How Much Does a Bluestone Patio Cost to Install?
Homeowners can elevate the appearance of their property and increase its value with a bluestone patio. The average bluestone patio cost ranges between $4,608 to $7,200, with homeowners spending an average of $6,048 for a 288-square-foot patio.
- A bluestone patio typically costs between $4,608 and $7,200 to install, with customers across the country paying an average of $6,048.
- The main factors that affect bluestone patio prices include the size of the patio, the type of stone used, the patio design and finish, the type of sealer used, and the cost of labor.
- Bluestone patios have numerous benefits, including durability, versatility, functionality, and low maintenance requirements.
- While a handy homeowner may be able to install a small bluestone patio themselves, a professional can complete the project quickly and ensure it’s properly installed to avoid future issues and expenses.
Bluestone is a volcanic sandstone or limestone sedimentary rock used as landscaping and hardscaping material for patios, pool decks, and walkways. It’s a durable and versatile material that can withstand fluctuations in temperature, which makes it an ideal patio material even for those who live in colder climates. It’s also naturally water-resistant, which is why many homeowners choose it as a deck material to surround a pool. But how much does it cost to install a bluestone patio?
According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners can expect to pay an average bluestone patio cost of $6,048; however, the cost can range from $4,608 to $7,200. The most significant cost factors in determining bluestone pricing include materials, size, and the price of labor. However, other important factors contribute to the cost. This guide will cover these factors, explain the different types of bluestone patio available, and help homeowners understand how to hire the best professional for this project.
Factors in Calculating Bluestone Patio Cost
When estimating costs for bluestone patios, homeowners will want to consider multiple factors, including patio size, the type of stone, design, and finish. If a homeowner is weighing the costs of pavers vs. concrete for a patio, they’ll want to know that the national average for a standard bluestone patio is $6,048, which is higher than the cost of concrete patios. Local pricing can also differ from national costs because costs of materials and labor may vary based on geographic location. Homeowners residing in metropolitan areas with a higher cost of living will likely pay more for bluestone patio installation than those who live in rural locations.
Bluestone patio installers calculate patio cost by square footage. Bluestone cost per square foot ranges between $16 and $25, which includes materials and labor. Smaller patios with simpler designs typically cost less than larger patios made from thermal bluestone, or more complex patio designs. Customers can save on the price of bluestone installation if they hire a local bluestone patio installer over one that may have to travel a distance.
The type of stone used for patio projects is another cost factor. For a bluestone patio, pavers are the most common type of stone used. However, homeowners who have a patio that requires additional cuts, such as treads, slabs, or walls, may pay more for their project. For example, if a patio isn’t level with the kitchen, the contractor may need to build steps on the patio to create a smooth transition to the home. This can increase the installation price.
Patio Design and Finish
The design and finish of a patio also play a significant role in determining installation costs. Custom shapes and patio designs can incur a higher labor cost. Homeowners might also pay additional costs for any stone pieces not used for the project, as some waste is to be expected in a bluestone patio project.
Homeowners can choose from various special bluestone patio finishes, including thermal bluestone, natural cleft bluestone, and honed bluestone:
- Thermal bluestone: To achieve this finish, the manufacturer will cut along the stone’s horizontal lines and then soak the stone in water and flame it with a propane or oxygen torch. This results in a uniformly rough finish with colors that gradually fade into one another.
- Natural cleft bluestone: To achieve this finish, the manufacturer will split the stone into 2 inches to 4 inches wide with a hammer, wedge, and chisel. This results in an uneven finish that displays the natural texture of the stone and gives a more rustic look.
- Honed bluestone: To achieve this finish, the manufacturer will spray the stone with water and then sand it, first with a coarse grit and then with a fine grit. This results in a smooth matte finish similar to that found in marble or granite.
These special finishes tend to cost $1 to $2 more per square foot than standard bluestone finishes. In addition, as local installation costs can differ from national pricing, homeowners will want to speak with a local bluestone installer about finish costs before signing a contract.
A professional can add a sealer to protect patios from cracks, breakage, and stains. To accomplish this, the pro may apply the sealer in thin coats using a sprayer or roller, which allows the stone to expand and the moisture to evaporate. The labor cost for sealing a bluestone patio runs about $30 per hour, and most sealant products cost around $0.55 per square foot.
Although some patio installers bill by the hour, most charge between $11 and $13 per square foot for labor, which includes supplies. The labor cost for a standard 288-square-foot bluestone patio averages $3,456. Customers can expect to pay $3,168 for labor at the low end of the spectrum and $3,744 on the high end for a standard patio.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When calculating the total cost of a bluestone patio project, homeowners might also need to factor in additional expenses. Answering the following questions about a project can help provide homeowners with insight about bluestone cost.
- Does the contractor need to install a foundation?
- Is the patio area level?
- Are bluestone pavers available nearby?
- Is there an old patio that needs to be removed first?
- What is the condition of the soil in the region?
- Does the city require permits and inspections?
Bluestone Patio vs. Other Materials
Bluestone patios are in high demand, and sometimes the stone can be scarce in supply in some locations, which can drive up the price of installation. At $5 to $12 per square foot, the price of bluestone is higher than some other patio materials. The following table compares bluestone prices (including material and installation) to other materials used for patio installation.
|Patio Material||Average Cost per Square Foot|
|Brick||$6 to $30|
|Concrete||$6 to $15|
|Flagstone||$15 to $21|
|Gravel||$1 to $4|
|Stamped concrete||$8 to $28|
|Stone||$15 to $50|
|Travertine pavers||$11 to $25|
Installing a patio foundation requires a contractor to dig 6 inches into the soil, then fill the area with crushed stone or sand, or a combination of both, before placing the sand layer on top. After the sand and stone are thoroughly compacted, the pro may add a sub-base composed of edge restraints (to keep pavers from moving and shifting over time) and geotextiles (to improve drainage and strengthen a patio that’s installed on a clay or silt surface) before laying the pavers on top. Depending on the soil quality in a geographic area, the contractor might pour a concrete foundation as a base for the pavers.
Grading or Resloping
If the yard isn’t level, a contractor may need to level the lawn for proper drainage. This is known as grading or resloping. Correcting the slope in a yard can add an additional $1,000 to $3,000 to a flagstone patio cost budget.
Existing Patio Removal
If an old patio exists in the area designated for the new patio, it will need to be removed before a new patio can be built. Removal of a 288-square-foot patio costs about $860. If a contractor needs to remove the patio base, it can cost $10 per square foot. Homeowners can calculate the total cost by multiplying $10 by the number of square feet. For a standard 288-square-foot patio, homeowners will want to budget an additional $2,880 into the project price.
Some jurisdictions require permits and inspections, and the price for a permit for bluestone patio installation varies by municipality. Generally, homeowners can expect to pay their local governments between $150 to $400 for a patio installation permit. While some municipalities don’t require a permit for patio installation, homeowners who plan on installing plumbing, electricity, or any structures on patios will want to call their local government office or visit their township’s website to find out about permit requirements. Alternatively, a homeowner can ask a reputable professional patio installer about required permits and inspections for this project.
Types of Bluestone Patios
The cost of bluestone can vary depending on the type of application used. While some types of bluestone, such as mantels, have a flat-rate charge, others are charged by the square foot, by the type of application, or per stone, such as pavers, treads, and sills, as indicated in the following table.
|Bluestone Type||Average Cost|
|Mantels||$150 to $350|
|Pavers||$5 to $12 per square foot|
|Sills||$15 to $25 per sill|
|Slabs||$25 to $27 per square foot|
|Steps||$15 to $55 per step|
|Treads||$45 to $85 per tread|
|Walls||$5 to $6 per stone|
Homeowners can customize an outdoor fireplace or hearth with bluestone to match a bluestone patio. Mantels typically measure from 4 feet to 9 feet wide and 14 inches to 24 inches deep. Customizing a mantel or hearth of this size with bluestone generally costs between $150 and $350.
Installers often design classic bluestone patios with traditional bluestone pavers. The cost of bluestone pavers ranges from $5 to $12 per square foot. Manufacturers sell pavers in various sizes and thicknesses from 6 inches by 6 inches to 24 inches by 48 inches and from 1 inch to 1.5 inches thick, and these are commonly used as patio floors for outdoor kitchens, poolside surrounds, and walkways. Paver patio cost is generally an affordable route for homeowners to take and results in an attractive backyard space.
Sills can create a cohesive flow from the doorway of a house to an outside patio area. These applications cost between $15 to $25 per sill and come in the following sizes: 4 feet to 8 feet wide, 6 inches to 8 inches deep, and 2 inches thick.
Bluestone installers use slabs to create custom corners and decorative patio accents. Contractors can install them in their present size or modify them to a specific shape and size on-site. Available in large pieces and various thicknesses, slabs cost between $25 and $27 per square foot and are available in sizes ranging from 12 inches by 12 inches to 24 inches by 36 inches, and thicknesses start at ½ inch.
Steps provide safe access in and out of a home. If a home has existing steps built, a homeowner can expect to spend around $15 to $55 to cover each step in bluestone. Exact bluestone pricing depends on the stone’s width, depth, and thickness. Bluestone step material is available in widths from 3 to 9 feet, up to 6 inches thick, and up to 16 inches deep.
Treads used on outdoor patio steps cost between $45 and $85 per tread. They can vary in width, depth, and thickness but the material is typically 2 inches thick and 1 inch deep and comes in varying sizes ranging from from 3 feet to 12 feet wide.
Covering exterior walls in bluestone costs between $5 and $6 per stone, with an average price of $5.50 per stone. Bluestone walls make attractive accents for smaller landscaping features such as low walls, outdoor kitchen areas, and perimeter details along bluestone walkways.
Benefits of Choosing a Bluestone Patio
Bluestone patios can offer various advantages for homeowners such as updating backyard gathering spaces for friends and family, upgrading walkways, and increasing a property’s value. Bluestone patios also offer the following benefits.
Bluestone is a highly durable material that resists cracking, breakage, and staining when appropriately sealed. Made of volcanic rock, bluestone can stand up to temperature fluctuations, heavy traffic, and even heavy vehicles parked on bluestone driveways. With proper sealing and maintenance, bluestone pavers and tiles can last for decades, even in harsher weather regions such as the Northeast, which is known for severe weather conditions and fluctuations.
Bluestone pavers and tiles are among the most versatile exterior stone products for residential and commercial properties. Manufacturers produce bluestone in traditional and irregular shapes to be used for various applications, including patios, driveways, walkways, pool decks, and decorative accents.
The water-resistant finish and durability of bluestone make the stone a practical option for heavy-traffic areas brimming with activity such as pool decks, walkways, and driveways. Bluestone offers slip-resistant protection when installed on level ground and can make a safe and functional space for large families. Regular sealing enhances functionality and durability.
Homeowners might assume a quality product like bluestone would require frequent cleaning and polishing. However, bluestone patios actually require less maintenance than outdoor decks, which may be of interest to homeowners weighing the pros and cons of a deck vs. a patio. Bluestone requires sealing every 3 years as well as regular cleaning, whereas a natural wood deck needs to be restrained or repainted and sealed every couple of years. To preserve the quality of the stone, harsh detergents are not recommended. Homeowners can maintain their bluestone patio by wiping up spills, then cleaning the area with a brush and a solution of soap and water, or using vinegar and water for stubborn stains. If one of the stones breaks, it can easily be replaced individually without disrupting the other pavers or tiles.
Bluestone displays a beautiful aesthetic that can enhance the appearance of many properties, as the stone can coordinate with traditional and contemporary styles. Although its name suggests otherwise, bluestone comes in multiple colors, including gray, blue, brown, and red. Homeowners can also find bluestone in diverse shapes and size options, which can add to the pleasant aesthetic. This makes the stone appealing and easy to coordinate with architectural styles, exterior color palettes, patio furniture, and decorative landscape elements.
Bluestone Patio Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
As with other home installation projects, where high labor costs factor into the total cost of a project, an ambitious homeowner might wish to tackle the job themselves to save some money. While the DIY route might be fine for simple tasks around the home, more complex and time-intensive projects such as patio installation typically require a higher level of expertise and expensive professional-grade equipment, which doesn’t make it ideal as a quick installation project.
The most expensive equipment rental cost is the plate compactor, which runs $75 to $100 a day. In terms of the timeline, a team of professionals usually takes about 4 to 5 days to complete patio installation. However, a homeowner can take twice as long—8 to 10 days—to finish the job, provided there aren’t any complications. This could bring a homeowner’s equipment rental cost alone to $600 to $800.
Installing a patio can also require permits and inspections from the homeowner’s municipality. Factors that determine whether permits are required include a patio’s drainage system, the slops of the property, and whether the installation of electricity (such as for lighting fixtures) or plumbing and running water (such as for a sink) will be required on the patio. Permits for patio installation can cost between $150 to $400. Many contractors factor permit costs into a customer project bid.
Additionally, installing a patio while working around sloped land and drainage systems can get tricky and can do major damage that can cost thousands of dollars if done incorrectly. If the project requires excavation or the area contains buried lines, a contractor with acquired knowledge of these skills is the best person to lay the foundation.
While a homeowner can attempt a simple patio project, pavers are heavy and hard on the back. A pallet of bluestone pavers for a 30- to 40-foot patio weighs around 3,700 pounds. Even with help, an 8- to 10-day patio installation project can take many weekends or require a homeowner to use up their vacation time.
How to Save Money on Bluestone Patio Cost
Savvy homeowners can save money on bluestone patio installations in several ways, such as taking advantage of off-season rates, advertised specials, cheaper alternative material options, and negotiating a better deal with contractors. The following ideas can save homeowners money on bluestone patio costs.
- Look for advertised discounts: Groupon deals, social media ads, weekly circulars, and home improvement publications found in store displays can sometimes provide discounts on bluestone patio installation.
- Consider doing the job during the off-season: When spring and summer are around the corner, the demand for a beautiful new patio (and contractor pricing) is high. On the other hand, hiring a patio installer during the fall or winter months, when business is slower, can come with lower rates.
- Buy local: Working with locally sourced companies can cost less than working with a long-distance company that charges mileage and delivery costs. Another option is to ask the contractor if they have access to recycled or leftover materials from other jobs.
Get multiple bids: Speaking to several reputable paving contractors can often result in competitive price quotes. However, it’s important to take quality and experience into account and never make a decision based on pricing alone.
Questions to Ask About Bluestone Patio Installation
Homeowners can do their due diligence by asking contractors the right questions to help them choose the best professional. Contractors should possess specialized experience, hold a valid license and insurance, and include a detailed cost breakdown and payment schedule on the contract. The following questions might help a customer find the best professional for their bluestone patio project.
- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Do you specialize in installing bluestone patios?
- Can you provide customer references for recent projects?
- What is your payment schedule?
- What do you require from me during the patio construction?
- What is the project timeline?
- Can you provide photos of your recent work?
- Where can I leave a review of your work?
This guide provides homeowners with essential details about bluestone patio costs and materials. However, the following answers to the most frequently answered questions about bluestone can offer further insight.
Q. How long does bluestone last on average?
When properly maintained, including sealing for protection and regular cleaning, bluestone can last for decades, making it ideal for high-traffic areas such as pool decks, patios, driveways, and walkways.
Q. Is bluestone better than limestone?
The color of bluestone is more suited for traditional and formal design aesthetics than limestone. However, the texture and appearance of limestone can make a better choice for Mediterranean-inspired, minimalist, and casually elegant spaces. Limestone costs more than bluestone, which is typically made of sandstone.
Q. Will bluestone crack easily?
Bluestone is a durable stone made from a crack-resistant material. However, like all types of stone, bluestone can crack with age. Sealing bluestone pavers every 3 years can prevent the stone from cracking as well as helping to maintain its color from fading.
Q. Is it hard to install bluestone?
Installing bluestone can be challenging for an inexperienced homeowner and is not a DIY-suitable project. The job can require expert excavation skills and precise attention to detail if a drainage slope is required. Incorrect installation can damage a home’s foundation and basement, which is why professional installation is recommended.
Q. Is bluestone slippery when wet?
Bluestone has a slightly rough texture that protects it from causing slips and falls when installed on level surfaces. However, it can become slippery when wet if it’s installed on a slope. For this reason, it’s recommended for level walkways and patios rather than those with slopes.
Q. How do I maintain my bluestone patio?
Bluestone can be a good patio option for homeowners because the stone requires little maintenance. Removing dirt and debris only requires cleaning the surface with a brush and water or a mixture of vinegar and water for stubborn stains and sealing the stone every 3 years to protect it from cracking and fading.