How to Install a Natural Stone Patio with Fire Pit
Ask This Old House landscape designer Jenn Nawada installs a bluestone patio with a reclaimed granite fire pit
$5,000 and up
- Before digging, always call a utility locating service to locate underground pipes and wires.
- Excavate the area for the patio down to subsoil by hand or using an excavator.
- Rake out the subsoil to a smooth grade and then compact it with a gas plate compactor.
- Fill the area with a base material that’s a mixture of ¾” stone and stone dust about 3” at a time. Rake out the mixture smooth and then compact it with the gas plate compactor. Repeat until the base material is about 3” below finished grade.
- To cut the granite to length, drill a series of 3-4” deep holes on 3 sides of the stone. Insert feathers and wedges into every hole and then tap each one a little at a time with a mallet until the stone breaks.
- Use the excavator to move the four granite stones for the fire pit into position.
- Fill the center of the firepit about a third of the way with ¾” stone.
- Apply a layer of stone dust over the base material and compact it with the plate compactor.
- Lay the bluestone in place. To properly level the natural stone, use a mallet to hit down the high spots. If there are low spots or voids under the stone, add more stone dust to fill those areas.
- Once all the stones are installed and level, sweep stone dust into the joints. If the stones are dry, polymeric sand can also be used.