Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeFixHow To Pave A Patio For Cheap

How To Pave A Patio For Cheap

Paver Patio With An Open View

If you have an elevated property that comes with a view of an open sea, tracks of fields, or a vineyard, opting for an open view paver patio can be one of the best choices.

Make it rough and rustic by installing an unpolished, irregular shaped flagstone with pea gravel in between. Complement it with a fitting landscape and build on the seating and lightwork for a beautiful night view.

Is A Paver Patio Cheaper Than Concrete

Well, the upfront cost of a paver patio is more expensive than concrete. Labor costs on installation as well as the cost of the material itself are twice the cost of poured or stamped concrete. However, with the durability and added value of paver patios to the home, you get to save more money in the long run.

Step One: Calculate Patio Size

The first step to estimate how many pavers you need for a patio project is to measure the area of the project; you’ll need to measure the length and width of your patio.

Find the square footage by multiplying the width by the length. The square footage calculator can help find the square footage of an area if you need assistance.

Patio Square Footage Formula:

patio sq ft = length × width

Make The Most Of A Small Space By Planning Your Paver Patio

Even a small patio can take a lot of time to plan and then to build. Naturally, the cost of the project varies depending on all sorts of things, like the materials involved, the tools required, the overall proportions of the patio, etc. You’re already saving quite a bit by taking care of this project yourself so that’s a big plus right there. To make the project even more cost-efficient, stick with a simple design and avoid complicating things more than necessary. The project featured on is a good example in this sense.

How To Install Patio Pavers

Marvelous Backyard ideas

This article was co-authored by Scott Johnson. Scott Johnson is the Owner and Lead Design Consultant for Concrete Creations, Inc., an award-winning landscape and design company based in the San Diego, California metro area. He has over 30 years of experience in the pool and landscape construction industry and specializes in large estate outdoor environment construction projects. His work has been featured in San Diego Home & Garden Magazine and on Pool Kings TV Show. He earned a BS degree in Construction Management with an emphasis in Architecture and CAD design from Northern Arizona University.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 12 testimonials and 94% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 531,839 times.

Installing a patio in your yard can transform an ordinary outdoor space into a wonderful gathering area. Using pavers to create your patio is economical and allows you to build an endless variety of shapes, sizes and colors. It will take work on your part to install a patio made of pavers, but you can easily do it yourself from start to finish.

Other Ways To Save Money

While gravel patios are certainly the easiest to construct, there are other ways to save money on your patio build. For example, you can avoid the big name stores like Home Depot and Garden Center and seek out surplus centers.

Another idea is to call a patio contractor and ask if you can buy scrap materials from them for cheap.

If you decide to hire out the work instead of doing it yourself, be sure to ask the right questions of the contractor you choose. This can save you hundreds of dollars. We wrote an article about those questions not too long ago — find it .

Whichever way you choose, we wish you luck!

Lay A Flagstone Pathway

It’s entirely possible to not have to deal with old concrete slabs and already existing patios and that’s great, especially if you’re planning to lay a flagstone pathway in your backyard. That’s pretty easy to do and you don’t need much for the project. Well, you obviously require flagstone slabs and you might need the help of a professional to decide the amount you’ll actually have to buy. In addition to that, you’ll also need some sand and shovels plus plenty of time.

Step 4: Level The Patio Area

Start laying the pavers on one side of the patio. To make sure the surface is level, attach a spirit level to a straight longboard. 

Moving the board across the gravel bed will help you check how even the surface is. Then make adjustments to the contour of the bed to ensure the surface is as level as possible.

Patio Flooring Over Concrete

So if you already have a concrete patio, but you don’t want to have to tear it out then you have options. ‘Home Depot‘ shows us how to lay outdoor flooring over concrete – patio version. Looks amazing! You have to jump on over and see the finished project.


Want modern and clean looking patio flooring ideas for over concrete? ‘Build Direct’ has these interlocking deck tiles that do the job, again, right over existing patio surfaces!



Lastly, you could use recycled Envirotile to recover your patio, from ‘Home Depot‘ They even have a tutorial on installing the tile for you! And if you need an outdoor rug for your new patio floor, then check out our post on Best Places to Buy Affordable Rugs Online over at our sister site, OhMeOhMy!

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Step 7: Add Pavers To The Patio Area

Use the edge of your house as a guide when laying down the first line of pavers. You can also use a mason’s line between two stakes to keep the lines even. 

Make sure your pavers are no more than ? inches apart and use a rubber mallet to tap them in place. Repeat this step until your entire patio area is full of pavers.

When all the pavers have been put in place, spread a layer of sand over the patio. Use a push broom to sweep sand over the pavers until the cracks are filled. 

Watering the surface with a fine mist encourages the sand to sink in well between the spaces. 

Doing this after construction ensures a durable finish for your new patio. Repeat this cycle for a week.

The Character Of The Stone Makes This Patio

Stone Options:

Stone varies greatly in color and texture. Visit a number of stone suppliers to see what’s available in your area and to check prices. We chose 3- or 4-in. thick stone intended for building walls, but any relatively flat stone that’s 2 to 4 in. thick will work. Because stone is sold by the ton , a thinner stone like flagstone would have been more economical, but it wasn’t available in the tumbled finish we wanted. If you use thinner stone, don’t tamp it with the compactor. It will crack. The stone dealer will tell you approximately how many square feet a ton of each type of stone covers. Order at least 15 percent extra to allow more selection when you’re looking for just the right shape.

Clay Pavers:

Concrete pavers are the most economical choice for paving patios. They are available in many sizes and colors. Traditional clay pavers have truer brick color and cost a bit more. Concrete pavers are available at home centers and landscape retailers, but you’ll probably have to find a brickyard to buy clay pavers. You’ll need about 4-1/2 bricks for every square foot, assuming an average sized 4 x 8-in. brick. It’s difficult to figure the exact amount of brick needed for an irregularly shaped patio like this, so order about 15 percent extra.

Spread Landscape Fabric And Gravel

Double-check your calculations for gravel and sand and arrange for deliveries. Then call the rental store and reserve a gas-powered plate compactor or “tamper”. This is a heavy beast; you’ll need a trailer or pickup truck and a couple of strong bodies to move it around.

After compacting the soil with the tamper and before you start filling the hole, roll out the landscape fabric, allowing it to extend at least 6 in. beyond the patio all around. Use spikes to temporarily hold it in place. Then we spread a 2-in. layer of gravel over the top.

Note: If your soil is soft or soggy, you might have to add more gravel fill to create a stable base. Ask your building inspector or a soil engineer to recommend the right base for you.

Make A Circular Fire Pit

Cheap Patio Paver Ideas

Outdoor fires are so hot right now. Seriously. Mankind has called the hearth home for the centuries, it’s true, but these days people are going ultra-retro and getting their heat from stone-walled pits set into the earth. And, why not? On cool summer nights, you can melt marshmallows and nibble s’mores while you lounge in an Adirondack chair, feet propped up on the rock ledge. So if you really want to light up right, do it in style. Use our step-by-step guide and take a few days to build your very own ring of fire.

Follow along with TOH landscaper Roger Cook as he builds a circular fire pit and surrounding patio.

Create A Pebble Mosaic

With myriad options for stone colors and sizes—not to mention endless variations in layout—the design of a pebble mosaic for your yard or garden is limited only by your imagination. If this outdoor project is on your to-do list this summer but you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few fun examples of pebble patterns to get you started. We hope the hardest part of the project is picking your favorite.

Dig Out The Area And Compact The Base

The patio foundation is important for the stability of the pavers. A solid base will reduce shifting and sinking.

A. Make a bed for your foundation by digging out 6 inches below your lines. Dig an extra 4 inches around the perimeter of your patio because you will need room for the edging. Shovel half the aggregate in, and spread it out evenly with a metal landscape rake.

B. Compact this first layer, and repeat with the rest of the aggregate. If you want to do this by hand, use a hand tamper. If you want to make it easier on yourself and get really solid pack, use a plate compactor; you can rent one for about $75 a day.

C. Check the depth as you compact by measuring down from your line to the base. You want 3 inches from the line to the base of compacted aggregate. After the base is evenly packed, you can remove the big plus-sign lines.


Step 6: Prepare The Pavers

One way to upgrade the look of your patio is to mix and match different sizes of pavers. Don’t worry, you can do this at no extra cost. In fact, you can cut costs by cutting some full-size pavers in half.

A commercial-grade brick cutter is heavy and difficult to move around, instead of renting this, you can go for a compact brick cutter that’s meant for smaller projects. You could also pay a rental supplier to cut some of the pavers for you. 

This step also isn’t necessary to create an amazing patio from pavers, you can enjoy the symmetry your whole pavers create if they all fit the allocated space. 

Cost To Build Paver Patio With Fire Pit And Outdoor Living Options

You can spend anywhere from $300 to $2,000 or more on fire pits and other built in outdoor living options. Pools, kitchens and spa like outdoor living can run up to $50,000 or more.

  • Fire pit installation costs$300-$1,400. You’ll spend on the lower end when you install one as part of your patio.
  • Outdoor kitchen costs$5,500-$22,000. The range includes all plumbing, electrical and gas lines needed.
  • Pool installation costs$15,000-$42,000. One of the most popular things to put a patio around, you’ll want to consider it when you plan your backyard.
  • Hot tub prices range from $3,500-$15,000. No room for a pool? Consider integrating a hot tub into your design.
  • Patio cover costs$5,000-$25,000+. These can even hit $50,000 or more if you have a fully enclosed and insulated room that essentially becomes part of your home.
Get Quotes From Local Masons

Cleaning Pavers With Baking Soda

Baking soda is really cheap and easy to find, which makes it a perfect component for a cleaning solution. What makes it so good though, are its deodorizing and mildly abrasive properties. It will help dissolve dirt. To use baking soda to clean your brick pavers, ideally, you would add a cup of soda into a bucket, add warm water and then spray on to the pavers. Let it rest about 30 mins before washing it off.

Step 5: Add Sand For Support

To create a second layer of support beneath the paver patio, spread sand that’s 1½ to 2 inches thick over the gravel. Smoothen out the sand by laying a straight longboard along the base.

Use another board and notch both ends to shimmy it along the walk area, using the second board to make the surface smooth. 

Reusable Patio Paving Molds

Say hello to my new best friend.

Reusable patio paving molds are the best thing that happened to me for my beautiful garden patio.

Basically they are molds mainly made of Polypropylene Plastic Resin. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes from artistic patterns to circles, rectangles, squares to a combination of shapes.

These patio paving molds typically have a depth of 2 inches and have about one inch gap between the shapes where you can fill in premixed concrete. Once the concrete has been poured, you need to smoothen it out and let it get to a semi-dry consistency.

At that time, simply remove the mold and reuse to create the rest of the patio or pathway that you are building. Depending upon the type of mold, thickness and shape, you can remove the mold for reuse almost immediately after wet concrete has been poured and smoothened.

Patio paving molds make your work so much simpler, it is quite unbelievable. They are cheap, makes building your patio or garden pathway a quick and easy job and you can buy concrete to mix with water at any home store.

You can even purchase multiple paving molds of different shapes to create unique patterns around your patio or garden.

Lay Bricks Along Layout Lines

ideas for making cheap steps using patio pavers

Lay a row of bricks along the baseline, aligning the end of the first brick with the perpendicular layout line. Butt them tightly together. Lay another row, aligning the end of the first brick with the second line. Continue laying bricks until one section is complete. Then work out from this section to complete the patio.

Paver Costs Per Square Foot

Brick and pavers cost anywhere from $8 to $25 per square foot to buy and install. For standard-sized brick, you’ll spend roughly $300 to $800 per pallet which covers 56 square feet. When designing a patio, homeowners can choose from a variety of bricks as well as several other materials. How do bricks stack up against other types of pavers?

  • Clay Brick: $10-$20 per square foot. This is one of the strongest paver options available to homeowners, with a strength rating of about 12,000 pounds per square inch . Bricks are also the most colorful paver options, so homeowners can create a unique, vibrant design.
  • Concrete Brick: $8-$15 per square foot. A strong and solid option, concrete pavers come with a strength rating of 9,000 PSI. Concrete pavers come in several sizes and shapes.
  • Concrete Stone & Slate Concrete: $8-$15 per square foot. Most homeowners opt for stone styles to create a design-focused patio on a budget.
  • Stone & Slate: $15-$50 per square foot. A great blend of all the options, slate features a natural look that’s available in a handful of colors.
Get Estimates For Your Paver Patio Project

Sandstone Patio Paving And Cost

Sandstone paving can make an elegant and gorgeous patio. So some homeowners use the pavers to make pathways that connect multiple outdoor entertaining areas or a swimming pool to a patio. The fact that is naturally porous gives it an advantage against other materials. When water splashes on top of the pavers, it pools on top and forms puddles that make the pavers slick.

It is available in multiple colors, from light buff through to beige, silver grey and shades of dark brown and black. Within each shade group, you then have complementary tones and bands of color. These appear subtle when dry and then become much more vibrant when wet.

Each square meter for sandstone paving patio costs between 85 and 110 euros.

What Is The Difference Between A Concrete Slab And A Cement Slab

While the terms are often used interchangeably, cement and concrete are, in fact, not the same thing. Infrequently used on its own, cement is actually an ingredient in concrete. For example, your home’s slab foundation is likely made of concrete, and the concrete was made with cement, plus other ingredients.

Tarmac Patio Paving And Cost

Tarmac paving is a cost-effective, easy to maintain, and durable material that can handle all types of vehicular traffic. So if you are seeking to improve the look of your home and to add some kerb appeal, you should consider a tarmac paving patio. Moreover Patio paving with tarmac rarely needs maintenance.

Tarmac is  comprised of tar-like materials mixed with mineral aggregates like Portland cement, sand, gravel or concrete mixed with tar; and that makes it the ideal material for surfacing roads and outdoor areas. Tarmac is available in black color, various finishes and combination choices with paving and concrete. The finish of your tarmac will depend on the size of the chipping picked.

Driveway Paving uses only industry standard and approved products when it comes to your tarmac. That is why we can guarantee you a long-lasting and beautiful finish to your tarmac patio paving.

The cost of tarmac paving patio installation varies from 50 euros to 80 per square meter. However, this is a rough estimate because the final quote will depend on a variety of factors which we will determine following a site visit


Another post you may like about Patios: Our guide to patio paving in Ireland!


Block Paving For Granite Finish And Cost

Block paving granite finish combines durable finish standards, sturdiness, high durability, scratch-proof and heat-resistant features. In order to achieve the desired finish, the block must first go through a finishing process where it starts on an automated conveyor system that makes it through the various finishing stages.

Granite finish blocks are available in a multitude of colors , sizes and thicknesses. Due to that, its cost of paving a patio vary from 80 to 95 euros per square meter.

Sweep Sand Into The Joints

Spread dry sand over the stones and bricks and work it down into the cracks with a broom. Tamp with the plate compactor. Keep spreading sand and tamping until the joints are full.

Note: If your sand is damp, spread it out to dry before sweeping it into the cracks. If you run short, buy 50-lb. bags of mason’s sand at a home center or lumberyard.

Create Patio Pavers Using A Mold And Concrete Mix

Have you ever seen paver patios or garden paths that look like perfectly matching puzzle pieces? It’s no coincidence that the pieces complement each other so well. The pavers or flagstones have either been chosen very carefully or they’ve been created to fit a particular pattern right from the start. Some patio pavers and are actually quite deceiving in this sense as they’re actually created using a mold and concrete mix. Curious how that works? Check out this mold from .

A Challenging Project Thats Well Worth The Effort

Perfect Patio Paver Design Ideas

If you’re already familiar with what it takes to install a paver pathway then you should be able to use that knowledge when installing a patio as well, provided you’re using the same technique. The project would be challenging but also rewarding. You can check out if you’re curious to see how everything progresses and how the new pathway starts to take shape, little by little.

Using large paver bricks can be a practical decision as it means you’ll probably be able to install all of them quicker and that you’ll have an easier time creating a flat surface. Of course, that will influence the design and the structure of your new paver patio so be sure to take all the details into account before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that every DIY project is different. For example, the project featured on had to take into account the lack of grass in the shady areas of the patio and that meant a whole lot of mulch was needed.

Pea Gravel Patio Basics

Pea gravel is the easy-to-handle material that makes all of this happen. While hardscaping materials like poured concrete, concrete pavers, and natural flagstone are solid, reliable patio surfaces, they are expensive and can be backbreaking and/or technically challenging to install.

As suggested by the name, pea gravel is about the size of 3/8-inch-diameter peas. Each piece of gravel is rounded and smooth, making it nice to walk on and less prone to clumping up and retaining footprints than gravel with angled sides. 

Brick And Patio Cleaner

There are several good brands of outdoors cleaners for different purposes. You can simply check out some of the best selling solutions to guide you into a safe choice, like . They are quite simple to use, with clear instructions and because they are meant for the wide public, they are usually beginner friendly.

Diy Paver Patio Project On A Budget

Regardless of your garden makeover budget, we still believe adding a paver patio is achievable for anyone. While we know it will take a good amount of time and effort to create a larger paver patio, it still doesn’t have to break the bank. We always recommend trying to take the project at a leisurely pace, and you’ll enjoy the process far more than trying to get it done in a rush. Plan your paver patio out a few months before you hope to use it, and it will be ready well in time for your summer gatherings this year. Gardening Channel reminds you to always consider any plumbing and electric lines in your yard before you start digging up the ground. That would certainly be a costly mistake!

Diy Paver Patio Flooring Ideas

Young House Love‘ has a full tutorial on how to build a paver patio for you! Lot’s of pics, and good instruction that can be adapted for several different looks, including the more modern outdoor patio flooring idea above.


Same technique, different material! This side yard patio features circular pavers of different sizes set in a random pattern. From ‘Mod Frugal‘. These are pavers set into crushed granite, but you can install a paver patio into builders sand as well.


‘‘ in Seattle has this DIY paver patio flooring idea for us. These are simply oversized pavers laid in a bed of sand, then filled with decorative gravel.


Don’t want to pay for all those patio pavers? Not a problem. We found this reusable plastic mold from ‘‘ that allows you to create pavers with concrete mix and these molds. Instant patio flooring!


Want a more traditional “feels like it’s been here forever” patio flooring idea? Then learn how to build a brick patio from ‘‘.


Can you tell this technique we’ve been featuring so far is pretty much “the thing” in DIY patio ideas? Here is another option for a Modern Mid-century patio flooring idea using these decorative concrete blocks laid on their sides. From ‘Fresh Digs‘.


Get Your Tools Prepared In Advance

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When it comes to building your DIY paver patio, we recommend assessing the tools and materials you’ll need well ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than starting a project, only to realize you don’t have something crucial. This could make or break the whole project and leave you in a very tricky situation this summer. Paver Search shares this very detailed tool guide to building a DIY paver patio. You’ll find a comprehensive list of everything you need for your project, so you won’t miss anything during your preparation phase. They also share tips on how you can make this project more budget-friendly. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your own paver patio. To save money, stick to a simple design and use high-quality yet affordable materials.


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