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When it comes to landscaping your back garden or lawn, there are dozens of ways to create a functional, beautiful space. Brick paver patios are a popular option because they are sturdy, long-lasting and low-maintenance. The costs involved in installing a brick paver patio or driveway are directly related to the size of the space and the type of bricks used in the project. In addition, the decision whether to install the patio yourself or hire a professional will have a significant impact on costs. Here's what you'll need to consider when estimating the cost of installing a brick paver patio.
Brick pavers generally cost 50 cents or more per brick or between $3 and $15 per square foot, but expect higher prices if you choose unusual sizes, rare colors or odd shapes. Some price quotes for brick pavers include:
Clay bricks are superior to concrete stones with longer lasting colors, less maintenance longer brick life and eco-friendly options. On the other hand, concrete stones are less expensive. You have to decide whether you want to spend less or save money on replacement and repair costs over time.
Let's say that your brick paver patio is going to be 100 square feet in size. In addition to the bricks themselves, you'll need crushed gravel, landscaping fabric and tamping equipment. Including the cost of the bricks, this will generally cost between $12 and $22 per square foot of patio space.
Depending on the types of bricks you choose, you could pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 for a brick paver patio when it’s installed by a brick contractor. There are a few key elements to consider when budgeting for this installation.
The bigger the patio, the more money you will spend on bricks. Ask yourself what the patio will be used for. Before making a final decision on patio size, it's best to calculate the square footage of your potential patio space and cross-check it with the price of your preferred paving bricks.
In some cases, homeowners can successfully install their own brick paver patios. Sometimes though, the landscape can prove difficult and require resloping ahead of installation. In such cases you will need to hire a professional landscaper for the work. Professional labor costs can run about $70 per hour for brick paver installation and any additional preparatory work.
Installing a brick paver patio can be a relatively easy DIY weekend project. Gather the supplies and equipment you need for the project, and get paving.
Remove the grass: It’s best to install the patio on a level surface, so use a sod cutter to lift and remove the grass and roots.
Level the dirt: Use a rake to level the newly exposed dirt. Remove any particularly large clumps.
Lay out the edging: Create a border around the patio area with metal or plastic edging. Use spikes to hold the edging firmly in place.
Pour the gravel: Cover the patio area with four inches of fine gravel, using the steel hand tamper to create a level surface.
Install the pavers: Put the pavers into place according to the design you’ve planned. Use a rubber mallet to tap them into position. If the design calls for any oddly shaped pavers, use the wet masonry saw to cut them to size.
Fill the joints: Spread sand across the patio surface, using a broom to push the sand into gaps between the pavers.
Seal the patio: To make the patio more weather resistant, spray the finished patio with a masonry sealer.
When designing a patio, homeowners can choose from a variety of bricks as well as a number of other materials. How do bricks stack up against other types of pavers?
Brick: This is one of the strongest paver options available to homeowners, with a strength rating of about 12,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Bricks are also the most colorful paver options, so homeowners can create a unique, vibrant design. Installing a brick paver patio averages between $10 and $15 per square foot.
Concrete: A strong and solid option, concrete pavers come with a strength rating of 9,000 PSI. Concrete pavers come in a number of sizes and shapes, but their color range is limited to gray. Installing a concrete paver patio averages between $8 and $15 per square foot.
Stone: The most natural option, stone comes in several sizes, textures, colors and styles. Most homeowners opt for stone to create a design-focused patio. Installing a stone paver patio averages between $4 and $8 per square foot.
Slate: A great blend of all the options, slate features a natural look that’s available in a handful of colors. Installing a slate paver patio averages between $15 and $20 per square foot.
DIY Considerations for Installing a Brick Paver Patio
If you are considering installing the patio yourself, you'll have to take a look at the building site and make some important observations. Is the ground relatively flat? Are there large stones and boulders, or clay in the soil? If so, you might need the help of a professional. If the soil is quite clean and the ground fairly level, your DIY project will go more smoothly. To complete the patio on your own, you'll need access to crushed gravel and landscaping fabric.
You’ll need to purchase the following materials for a DIY brick paver patio installation.
12-inch spikes: $10
Rubber mallet: $5
You’ll need to rent a sod cutter to properly remove the sod and prepare the ground for the patio. The average rental cost is $65. Also consider renting a wet masonry saw for cutting pavers cleanly. The average rental cost is $60.
Installing a brick paver patio is typically a smooth process, as long as you know what to expect. Plan ahead, and don’t make these common paver mistakes.
Poor leveling: The surface where you install the patio must be level before you begin to place the pavers. Be sure to use a steel hand tamper to ensure the ground is level.
Hand cutting: Cutting pavers by hand might be a quick solution, but it can lead to uneven cuts and work that looks amateur. Be sure to use a wet masonry saw for a more professional cut.
Inadequate edging: One of the most important structural components of a paver patio, the edging should be solid and carefully installed. If you skip the edging, don’t use a durable material or fail to install it securely, the patio will spread.
The type of pattern and design you want for your patio will directly affect your choice of bricks. For example, circular and diagonal patterns with interlocking bricks require different brick shapes.
Interlocking bricks are popular with many builders, since they create a nice, unique and flowing pattern throughout the patio. These make it possible to design intricate circular or angular patterns within a space, which blend very well with landscaped gardens. Of course, square and rectangular bricks can also be used to create beautiful patio designs as well, especially if they are mixed sizes.
The total cost of your brick paver project comes down to three things: area, materials and labor costs. Whether you choose to hire a professional or complete the project yourself, with some care and planning you'll have a patio you can be proud of.