So You Want A New Patio?

The Patio and Costs to Consider


So, you want a new patio?


Like any remodel or expansion, the cost of a patio depends on your budget, materials used, the size and shape of the installation, access to the area, existing conditions, and most of all – how well it’s installed. In the first of a two-part series, we look at the cost of materials, finishes, sizes and colors for installing a patio.


Let’s start with materials. The cost of material varies depending on the quality of the product. Whether the sky is the limit or you’re on a limited budget, every patio must start with a strong foundation. Here are a few choices to consider:


  • Concrete Pavers. Even the higher quality concrete pavers available at landscape material suppliers will vary widely in price, look and function. The most basic, entry level concrete paver in a 4” x 8” size retails for $2.49 a square foot. For a more unique paving pattern that includes varied sized pieces, the price increases from $3.44 to $9.75 per square foot. On a 200 square foot patio, the paver cost ranges from $500 to $2,000.


  • Clay Pavers. While there are exceptions to the rule, concrete products are often seen as boring, rough and unattractive. We like to recommend pavers made from natural materials. Clay is a great option if keeping costs down is a priority. The cost of a good quality clay paver will range between $4.25 and $7.95 per square foot. In fact, the price of clay pavers is in line with high-end concrete products. Pavers for a 200 square foot clay patio costs between $850 and $1,600.


  • Stone Pavers. If you love stone, we have the answer. And we’re not talking about flagstone, the beautiful schist from New England or the fabulous black granite out of northern Minnesota. We’re talking about cut pavers. The ones that are readily available in Chicago and could withstand our winter freeze-thaw cycle. Most stone pavers are between 1 ½” to 2” thick. If you install anything less – buyer beware. Some of the more common types of natural stone pavers, include:


  • Limestone pavers cost between $15.40 to $21.90 per square foot. The cost depends on the type and finish of the stone (e. g. – cut, polished, brush hammered, flamed, etc.). Paver Costs: $3,100 to $4,400 for a 200 square foot patio.


  • Bluestone. Our favorite paving material option is bluestone because it’s affordable, durable and versatile. One of the greatest attractions to bluestone is its many finishes. Bluestone is available in either a natural cleft or thermal finish. Natural cleft stone has been split, or cleaved, parallel to its stratification, which produces an irregular but nearly flat surface. Bluestone offers a natural cleft that varies from 1 ½” to 2” in thickness. Thermal finished bluestone is cut to a consistent thickness of 1 ½” and is thermally treated to give a consistent textured finish. The thermal finish helps to even out coloration and makes it less slippery when wet, making it one of our personal favorites. Thermal finish pavers are more expensive than natural cleft, but because of the variation in thickness it costs around the same as natural cleft and may even cost less.


Bluestone is also available in various color ranges. The most common choices are called “select” and “full range.” “Select” bluestone has a more consistent blue/blue or true blue color without a lot of variation. “Full range” bluestone offers more variation of color and is complemented with streaks of rust and brown.


An average 200 square foot patio costs between $1,500 to $2,600 or $7.65 to $12.85 per square foot, depending on the color, finish and size of the bluestone.


In the second of our two-part series, we will review the costs of patio installations, best practices and share our advice from past installations. Stay tuned for our May Eblast Newsletter!


For the second part: