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You might be wondering, 'how much does a patio cost?'. If you're planning on adding one to your landscaping scheme but want to know what to budget before you start, then you've come to the right place.
It's no secret that patio ideas can be an incredibly important part of the garden. They provide a stable base for stylish furniture, or even an outdoor kitchen or bar, so are perfect if you're looking to spend more time relaxing and entertaining outdoors this season. Plus, with so many styles of pavers available, they can be a design feature in their own right – from soothing pale tones to rustic natural stone and everything in between.
But laying a patio is not quite as straightforward as painting a fence, or planting a container. It's a bit more of a commitment, both labor and cost-wise. So, before you get started, you'll want to know how much of your hard-earned cash you'll need to set aside, a breakdown of how much different materials can cost, and how to make your money go further. Well, you'll find all of this info below, including practical advice from the experts.
How much does a patio cost? A breakdown
'The cost of your patio will very much depend on the site conditions and the type of paving material that you want to install,' says Lee Dunderdale, Product Manager at Bradstone (opens in new tab).
'However, there's a real breadth of choice when it comes to paving options so it's usually possible to find something to accommodate most budgets.'
For example, a concrete paver is a good mid-range product that is popular with many homeowners, Lee continues. Currently available from around £23 per square meter at Simply Paving (opens in new tab), you'd need to budget as follows, depending on the size of the area you want to pave:
- Small patio (3x3m) – £207.81 (the equivalent to approximately $290)
- Medium patio (6x6m) - £831.24 (approximately $1,165)
- Large patio (10x10m) - £2,309 (approximately $3,240)
'However, the slabs aren't the only costs to consider', says Lee. Installation forms a much larger proportion of the overall price. 'For a rough estimate to give an initial guide, we use the 80/20 rule of thumb – with installation by an experienced installer forming around 80% of the total cost of the project, and materials making up the other 20%,' he says. Lee would always recommend reaching out to an installer to get their advice on the best way to deliver the work within your budget.
If you're looking for cheap garden ideas, you might be tempted to lay the patio yourself. However, you'll need to factor in the installation material costs, too. These include cement and sharp sand for mixing mortar, as well as sub-base aggregate. Cement is around £6.50 per 25kg (around $9) which will cover around eight square meters, so you'll need a few bags for a larger patio. Sand is around £7.25 per square meter (approx. $10), whilst sub-base aggregate is approximately £7 per square meter.
If you need to excavate a large amount of soil before you lay your patio, you will also need to hire a skip. This can cost around £130/$180 for small skips (which will hold around 30 bin bags), whilst large skips with a capacity for around 80 bin bags cost up to £370/$520.
How much do patio pavers cost? The different materials available
Alongside concrete, there are lots of other paving styles that you can choose from. We've rounded up some of the costs of each below, to help you pick the best one for your garden.
How much does brick paving cost?
If you're on the lookout for budget-friendly paving, then reclaimed bricks made a lovely option. They'll lend a more rustic look to your plot and work well for edging flowerbed ideas, too. It's worth knowing that bricks are durable – they are made from clay and don't require much upkeep.
Cost-wise, they from around $4 to $8 per square foot. They work well in modern plots and for cottage garden ideas alike.
How much does natural stone paving cost?
Natural stone is an attractive and timeless choice, with each stone having a slightly unique patina and finish. It is generally more expensive than concrete and brick paving, ranging from around $3 to $35 per square foot, as says HomeAdvisor.com (opens in new tab).
The actual cost will of course depend on the type of stone you go for, plus the size of each flagstone. Sandstone tends to be more expensive, whilst limestone and slate is generally more affordable. Using local stone often helps to bring costs down.
How much does porcelain paving cost?
'Generally, the most expensive patio to lay is porcelain,' says Lee Dunderdale of Bradstone. 'The premium product is made from an extremely high-quality material that is scratch and stain-resistant and is incredibly durable.'
Their sleek appearance makes them perfect for modern garden ideas, but they tend to be around the £50 mark per square meter (around $70). If you've got some DIY skills up your sleeve, you could balance out the costs by laying them yourself. Our guide on how to lay porcelain tiles outside has a handy step-by-step guide.
How much does gravel cost?
If paving ideas sound a little expensive for you, don't forget about garden gravel ideas, too. Gravel is incredibly versatile and easy-to-lay, and some varieties, such as pea gravel, are very budget-friendly.
It works well for driveways, paths, or even to mix in with your paving for a textural contrast. According to HomeAdvisor.com, costs can range from $1 to $4 per square foot.
How much does a raised patio cost?
Feeling inspired by our tiered garden ideas? Want to recreate the vibe of raised decking ideas, but with paving instead of timber? According to HomeAdvisor.com, you'll be looking at an additional $2 to $6 per square foot more, if you're using concrete as the base.
How can you reduce the cost of a patio?
'There are a number of ways you can be more cost-effective when it comes to installing your new patio,' says Lee Dunderdale of Bradstone. 'But, always keep in mind the quality and finish you want to achieve.'
- First, Lee suggests to consider the product you want to use carefully, as the cost of different materials can vary significantly. If you're looking for a premium finish, porcelain paving is a good choice – but be prepared that this can be more expensive to buy when compared with concrete and natural stone, and it also takes longer to lay, he adds. Be sure to shop around and do your research first to find the balance between cost and quality to suit your needs.
- 'Another consideration is the size of your patio,' says Lee. 'Be realistic about how big your patio needs to be. Ensure your furniture will fit comfortably within that area but then look at where you could incorporate lawn, planting, or some aggregates into the overall design to keep project costs down.' Our guide on how to plant grass seed will help you cut costs further.
- If you're looking for quality paving on a budget, there are some good natural stone paving options or concrete ones available. 'However, there are also several natural stone products that are more premium for larger budgets,' Lee adds.
- If you're looking for a weekend project and have access to the right tools and equipment, then you could also try laying a patio yourself. You'll cut out all the labor costs and feel an extra surge of pride when you're out enjoying your new space, knowing it was all your own hard work that went into it. Our guide on how to lay a patio has all the tips you need.
- It's also worth looking out for reclaimed materials when you're considering how much does it cost to lay a patio. Take a look at online marketplaces, reclamation yards, or even ask your neighbors if they've recently been undergoing renovations. They may have some leftover materials which could come in handy for your project.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.
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