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What Is The Cheapest Patio Paver?

If you are considering replacing or adding a walkway, patio, or driveway to your outdoor living area, you may be perplexed by a myriad of choices you have. Some paving materials are more cost-effective than others, and some types are more durable and easier to maintain.


To improve your outdoor living space, consider upgrading your patio materials. When choosing a material for your patio, consider cost, durability (which affects lifespan), style, and—if you’re creating a DIY patio—installation difficulty.


Below are some patio paver and their estimated costs:

1. Pea Gravels

Popular in English gardens, pea gravel patios and pathways have a lovely, quaint look and are cheap and easy to install. This type of gravel consists of loose, smooth, earth-toned stones under an inch in diameter — about the size of a pea.


At $6–$10 per square foot, pea gravel is a low-cost option. Since the stones remain loose and do not have to be hardened or set, this gravel can be used to create a patio in any shape. It's also easy to install, so it's a relatively simple DIY project, even for a new hardscaper. If properly cared for, a pea gravel patio can last forever.


Since pea gravel is not a solid surface, it can be easily moved over time, and some adjustment may be needed to keep the patio furniture level. The loose gravel is occasionally scattered outside the designated patio area and must be collected. Snow removal can be a challenge, as you don't want to risk shaking the stones with the snow. Overall, maintenance for this type of patio is relatively low — half-week grating of the stones back into place will prevent weeds from growing and keep the surface clean and level.


2. Concrete Pavers

Pavers are made of concrete stones that come in a number of shapes and colours. In contrast to poured or stamped concrete, the pavements can be replaced individually — if one cracks, there is no need to replace the entire patio. Concrete paver installation may be DIY, but it is not recommended for beginners as a project.


Concrete pavers are pricey, costing about $13–$20 per square foot, but due to their durability and ability to replace one-by-one pavers, a patio made of pavers can last 50–100 years.


A paver patio often provides better drainage than a poured concrete patio because the water can drain through the stones. Pavers may wear down over time due to erosion, but rarely crack because they can move with the ground if it moves.


3. Stones

Stone patios are undeniably lovely. Flagstone, slate, bluestone and limestone are the most popular materials for stone patio surfaces.


Stone patios can move with the ground, so they're not going to erosion over time, and they're not likely to crack. But if a stone breaks, it can often be replaced without tearing down the entire surface. Stone patios are not good DIY projects — stones can be heavy, cumbersome, and difficult to fit and fit.


Although elegant and classic, stone is an expensive patio choice, costing about $14–$28 per square foot. Each stone needs to be quarried and specifically shaped together. Keep in mind that this patio material can also become very hot in the sun or slippery after rain.


Maintenance of a stone patio is relatively minimal: this type of patio can last 100 years or more if properly maintained. Regular sweeping and weeding is required, but deeper cleaning is only necessary if the patio is stained. Tough stains can be scrubbed out with water and bleach.


4. Bricks

The patios of Brick are a classic look. Although brick does not vary greatly in color and can not be dyed, it can be arranged in many different patterns to create a unique look.


The brick patios cost about $14–$20 per square foot, but the recovered brick can be bought less as an eco-friendly option. Because it's porous, brick offers good drainage, as water can flow through spongy clay easily. While brick patios, like paver patios, can be a DIY project, it is not recommended for beginners.


Although not easily eroded, bricks may break or crack as a result of stress or freezing temperatures. However, bricks can easily be replaced individually and, as this patio material does not fade, the replaced brick will not stand out. The brick patio will not be completely smooth (the mortar does not sit on the surface of the brick) and may cause the furniture of the patio to shimmer.


Brick is difficult to keep clean — he tends to grow a moss that needs to be removed with a bleach and a scrub brush a few times a year. The brick patios can last for over 100 years with proper care and cleaning.


5. Poured or stamped concrete

Concrete is one of the most popular patio materials and cheapest materials you can use to build a hard-surface patio. Concrete is made of aggregates and paste — concrete aggregates can be crushed with stone, sand , gravel or even shells; the paste is made of water and cement. Generally, concrete patios are not a DIY project and should be installed by the contractor.


Because concrete begins as a paste and then hardens, it's a great building material for a custom-shaped patio. Stamped concrete — created by pressing flexible polyurethane stamps on freshly poured concrete — can be dyed in almost any color, mimic the texture of stone or brick, or even include fun designs such as animal footprints or geometric patterns.


Special care is required for concrete patios. Although this patio material is initially cheap (about $6–$13 per square foot), concrete will fade, crack, and wear down over time (expects a lifetime of about 20–30 years), especially if the ground underneath shifts. Once cracked, a poured concrete patio will have to be completely removed and replaced.


These patios may also suffer from poor drainage if not properly installed (another reason to hire a pro). Rinse your concrete patio with bleach and water at least once a year. The poured concrete can easily stain — depending on the color — and the stains will need to be cleaned with a hard-bristled brush.

Are You Considering Pavers for Patio? 

At DPG Pavers and Design, we’ve been providing our customers with specialized Landscape and Hardscape Design and Build services for over 30 years. With offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, we are the best curb-appeal and outdoor living space designer and installers for homes, apartments and municipalities.  Appearing on HGTV’s Curb Appeal and featured on Discovery Channel’s program Renovation Nation, our team of skilled designers and landscape engineers provide top-quality service and professionalism our customers love.  Have a patio in need of an upgrade? Contact DPG Pavers and Design to schedule your free consultation today!

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