Patio

In This Article

Laying a patio is a significant and costly home improvement project. And when a project is this size and expensive, it’s normal to want to do your research before going ahead. In this article, we will cover how much it will cost to lay a patio. We will take you through a total breakdown of the costs with the factors that will affect the price and other necessary details.

 

But before we get into it, here is a little something to consider. As you will know, a patio will increase the market value of your property. But did you know that the potential increase equates to about five times the amount it costs to lay a patio? It’s nothing compared to the increase in market value that a new driveway can add, but nevertheless, it is still a good investment.

 

So, when you undertake the project of laying a patio is not just about creating an outdoor space to enjoy good weather and a barbecue in the sunshine or increasing the appeal of the exterior of your property. It is also about making a long-term investment.

 

Cost of laying a patio

 

As we go through this article, you will see different options and price projections for patio installation. The cost of laying a patio ranges from £550 to £4,600, however, this doesn’t include additional costs.

 

And even though the figures you are about to see are based on research and years of experience as a professional in this industry, nothing is set in stone. Prices will vary but these estimates are a great place to start. They will give you a good idea of how to get the best value for your money.

 

What Is The Cost of laying a patio?

Patio size (square metres) Concrete patio cost (£) Natural stone patio cost (£) Paver and brick patio cost (£) Slate patio cost (£)
10 550-1100 800-1,350 550-900 900-1,200
20  900-2,000 1,400-2,500 900-1,400 1,600-2,200
40 1,400-3,600 2,400-4,600 1,400-1,800 2,800-3800

As you can see from this table, the biggest cost factors are the size of the patio and the type of material. We will talk about these and the other cost factors in this article.

 

What are the supply costs of laying a patio? (per square metre)

Cost of material per square metre

Patio material  Cost per square metre (£)
Concrete  20-70
Natural stone  40-95
Paver and brick  15-125
Slate  40-80

Cost of other materials per square metre

Material  Cost per square metre (£)
Hardcore  40-60
Cement 4-55
Sand  4-55
Patio Edging  30

Remember that the total quantity of material you will need depends on the size of the patio. These materials will be available from supply merchants, home improvement stores, garden centres and manufacturers, locally or nationwide. You can buy the supplies yourself or let the patio installers order the correct amount.

 

What are the labour costs of patio installation?

Patio size (square metres) Time frame (days) Labour rates (£)
10 2 400
20 3 600
40 4-5 800-1,000

The average patio installer who is usually a landscape gardener charges about £100 to £200 per day. However, this job is not completed by one individual. The professional installer will work with a partner, usually a bricklayer or basic labourer. This additional professional will charge daily rates of £75 to £100. That makes a total of £175 to £300 per day in total.

 

As you can see from the table, the average labour cost is £200 per day, which is a good estimate for most companies. However, you will get an accurate figure when asking for a quote from a patio installer. Once you know the daily rates and how long the process will take to have the patio installed, you can calculate an accurate total labour cost.

 

What are the additional costs of patio installation?

Item  Cost  (£)
Waste disposal 120-400
Patio furniture  50-3,200
Drainage  700-1,000
Patio doors  600-1,300
Outdoor lighting 20-300
Outdoor heating  30-700
Flowers, plants and other garden furnishings 10-100

Waste disposal

During every stage of the project, there will be a build-up of dirt, debris and other waste. From when you excavate the patio area to laying and sealing the material, you will accumulate lots of waste, so it will be necessary to hire a skip.

 

Skip hire ranges from about £120 to £240 per day. But you can keep waste disposal costs down to £120 to £400 in total if you wait until after everything is completed before hiring a skip.

 

Patio Furniture

While enjoying the fresh air at your brand new outdoor patio, you will need some furniture for you and your loved ones. There is a broad range of outdoor chairs and tables, sofas and dining sets etc.

Whatever you go for, you must remember that the furniture will be outdoors at the mercy of the weather. So, it needs to be strong, resilient and durable. Patio furniture can set you back from £50 to £3,200, depending on your budget and preference.

 

Drainage

You probably will not have to spend a lot of money on drainage, but it depends on the size, covering material and build of the patio. For example, when building a large patio, you need to consider drainage costs. This also applies if the patio is close to the house or made with a non-porous material.

 

No matter what the situation is, the fact remains that a drainage channel is necessary otherwise water will accumulate on the patio which will cause it to become slippery and susceptible to moss and algae. With time, the patio would also deteriorate physically.

 

In most cases, it may be enough to simply keep the patio level below the damp proof course level of the house. You can also let the patio slope slightly about 2cm from the house to direct runoff. You can direct the runoff to an open area with the garden or lawn being sufficient.

 

However, in some cases, you will need to integrate an actual drainage system for the patio. One way to do this is by integrating it into an existing surface water drain. If that isn’t possible, you could build trenches and a soakaway for about £700 to £1000. If using trenches, add covers to protect them from getting clogged by leaves and debris.

 

Patio doors

If you decide to add patio doors, you can get nice ones for about £800 to £1,300. You could add a fence too, but most people like to build their patio in or near the lawn, so the plants or garden fence will serve that role.

 

Outdoor Lighting

With your new patio, you will discover the joy of spending beautiful evenings watching the sunset and enjoying late dinners. Outdoor lighting works well for this and £20 to £300 will need to be set aside for this.

 

When choosing outdoor lighting, especially for a patio area, it’s worth considering security and aesthetics are equally important. If you want to make major electrical modifications, you may need permission from the authorities.

 

Outdoor heating

You also need to consider using your patio in colder weather. Outdoor heating may not be a priority for most people, but it is still something to consider. £30 to £700 should be enough to install a heating system in your patio area but the price varies depending on the system.

 

Flowers, plants and other garden furnishings

Patios and flowers complement each other. Every patio will benefit from having beautiful flowers around it as every garden will benefit from a proper sitting area. 

 

For now, just know that some new plants will benefit your new patio. And £10 to £100 should be enough for this

 

What are the cost factors that affect patio installation?

Despite our reliable estimates, patio installation costs will vary depending on several factors. Understanding these cost factors will help you navigate any price variation. So, let’s discuss them.

 

patio installation costs

 

The patio size

The patio size is easily the most important factor that influences price variation. In the cost projections from earlier in the article, there were three different sizes commonly used in the UK. As you will expect, a small patio will not cost as much as a bigger one.

 

So, for this project, one of the first steps to take is to measure the size of the patio area. To do this, take a peg to mark the boundaries and then use a tape measure to measure the length and breadth then calculate the area in square metres.

 

After getting the size, you can then use the estimated supply cost per square metre, project duration and labour cost per day to calculate the total estimated cost. You can also use an online cost calculator.

 

The patio material

In the cost estimates, we look at four different patio materials. We will still go into further details on them, but the rundown is that each material has its benefits and drawbacks. There will be differences in cost, durability, maintenance needs, aesthetic appeal, versatility etc.

 

However, one patio material is not better than others. It is more about budget and preferences when choosing a material. There are two things to consider when looking at how material type affects patio prices; the price of the actual material and the cost of installing it.

 

Natural stone is the most expensive of all four material types and it is also costly to install. It takes highly skilled labour and working hours to cut and fit natural stone for any structural use. On the other hand, concrete lies on the other end of the spectrum; it is much more affordable to buy and install.

 

Your location and patio installer rates

It is a given that this kind of project will be more expensive in London than somewhere else in the country. Additionally, supply prices and labour prices will vary depending on location. As a matter of fact, patio installation may vary even between you and your next-door neighbour, depending on the negotiation skills and rates.

 

Installation costs from patio installers will also vary depending on whether you hire a big specialist company or an independent contractor like a landscape gardener or a jack-of-all-trades handyman.

 

The state of the patio area

To lay a patio effectively, you need level, firm and weed-free ground. Before starting the project, you will need to excavate the area to get rid of excess soil and weeds and remove any existing patio or structure. To complete this, you can choose to do it yourself or hire someone to do this.

 

The current state of the intended patio area will determine the amount of work it will take to prepare it and the labour costs. So this is another factor that will affect the patio laying cost. You will need a labourer to handle excavation and a skip for waste disposal. You may also need to hire a concrete breaker and soil refill.

 

Design complexity

There are two things to consider in this final factor affecting patio laying cost. There is complexity due to design choice and due to the shape of the patio. However, usually, the shape is another element of design choice.

 

Both the process of choosing and installing the design can affect patio prices separately. For example, you can come up with the design by yourself, finding inspiration from pictures and magazines etc. By doing this cost-effective way, you will not have to pay a professional garden designer upwards of £1000.

 

But there are many benefits to hiring a professional designer. The design will be a lot more unique, specific and reliable. You will also get tips on what else you can do to improve and care for your new patio.

 

Finally, there is the issue of installation. The more complex the design, the more money, skill and time it will cost to get it done.

 

What are the types of patios?

Types of Patio

 

We have already mentioned four types of material used commonly for patios. Now it is time to take a deeper look at the subtypes, features, advantages, and disadvantages of each material.

 

Concrete patio

Patio type Cost per square metre (£)
Poured Concrete        20
Smooth concrete  45
Coloured concrete  40
Textured or imprinted concrete 40

Concrete triumphs over all the other patio materials when it comes to affordability. The biggest issue people have with concrete is the lack of style and design. However, that has changed with new designs and finishes introduced recently. They have given concrete flooring a rebirth, filled with unique and interesting looks.

 

So you can still get robust and appealing outdoor flooring using concrete. For example, you can use concrete paving blocks instead of traditional slabs. Even with concrete slabs, you can still improve the style with finishes like imprinting, colouring, and staining. You will also find the price per square metre for each type of concrete finish in the table above.

 

Advantages of concrete patio

  • It is easy to install, maintain and remove
  • It is permeable, works well with drainage
  • It is hard wearing and withstands weather conditions.
  • It is durable and long-lasting

Disadvantages of concrete patio

  • It has limited stylistic options, even with the variety of finishes
  • If colored, this tends to fade with use although you can minimised this with sealant.
  • It is not slip-resistant when wet
  • It is prone to cracking
  • Repairs can be difficult and extensive

Natural stone patio

Patio type Cost per square metre’s (£)
Sandstone  80
Marble  90
Limestone 50
Granite  40

There is a lot more variety when it comes to natural stone with many options to choose from. Each stone comes in various colours, shapes, sizes and textures etc. They are more versatile, classier and better at holding their colours compared to concrete. However, that comes at a price and natural stones are the most expensive patio materials on this list.

 

Natural stones also make great paving materials. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using natural stone for a patio. Please note that these advantages and disadvantages vary depending on the stone.

 

Advantages of natural stone patio

  • Versatility and variety of designs
  • It is durable and long-lasting
  • It is much more elegant and classier than other materials
  • It has good colour retention.

Disadvantages of using a natural stone patio

  • Irregular sizes and texture
  • Relatively expensive
  • Hard to install and maintain
  • Not slip resistant
  • Relatively poor heat resistance
  • Susceptible to flaking and scratching

Paved or brick patio

Patio type Cost per square metre (£)
Clay bricks 75-85
Paving slabs   19-125

When it comes to brick for patios, clay bricks are the main option. However, there are many more options when it comes to paving material. There is concrete, clay, and even natural stone paving. 

Since paving slabs have been available they have gradually become a favourite in Britain’s gardens. They allow you to enjoy the primary advantages and escape the disadvantages of the paving material. For example, with concrete paving, you will get a more versatile, aesthetically pleasing and easier-to-maintain patio compared to ordinary concrete slabs.

 

Advantages of paved or brick patio

  • Easy to maintain and repair
  • Durable and hard wearing
  • Cost-effective
  • Good drainage
  • Fade-resistant if well-sealed

Disadvantages of paved and brick patio

  • Susceptible to moss and weed growth
  • The color and texture fade quickly if not well-resealed
  • Installation is relatively harder

Slate patio

Patio type Cost per square metre (£)
Porcelain 55
Flagstone 18-28

When it comes to man-made alternatives to natural stone, there is the option of using porcelain and flagstone for your patio. They have similar elegance and appeal, only at lower costs. You can even get these paving slabs to have the same finish as natural stones. There are also a lot more finishing styles to choose from.

 

Plus, porcelain or flagstone patio can never truly be like a natural stone. They are unique, easy to maintain, durable and resilient. So if you decide to go with these types of paving slabs, here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages.

 

Advantages of slate patio slabs

  • Versatile designs
  • Resilient and durable
  • Fade, frost-proof
  • Low maintenance
  • Cost-effective alternative to natural stone

Disadvantages of slate patio slabs

  • Prone to scratching
  • Not slip resistant
  • Poor drainage
  • Not easy to install
  • Poor drainage

What are the types of patio finishes?

There are three main types of finishes that can be applied to a patio surface. Here is a brief description of each one.

 

Installation Patio

 

Smooth finish

A smooth finish is when the patio floor is smooth, even and with low texture. It is the most affordable of the three types on this list. Poured concrete, marble and porcelain paving slabs provide a smooth finish.

Stained or coloured finish

Stained implies uneven distribution of colour hues and tones. This effect is usually created by spritzing metallic compounds over poured concrete while still wet. Meanwhile, coloured concrete is created by adding concrete paint during mixing.

 

Whatever process is used, it creates visually unique concrete patio slabs.

Textured finish

The primary examples of textured finish are natural stones. They are the epitome of distinguished, uneven textures. However, you can also create this effect in other materials like concrete through stamping and imprinting.

 

Are there alternative patio materials?

Using the following materials may bring down installation costs but remember that choosing one of these can affect the appeal and durability. Additionally, although they may not need as much money and skill to install, you still have to consider maintenance costs. 

Patio type  Cost per square metre (£)
Composite resin 30-60
Gravel 25-50
Artificial grass  2-30
Timber decking 15-80

Composite resin

Resin has good drainage quality and there are various design types to choose from. It is also easy to install. However, resin lacks durability, is prone to weed growth and some of the synthetic options are not eco-friendly.

 

So while composite resin is cost-effective, you may spend money in the long-run on maintenance. Therefore, resin is better utilised in combination with other materials like gravel or concrete rather than alone. When using resin, it varies between £30 to £60 per square metre.

 

Gravel

This is the easiest type to install as you just cover the patio surface in 50 to 70mm of gravel. You won’t need any professional help unless you require assistance to excavate the patio area and install the subbase.

 

Gravel also has a few different colours to choose from and repair is very easy. The negatives are that gravel is uncomfortable to walk on, it needs constant refills and can be dangerous in the hands of children. You should be able to get a 25kg bad for £25 to £50.

 

Grass

Both real and artificial grass works. Real grass is appealing, cheaper and better for the environment but it requires more care. Artificial grass doesn’t need much maintenance and some available are indistinguishable from real grass. Per square metre, real grass costs about £2 to £10 while artificial grass costs £10 to £30.

 

Timber decking

Timer decking known as wood decking in either hardwood or softwood will work for a patio. Wood floors are gorgeous but they are not the best fit for an outdoor patio area with the weather conditions. There is also the problem of algae and moss growth. Examples of timber decking include pine, ash tree and oak. They cost about £15 to £80 per square metre.

 

How do I lay a patio

Just follow these steps to lay a patio:

  1. Prepare the area: Mark out and excavate the desired patio area. Remove any wires and cables in the way. If you have an existing patio or other structure in the area, also remove this. Get rid of weeds, debris and excess soil and then level the space with a slight slope away from the house.
  2. Lay weed membrane: It’s beneficial to add weed membrane, although not essential. It helps fight weed growth. A weed membrane costs about £3 to £50 per square metre. The average one could last for around five years, depending on the quality.
  3. Add the subbase: Lay hardcore of compacted MOT type 1 aggregate or stones, rock, broken brick and broken concrete. Then compact and add sharp sand until all the cavities are filled and the ground is level. The hardcore should be about 100mm to 150mm, while the sand should be about 30mm to 50mm.
  4. Add mortar/concrete bed: It is just a 1:3 mix of cement and sharp sand.
  5. Lay patio slabs: Start at a corner. Sprinkle water to dampen the mortar, lay the paving slabs. Set and tap lightly with a mallet.
  6. Leave for 24 hours: If there is a possibility of rainfall, you can cover the patio with tarpaulin or any form of polythene.
  7. Jointing: You can use grout or a 1:1 mix of concrete and sand. Add the jointing substance into the joints and then use a jointing tool to press it in and brush to push in the excess lying on the paving slabs.
  8. Wait: For 1 to 3 days before you start using your new patio.

How do I choose a great location to lay a patio?

These tips are for an outdoor patio and will not necessarily work for an indoor patio. 

 

You may decide to lay the patio in your backyard as the patio will be close to and easily accessible from the house. The house may also act as shade, so you might not need to spend more money on building a shed. However, it may also be a great idea to install your patio in a location where it will get some sunlight.

 

Finally, if you do decide to lay the patio at a distance from other structures, you may need to install a walkway.


Is DIY patio installation a good idea?

The simplest way to reduce patio installation cost is to do it yourself. But it’s worth keeping in mind that laying a patio is physically demanding and also mentally draining..

 

You can easily get overwhelmed or make mistakes that will end up with a bad quality patio. Most people choose to hire someone as it results in a better finish and is ultimately cheaper in the long-run.

 

But this doesn’t mean it’s a mistake to DIY a patio. With care, the right tools, safety gear and some DIY experience, you should be fine.

 

What do I need to know about patio maintenance?

Once you decide on the type of patio you like, it’s highly recommended to research information on how to care for that specific type. This will ensure you know the required care needed for particular materials. For example, natural stone needs polishing.

 

Secondly, some materials are too delicate for certain maintenance techniques. For example, paving slabs may get damaged when regularly subjected to a commercial floor cleaner. Here are some patio maintenance tips:

  • Use a broom brush or leaf blower to get rid of dirt, debris and leaves.
  • Wash with warm water and mild detergents.
  • Uproot weeds from the bottom quickly
  • Use natural weed killers like vinegar, baking soda etc
  • Use non-acidic algae killing solutions to treat algae and moss
  • Only use a pressure washer sparingly. Limit to twice a year at most.
  • Reapply worn jointing compound and sealant early

What patio repair tricks do I need to know?

Here are some potential problems that your patio can develop and how to fix them. While you may find it easier to hire someone for patio repair, this information is if  you decide to do it yourself.

 

How to fix cracks

Cracks will only get bigger if you ignore them. If water enters a crack, it could damage the patio material, causing it to deteriorate exponentially. Fortunately, you can fix this problem easily.

 

You need to fill the crack instantly. For a concrete patio, concrete will do. For other materials, you will need fillers like PVA adhesive. Such fillers cost between £4 to £20. You will also need to use a chisel and hammer to chip away at the crack before filling.

 

How to replace an irreparable paving slab

Sometimes a slab may be damaged to the point that you can’t patch it. The only option in this case is removal. To save you buying more, you may have some leftover paving slabs from when you had installed the patio.

 

However, even if you have the exact paving slab, it may not blend perfectly with the older ones already in place. You can’t do much to correct this, although it can improve over time and use.

You need to remove the damaged slab and underlying mortar. Clean the area, fix the subbase and add fresh mortal. Then lay the new slab and allow it to dry before adding the jointing compound.

How to fix sinking or shifting patio slabs

 

This usually happens because the support, usually the mortar, is falling. So, you need to remove and replace the affected mortar. The slabs themselves may be reusable.

 

To repair this issue, you need to remove the slabs in the affected area and then cut out the mortar in that area. Clean the area and fix the subbase, adding fresh mortar and then lay patio slabs.

 

FAQ

 

Which patio type is the most affordable?

A concrete patio starts at £550, so this is the most affordable.

Poured concrete is the clear winner in our opinion. It is easy to install, durable and low-maintenance too. It doesn’t offer the best appearance, but you can improve that by choosing a classier finish such as colouring or imprinting.

 

How long does it take to install a new patio?

It takes about 2-5 days to install a patio, depending on the size, material and the state of the desired patio area.

 

Technically, a 10 square metre patio will take 2 days; 20 square metres will take 3 days and 40 square metres will take 4 to 5 days. The durations may vary slightly depending on the other two factors discussed.

 

How long will it take to remove an existing patio?

 It takes about one day to remove an old patio at about £100 to £200 for labour and £120 to £400 for waste removal.

 

That time frame may vary depending on the size and type of patio. If removing an old patio to replace it with another structure,, you can use the broken concrete and stones as hardcore for the new structure.

 

How much does it cost to build a raised patio?

A raised patio costs about £750 to £5700.

 

That covers everything from preparing the area to building the sub-base, elevated platform and stairs and finally laying the material.

 

How do I find a good patio installer?

It’s best to ask other people for recommendations and get quotes from multiple installers.

First, ask friends and family who have done similar projects recently. Then you can approach three companies to ask them for quotes and evidence of past projects. Ensure you research properly before getting in touch.

 

What is the Best Time of Year to Lay a Patio?

Middle to late spring is the best time for patio installation.

 

At this time of the year, the weather is moderate. It’s best not to work in high or low temperatures. These extreme weather conditions affect the drying time of mortar and joints. Cold and rain can make it dry too fast, while heat can make it dry too early.

 

However, since the weather can vary in Britain, there are options to ensure you are prepared for all weathers. When it is cold or rainy, you can cover the patio with tarpaulins. When it’s too hot, you can add an additive to the mortar to stop it from drying too fast.

 

What subbase is best for patios?

A hardcore layer of 100mm to 150 mm compacted MOT type 1 aggregate, followed by 30mm to 50mm of ballast or sharp sand.

 

You can also add a weed barrier, but it is not essential.

 

Do I need a hardcore subbase, or can I lay a patio on ordinary sand or soil?

No, the hardcore is not a deal-breaker. You can install a patio on sand or soil alone.

The point of hardcore is to provide a compact, well-drained foundation for the patio. Therefore, you don’t need it if the ground is already firm and well-drained. In this case, you can simply remove the unwanted elements like weeds, debris and excess soil. Then you can add a layer of sharp sand and tamp the sand to create a solid, firm and even foundation.

 

However, it is still advisable to use hardcore because the condition of the ground may change later in the future. Then you may start having issues with sinking and shifting slabs and mortar.

 

How do I seal a patio?

Get the right sealant for your patio material, clean your patio, give it 2 to 3 days to dry, and then add spray with sealant. Finally, you have to reapply sealants occasionally.

 

The sealant’s job is to protect the patio’s surface from weather and foot traffic which can cause friction and stain. The sealant takes that abuse and suffers the detriments, allowing your patio surface to retain its appearance and overall health. Sealants go from £8 to £15 per litre.


Do I need planning permission for a patio?

No, you don’t need planning permission to install a patio unless in the following circumstances:

  • The associated building is listed
  • The patio will hinder entrance to the property
  • The patio is larger than 5 square metres but doesn’t include drainage channels
  • The patio is installed on difficult grounds, such as sloppy or damp grounds.
  • The patio needs construction works that can significantly modify the structure of the property. Works of this nature include terracing and embanking.

These are just general requirements and they can vary depending on your location. If you are unsure, speak to the authorities or local tradespeople for advice.

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