Summary: How much to lay a patio, average patio installation costs and average patio materials cost.
Patios provide an excellent outdoor space in which to perform various functions. You might want to entertain friends and family in the summer. Small children might like to play on the patio and ride their bikes or scooters. You might just want to sit and relax surrounded by your favourite pot plants. Whatever the reason for laying a patio, it is almost always something that you will be glad you did. It is very unlikely that you will need any planning permission. Importantly, don’t skimp on the size of a patio as it will be difficult to make it larger once it is laid.
|Labour & materials (m²)||£35 – £60 (m²)||2019||n/a|
Factors to consider
Work out which way your house faces. To lay a patio against a north facing wall will mean that for most of the time the patio will be in shade. If your garden faces north and is large enough then you could consider laying a patio at the other end of the garden and not at the house end at all. That way you will be making the most of the sunshine. You could even put a summerhouse behind it.
If you are up to doing the job yourself then this will save you several hundred pounds. It is not difficult provided that you use the right equipment and have some patience. As with all DIY jobs, preparation is the key. Patios can be cheap or expensive to lay according to how much you want to spend.
You might decide to use purely functional concrete slabs which are just fine and may be found for £2 or less each.. At the other end of the scale there are stone slabs from various quarries around the country. These can be expensive – up to £10 or more each – but look superb. Flagstones too are very attractive. These are stones that either have been sliced out of rock or they might simply occur as thin stones in nature. Bricks look good and can bring a touch of colour to a winter landscape. When it comes to colour, stone will not fade whereas coloured concrete will fade over time. There are many slabs that are made to look like stone so make sure what you are buying is what you think it is. Tiles are attractive and you could even consider using them to form a pattern amongst other types of slabs. A pattern can also be formed by actually leaving out slabs here and there and using the gaps created for planting attractive low growing shrubs such as small conifers or other evergreens.
The ideal time to start on a hard landscaping project is the autumn as many plants will have died back. The ground needs to be even and covered with hardcore. This can be bought unless you can arrange some from somebody who has a nearby skip! A wacker plate (which you can hire from a tool hire company or builders’ merchant) needs to be used to level the ground and then scalpings put over the hardcore. These are tiny bits of stone that will fill in all the gaps.
You need to hammer wooden pegs into the ground to the height you want the patio. Then lay the slabs using a spirit level on every one. This may be tedious but the end result will be worth it. Lay each slab on a bed of mortar with roughly half an inch space between slabs. At the end of the job wash down the slabs to prevent any dabs of mortar from hardening off. Between the paving slabs use a pointing trowel to insert some more mortar which will act as a kind of adhesive. It is not a difficult job but lifting the slabs is heavy work.
Costs to consider
If you are getting somebody else to do the work it is best to get three quotes as prices can vary. As a rough guide, to lay an 84 square metre patio, the labour cost might work out at around £1,250. The price of the slabs would be on top of this cost. However it is worth bearing in mind that a patio can be there for the lifetime of the house so it is actually a major undertaking and one that will almost certainly add value to a property.
Although a builder will be perfectly capable of doing the job, you might consider getting a quote from a landscape gardener who specialises in this type of work. If you see a patio that you like, don’t be afraid to knock on the door of the house to ask who did it. As ever, recommendation is the best way to find somebody.