Our Bluestone Patio and How It Can Work For You

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A bluestone patio was on my wishlist when we built, but tragically it didn’t make the budget! After all, the landscaping is done last in the home, right around when the house budget dried up.

So instead, we built a small, modestly sized 10’x10′ patio. 

Our fence being built with our little paver patio here:

a large backyard with a paver patio

We just used basic paver blocks- forming a simple square right off our covered porch. It wasn’t the patio of my dreams, but we felt lucky to have the space.

Our Bluestone Patio

A few summers later and we were ready for our patio makeover. We hired out a team to dig up the pavers, quadrupled the patio area to 400 sq. feet, and put down a beautiful bluestone patio that continued around the back of our home.  This makeover wasn’t without it’s own “oopsie” moment involving a firepit gone wrong, so I want to share that with you too!

We hope to have our outdoor furniture set up later this summer, but today I want to talk about our bluestone patio itself since I know many of you also love the look too!

grass in a backyard next to a bluestone patio

Why Choose Bluestone For Your Patio or Project

I wanted a bluestone patio more than any other type of cheaper alternative because of the added value to our home. Timeless, classic… you can’t find a paver that rivals the look!

bluestone patio outside a White House in a yard

Bluestone is a natural stone, highly sought after for their attractive blue color, becoming slightly grayer over time. However – depending on where the stone is from the color could actually vary at times – even on the tan side. 

Bluestone is not just known for its’ beauty, though, but the stone’s longevity too.  If installed and sealed properly, it will last you decades with no maintenance except a light power washing every few years!

It is a durable stone with incredible strength and density. It isn’t likely to break or chip easily. It is popular around pools because the surface does not get slippery or slick when wet. It handles temperature changes very well, and shouldn’t damage from freeze-thaw if you live in Northern areas.

Disadvantages of Using Bluestone

The stones do get hot! We have 4 little ones who run around on that patio sans shoes all summer long. Let me tell you, the sun heats that stone up under their footsies and has them hoppin around, or scrambling to find their flip flops!

close up of a woman's feet standing on irregular bluestone

Bluestone is porous, so be aware it can stain. Red wine or red popsicle drips? They leave a dark mark if left untreated. So far the sun has bleached out all the little spots we’ve spilled on our patio. It’s not a huge concern – as vinegar, water and a brush should take stubborn stains out – but it’s something to consider.

And finally, there is the cost.

big White House with a bluestone patio behind it

How Much Did Our Bluestone Patio Cost Us?

Buying just the bluestone itself – with no additional labor worked in – will cost you between $4 and $8 per square foot. Your basic bluestone patio with labor worked in will cost you $17 to $25 per square foot, depending on where you live. 

We paid $6.00 per square feet of just the bluestone, here in our area of North Carolina.

We needed enough stone for 400 square feet (we enlarged the old patio space, remember?), so the total cost for just the stone alone was $2,400. We may have saved a little bit by going with irregular bluestone.

irregular bluestone in a backyard patio

Irregular bluestone is pieced together in unique shapes; the shape that they are pulled from the quarry in. This gives your patio or project a more natural look. Usually, irregular bluestone is the more affordable option.

Regular bluestone is cut into square tiles and rectangles, making it easier to lay. This can give a patio a more formal appearance. Generally speaking, this is the more expensive kind of bluestone. 

As far as the labor, we paid our hardscaper to dig up the old pavers and remove them, carve out an enlarged area for the new patio, run our downspouts / drain pipes under the patio, lay down and seal the bluestone, and put together and install a simple firepit in the bluestone patio (more on that later!).

This cost of his labor alone was $4,400, bringing the total cost of our bluestone patio to $6,800.

a machine digging up dirt in a backyard

The breakdown of what we paid for the bluestone patio with everything included (except the firepit) came out to $17.00 per square foot. We have used this particular hardscaper before, and personally, it is my opinion that his labor costs are always on the lower end. 

Tips To Consider When Using Bluestone

I would encourage you to go as large as budget allows, if you have enough yard space! Bluestone is so low maintenance, and we really enjoy being out here as a family.

If your patio is against your home, I think it looks nice to leave a natural area in between the patio and the foundation, so you can have greenery or flowers right up against the house.

Similar to screening a fence with plants, it looks nicer this way. Originally we planned for this:

a machine digging up dirt in a backyard

But mid project, we decided to butt our bluestone patio right up directly to the edge of the house.

A bed for flowers would have looked nicer but for me, with 4 children already, I need to keep things easy. I figured I would rather plop down a few container pots of greenery that I could switch up as needed, and not worry about the maintenance each summer. 

a porch with irregular bluestone patio

Our Big Oopsie, The Firepit

I imagined a simple firepit at the end of our bluestone patio that would allow us to gather in the evenings, and fun entertainment for the kids.

I chose this 44″ firepit from Lowes. We read extensive reviews about various kinds of firepits, and this one had solid, detailed reviews. Also important, the stone in this particular firepit is a nice grey color that coordinated with our bluestone, rather than looking mismatched.

Our firepit we chose:

The edge was nice and wide, making it less of a fire hazard for my kids in my opinion. (I was imagining a child running and falling in, and the wider edge could perhaps help prevent this deadly accident). They don’t carry it in stock in stores, so we excitedly ordered it online!

The fire pit showed up, and as I am looking through all the pieces I realize that the  44″ measurement is actually the diameter of the bowl– this entire firepit is 66″ wide. That is WAY too big for our patio.

At that size, it also wouldn’t even fit at a safe distance from our house itself. I don’t know if this measurement should be obvious to everyone (definitely), but I somehow skipped over that detail. Oops.

To add to the disaster, our hardscapers had already made a hole in our existing bluestone for the fire pit to sit in. (It’s not a good idea to place a firepit directly on your stone, so you need to cut into it). So now, we had a firepit we had to ship back, and a 44″ hole in our beautiful bluestone patio.

We decided to nix the fire pit idea for now (too stressful), and shipped it back (Lowes was very understanding!). Our hardscaper was able to work in more bluestone into the patio where the cuts had been made – so well that you can’t tell where the hole was previously. 

Bluestone Patios That Inspire Me

Once we have our furnishings out here this summer I will share some fresh photos! In the meantime, you might also like to see more of my home here.

I want to share a few of the patios that inspired me the most!

outdoor patio made of bluestone with a table and chairs

Via: @daniellemoss_

backyard patio

Via: Houzz

irregular bluestone in a backyard with a white fence

Via: Home Bunch

a long outdoor space with bluestone pavers
backyard with beautiful flowers and patio

Via: Landscape Aesthetics

large house with open patio
large backyard with Firepit

Via: Home Bunch

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