Key Points in the Price of a Patio
A patio is a patio is a patio, right?
There are so many things to consider when you’re thinking about installing a new patio, and it involves much more than just the size and the placement. Not that those two little details are, in fact, all that little. Size can make or break your patio. Too small, and it’s hardly functional. Too big, and it can overwhelm the space you have to work with.
And where you put it? You guessed it. Whether you realize it or not, where your patio sits can determine how often you actually use it.
But as we established before, size and placement are just two things that weigh into the design of a patio. The other weighty thing – and the thing that often determines so many decisions when design is brought to execution – is pricing.
Patio pricing is determined by a number of factors, including material and complexity of your design. And once again, size and placement come into play, as both are key determinants of how much of your chosen material is used as well as what kind of terrain you might have to contend with and “correct” in order to prepare the groundwork for your patio.
Naturally, some materials are more affordable than others, which is why the more cost-effective materials are the “contractor grade” options found at so many homes. Concrete slabs, for example, are much less expensive than stone pavers, which tend to be at the top of the totem pole when it comes to cost. But even within the various categories of materials, costs can vary to a great degree. Take concrete, for instance. Basic concrete is relatively cheap, while stamped and colored concrete can cost more than three times as much.
In most areas, concrete costs between $5- $7 per square foot. Pavers can be made either from brick or concrete with brick costing a little more than concrete. Brick does cost more if it is set over concrete and the joints grouted as opposed to sand setting brick/concrete pavers. Flagstone is the most expensive, costing between $15- $30 a square foot.
Complexity Versus Simplicity
Materials such as brick, concrete pavers, and stone escalate the cost of a patio, and not simply because of the materials themselves. Installation is also one of the big issues that add into the total price of your patio package. The more irregular the size or shape of the material you’ve selected, the more difficult – i.e. expensive – it will be to install. More complex designs also cost more in terms of labor time and customization of materials. Keep these factors in mind as you decide on things like the shape of your patio so that you can maintain your budget without having to lose your overall vision.
Think local when you consider your materials, as well. The more locally it can be obtained, the lower the cost will be. The trucking distance of those heavy materials will be reduced, thereby lowering shipping costs in addition to avoiding various fees involved in interstate commerce.
Most important to any patio design, of course, is the ground underneath it, which can also raise the price of your patio. Your soil must drain properly and be able to handle the weight of the pavers and pedestrians. This is accomplished by adding compacted gravel at a depth of 4 to 6 inches, depending on the stability of the soil. It is never recommended to install pavers directly on soil without the base. Your soil needs to be properly prepared so that it doesn’t erode over time, which means that the soil should be compacted and any existing draining issues should be resolved. In some cases, you may need to have a layer of gravel and sand compacted over your existing soil before your patio is installed.
As costly as they might seem, patios are an investment worth making, as they can very well raise the value of your home. So rather than going with the bare bones options, consider the ways that you can use your patio to make your backyard and your home more appealing. At Executive Landscaping, Inc., we have years of experience in making patios far more than patios – we make them masterpieces.