What Changes the Cost of a Paver Patio?
In our line of work, there are some factors that may contribute to a change in the overall price of the project. The outdoor industry is so different from others, as we have to face the elements of mother nature, which we have no control over. So, in order to educate our customers, we have identified and explained each factor that may cause a price change to your outdoor patio project.
1. Location and Accessibility of the Project
The first thing we determine once entering a job site is the specific location of the proposed patio space. It is important to keep in mind how machinery, material, and our team of workers will be able to access the site. This is perhaps one of the most common reasons as to why there is an increase in the cost of your project. For example, a front walkway and a back walkway will have a slight price variation (even if they are both the same size), since the front walkway is located closer to the street, as the backyard one requires a longer distance to transport the material. Considering that our trucks and patio material will be located in the street, front yard work typically yields lower costs than backyard projects, as the install is faster.
When looking at backyard projects that have the space for our bobcat or skid steer to move about freely, installation is typically sped up by 30%. Machines at that caliber will be able to bring the material closer to the job site and excavate all the dirt in preparation for installation. Here’s an interesting fact about machines vs. humans: a machine with one scoop can excavate as much as four wheelbarrows of material in just a few seconds. Compare this to the time it takes someone to fill wheelbarrows up one at a time using a hand shovel. In our industry, the cost of labor is a crucial factor in determining the price of your patio project. Therefore, the more efficiently we can complete the project, the less it will cost you in the end.
2. Design of the Project
When you’re planning your project, one thing to keep in mind is that the design you choose may change the overall price. In this case, design is referring to the shape/layout of your patio space. For instance, curves or free-flowing edges in your patio design will cost more than simply using straight lines. Adding curves or free-flowing edges to your patio or walkway requires additional labor to cut the material to size – not to mention the increase in material waste from doing so. When you cut pavers to create curves and patterns, the leftover paver is unusable and must be discarded. The increase in price for a design like this is mainly due to the labor that is involved and the cost associated with disposing of the wasted pavers. When keeping your paver design to straight lines only, you will eliminate the need for cutting and will speed up the overall installation time, which will save you some money in the end.
3. Material Selected for the Project
Depending on the type of material selected for your project, the cost can either increase by a few hundred dollars or even double the overall price. When considering concrete pavers, most projects will only go up by a few hundred dollars depending on the size of the patio. However, natural stone or porcelain options may increase the price by thousands because of the labor needed to install this material. For example, a 600 square foot patio priced with a standard paver may cost around $2,700 and if upgraded to larger format pavers and premium color (containing a blue pigment), it can cost $3,510. If you added natural stone to the same 600 square foot patio, the material cost would be closer to $5,100, which does not include the additional labor to install the concrete joints in between vs. the poly sand that is installed with standard paver. When it comes to building steps or walls, you will want to keep in mind additional expenses for material and labor. In one instance, veneer stone has to be placed one by one after you build a concrete structural wall, so there will be two parts to that application. When building walls or steps out of wall stone, it cuts the install time in half, as the wall stone is a structure stone that is already finished and requires no additional work.
4. Why Are There Price Discrepancies Depending on the Company?
This is a very common question that customers ask about contractors. The fact is, every company has different overhead expenses, skill levels, and estimating techniques. Some companies may not be as diligent when it comes to providing you with an estimate. Where one company may see a grade change and notice you will need more material or suggest a wall to be built, another estimator may miss it. Referring back to the number one factor (Location and Accessibility of the Project), some companies may not take that into consideration when writing up an estimate. A company with sufficient office help and supervision will increase the cost of the job, but the value you will get from a company like that may be worth it. For instance, everytime that you call, someone will answer, or you at least will get a call back in a timely manner. Another reason why prices can differ across companies is dependent on how busy they may be. If a company doesn’t have much work, they may aim lower for their estimate, with the hope of landing the job. On the flip side, if a company is extremely busy, their price may be higher as they wouldn’t have the time to get to the job. Remember, quality is important when it comes to your outdoor living space – even if it comes at a cost.
What Type of Patio Option Do You Think Fits Your Needs Now?
We have been in the business for over 15 years and during that time we have seen and heard it all. With that being said, there are more than just these four reasons why patio projects are priced the way they are. Highlighting the most important reasons will hopefully enable you to make the most informed decision for your next outdoor paver project.