If you’ve ever wanted to sit in the garden on a warm day and enjoy the sun’s rays without having to walk across damp, dirty or muddy grass, then you’ve probably longed for a patio.
Laying down slabs to create an outdoor living space is relatively simple, and extends your home into the garden. Whether this is a solitude retreat or a place to party with friends and family is up to you – but having a patio is a great feature that offers you a multitude of functions.
In this article, we’ll be covering how much a new patio costs, what influences the cost of a new patio, how you can save money on a new patio, what’s involved in laying a new patio, what the best material for a patio is, how to calculate the number of slabs you need and how to find someone to lay a new patio.
Keep reading to find out the best ways to keep your costs low, but your expectations high while giving your garden a design overhaul.
How Much Does a New Patio Cost?
Below are some estimated costs for small, medium and large patios using sandstone at £70 per square metre:
|TYPE||ESTIMATED COSTS||LABOUR COSTS||TIME REQUIRED||TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS|
|Small patio (15 square metres)||£1,050||£500||2 days||£1,550|
|Medium patio (30 square metres)||£2,100||£875||3 to 4 days||£2,975|
|Large patio (45 square metres)||£3,150||£1,125||4 to 5 days||£4,275|
It’s essential to measure the area correctly and buy the correct number of tiles. This is particularly important if you’re going for a premium product because you don’t want to end up paying for a pile of slabs you don’t need.
If you’re hiring a builder, ask them to come in and measure for you if you’re not sure.
What Influences the Cost of a New Patio?
Laying a new patio seems straightforward, but before the paving stones go down you’ll need to have excavated the area, laid foundations, removed all the waste and debris from the site – and then you can lay the paving and complete the pointing.
Poor access to the site, additional excavation or a complex paving pattern will increase costs, so here are some things to keep in mind when planning your patio renovation.
Size of Patio
The bigger the space, the more material you’ll need, which will drive up your costs. But, choosing more cost-effective materials can make larger spaces affordable, which we’ll explain next.
Choice of Material
Choosing between different materials can drive costs up or down, creating contemporary, rustic or everyday looks.
The estimated prices of supply-only brick, slate and concrete are below:
|TYPE||ESTIMATED COST PER SQUARE METRE||SMALL GARDEN (50 SQUARE METRE)||MEDIUM GARDEN (75 SQUARE METRE)||LARGE GARDEN (125 SQUARE METRE)|
As you can see, the cost of brick per square metre is considerably lower than that of slate or concrete, offering a much more cost-effective solution for your patio if you’re working to a strict budget, or have a particularly large space to cover.
Much like wooden flooring, choosing more complex patterns will make your garden project more expensive. As pavers are traditionally cut in rectangles, opting for a design with a curved edge will require more skill to lay, as well as to successfully cut the slabs without cracking and wasting them.
To save money, opting for a traditional, straight-edged pattern is a great option, but if you want to spend a little extra, trying out a herringbone pattern can add some drama to your garden space.
Essential parts of your patio, sub-base materials go hand-in-hand with the paving stones you choose. Here’s what you’ll need:
- MOT type 1 hardcore, which is around £40 for coverage of 13.5 metres squared
- Sharp sand, which is around £1.95 for a large bag
- Mortar, which is around £7.70 for 25 kilograms, or cement which is around £4.12 for the same weight
- Kiln-dried sand, which is around £4.95 for a large bag, or jointing compound which is around £14.23 for 5 kilograms
It’s best practice to purchase 10% more material than you’ll need, which will inevitably lead to some wastage at the end of your job – or just the right amount of paving stones if you’ve had a few accidents along the way!
Although it can seem tempting to just buy the exact amount you need, you can miss out on exact colours from batches, so if you want to ensure a cohesive look across your patio, it’s best to take precautions and get the extras when you buy your initial batch.
Removing the debris will usually be included in the builder’s quotes, but it is something that you can potentially do yourself if you’re willing to make a few trips back and forth from your local tip. But, if you choose for them to do it for you, expect to pay a little more in labour fees, as well as the cost of skip hire and eventual removal.
How Can I Save Money on My New Patio?
With costs for materials, labour, excavation and waste removal to contend with, getting a new patio can seem too expensive to consider. Here are some of the ways you can keep costs down while getting your outdoor space fitted.
Excavate the Patio Area
If you’re trying to keep the costs down and don’t mind doing some work yourself, digging out the patio yourself can be a great step.
To do this, remove topsoil, plants and lawn from the desired area, and excavate to a depth of approximately 15 centimetres, throwing any waste materials onto a compost heap.
Get Rid of Waste Yourself
Most contractors will include disposing of garden waste in their quote – but excavating the area can be labour intensive and time-consuming, on top of removing the waste, too.
If you’re happy to hire your own skip, or ferry material back and forth to the local tip, you can save on labour fees, especially if access to your build site is a little tricky.
Avoid Expensive Accessories
Every tiny accessory you add to your patio will increase the price.
For example, the type of pointing you choose will affect the budget. The simplest type is an easy brush-in pointing that fills the cracks between the paving slabs – however, ridge pointing provides a better finish, but it’s more labour intensive and therefore expensive.
Likewise, any additional balustrades, edging, or retaining walls will push prices up, for both the cost of materials and of time for labour.
Keep it Simple
Fussy, large or weirdly shaped patio designs will not only be trickier to
build but more expensive too, regardless of whether you’re doing it yourself or getting a contractor in.
If possible, keep paving slabs to a square shape, and avoid circles and rectangles. Laying them in a conventional, box pattern is easiest and cheapest, though if you’re hiring a landscape gardener, you might want to try something a little more interesting.
Do It Yourself
If you’re keen to try patio laying yourself, you could save a lot of money. Labour is one of the most expensive parts of any patio quote, and you’ll get this for free if you’re willing to do the work.
You’ll need to hire tools, such as a whacker plate to compact the hardcore and buy all the materials, including the paving, aggregates and mortar. This isn’t that expensive, but all the little extras add up.
Alternatively, you can hire a contractor to do the work for you. Patio prices vary depending on the shape, size and whether you’ve already begun to excavate, and you can find quotes quickly and easily using HouseholdQuotes to consolidate your search for you.
What’s Involved in Laying a Patio?
Though you might initially think laying your patio is way above your skill level, it’s not that hard – especially if you don’t mind a bit of hard graft.
Laying a patio is quite a lengthy process, so whether or not you choose to have someone do it for you, the steps will be as follows:
Excavation will need to take place if you’ve got existing turf, old paving slabs or just lots of soil in the space where you want your patio to be laid. Remove this debris, and recycle or add to a compost heap if appropriate.
There are quite a few layers to paving slabs, so when digging out an area you need to consider not only the depth of the slabs themselves but the sub-base and various other materials, too.
The layers are MOT type 1 hardcore; sharp sand; mortar; paving slab. Depending on the depth of the paving stone, and the height you want your floor to be at, you can work backwards from your final height to calculate the depth of the sub-base materials.
Using an online calculator you can find out how many slabs you need to top the surface, using the dimensions of your area alongside the dimensions of your chosen slabs.
The edges of your excavation should be marked with wooden pegs and twine to give you a straight line to work with so that when it comes to laying the paving stones, they’ll be at a straight edge.
Hardcore is added first, then compacted down. This surface then needs to be covered with sharp sand which is raked to become level.
Laying the Paving Stones
The position your first stone goes into is essential to the success of your patio. It needs to be level and straight to be a guide for the rest of the stones that’ll come after it.
Mixing mortar will be added to the sub-base where the first paver will sit. Wetting the back of the slab, and having assistance with lifting if the paver is larger than 600 by 600 millimetres, it can be laid down on top of the mortar.
Using a rubber mallet, gently tap a block of wood on top of the slab to set it into place, and clean up the edges of the mortar so that it sits flush beneath the slab.
Continue, using a spirit level to make sure everything is flat, adding in spacers as you go.
The finishing touch of any paving project, jointing is completed after the slabs have sat for at least 48 hours. Fit the mixture between the slabs, being careful to remove any excess from the top of the pavers as it will leave a mark.
What’s the Best Material for a Patio?
There’s a lot of choices when it comes to deciding on the material you want for your new patio. We’ve listed the main contenders and their pros and cons for you to consider below.
Advantages of Stone
- Huge variety of textures, colours and finishes, suitable for any style or desired look
- Good return on investment as natural stone adds value to a property and is a great selling point
Disadvantages of Stone
- Expensive to instal, especially if a premium stone is chosen
- Quick to absorb moisture, which over time can result in cracks forming and the growth of moss between slabs
- Natural stone may not lie completely flat due to the organic material, so if tables or chairs are in the area they may rock when in use
Advantages of Brick
- Cost-effective and readily available
- Several colours and washes to choose from to match the style you want
- Any cracked or damaged brick can be taken out individually and replaced, negating the need for an entire re-fit
- Durable and able to withstand the elements
Disadvantages of Brick
- Can be tedious to fit due to the size, and will typically take a lot longer than a larger paving stone
- Patterns can be limited because of the brick’s shape, making organic curves harder to create
Advantages of Slate
- Luxurious and elegant; a slate patio adds value to your property
- Durable, and won’t require too much maintenance throughout its lifetime – which can be centuries
- Slip-proof thanks to the slate’s natural texture
Disadvantages of Slate
- Expensive to instal, but offers a great return on investment when your property is sold
- Darker toned slate won’t last as long as light, and extreme temperatures can cause it to crack with time
Advantages of Concrete
- Concrete patios are easy to install and are incredibly durable, withstanding the elements
- Stamps can be pressed into the concrete to give it the look of paving stones if desired
- Easy to maintain, with a quick power wash sufficing every few months
Disadvantages of Concrete
- A concrete patio won’t necessarily add to your property’s value, although it is a cost-effective option so it won’t dent your funds too much
- Concrete can crack over time, which can prompt the growth of weeds through the material, eventually requiring replacement.
How Do Calculate How Many Bricks or Paving Slabs I Need?
Knowing how many bricks or paving slabs you need to complete your patio renovation can be half the battle, but there are simple tools you can use to make the job a bit easier.
This calculator will tell you what you need if you input the dimensions of the area you want to be paved, and then the size of the slabs you’re using, it’ll calculate how many paving slabs you need, accounting for a 10% contingency if desired.
How Do I Find and Hire Someone to Lay a Patio?
Have you been to a friend’s garden recently and liked what they’ve done with the space, asking them if they’d recommend their tradesman is a great way of finding a reputable builder for your project.
Similarly, if neighbours have had work done but you’ve not necessarily seen it, asking them if they’d recommend their workers can help to form credible associations with traders who might be able to help you on your project.
But, if no one you know has recently had any work done – or if you simply don’t like what you’ve seen others have done! – using HouseholdQuotes can give you the results you need in one simple search while helping to cut down costs by up to 40%.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Depending on the type of patio you choose, finding the right tradesman is essential to make sure your job is carried out successfully. For instance, if you’re choosing a slate patio over brick, you’ll want to make sure the tradesman is comfortable and experienced with handling the premium stones as damages and accidents will be more expensive.
When seeking prices, always ask for a written quote to sit alongside your offers. This way you can directly compare one trader’s deal with another, taking into consideration any added extras, such as if waste removal is included.
Written quotes also give you peace of mind and something to refer back to if there are quibbles further down the line, and are a good course of due diligence in any home renovations project.
As mentioned, finding out specific experience and seeing a company’s portfolio is all part of the hiring process. If possible, when taking a recommendation from a friend or family member, seeing their work in person is a good step to figuring out if their work is what you’re looking for.
Finally, asking for references if the tradesman is new to you and hasn’t come from a recommendation can help to weed out any potential cowboy traders. Similarly, asking for proof of insurance can help to certify their status in the industry – and if they don’t have any, it’s best to not agree to work with them on your project, no matter how good their price is.
Giving your garden a well-earned makeover is within reach – but before you get started, here is our final checklist to make sure you get the best results possible.
- Assess your garden space: does it slope, or look like any land needs levelling out before work can get started?
- If possible, excavate the area yourself, removing any old turf, large stones and debris before the tradesmen come in to help cut down your labour costs
- Measure up the area, and consider which type of paper you’d like to use. Do you want a premium feel from slate, or would you prefer a concrete finish?
- Use an online calculator to determine how many pavers you need for your space, adding in a 10% contingency for any damages or accidents when laying
- Find a reputable tradesman using HouseholdQuotes to help you save money on your quotes
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Planning Permission to Build a Patio?
Are There Any Alternatives to Laying a Patio?
If you don’t fancy the look of a patio but still want a hospitable outdoor area to relax in, there are plenty of options to choose from. Timber decking can give a structured, sturdy finish that is long-lasting and durable; whereas turf can be laid to give a natural flush of colour.
For something with a little less upkeep, artificial turf could be laid, or a resin patio could be a great option if you want something that’s weather-resistant and permeable, but still with great aesthetic appeal.