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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Patio Or Pathway?

National Average Change Location | View National
$3,154
Typical Range
$1,735 - $4,591
Low End
$780
High End
$9,650

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On This Page:

  1. Which Material Are You Using?
  2. Cost to Install a Pathway
  3. Will Your Project Requires Grading?
  4. What About Accessories & Furniture?
  5. Conclusion

Patios and pathways are a great way to add value to your home. Patios in particular are a great way to add livable outdoor space along with value. However, because it can be hard to predict the cost to build a patio or pathway, it may be an intimidating venture at first.

Deciding on which material to use – concrete, flagstone, gravel, or pavers – is only one part of what should be considered. Grading and drainage as well as the layout itself (including lines for plumbing, gas, and electrical) are all things that should be worked out before the shovel even hits the dirt.

You should find a reputable professional who knows local codes, as there are often regulations for building residential patios. Get from three to five quotes, ask for references, and inspect their previous work if you can.

Which Material Are You Using?

This will probably be the biggest cost factor in your design. Each of the four most common choices has its advantages, characteristics, and options. They also have their costs.

Other than the material, the biggest cost factor will be the size of the patio. This is determined by the space’s intended purpose. The most common sizes for patios are:

  • 7x7: Called a “bistro” patio, this small area is usually done in side yards where space is minimal. It’s a cozy spot usually used for drinks around a small fire pit.
  • 12x12: This is the typical patio where a small, four-seat table might be located.
  • 16x18: This size is often a living room patio. Aimed at entertaining as well as relaxation, these patios often have ample seating as well as a fireplace, fire pit, and/or a cooking grill.

Concrete

($6.00 - $10.00 sq ft)

Flagstone

($10.00 - $30.00 sq ft)

Gravel

($1.40 sq ft)

Pavers

($5.00 - $15.00 sq ft)

7x7

$416.50 

$882.00 

$68.60

$490.00 

12x12

$1,224.00 

$2,592.00 

$201.60

$1,440.00 

16x18

$2,448.00 

$5,184.00 

$403.20

$2,880.00 

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Concrete (avg $8.50 sq ft)

By far the most popular choice for patios and pathways, concrete is incredibly versatile. Though most often seen as grey concrete slabs, it can be dyed in various colors and can be “stamped” to imitate more expensive pavers.

Concrete is fairly easy to install and maintain, needing sealing every two to three years. It can crack if improperly installed, however. These cracks are usually very hard to hide. That’s why you should probably rely on a concrete professional to lay it for you.

Concrete is available from almost any hardware store. The grade varies according to how it will be used. Most residential projects use the minimum 2,500 psi. Higher psi grades are for heavier duty use such as commercial platforms and even skyscrapers.

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Gravel (approx. $1.40 sq ft)

Gravel is the most DIY-friendly patio and pathway material. If you can use a shovel, you can install a gravel surface. Often seen embedded into concrete, gravel is also installed loose. No grading is necessary in most cases, and laying down a weed-block fabric is often all that’s needed to get a leg up on maintenance. Also, gravel can fit any shape, no matter how straight or curvy, with minimal effort.

Gravel is often accented with isolated stepping stones and a small border. It is very easy to maintain; simple raking is all that’s needed to keep a level surface. Light snow is removed with a leaf-blower, while heavier snow can be shoveled down to a thin layer that can be easily removed with salt.

Gravel comes in many different sizes from small “fine gravel” to pieces the size of boulders. Pea gravel is the kind most commonly used in residential applications, so named for the size and roundness of the stones.

Gravel is available at almost any hardware or home improvement store. However, very large quantities might be more readily available at landscaping specialty stores or stone yards.

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Flagstone (avg $15.00 sq ft)

Flagstone is the name given to any natural stone cut into thin layers and laid out in interlocking shapes. While the cost of this material can vary widely depending on the type of stone, the luxurious custom look ensures that no two flagstone patios are alike.

Flagstone is difficult to install properly, and custom or elaborate designs can raise the cost of installation significantly. Maintenance is pretty easy, though, requiring only routine cleaning and sweeping with resealing done every year.

Flagstone is graded according to its hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 (diamond being 10). This reflects how resistant it is to wear and damage. Quartzite rates very high on this scale while sandstone is very soft, cracking and flaking easily. It is available almost any place where you can buy landscaping materials.

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Pavers (avg $10.00 sq ft)

Pavers are like bricks that are laid out in patterns. Some pavers are individual pieces while others are like tiles with patterns that interlock no matter how you lay them out. Pavers come in different styles from brick to cobblestone to interlocking patterns ranging from the simple herringbone pattern to custom mosaics.

Maintaining a paver patio or pathway is as easy as sweeping it regularly and hosing it down as needed. Sealer should be applied every year, and unless natural fading and wear is desired, a polish should be applied every two years.

Pavers are graded according to how long they are expected to hold their color and other features. Commercial grade may have some minor defects such as color variations or rough edges. Standard grade is the kind you will most likely find at your local hardware store, while premium grade is, as expected, the one with the most consistent color and quality.

Pavers are available at any home improvement store.

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Cost to Install A Pathway

To put it succinctly, pathways look good. Their uses are practical as well as aesthetic. On the practical side, they provide smooth surfaces to access parts of your yard. Imagine trying to roll a heavy grill across a soft grass yard when you bring it out of winter storage! Also on the practical side is the protection a pathway can offer your lawn and other landscaping. Not all lawns can handle heavy foot traffic, and a pathway is the perfect solution to help people “keep off the grass.”

On the aesthetic side, a lovely pathway is eye-catching and can draw the viewer’s attention to highlights in your yard. An exotic plant or a fountain is even more inviting with a pathway leading to it. A pathway can even be used to break up the monotony of a large, uniform yard. Also, a pathway can lead guests to your new patio. If done in the same style, it can even feel like it’s part of the patio!

Costs to install a pathway don’t differ too much from the costs to install a patio as far as materials go. Where the total cost will differ is in the layout. Where most patios are square or circular, pathways tend to have more curves or other features such as steps to deal with changes in elevation.

Concrete ($6.00 to $10.00 sq ft)

Concrete pathways for private, residential settings are usually three feet wide. A pathway designed with handicap accessibility should be at least 4 feet wide.

Flagstone ($10.00 to $30.00 sq ft)

Many people make flagstone pathways wider than the typical 3 feet. This is often to show off the natural beauty of the stone.

Gravel (about $1.40 sq ft)

Gravel walkways are uncommon by themselves. They usually have stepping stones to provide more stable footing, but they do have the charm of a rustic look with the convenience of fitting into any curves or shapes you want without added expense.

Pavers ($5.00 to $15.00 sq ft)

Pavers add eye-appeal when laid out in attractive patterns. They may require custom cutting when fitting them into curves, however. Their variety makes them very popular in spite of this, and many people feel the added expense is worth it.

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Will Your Project Require Grading?

Grading is the process of leveling land. It’s also a process of correcting the slope of the land to accommodate drainage. Grading away from your house’s foundation should be 6 inches per 10 feet, for example.

When grading for a patio, a slight pitch should be included to ensure water runs away from the house. This pitch of your patio base should be ¼ inch for every foot of length away from the house.

Grading for a pathway is as much a matter of safety as it is stability. A pathway shouldn’t rise any more than half an inch per foot. If the rise is between a half inch to two inches per foot, think about putting level landings every thirty feet.

Grading involves removing and/or adding soil, known as “excavating” and “filling” respectively. This is done to provide a level surface to build your project on and to allow you better control over drainage.

Excavating is the process of removing soil. If you’re removing less than 50 cubic yards, you might not need a permit. Check with your local authorities on this, as it may change from place to place.

After excavation, your surface is ready to be filled. You fill the surface so that you can ensure a well-packed, level surface to work on. Attempting to build on loose soil will spell disaster as your project settles. Besides cracking and damage, your drainage may head back to your house or to a neighbor’s structure. In either case, you will be held liable.

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Accessories and Furniture

A patio is an exterior living space. As such, it’s meant to be enjoyed. Many accessories and furnishings are available to make your patio comfortable and suitable for everything from just hanging out to entertaining guests.

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Fire Pits

A fire pit is a cozy, comfortable feature to include on your patio. It’s like gathering around a campfire, only you get the safety of permanently constructed walls and a way to safely contain and remove the ashes.

Fire pits are either gas fired or else wood/charcoal fired. While most people opt for a built-in fire pit, smaller portable fire pits are available. Fire pits usually measure from 20 inches at the small end to 45 inches at the larger end. Small pits generally cost from $50.00 to $250.00 while large pits can cost from $300.00 to $3,000.00 or more.

Some people opt for a chiminea. This is a stand-alone fireplace with a conical shape topped by a chimney. Made of metal or clay, they cost between $50.00 and $500.00. They stand around 5 feet high and are around 2 feet wide.

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Pergolas

A pergola is similar to a gazebo except that while a gazebo is semi-enclosed, a pergola is open. The framework is just enough to break up the sunlight to give a bright but shaded area. They are used for both pathways and patios.

The typical pergola is 10x10 feet. They can be made of steel, vinyl, aluminum, or wood. Wood is the more expensive of the materials, but warranties for store-bought kits can range from 1 to 20 years.

  • Steel: $300.00 to $500.00
  • Aluminum or vinyl: $800.00 to $2,000.00
  • Wood: $2,500.00 to $4,000.00 depending on the type of wood
  • Custom: $25.00 to $50.00 sq ft or more
  • Plans to build your own: $19.00 to $26.00 each

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Furniture

The phrase “patio furniture” often conjures up images of cheap vinyl slats and thin aluminum frames. Modern patio furniture, however, is sturdy and comfortable with ample cushions and comfort. As well as chairs and chaise lounges, sofas and loveseats join the line-up of patio furniture, and some of them look good enough to go into your living room!

A simple bistro set consists of two chairs and a small table. They are ideal for a small patio or to fill in an empty corner. They can be had as inexpensively as $70.00 or as much as $500.00 or more.

A conversation set is similar to a bistro set except that the seats are often larger and more cushioned. The number of chairs ranges from two to how ever many you can fit, but most sets sold as units cost between $250.00 and $1,000.00.

Dining sets usually start at around $500.00. This price can vary depending on the size of the table and the number of chairs. Some may have an umbrella or shade of some sort. The more luxurious of these sets can cost up to $4,000.00 or more.

Pieces can be bought individually for a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars or more.

Planning

Before you splurge on that luxurious dining set and other outdoor luxuries, you should plan your patio. There should be about three feet of walking space around your features. For example, if you have a dining set in the middle of your patio, make sure there’s three feet of walking space around it. This is for comfort as well as safety. You and your guests need room to move comfortably, and if you’re bringing a plate of hot barbecue to the table, you don’t want to bump into anything and drop it on someone!

If you already have the furniture, lay it out on your lawn the way you want it arranged and mark off the area around it. That way you’ll know just how much patio you’ll need for your entertainment and relaxation plans.

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In Conclusion

Your patio is your private space to retreat or to entertain friends and family. Depending on your desires, it can be a cozy little space to enjoy the outdoors or a virtual extension of your house. It’s all up to you!

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Duane Congleton More than 1 year ago
Without a unit of measure (I.e., cost per SF) this information is not very useful. Also, does this include all base preparation and materials? Does this include the pavers themselves?
Gerald Osting More than 1 year ago
Good information even if you've been down the path before.
Karen Jenneman More than 1 year ago
Cost per square foot is basic, but your estimate doesn't say if grading, excavating and material is included in the price.  Does $8.50 sf include those items, or just cover 1 square foot 5 inches deep?
Jean McLaurine More than 1 year ago
Because I am not knowledgeable of project costs, this site is extremely helpful in providing me with projected costs as I begin to deal with contractors. Thank you!!
Marlene Falvey More than 1 year ago
Good general info.
Anne Galley More than 1 year ago
I know my sq. footage & this helps me know how much to budget for the project & also if I want to splurge on flagstone or stick to pavers
Kishan Rajgarhia 8 months ago
Good general info.
Lola Hagstrom More than 1 year ago
You didn't mention used brick. Or is that included in the pavers information.  Brickt would be my first choice.
Andrew Tillotson More than 1 year ago
Pric per sq ft is needed for true price estimates
Joseph Satterthwaite More than 1 year ago
I'm wanting my patio project done soon...this or next year. And figure 21x24 ft with curves and designs to enhance my backyard property. Problem is I prefer pavers not concrete. This gives me a budget more or less for 504 Sq ft. Or $7500. Is this correct figuring on some grading and compacting of crushed stone.
George Gordon, III. More than 1 year ago
Hey Joseph, Yes that is correct. One thing to remember the more curves and cuts the more difficult, but its all in what you want to look at and enjoy. Hope that helps good luck 
Christina Krause More than 1 year ago
Thank YOU SO Much for getting me to the people who know the lay of the land
LYNNE BIANCO More than 1 year ago
What about removal and disposing of the old concrete?  This is VERY expensive.
Yvette Moore More than 1 year ago
Estimated price range is helpful but price per square footage would be useful.
ericka martinez More than 1 year ago
very informative in making decision
ericka martinez More than 1 year ago
very helpful in making decision
Kim Fisher More than 1 year ago
Great information. Definitely helped.
ed jones More than 1 year ago
Great information thanks!
Bruce Williams More than 1 year ago
needed cost per sq ft
Russ Seiter More than 1 year ago
Need to show cost per SF for this to have much value
William J York More than 1 year ago
Was not very helpful. Wanted average cost per sq ft for flat work
Irma Symons More than 1 year ago
I agree with Duane C. below.
Cathy D More than 1 year ago
According to the average cost cited above for my area, I was quoted almost double that number for a very small, simple patio. Glad this is on here.
JAMES GOODIN More than 1 year ago
I don;t have a clue on any of this, so this is a good place to start.
Carolyn Pursell More than 1 year ago
I AM GVEN ALL DIFFERENT COST FOR A 30 INCH BY 40 FOOT CONCRETE SIDEWALK .JUST TO DIG OUT AND FRAME..THSE PEOPLE WANT OVER A 1,000!!!

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