How Much Do Rocks Cost For Backyard? (Explained)

Adding rocks to your backyard can elevate its aesthetic appeal, but how much will this landscaping feature cost you? In this article, we’ll break down the cost of rocks for your backyard and help you make an informed decision.

We’ll also discuss other backyard-related topics, including how to put up lights in your backyard and how to build a backyard sand pit. Let’s dive into the world of backyard rocks and discover the possibilities for your outdoor space.

DIY Rock Landscaping Idea | No Fabric | Hide Trash Cans
Rocks can add a unique and attractive feature to any backyard landscaping project.
The cost of rocks for a backyard project can vary depending on factors such as the type of rock, the amount needed, and delivery fees.
To create a beautiful backyard landscape using rocks, proper planning, and design are essential.
Using different sizes and shapes of rocks can create depth and dimension in a backyard landscape.
The addition of plants and water features can enhance the overall aesthetic of a backyard that incorporates rocks.

Type Of Stones

There are several types of stones which you can use in your backyard. The types of rock that you choose will depend on a number of factors, including the style and color scheme of your garden, as well as its size and personality. Here is a brief overview:

Granite: This is one of the most popular types of stone for outdoor use because it’s durable, low maintenance and comes in a wide range of colors (black, browns and whites). 

However, granite is also very heavy so make sure to take this into account when planning where you will place it in your garden. 

Granite also tends to be more expensive than other types of rock because it’s difficult to work with; however sometimes using smaller pieces together can help counteract this issue by making them light enough for easier installation without sacrificing durability or aesthetic appeal!

Limestone: Limestones aren’t quite as durable as granites but they’re still considered great choices due to their natural appearance which seamlessly blends into almost any landscape setting while still being easy enough on maintenance requirements such that most homeowners won’t need professional guidance when installing them personally.”

Rock TypeCharacteristics
GraniteDurable, long-lasting, and versatile in color and texture.
LimestoneLight-colored and versatile, often used for creating a natural, rustic look.
SandstoneA sedimentary rock that comes in various colors and is ideal for creating a natural-looking landscape.
River RockSmooth and round, these rocks are perfect for water features and dry creek beds.
BasaltDark-colored and often used for a modern, sleek look, also durable and resistant to erosion.

Cost Per Unit

The cost per unit will depend on the type of rock you choose. Granite is more expensive than limestone, so if you want to save money, granite might not be the best option for you unless it’s in a relatively small space and won’t look too out of place. 

The size of the rocks also affects their price; smaller pieces are generally less expensive than larger ones.

Looking to add rocks to your backyard landscaping project? Our guide on fully landscaping a backyard can help you plan and budget for the perfect rock features to enhance your outdoor space.

Pros and Cons of DIY vs. Professional Rock Landscaping

DIY LandscapingProfessional Landscaping
Lower costHigher cost
Flexibility and creativity in designProfessional design and execution
Time-consuming and labor-intensiveEfficient and timely completion
Limited access to specialized equipment and materialsAccess to specialized equipment and materials
Potential for mistakes or improper installationProfessional quality and guaranteed work

Quantity Needed

The first thing to consider when buying rock is how many you’ll need. Most homeowners will purchase between 5 and 15 tons of rock. 

If you’re looking to fill a large, square area, you’ll want to estimate your need in cubic yards rather than tons. Here are some rough guidelines:

For small areas under 50 sq. ft., a ton should cover about 25 sq. ft., depending on depth and grade of the rock (the grade refers to its size).

For larger areas up to 1,000 sq. ft., an average yard of material covers 125 sq. ft., but keep in mind that this can vary greatly depending on density and depth (see below for more info).

Delivery Distance

It’s important to consider the distance from supplier to installation site. If you’re buying from a local rock yard, you might be able to get smaller rocks delivered for free. 

But if your order is going to be filled straight from the mine, delivery costs (and time) may vary widely depending on how far away it is and how much stuff needs to be transported.

For example: let’s say you live in Dallas and want some red granite for your backyard path. You call around until you find someone willing to deliver these stones all the way over here it takes two weeks! 

In that case, would it make more sense just to buy them locally? That depends on how much money matters are stressing you out but either way, don’t forget about delivery time as part of your final price tag when deciding where and how many rocks are right for your project.”

A backyard greenhouse can add value and beauty to your property. Learn more about the cost and benefits of owning a greenhouse in our guide on backyard greenhouse costs.

Dirt Removal (Optional)

Backyard rocks can be a great way to add personality and interest to your landscaping, but they can also be a big hassle. 

First, you need to get them out of the ground. If you have enough strength and time on your hands, this is not a problem. 

However, if you don’t want to spend hours digging up rocks from your yard, it might be worth hiring someone else to do it for you.

You should expect to pay about $75 per hour for labor when hiring an experienced professional who knows how best to remove unwanted dirt without damaging any plants or grasses in your yard (which will cost extra).

Excavation And Grading (Optional)

To get the right rock for your landscaping, you may need to excavate the soil in your backyard. The cost of excavation depends on how much work it takes to remove dirt, rocks, and other materials from the ground. 

Excavating costs will also vary depending on whether or not you’re planning to grade your yard afterward. 

Grading is used when installing a new lawn or adding more plants to an existing one; it’s basically leveling out uneven ground so that everything is nice and smooth. If you plan on grading after excavation, consider adding this expense onto your total cost as well!

Building a rock garden or other rock features in your backyard requires careful planning and execution, including the transportation of heavy materials like concrete. Check out our guide on transporting concrete to your backyard to learn the best methods and equipment for safely and efficiently moving concrete to your desired location.

Type Of Application (Decorative Vs. Structural)

Decorative rocks are used in landscaping, while structural rocks are used for retaining walls, drainage and other construction. 

It’s important to note that decorative stones can be used for their structural purposes; however, if you’re hoping to use your decorative rock as a border around your driveway or garden bed (which would be considered more of a functional purpose), you’ll need to invest in something heavier than what you’d find at the hardware store.

Structural rock will typically be much heavier than decorative stone; it’s designed for holding up gardens, sidewalks and driveways so that they don’t collapse into themselves over time. 

However, some people do choose to use heavy-duty decorative stone for certain projects like building paths through gardens or walkways from one side of the yard back towards their home (for example).

Transform your small backyard into an oasis with the help of our guide on making a small backyard more appealing. From rock gardens to water features, we have plenty of ideas to help you make the most of your limited space.

Size And Weight Of Rocks Needed

The size and weight of the rocks needed to cover a given area will depend on the type of rock you’re buying. Commonly used types include limestone, sandstone, bluestone, granite and marble.

You may also want to consider how much you need to pay for transportation costs if purchasing your rocks in bulk from a wholesale supplier. 

This can range from about $3 per ton (about 2,000 pounds) for smaller quantities up to around $10 per ton for large truckloads of granite or marble boulders weighing more than 5 tons each.

If you order less than 1/2 truckload (or 2 tons), delivery fees can run as high as $7 per mile plus another $5 per mile if there’s an overpass bridge or tunnel involved! If this seems like too much hassle or money consider getting small bags of decorative pebbles instead; they’ll be much cheaper overall since there won’t be any delivery charges involved!

Ready to install a beautiful and durable turf in your backyard? Our guide on putting turf down in your backyard provides step-by-step instructions and tips to help you create a lush and healthy lawn.


Stones are a great way to add texture and beauty to your backyard. You can use them to build a fire pit or barbecue area, create pathways through the garden, or even line a koi pond with them! 

There are so many options when it comes to choosing rocks for your garden. However, you need to choose carefully because they are not cheap at all!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful for your backyard landscaping needs:

How Much Does it Cost to Fully Landscape a Backyard?: This article provides a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with landscaping a backyard, including materials, labor, and design fees.

How Much is a Backyard Greenhouse? Find Out!: If you’re interested in building a greenhouse in your backyard, this article can help you determine the costs involved and what factors to consider when selecting a greenhouse kit.

How Do You Put Turf Down in Your Backyard?: Turf can be a great way to create a lush, green lawn in your backyard. This article explains the steps involved in installing turf, including soil preparation, measuring, and cutting.

How Do I Build a Cheap Backyard Fence? Easy Tips: If you’re looking to add privacy and security to your backyard, this article offers tips on how to build a fence on a budget, including materials to use and where to find them.

How Much is Backyard Putting Green? Find Out!: This article provides an overview of the costs involved in building a putting green in your backyard, including the type of turf to use, installation, and maintenance.

Landscape Rock Cost: This article offers a detailed review of different types of landscape rocks and their respective costs.

River Rock Cost: River rocks can be a popular option for landscaping, and this article provides information on the cost and benefits of using river rocks in your backyard.


Q: Can rocks be used as a substitute for grass in my backyard?

A: Yes, rocks can be used as a substitute for grass in your backyard. Using rocks for landscaping can create a low-maintenance, water-efficient yard that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Q: How much does it cost to install rocks in my backyard?

A: The cost of installing rocks in your backyard can vary depending on the size of your yard, the type of rocks you choose, and the complexity of the installation. It’s best to get a quote from a professional landscaper to determine the exact cost.

Q: Do I need to prepare my soil before installing rocks in my backyard?

A: Yes, it’s important to prepare your soil before installing rocks in your backyard. This may involve removing existing grass or plants, leveling the ground, and adding a layer of landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing.