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What Is The Cheapest Hardscape Material?

More and more attention is being paid to the benefits of green spaces these days. Cities across the globe are looking for more ways to integrate public green spaces into their architecture.


Although they're working on it, there's nothing that says you can't build your own personal green space oasis in your backyard. To make your space comfortable and functional, the design of your patio is a great place to start.


But when you're on a budget, you don't want to spend a fortune on it. You want to have enough money to decorate the area with the calming plants and flowers you want to purchase. Check out the cheapest hardscape material below for some great ideas for your green space.



Concrete is a simple , inexpensive material for building a patio. The price varies from $6 to $13 per square foot. Poured concrete is easy to shape, making it possible to create different shapes and designs to make it more unique. The material is strong and durable and, when properly installed, will hold well for years to come. Concrete is porous, so you need to be careful about bringing water into it. If it freezes, it can expand and can cause cracking in the concrete.

An easy solution is to paint a sealant on concrete to keep it from soaking up water in the first place. It's going to have to be redone every couple of years. If you think that concrete needs to be boring and unexciting, think again. You can opt for a stamped version instead of plain concrete. This opens up a range of style choices.


Stamped concrete comes in many colors and textures, including items designed to look like natural stones or other materials. You can also make designs, shapes and patterns to give your patio a unique look. It's not very easy to build, so hiring a contractor is strongly recommended. However, the price of concrete, including labor, makes it one of the cheapest alternatives.

Pea Gravel

Popular in English gardens, pea gravel patios and pathways have a lovely, quaint look and are cheap and simple to install. This type of gravel consists of loose, flat, 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 alternative. Since the stones remain loose and do not have to be hardened or fixed, this gravel can be used to build a patio in any form. It's just as easy to install, so it's a pretty simple DIY project, even for a new hardscaper. If properly cared for, a pea gravel patio will last forever.


Since pea gravel is not a solid surface, it can be easily shifted over time, and some modification might be required to keep the patio furniture level. The loose gravel is occasionally scattered outside the designated patio area and must be removed. Snow removal can be a problem, as you don't want to risk shaking the stones with the snow. Overall, maintenance for this form 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.



Nothing beats the charm of a natural stone courtyard. It could be rustic or chic depending on how you style it. Plus, it's sturdy and simple to fit your style of home. The big drawback is the cost of it. Natural stone is quarried and you have to pay for shipping heavy slabs to your house.


The pieces are not identical in size, which contributes to their aesthetics, but also means that they are not of the same thickness. In order to have an even base, the base under each piece must be individually cut to the exact thickness of the piece. As you can imagine, this adds significantly to the time it takes to install, driving up the labor cost. The quick solution is to buy pavers instead of pavers.


These processed stones come in a wide range of colors , shapes and textures. They can be made to look like natural stone , brick, or even cobblestone. They look so amazing that even some high-end homes use them for their designer patios. Their even size makes installation a breeze, lowering the cost. You should expect to pay for pavers between $13 and $20 a square foot.


Pavers are made of a variety of materials, including concrete, clay and even recycled plastic, for those looking for a green patio material. Another plus is that if a part of your patio breaks or is destroyed, you can easily repair the affected pavements and don't have to redo the entire thing. Choose the right material and style and the pavers can be an incredibly inexpensive and stylish patio material.



The patios of Brick are a classic look. While brick does not vary greatly in color and can not be colored, it can be arranged in several different patterns to produce a unique look. The brick patios cost around $14–$20 per square foot, but the recovered brick can be bought less as an eco-friendly alternative. Since it's porous, brick provides strong drainage, as water can pass through spongy clay easily. Although brick patios, like paver patios, can be a DIY project, it is not recommended for beginners.


While not easily eroded, bricks can 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 may not be absolutely smooth (the mortar does not rest on the surface of the brick) and will cause the furniture of the patio to shimmer. Brick is difficult to keep clean — he appears to grow a moss that needs to be cleaned with a bleach and a scrub brush a few times a year. The brick patios will last for over 100 years with proper care and cleaning.



Stone patios are undeniably lovely. Flagstone, slate, bluestone and limestone are the most common materials for stone patio surfaces. Stone patios can roll with the earth, but they're not going to erosion over time, and they're not likely to break. But if a stone breaks, it can sometimes be replaced without breaking down the entire floor. Stone patios are not good DIY projects — stones can be heavy, bulky, and difficult to install and install.


Although elegant and traditional, stone is an expensive patio option, costing around $14–$28 per square foot. Each stone needs to be quarried and specifically shaped together. Bear in mind that this patio material may also become very hot in the sun or slippery after rain. Maintenance of a stone patio is relatively minimal: this type of patio will last 100 years or more if properly maintained. Regular sweeping and weeding is required, but deeper cleaning is only appropriate if the patio is stained. Tough stains can be scrubbed out with water and bleach.

Are You Considering Hardscape for your Front Yard or Backyard? 

At DPG Pavers and Design, we’ve been providing our customers with specialized Landscape and Hardscape Design and Build services for over 30 years. DPG Pavers and Design, headquartered in Walnut Creek, California is the best curb-appeal and outdoor living space designer and installer in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Appearing on HGTV’s Curb Appeal and featured on Discovery Channel’s program Renovation Nation, our team of skilled designers and landscape engineers provides top-quality service and professionalism our customers love.  DPG Pavers and Design offers 2-D and 3-D conceptual home and landscape design plans that allow you to visualize your dream space and make that dream-concept a reality. If you are considering hard landscaping projects (like interlocking concrete pavers) that cover the entirety of your yard contact DPG Pavers and Design to schedule your free consultation today!

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