You’ve taken stock of your yard and decided to invest in updating your existing patio or want to create an entirely new patio or entertaining space. A patio is a backyard, or sometimes front yard, staple that can facilitate parties, games or simply lounging in the sun. Before you embark on the journey of choosing shapes, edges, patterns, and walkways, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the materials themselves and costs.
Below are some different kinds of patios and their associated prices*.
Different Patio Materials + Their Costs
Natural Stone Patios
Natural stone pavements come with a lot of lingo. There are regional names like “Pennsylvania Limestone” and “Colorado Reds.” There are “articulated edges” and “monolithic steps.” You might find out that not all bluestone is blue and that natural stone pavement is NOT considered “pavers.” All lingo aside, the important thing to know is what your stone looks like! Decide on a general color palette and shapes, and see what your options are.
One distinction that is important is:
- Flagstone – tends to refer to any irregularly shaped stones. They can be finished with a smooth face or with an irregular face that is more slip-resistant.
- Cut Stone – natural stones that are cut into specific shapes to make patterns.
Below are some of the more popular natural stone varieties. Please note that all pricing will depend on where you live, where you are sourcing the materials, and the specific installation methods :
Bluestone gets a lot of press, and for good reason! This popular stone can fit a range of styles from rustic with craggy edges, to modern when cut with clean precise lines. Cool tones of light to dark grey and blueish hues, sometimes with marbleized browns, seem to provide a nice backdrop to any vibrant plants surrounding your space. Bluestone is quarried in the Northeast of America, so prices tend to be lower there, rather than locations where the heavy stone has to be shipped.
Price range: $18-28/sq. ft.
Traditionally in warmer tans, oranges, and browns (but also exists in a variety of greys), sandstone is another popular natural stone for patios. Softer and more porous than bluestone and some others, it is more prone to water damage, but also stays cooler in high temperatures. This accounts for its popularity in the Southwest.
Price Range: $10-20/sq. ft.
Other Natural Stone Patios
Based on your region, the local stone will be different. Various kinds of limestone, slate, granite and marble may be more or less accessible, based on your price range. Speak with your supplier to find out what your options are for your budget, and keep in mind that the variety you see among neighbors might be a good sampling of the stone that is readily available to you. Selecting a native stone can have both cost and longevity benefits as it is indigenous to the region.
Price Range: $8 (local flagstone)-50 (granite)/sq. ft.
Bricks have been around as a building and paving material for quite some time. The first clay bricks were found in the ancient city of Jericho and date back to 7,000 BC! The colors and varieties of brick are as diverse as the soils they originated from. Most have a reddish to brownish hue but certainly not all.
Now, brick is associated with old-world, rustic warmth, or an old industrial aesthetic. Prices tend to be lower than natural stones, due to their ability to be mass-manufactured. Sometimes you can find used or reclaimed brick that has an extra patina of age to lend a country cottage vibe to your project while being eco-friendly.
Price Range: $14-18/sq. ft.
Concrete & Paver Patios
This might be the most versatile material option for your patio. Concrete is a beloved material by many for its ability to fill many roles. Concrete can be made into tiles, poured in place to fit any shape, or made to resemble natural stone and even wood. Due to this versatility, concrete can fit your modern aesthetic with clean lines, or take on the look of bricks for some folksy charm. Even a simple concrete slab can be enlivened with different finishes or stamped surfaces. This is a great option if you like the look of natural stone, but want to save up to half of your money.
Most of the pavers you see in your neighbors’ patios or in materials catalogs are actually made of dyed concrete. Any color, shape, and size under the rainbow is available to match your needs.
Price Range (Poured-in-Place): $10-20/sq. ft.
Price Range (Pavers): $14-26/sq. ft.
Stamped Concrete & Concrete
Easy to install and a great option for drainage, gravel may be the patio material you need. Gravel comes in all colors and forms, and is relatively cheap. While some homeowners will testify that keeping gravel in place keeps them perpetually raking up the little stones, certain cuts of gravel are known for doing a better job at staying in place. Currently paving stones with gravel seams are in vogue. Just remember, edging is a MUST!
Price Range: $8-15/sq. ft.
Another drainage and earth-friendly option is any kind of permeably paved patio. Permeable concrete, asphalt, and pavers are all on the market for prices comparable to their impervious counterparts. However, note that installation fees may be more, due to the labor potentially requiring more time and care.
*Permeable options (gravel included) are also fantastic because they do not increase your lot’s impermeable surface coverage. So if you plan on building any further additions down the line, you may wish you used something impermeable.
Price Range: $10-30/sq. ft.
Anyone with wood components in their landscape knows that decking can be pricey. Especially as the cost of lumber may fluctuate steeply over time, it is possible to catch yourself in a time when costs are way up. That said, a beautifully decked patio can be pretty wonderful. Deep, dark hues or weathered, woodsy vibes make it a classic for any style. Be wary that decking may require reapplying a finish periodically, so keep the cost of maintenance in mind.
Not all decking is created equal. Composite decking is wood material mixed with plastics and binders and tends to last longer with less maintenance as a result. There is also a range of synthetic decking materials that do a good job of resembling natural wood with varying degrees of success.
Price Range (Composite): $55-75/sq. ft.
Price Range (Pressure Treated): $25-40/sq. ft.
*ALL PRICES ARE ESTIMATES – it is important to know that when it comes to hardscape materials, there are many factors that dictate cost. Stones, aggregates, clay, and wood are all raw materials that come from specific places and can be costly to transport. Many homeowners consider local materials and consult local vendors in order to keep costs down, as well as the costs of emissions in getting large amounts of materials to your home.
In addition, the costs of anything goes up the more specialized it is. This includes things like different finishes, specific colors, bespoke sizes, or special patterns. Make a budget for yourself, and your dream patio can be achieved!
Like learning more about patio materials and their costs? check out our Backyard Designs that Entertain Well post for some patio inspiration!