As a homeowner, you want your backyard to be an oasis – a peaceful escape from everyday life. And what better way to create that magical retreat than with a gorgeous new patio?
But with so many patio material options out there – concrete, stone, tile – how do you choose?
Well, there’s one often overlooked material that checks all the boxes. It’s budget-friendly, yet oozes style and sophistication: Gravel.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Gravel seems like an odd choice for a patio. Isn’t it uncomfortable underfoot? Won’t it just track into the house?
While gravel may not be the first material that comes to mind, it offers superior benefits compared to traditional patio materials. Gravel is low maintenance, provides excellent drainage, and offers endless customization options – all at a fraction of the cost of poured concrete or natural stone.
When it comes to your patio, less maintenance means more time enjoying your outdoor space. And gravel patios require virtually no upkeep compared to other materials.
Concrete inevitably cracks, leaving unsightly fissures that require patching and sealing. Natural stone shifts over time, causing sections to become uneven and hazardous. Tile grout discolors and can harbor mildew.
Gravel, on the other hand, creates a naturally flawless, uniform surface. Once properly installed, a gravel patio remains smooth and level for decades. An occasional raking to redistribute the stones is all that’s needed. No re-leveling, re-grouting, or patching required.
Gravel also stays cooler under the hot summer sun, unlike concrete that absorbs and radiates heat. And it won’t scorch bare feet on sweltering days. You can comfortably walk across your gravel patio even when temperatures soar over 100 degrees.
When it comes to easy, fuss-free maintenance, gravel reigns supreme. Simply rake it flat once in a while and you’ll enjoy a beautiful patio surface for years on end.
Poor drainage is a common headache with patios.
Concrete and tile easily flood during heavy rains, creating giant puddles you have to slosh through. And moisture trapped against the foundation can lead to flooding issues indoors as well.
Gravel offers a drainage solution traditional materials simply can’t match. The loose gravel stones allow rain and snow to quickly permeate through the surface, preventing hazardous puddles and keeping your foundation dry.
Proper subsurface preparation is key for drainage. An aggregate base topped with landscape fabric provides a stable foundation while allowing water to flow through. The gravel stones on top act as a porous surface.
Not only does the water drain straight down, the gravel dries quickly afterwards. Within an hour of a storm, your patio will be back to its usual dry, comfortable self – no standing water or soggy sections.
Plus, gravel reflects heat well, preventing icy slick spots in frigid weather. You won’t have to stress about slippery conditions during winter use.
With gravel underfoot, you can rest easy knowing rain and snow have an efficient drainage system. No more flooded patio areas or water issues indoors.
Flexible and Customizable
When it comes to design, gravel opens up endless possibilities. You can customize the shape, textures, colors, and patterns to create a patio that’s uniquely you.
Gravel comes in a rainbow of natural hues to match your home’s color palette – warm coppers, earthy browns, striking whites, lush greens, and more. Blend a mix of gravel colors and sizes for visual interest. Incorporate pebbles, crushed stone, or decomposed granite along with the gravel.
Edge the perimeter with stone, bricks, or metal to define the space. Or let the gravel organically meander into garden beds and lawns. Use it to create pathways that wind through plantings.
In terms of shape, gravel adapts well to both curvilinear and geometric designs. Build a sweeping freeform patio edged with curves, or a rectangular grid patio with clean lines. The material easily morphs to match your vision.
You can etch patterns like spirals or waves into the gravel, or divide it into contrasting sections with materials like stone or wood.
Gravel offers flexibility not found with permanent materials like concrete. You can rearrange the shape and design elements over time as your tastes and needs change. Gravel patios can be reworked and revitalized again and again.
When it comes to versatility, gravel is in a class of its own. It’s the perfect patio material for bringing your unique outdoor vision to life.
Let’s face it – budget is a major factor for most homeowners planning a patio project. Gravel provides an affordable material solution without sacrificing quality or aesthetics.
A professionally installed concrete patio can cost anywhere from $8-$20 per square foot. Natural stone like slate or bluestone starts at $15 per square foot and goes up from there. In comparison, a gravel patio runs $3-$7 per square foot installed.
The savings add up quickly. A 20 x 20 foot gravel patio would cost $1,200-$2,800, compared to $3,200-$8,000 for a poured concrete patio of the same size. That’s a difference of $1,000 to $5,000 in your pocket.
And gravel patios don’t require the extensive sub-base preparations needed for concrete, further adding to the cost savings. A simple landscape fabric foundation is sufficient to keep the gravel in place.
Choosing gravel doesn’t mean sacrificing style or longevity either. With the right design touches, gravel can be elevated into a showpiece patio. And maintained properly, it will retain its pristine look for decades.
For homeowners watching their wallet, gravel is hands-down the most budget-friendly patio material. The cost savings allow you to splurge on design details like integrated lighting, a built-in fire pit, or an outdoor kitchen.
Gravel offers a prime example that affordable doesn’t have to mean “cheap.” A gravel patio provides serious style and quality without breaking the bank.
When it comes to creating your dream patio on a budget, gravel is the clear winner. Its low maintenance, drainage capabilities, design flexibility, and affordability make it the ideal backyard upgrade.
While often overlooked, gravel rivals premium materials when installed properly. A thoughtful design results in a patio that’s both visually striking and highly functional for everyday living.
Gravel’s durability also ensures your patio will stay beautiful for years to come with minimal upkeep required. No more patching cracks, replacing broken tiles, or dealing with flooded areas after storms.
Ready to start designing your dream gravel patio? Contact Port Aggregates to browse our unbeatable selection of gravel, crushed stone, and aggregate mixes. Our team of experts can advise you on recommended materials and installation for your unique vision and budget. Request a free quote today.