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How to Create a Budget Friendly Gravel Patio DIY

Image of gravel outdoor patio

I love sitting outside to relax whether it be hanging out with friends, enjoying some grilled hamburgers, playing lawn games, or reading a good book. We’ve been planning our outdoor patio space for a while now. After contemplating between 3 options we finally decided on going with a gravel patio space. You can read more about the pros and cons of the 3 outdoor patio options we debated on here. Ultimately we decided to create a budget friendly gravel patio DIY.

DIY Gravel Patio Supplies

  • Gravel
  • Wheel barrow
  • Shovel
  • Rack
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Weed and grass killer
  • Edging bricks
  • Paver edging
  • Marking paint
  • Measuring tape
  • Dirt
  • Stacks (for paver edging and landscaping fabric)

Preparing the Gravel Patio Space

Once we had all of our supplies the first step was to prepare the space. This might vary slightly depending on what you already have in the space and where the outdoor patio was going. For us we had grass in the area, so we started by using marking paint to mark exactly where the patio space was going to go. You will want to use marking paint to outline the perimeter of the patio. If you haven’t already decided on the exact size and shape do that before using the marking paint, then using the measuring tape and paint outline the perimeter of the space.

Now that the perimeter is marked it is time to start setting the bricks into place. The bricks will go directly on top of the marking paint to establish the perimeter of the patio space. Use dirt if needed to help level out where the bricks are going, so they all are even and level. Once all the bricks are down you will want to place the paver edging down inside the bricks. The paver edging will essentially be in the middle of the brick and gravel. It should act as a second border along with the brick to contain all the gravel in the space. Secure the paver edging using the stacks.

The entire outline is now established, so the last step to prepare the space is to kill any weeds or grass in the area or clear whatever may be there. We had grass, so we used a grass and weed killer to prepare the area. Note that it did take about 1-2 weeks for the grass to die, so plan accordingly with the timeline.

Photo of landscaping fabric to create a gravel outdoor patio

Building the DIY Gravel Patio Space

Now that the entire patio space is prepared it is time to actually put it together. The next step is to lay down landscaping fabric across the entire area. You will want to use scissors to cut the landscaping fabric so it fits into the area perfectly. Use stacks to secure the fabric. This will help to prevent any weeds or grass from growing up through the gravel.

The final step is to pour the gravel into the patio space. We used a company that sold gravel in bulk and delivered 4.5 cubic yards of gravel onto our driveway. You could also see if they would deliver it right onto the patio space, but you would need to have access for the truck to get to the patio area. Since the gravel was on the driveway we started by using 5 gallon buckets to move the gravel into the patio space. After slowly doing this for 2 days we decided to rent a wheel barrow and that made a huge difference. We were able to move a lot more at once and got the gravel into the patio space much quicker. It was fairly inexpensive to rent from a hardware store, so I definitely recommend doing that. We wish we would have rented it sooner.

Once all the gravel is in the patio space start spreading it out and leveling it. You can also do some of this as you go and are dumping the gravel into the patio space. It takes some time to really get it all spread out and level. We found that using a shovel and rack were helpful once we were working on getting all of it level. After all the gravel is spread out and level you now have a completed gravel outdoor patio. Now it’s time to add some furniture, lawn games, etc. and enjoy.

Budget Friendly Gravel Patio

Creating this gravel outdoor patio overall took us about 2 weeks. The majority of the work was completed in about 3 days though. The 2 weeks included some time to allow the grass to die in that area. So far we are incredibly happy with the outcome of our patio. It created an outdoor space to relax and entertain guests while still sticking to a budget friendly option.

The supplies for the gravel outdoor patio itself were under $1,000, which made this a great option on a budget compared to the cost of some other outdoor patio options. I hope this tutorial on how to create a budget friendly gravel outdoor patio helped give you some guidance for how to do this project in your own space. As always to stay up to date on more DIY house projects and budget friendly home improvement ideas be sure to follow along on Instagram and/or Pinterest.

Finished budget friendly gravel outdoor patio with string lights and outdoor furniture.

Shop Our Budget Friendly Gravel Patio Space

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