Paving Costs
Choosing Hardscape Materials

The determining factors of your paving costs will be both the paving material itself and the type of installation that you select. This may be dry laid or wet laid. Here you will discover what those actual costs are and other factors that may affect your project.

You will see references to patio costs, although the information applies to all projects, whether it be for a patio, walkway, or driveway paving. Along with the cost of materials and installation, here are some additional things that might also impact project costs:

  • extent of grading, including excavating and fill

  • square footage, or size, of your patio, walkway, driveway, etc.

  • if your design includes a raised terrace, this often necessitates side walls and steps, which cost more

  • which part of the country you live in

  • the contractor that you select

Below are the costs of different paving materials. This will help you see how the prices per square foot can differ. Take your design, plug in the different square foot prices for different materials and what the total price is. Labor for installation is included in the prices.

In addition, here are some pages on the different hardscapes with pictures and more information.

Landscaping Costs Ebook
Find out what your landscaping will cost! These are real prices based on my experience with project estimating.

Decomposed Granite

This is quite inexpensive if the simplest method is used. There are actually three different types of decomposed granite. When it is used alone (the simplest method), it should cost around $7.00 per square foot. This would include edging to hold it in place and help keep it from eroding.

Concrete Patio

One of the least expensive paving materials is concrete. Concrete pricing should be in the area of about $8.00 per square foot, perhaps less if there is a lot of square footage. A concrete patio designs do not have to be boring. It can be made more interesting by creating a pattern. A nice concrete patio idea is to score the concrete into eighteen inch squares.

You can also add color to the concrete. Beige, gray, or even a soft peach can be interesting. Do not add the color after the concrete is poured, as it can come off over time. Instead, have the contractor mix the color right into the concrete. In this way the color is throughout the mortar and has longevity.

Compare pavers and concrete - pros and cons

Stamped Concrete Patios

Stamped concrete would be the next price, going up the scale in paving costs, being more expensive than plain concrete. The paving costs for this material run about $9.00 per square foot. There are many designs and finishes available. However, construction joints can ruin a design. For example, a free-form design made to look like stone should have no straight joint lines. The lines should be shaped naturally, following the shape of the stones. However, long, straight construction joints are needed to help keep the concrete from cracking. These run through the design. It is not very attractive.


Concrete pavers are a popular choice. Pavers cost more than stamped concrete. Many of the nice looking pavers of today are tumbled to give a stone-like appearance. Paving costs for pavers will be in the neighborhood of $15.00 per square foot.

Find out what this patio costs done in pavers! I've divided it into the patio, landing, and seat wall. But the grand total is.....

Compare pavers to bluestone - which should you choose?


Compare pavers to brick - another alternative


Brick is a paver made from clay. It is a natural product, the first natural material I have mentioned thus far. The brick of today is very strong. In fact, it is being used on driveways and streets. Brick paving costs will be about the same or a little more than pavers, if it is dry laid. $15+/square foot

Compare brick and bluestone

Bluestone Patios

Bluestone, dry laid, would be next in costs. You can figure a cost of around $22.00 per square foot. As mentioned above, this might be more or less, depending on the contractor. However, be sure the contractor will cut the stone if necessary, as geometric shaped bluestones can be uneven. This is very important for creating bluestone patios that look professional.

See picture of a simple patio and find out what the paving costs would be if done in bluestone. Also find out what it would cost in brick, pavers or concrete!

Up for a patio with more details? Find out bluestone patio costs per square foot for a dry laid bluestone patio with a landing, steps and seatwall. Costs are divided so that you can eliminate or keep these extra features to find out what this patio design would be.

Oh boy. This is a very high end project. It's a two level patio done in bluestone with brick walls, steps and a gorgeous pergola. Guess what the cost is!

Travertine Pavers

Travertine pavers are also a natural material. They are easily laid due to their pre-cut shapes. Typically they are dry laid. They will be priced at about $20.00 per square foot, give or take. Travertine pavers come in beautiful colors and various patterns. There are many advantages to this paving material, such as being cool on your feet. (That's just one asset...there are many more)!

See what this project costs with travertine pavers. I have then compared it to what the price would be if it were done in pavers, concrete or bluestone! I think you will see when looking at the total cost of a pool project that some of the other materials are not that different in pricing (except for concrete pool paving).

Natural Stone Or Brick Set in Concrete

Brick or any type of natural stone set in concrete are among the most expensive paving costs. There is a huge range, but assume that it will not be less than $50.00 per square foot and can be much more. One of the reasons for this is that an entire concrete foundation must be laid.

As you can see, paving costs can vary greatly. You might be doing the project yourself, or you might be hiring someone to do the installation. It is important to select a good paving contractor. Good workmanship on a project can make the difference between a so-so project and an outstanding one!

A word of not get hung up on a particular material. It is the patio, walkway or driveway design, along with the total landscape that will provide a beautiful outdoor living space.

An ebook on landscape prices.

To further help you with even more landscaping cost information, I encourage you to look at my ebook on landscaping costs.

There are prices for almost all areas of a landscaping project based on my own experience with estimating and reviewing projects. I also provide many project pictures showing what something looks like in case you are not sure.

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