What are the Costs of Patio Installation?

December 17, 2015

Portland Patio Design with PaversAs homeowners prioritize the creation of outdoor living spaces, patios are perennially popular projects. A patio creates a space for the year-round enjoyment and use of your landscaping. Today we’re taking an in-depth look at the costs of different options for patio materials and installation. Since patio pricing ranges widely depending on multiple variables, we will explore various options. We will also showcase Landscape East & West’s unparalleled patio design and build services, and how our Portland-metro and Hillsboro landscape contractors can assist you with creating your outdoor oasis.

Patio Pricing Basics. The cost to install a patio depends on the following factors:

  • Site Access. We cannot over stress how access impacts price. The easier it is to access your patio site, the easier it will be to handle logistics. Problematic access increases the price of patio installation.
  • Deconstruction/Removal. If your existing deck or patio needs to be removed, the additional labor will be reflected in the cost.
  • Size of patio. A larger patio or deck requires more materials and more labor.
  • Patio Shape. A complex shape, including curvy lines or a particular pattern, is going to require more labor, and a corresponding rise in cost.

With all that said, you may be wondering if a deck would be a better option for your yard. Oftentimes, our clients begin with a vision of a deck, only realize that a patio would be a better option for them.

A patio may be a better choice because it typically costs less and requires less maintenance than a deck. Patios also offer more privacy, since a raised deck means that you could be looking into your neighbor’s windows (and vice versa).

Now, let’s review some specific options for patios.

Material Options for Patios

Portland landscaping gravel patioGravel Patios. This is the simplest option, but it does require some maintenance—at some point you will need to add more gravel. Gravel patios have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years. They are affordable, excellent for drainage, and offer a rustic feel. The downsides for gravel patios include additional maintenance and weeding, potential messiness (gravel wedges into shoe soles and it can scratch floors), and difficulty moving garden furniture and other accessories (as these can leave tracks in the gravel). Gravel is also uncomfortable on bare feet. You can expect to pay $5 to $10 per square foot for a gravel patio.

Poured Concrete Patio. The life expectancy for poured concrete patios is over 50 years, but you can expect some cracking along the way. This style represents the lowest cost for a hard surface patio. Concrete patios are relatively easy to install, easy to walk on, and available in a variety of colors and finishes. They’re low maintenance, but they don’t do much to increase in property value, due to the tendency for concrete to crack. Cracking is inevitable, and it is a challenge to fix cracks and keep the patio looking pristine. Lower-end concretes don’t offer visual appeal, and in general, concrete is not considered a luxury option. Again, this limits the value added to your property. Poured concrete patios will cost $10 to $20 per square foot.

Attached roof with paver patio and cultured stone columnsConcrete Pavers. This choice is easily the best bang for your buck, with a life expectancy of over 40 years. Pavers come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and styles. They are easy to walk on and add value to your home compared to poured concrete. Even the lower-end paver stones are attractive and useful in a wide range of applications. Pavers are easy to match to the existing style of your home, and if you need to add on to your patio later, it is not a problem. Additionally, pavers are easy to repair (if they happen to settle, you can add more underlying sand and the repair is hardly noticeable), and some pavers are permeable. Being permeable means that they facilitate drainage and protect the environment. Pricing for concrete pavers ranges from $15 to $23 per square foot.

Dry Set Natural Stone. Natural stone will enhance the beauty of your yard and complements nearly any environment. The stone will last practically forever, but since most natural stone patios use a gravel bed underneath, the life expectancy for a natural stone patio is 15 to 20 years. The downside of natural stone is that the uneven surface they create is not good for chairs or tables. Over the long term, the stones may wobble a bit. Moreover, natural stone color may vary, potentially making it harder to perfectly match stones to surroundings as well as to each other (if this is your desired look). Each stone is unique, and the irregular shapes can also be considered a pro or a con. However, a dry set natural stone patio can look very attractive when the stones are fitted together in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. A dry set natural stone patio can run between $20 and $30 per square foot.

Paver Patio DesignMortar Set Natural Stone. This is the most expensive patio material option, but it is also the most durable and offers the greatest ease of use. In this style of patio, the stones are set into mortar, which sits on a concrete slab. This type of patio offers a nice, crisp look that is comfortable to walk on. It is also easy to set up chairs and tables on mortar set natural stone patios. The material is very durable, relatively easy to maintain, and conveys a high-end appearance. The only real cons of this material are its high cost and the time it takes to install. Mortar set natural stone patios runs $50 to $80 per square foot.

Smaller stones may be used for both dry set and mortar set natural stone patios. Smaller stones are less expensive than larger stones, but they will increase project labor costs. Conversely, larger stones cost more, but they require less time to install. To save some funds, consider using concrete pavers that simulate natural stone.

This post should give you a better idea of the choices that are available for patio installation and construction. As you plan your project, keep in mind that permits may be needed. To avoid permitting problems, it is best to work with a licensed, reputable landscape contractor such as Landscape East & West.

With Landscape East & West, you can be assured of quality work. We don’t cut corners. Our quality standard for client projects matches what we would expect in our own homes. Our work speaks for itself—we hope you get a chance to check out some of our projects! We are a licensed and insured landscape contractor, and we can handle any permits that may be required for your patio installation. Contact us today to talk about how we can help.

Bjorn NordquistContributing author Bjorn Nordquist is the Sales Manager at Landscape East & West, Portland landscaping and design professionals. Learn more about Landscape East & West’s design/build services, including outdoor kitchens, pergolas, patio covers, and more.