A Complete Guide to Designing Your Stone Patio
Stone patios are the bread and butter of the stone masonry work we do here at Dutchies Stoneworks. For over a decade, we’ve perfected the craft of our stone masonry expertise—and all the hiccups that can come with it.
Just because we’re experts at creating stone patios and other stone masonry projects, that doesn’t mean we don’t see recurring issues. Due to forces outside of our control—like previous builders, peculiar home features, and most of the time, mother nature—sometimes, building your stone patio can prove difficult. But don’t worry, the experts here at Dutchies have you covered! And, we want to go over a few things to consider before you dive headfirst into designing your stone patio.
What to Consider Before Designing a Stone Patio
Even if you’re not sure of what exactly you want for your stone patio, you likely already have a vision in mind. And while our team will be happy to help you bring that vision to life, there are also a few details we think you should hone in on before making any big decisions.
Durability & Quality
No one wants a patio that’s going to deteriorate after only a few years. While mother nature can take her toll, that shouldn’t mean you’re spending big money to get your stone patio repaired every few years either. When shopping, you want to make sure you’re looking at durability and quality, especially for harsh winters like we get here in Pennsylvania.
Since PA is located in a very high freeze and thaw region, you’re going to want to make sure your patio is professionally sealed to repel water. If water gets into the joints of your patio, freezing and thawing will cause the water to expand and contract, which causes cracks over time. Luckily, Dutchies is a professionally licensed sealer applicator, and we’ll almost always recommend that you seal your patios!
Dry Lay vs. Wet Lay
When we say almost, we mostly mean for our wet lay stone patios vs. our dry lay ones. Here’s what we mean: a wet lay stone patio uses concrete to help seal everything, whereas dry does not.
Our typical wet lay stone patio build gets an 11-inch thick base—4 inches of concrete, 4 inches of clean stone, and then the 1.5-inch stone is laid into a 1.5-inch mortar bed. While more labor and cost-intensive, these types of builds last longer, won’t buckle or shift, and can be pressure washed without having the joints blow out. With a dry lay patio, we use polysand in the joints that would need to be reapplied after pressure washing.
Upgrading or installing a stone patio is never going to be cheap—and it shouldn’t be! When you’re purchasing something that will last for years to come, you want to make sure you’re putting in the right amount of effort for your investment.
Typically, our stone patios range anywhere between $50-$60 per sq. ft. While we know you could get a lower price or estimate from name-brand places, we always like to remind our clients that we have decades of craftsmen and stone mason experience. Here at Dutchies, we take time to walk you through every step of the process (more on this below) to ensure you’re happy with your big purchase for years to come.
Wiring & Drainage
Before we start any project, our team has to ensure that there aren’t any wires or pipes running within the area that’s going to house your patio. For obvious safety reasons, we’ll need to know if there’s anything we could run into while excavating the area where your patio will be.
In addition, we always recommend addressing drainage issues before we start any build. That way, we can lay out the stone patio to direct water away from a home, foundation, or low area.
How Dutchies Builds Stone Patios
While a lot of this process may seem overwhelming, know that you’re in good hands when you work with Dutchies Stoneworks to build your stone patio. From start to finish, we’ll help your visions come to life. Here’s a sneak peek at how our process works:
- Onboarding – We’ll work with you to get all of the details like your address, dates, the scope of work, budget, and schedule a visit out to your property. And, if for some reason the work is something we can’t do, we’ll provide you with referrals that can!
- On-Site Visit – This is where we come out to your home, learn more about your vision, and let you get to know us a bit better. We’ll take a few photos, some measurements, sketch up the work, and coordinate the next steps with you.
- Gathering the Details – After we visit your home, we’ll put together all of the details, measurements, prices, etc., for you to make sure everything is settled before you pay us. We’ll give you a better idea of the timeline, finish making decisions on last-minute details, and then send you over an estimate.
- Payment & Scheduling – Once your invoice is paid, a project manager will coordinate scheduling with you. We’ll give you a call one week before the job starts so you’ll have a better idea of when to expect everything to begin. The best part? You can rest assured that once we start your project, we won’t pause it to work elsewhere—we’ll get the job done.
- Building – This is the most exciting part of your project for obvious reasons! We’ll start working on your patio and communicate with you to make sure all of the details you requested are being met. Plus, we’ll make sure to talk to your neighbors to warn them about any expected noise they may experience over the next few days or weeks of your installation.
Ready to Start Your Stone Patio Design Project? Give Us a Call!
Now that you know all of the details of our process, it’s time to get in touch with us to start your big summer project! Dutchies will be happy to help you figure out all of the details and to bring your outdoor dreams to life. Contact us online if you have any other questions about your stone patio or the process that goes into building them.