Adding a patio or walkway to your home is a lovely way to make your lawns, gardens and landscaping more usable and welcoming. A patio is a great place to entertain guests or just relax and enjoy the outdoors, and a walkway opens up your grounds to help make every part of them more accessible. The costs involved in the installation or repair of patios and walkways are dependent on a number of factors. For a patio or walkway, size and length will have the largest influence on the total costs. The larger the area, the more expensive materials and labor will be. An equally important factor when it comes to costs are the materials . Both the type and quality of the materials you choose will influence the price.
Types of Materials
Brick: There are a variety of different types of brick and which type and quality you choose will affect the price of the material. However, all brick is installed in the same way, with the use of grouting and so regardless of material quality, your installation costs will remain the same. Brick is a material that is largely affected by weather and moisture. So if your brick patio or walkway is going to get a lot of exposure to the elements, or if you live in a very cold or damp climate, you will need to use a brick type that is rated for cold and moisture. This type of brick will cost more than a standard type, however it will be well worth it in the long run due to its durability in harsh weather conditions. Continue Reading
Concrete: A poured concrete patio or walkway is an affordable material that requires simple and relatively quick installation. Poured concrete is one of the most affordable patio and walkway materials because unlike brick, tile or stone it does not require individual pieces to be laid and grouted.
Stamped Concrete: A method by which concrete is poured and then a pattern that looks like brick , stone or tile is stamped into the concrete surface and colored or painted to look like the material it is mimicking. Using stamped concrete is a more affordable way of getting the look of brick or tiles without paying the higher price.
Concrete Pavers: These mix of cement, sand, stone and water and are made to look like natural stone, without a natural stone price. Concrete pavers can be installed in a few different ways with and without grout. The type of installation you choose will have an affect on the price, but in general you will pay less for concrete pavers than you will for stone or tile installation.
Stone: Natural stone, like flagstone, slate or travertine, are the most expensive materials you can use for a patio or walkway, but are very beautiful as well as long lasting.
Asphalt is a good, durable, reasonably priced material for many walkways and driveways. Although asphalt does not have the beauty of stone or brick, it may be the best possible material for areas that are highly trafficked and for which you want minimal upkeep. Asphalt is greatly affected by the weather and will crack or shift over time with excess moisture or heat. Asphalt will periodically need to be repaired and resurfaced over time, but requires little more upkeep.
The most important decision is to choose the materials that work the best for your lifestyle. If your patio and walkways are going to get a lot of rough usage from many people, children or pets, you may choose a less expensive, but more durable material. If they will get light use and their beauty is the most important factor to you, you may choose a more expensive and more decorative material.
Labor Cost Factors
Finally, the cost of labor is a always a consideration. Although laying patios and walkways is not a complicated process, it does take experience and practice to do it well. Although you may want to try the installation yourself to cut costs, you may wish you had spent the money for a professional installation in the long run.
Patios and walkways are exposed to the elements and are therefore prone to cracking and settling. A professional installation can often make the difference between a patio that develops cracks and unevenness or one that looks smooth and even for years to come.