estimate how much pea gravel you would need to order. As I advised above, ask your local gravel businesses for a quote as well!

The Reality of a Pea Gravel Patio:

You guys, we’re obsessed with how our new patio looks – especially up next to the whitewashed brick patio I painted a few weeks ago. We’ve been able to “live in it” for a few weeks, so here are a few pros and cons we’re seeing in the patio’s infancy:

Boys Playing

PROS:

  • Unbelievably affordable and relatively easy to create.
  • Kids love it. We thought by removing the playset, kids would have less fun – that has NOT been the case. Kids go straight for the gravel and get to digging. We actually bought a little tool/shovel set from Aldi and it’s been a hit! (If Aldi is out of stock, here’s an inexpensive option from Amazon!)
  • It’s almost like a zen garden – almost difficult to refrain from moving it around.

CONS:

  • The gravel can get stuck in your shoes.
  • Part of kids loving to play in the gravel is that they also like to throw it! Haha. We’ve had to set some rules to help keep it in the circle.
  • The gravel can get into the grass, but it hasn’t been a problem yet!

Back of House

Wide Gravel View

So that’s it! Message me or tag me if you end up creating your own pea gravel patio. I’d LOVE to see how you make it your own!

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22 thoughts on “DIY Pea Gravel Patio for under $200”

  1. Did you put any type of edging around the gravel patio to keep the gravel from going onto the grass?

  2. I googled “pea gravel patio designs” and yours popped up! We put in a, fish pond recently, on one end of our future patio,& since our three large BorderCollies are “diggers”, I need to replace the mismash of tile, pavers, & granite, with something more “dig proof”. I already have the landscape cover cloth, I’m going to use two types, going different directions, to have a better “buffer”, & use pea gravel with some Arizona Flagstone in the center, for a table and chair area. Your step by step directions, complete with photos, was a huge inspiration, and exactly what I was looking for! One question, did you make provisions for drainage, or do you not need it? The rectangular area beside the pond is a bit recessed, so drainage may be an issue. Thanks for your help, in advance.

    1. Hey, DM! We’re so glad our process was able to help you with yours. We didn’t need to make any provisions for drainage, which is actually kind of surprising considering there used to be a tree there and the shade casted by it made it difficult to grow grass (https://redeeminghampton.com/before-and-after-the-great-grass-growing-project/), so it’d be a mud pit every time it rained. When the tree was removed, I planted grass in its place, then created this patio and we haven’t had an issue since fingers-crossed! I just posted a 2-year update on its status now as well: https://redeeminghampton.com/were-back-diy-pea-gravel-patio-2-year-update/

  3. I noticed in the Amazon review for the edging, that some people had issues with the edging warping from the sun/heat. Have you guys had any issues, or does it look about the same?

    Great project! And so much cheaper than I would have guessed. Feel ready to tackle this at our house!

  4. we are considering doing a eating area in the backyard..we are reallllly not diy ers at all..veryyy nervous..both in our late 50’s and wondering how hard this will be..a few questions:
    can i put wicker dining chairs or will they get all messed up from the rocks when they are moved over them in and out all the time?
    also, are you saying you did not dig a 4″ border and only just put that edging on top and used nails? do you mind seeing the black edging?
    thanks so much

    1. Hi! I think you could put something under your wicker furniture to help! We put our grill on pavers. We put the edging and nails down on the edge. There isn’t too much overflow, but We are now looking at putting stones around the edge!

    2. Omg, I’m so glad I found your post. I’m doing a dog run and almost hired someone to finish this process. Now that I have your step by step directions I’m confident my kids and I can get this done and save big money in the process. Thanks for the great post.

  5. Love the look of this and we’re getting excited for our pea gravel delivery in a few days! I’ve read a lot that furniture will sink into the gravel if there isn’t a solid base under the gravel. Is this something you’ve experienced, and would it be worth it to buy some pavers if we want a table and chairs in our space?

    1. Yay! I think it depends on your furniture. Our Adirondack chairs are fine but I would consider small pavers to put under the legs. Also, make sure your pea gravel isn’t too deep Or you’ll feel like you’re walking in sand! We love ours – hope you do too!

  6. Did the pea gravel patio for a 8ft kids pool 20 years ago still do it ! No weeds around it and less grass and dirt in the pool

  7. Hi! Thank you for posting this!! Gave me an idea how to do it! Ok so here’s my question, is it easy to clean? We put black mulch before but I didn’t anticipate that it gets very dirty with the leaves and wind etc. so became I pain and looks dirty.
    So is it easy to keep it clean? And do we have to put landscaping fabric or can we skip that?
    Thank you!!

    1. Hey there! We definitely recommend the landscape fabric – it really creates a barrier for weeds and also mud. So it will help to keep it clean! We use a leaf blower and rake to help keep it clean. Sometimes you might need to go through and pick up bigger debris. Hope that’s helpful!

  8. I just finished my pea gravel fire pit last week. I am pretty amazed that I could plan and carry this project out almost exactly as you did considering I did not see this post until today. The circumference is a little smaller than yours. I ordered the pea gravel from a local stone dealer. He suggested a ton and a half of the gravel. Like you, I had way more than I needed. Like you, I gave away some of the excess. I am really pleased the way it turned out. My daughter helped me with dumping the stone, but other than that, I did it myself. By the way, I am 69.

    1. Amazing, Jane!! We hope you enjoy it!! Over the past few years, it’s held up great! We added pavers to the outside of the circle this summer (still need to share photos!) and it’s helped the pea gravel from spilling into the grass!

    1. Hey Steve, I’d say it isn’t comfortable to walk on myself; that being said, our 18-month old son doesn’t seem to mind barefoot – haha!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. I am just astonished at how affordable the pea gravel cost you! I recently bought some gravels myself for a diy project at the back of my house. I live on Long Island, not far from Queens, NY. I bought the 3/4 blue stone chips (the cheapest kind available), it cost me $65 per ton, delivery was $100. I also had to pay for the $16 bag so that it can be offloaded to a specific spot by a forklift. Total for the 3 ton that I bought cost $370 with tax. At the same time, I compare to how much it cost from Lowes/Homedepot, the cheapest stone chip they sell cost about $8/ cubic foot, which translate to $216 per cubic yard! Next time I will probably ask all my neighbors to group our orders together to save on the delivery charge as some of them they have gravel driveways.

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