I am currently in the process of building a fire pit area in my backyard. I have removed the weeds and dirt, levelled the area and installed garden edging to keep the 7mm cottage stones that I'm going to put on the ground in place. I am at the stage now where I need to finish preparing for the stones to be put in place.
In my mind I was thinking of putting down a 25mm layer of road base and compacting this and then a 50mm layer of my cottage stones on top. I'm now thinking that I'm going to put a layer of weed mat down, not so much to keep weeds from growing but mainly to stop the stones mixing with any dirt or getting pushed down into the dirt - so would I be best to put the weed matting down first and then my road base and stones directly on top of the road base, or put down the road base, weed matting on top of this and then finally the stones directly on top of the matting?
I'm also working out how many tonnes of stone I need to fill this area. The total area is 21.98m2 so if I want to have a 50mm layer of stones, one online calculator I've used says I will need 2 tonnes of stones - does this sound right to everyone?
Any help and guidance would be greatly appreciated.
This project is looking good, I can't wait to see it once you have everything set up. If you don't want any of the stones getting mixed in with the road base, I suggest laying out the road base first followed by the weed mat and the stones at the very top. In order to answer your stone question, I'll need more information. What is the size of the stones you're putting in? I've checked out some of the online calculators you've mentioned and the answers they provided are based on gravel being used. Depending on the size of the stone you might end up having too much.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.
Thanks for your reply. That sounds like the way to go - road base/weed mat/stones.
I'm looking at going something like a Tuscan stone, something like this link but in a 7mm size, so it's easy to walk on - https://www.bunnings.com.au/tuscan-path-2kg-4-6mm-hazelnut-mini-pebbles_p0177529
Thanks for your help.
If you're using Tuscan Path 2kg 4 - 6mm Hazelnut Mini Pebbles and the volume needed is still two tons, you'll need 1000 bags. Unless the product comes in a bigger bag or can be ordered in bulk, it will be very costly. These types of mini pebbles are often used in flowerpots and small garden displays. An alternative would be Tuscan Path 30-50mm 15kg White Pebbles. They are quite bigger but come in 15kg bags which would significantly lower your cost. Because they are polished, they should still be relatively comfy to step on.
Another option is to increase the thickness of your road base to 75mm and a layer of 25mm for the stone.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.
You likely don't need a full 50mm layer of the pebbles @bennybennybenny. As @EricL mentioned, at 25mm they would be pretty close to covering fully. At 5cm deep x 21.98m2, that's about 1.1m3. You can generally buy pebbles in m3 bulk bags.
It might not be exactly what you're looking for, but the Hidden Valley 1m³ SA Iceberg Stones - Bulk Loose is probably going to be the most economical option from us that is available in your area. As a comparison, if you were to buy these stones per bag, you'd be looking at roughly four times the cost of the bulk delivery.
If you don't mind me saying, I think we are skirting around the big white elephant in the room, and that is, did you manage to convince your significant other and secure the premium fire pit location?
Thank you for your reply. In the end my wife and I came to a compromise on the locaiton of the firepit - it shifted a little further to the left from where I wanted it but you can still see the outdoor TV from here and are both happy with where we have positioned it. So it all worked out in the end.
Thanks for your suggestion, I should have mentioned I'm looking at bulk delivery of the stones from my local landscape supplier so this shoudn't be a problem to get a bulk delivery for a decent price, but I think I'll increase the size of the stones to 14mm so they are not moved around so easily as the 7mm but still easy for people to walk on. I'll grab some weed matting and pegs from Bunnings to put over the "road base" layer before I put the stones down.
I might split the difference and increase the road base layer to 40mm and have a 35mm layer of stones extra stones.
Thanks for all your help, it is greatly appreciated.
I can't wait to see your results, @bennybennybenny. Keep us updated.
Thanks to everyone for all the help. I was able to get the firepit done over the weekend, and in my opinoon it's come up really well. I just need to level off some large tree stumps to form the seats aroudnd the fire pit, do some mulching and tidying up around the area and it will be all done.
Hey @bennybennybenny Okay, I'm jealous... been meaning to add a firepit spot at mine but so busy doing reno work indoors that outdoors is on the back-burner.
So, firepit envy aside... yes, absolutely you want weedmat or drainage/geotextile fabric. This in-fact stops the pebbles for sinking into the substrate.
Make sure the roadbase is well compacted too otherwise you'll likley end up with some soft spots and hollows.
That sounds roughly right re; volume. Maybe a little high. 22 sq/m x 50mm (22 x .05) =1.1 cubic metres.
The average for pebbles & gravels is 1.5 tonnes to the cubic metre so 1.1 x 1.5 = 1.65 tonnes.
Depending on the supplier you may be able to get 1.75 tonnes?