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Bluestone Patio Cost Guide

Adding a bluestone patio can increase the value of a home and give the owners a place where they can relax and enjoy time with their family and friends. Before those homeowners start building a patio on their own, they need to take a look at how much the project will cost and whether it's better to hire a contractor or builder for the job.

Bluestone Patio Costs

  • Irregular bluestone pavers average cost: $4 to $7 per square foot
  • Thermal bluestone pavers average cost: $5 to $8 per square foot

Advantages of Bluestone

  • Bluestone is a beautiful type of natural stone that comes in several color varieties.
  • The strength and durability of the material make it a good choice for patios and other outdoor areas that receive a high amount of traffic.
  • Some homeowners choose bluestone because they want an environmentally friendly patio. As bluestone is a natural material, manufacturers can source the material without impacting the environment.
  • Some manufacturers find irregular flagstones sitting in fields and other places, and they might break larger stones into more manageable pieces.

Homeowners also like the variety of colors available. Though many people think that bluestone only comes in a few shades of blue, it can vary from a brighter and darker shade to a lighter and cooler color. It also comes in a more natural shade of brown, which ranges from light tan to a darker and richer chocolate brown. Some prefer the blue-green shade of bluestone to the other color options. This is a particularly good choice for those who want something natural but more colorful.

Potential Problems with Bluestone

Many people love the look of bluestone and choose the material without thinking about the potential problems associated with the material.

  • Bluestone is very expensive, especially when compared to other types of pavers. Manufacturers can only find the material in a handful of locations, and most of those locations are in Pennsylvania or New York. Those living in the South or West might find that the cost of shipping the material puts the project out of their budget.
  • When installing bluestone, contractors must apply a sealant to the surface of the stones. This sealant protects against water and the chemicals commonly used in pools and on lawns. Without that sealant, moisture and chemicals can change the appearance of the stone.
  • Bluestone in a lighter shade will slowly become a darker shade of blue as it absorbs that moisture, and some chemicals can also stain the stone.
  • Homeowners should also keep in mind that the installation costs on bluestone are higher than some other materials.

Types of Bluestone

Bluestone comes in both thermal and irregular designs.

Thermal designs have a uniform shape and design with each piece meeting a specific thickness.

Irregular designs, sometimes called flagstones, have a more natural design and look like something found in the wild. These pieces can have unusual shapes, and most pieces are of varying thicknesses. Irregular flagstones don't work as well for patios, but the stones do look nice when used as a walkway or path through a yard. Some homeowners like mixing and matching flagstones with thermal stones.

Installing Bluestone

Installing bluestone involves the excavation of the surrounding ground. The contractor must remove at least 6 inches of grass, soil and vegetation from the ground, and the contractor will also pack down the ground with water and a tamping tool or another specialized tool. Sand or stone dust applied to the ground serves as the foundation for the patio. This type of installation is a dry installation, which isn't always suitable for patios.

Depending on the size, the contractor might opt for a more traditional installation. The contractor will still remove soil and vegetation from the ground, but he will then mix dry concrete with water. After pouring the concrete, the contractor will begin laying the pavers on top. This lets the contractor move the pavers around until determining which design looks the best and works with the homeowners' wishes.  Most contractors will pour additional concrete over the top of the pavers and remove the excess.  As the concrete seeps between the pavers, it adds extra structure to the design.

Cost of Bluestone Pavers

Natural bluestone pavers are fairly low-cost patio materials. Irregular stones usually cost less, while thermal stones cost more. Thermal stones with a 1-inch thickness are typical, and stones with a 1.5-inch thickness are on the higher end of the price range. Homeowners adding steps or stairs leading up to a patio or porch will also need to purchase treads. These are longer and flatter stones that sit on top of each step. Treads can cost up to $15 per linear foot, and homeowners will need to decide how many linear feet they need.  Most producers of bluestone will cut the treads to the exact size needed.

Patio Costs

Determining how much a bluestone patio will cost depends on several things. 

  • The average cost of a small patio is $700, but the cost can rise to $4,000 or more for a patio of around 200 square feet.
  • Those figures equal out to around $21 per square foot and include the cost of installation, materials and supplies.
  • Homeowners wanting to install the patio themselves can save on labor, but they'll need to acquire the proper tools and equipment, which can increase the price.

Working with a professional patio installation company is often a good choice. Those companies already have the necessary tools and equipment, and the company can usually purchase materials and supplies at lower costs than homeowners can. A professional contractor will also ensure that the homeowners have the proper permits to add a patio to their home, and they can arrange for the shipping of bluestone pavers to locations across the country. Homeowners should look at the pros and cons of installing the bluestone patio themselves against the pros and cons of hiring a professional.

Last updated on May 16, 2016

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