How much does a patio cost?
Use our free online patio cost calculator below to calculate the approximate cost for your patio based on many variables including square footage, materials, and additional deck features.
Patio cost calculator
As you can see our patio costing tool enables you to figure out the approximate cost of many types of patios based on square feet, material including pavers, flagstone, concrete and gravel. It also takes into account whether you need to regrade and patio features such as a pergola, heating, lighting and more.
Cost to Build a Patio
Patios are external extensions of your home that can be used to relax outside enjoying a sunrise or sunset, or for entertaining friends and family.
Designing and budgeting for a patio can be just as fun as installing one. However, there are factors to consider when planning your patio that you might not be aware of. This guide will attempt to inspire your patio design creativity as well as alert you to the pros and cons of materials and extras.
1. Cost Range
It is virtually impossible to tell you how much your exact patio will cost. Prices will vary greatly depending on the materials you choose, the size of the patio, the add-ons and furniture you decide to purchase and how much a contractor will charge for labor.
You can get a rough estimate of the costs though, by looking at the national averages. Going from there you can assess your desires and budget accordingly.
According to HomeAdvisor.com the national average for a patio installation is $3,160. However, this can vary depending on your location. Of their 15,484 homes surveys, the low-end patios were built for less than $800 while the high end topped off at $9,800.
Once you add in your extras and the furniture pieces you want, and if you will also install a pathway or not, your total could go as high as $20,000 or more.
The material you choose to build your patio with will go a long way in deciding the final cost. Each option has benefits and disadvantages. You should consider each option carefully and decide which one is best for you.
The four most common patio materials are:
By far, concrete is the most popular choice when designing a patio. It is durable, fairly inexpensive and very easy to maintain.
On average, concrete will cost you about $8 per square foot. One of the benefits of concrete is that it can be poured into any shape, and once set and smoothed, will give you a nice flat surface for your patio.
Maintenance is easy as well. Aside from sealing the concrete every other year, you simply need to use a power washer, or a scrubbing brush to keep it clean. Concrete can also be dyed into a myriad of colors, so you aren’t stuck with the normal slate grey.
Another benefit is that concrete can be pressed. Pressing is the use of a large mold that looks like a giant cookie cutter, to give texture to your slab. It will make the concrete appear as if it was made with the more expensive pavers.
One drawback to concrete is that it is very difficult to install. If not done properly concrete will crack and split very easily. The cracks will show, and you will spend twice as much in repairs than the original pour.
Because of this, it is best to have your concrete poured and smoothed by professionals. It will cost you a bit more, but it will last a lot longer.
Pavers are bricks cut into shapes that can be placed to make patterns for your patio floor. You can get pavers in almost any shape and color to create a basic pattern or an extravagant masterpiece.
Pavers are more expensive than concrete, averaging just over $10 per square foot. Installation is time sensitive and can take a few weeks depending on the size and the pattern you are trying to create.
However, it is something that you can do yourself if you have the knowledge. You may have to cut some pavers to finish an edge or a corner, though, and you may have to pay to have this done for you.
Maintenance is fairly simple, a broom for the dirt and leaves and a water hose for the rest. Pavers should be sealed yearly and can fade naturally if left untreated. Some prefer to let pavers fade, and others want them to stay looking as they did when first installed.
Flagstone is a term for any stone cut into thin, flat slabs. You can get flagstones from any home improvement store. However, a landscaping company might be a better option since you will have to buy in bulk.
The cost of flagstone is the highest of all the materials at an average of $15 per square foot. However, this cost is offset by the years of trouble-free foundation you will achieve.
Installing flagstone can be very difficult. Each piece must be placed separately and unless you are grouting, will need to be cut to fit together. It is advised to hire a professional to lay the flagstone for you, although it can be a fun DIY project.
Maintenance is simple, with just the need for a garden hose and a broom as needed. You can (and should) seal your flagstone annually to prevent damage, which will be determined by the type and hardness of the stone you choose.
Gravel is the easiest medium to work with, maintain and install. It is also the cheapest. On average gravel will cost you just under $2 per square foot.
Installation is pouring shovel fulls of gravel from the delivery truck into your patio space and leveling with a rake.
Maintenance is just as easy by raking to remove leaves and rocks and re-leveling the gravel. When choosing a gravel, you should decide on a size. “pea gravel” is the most common for patios and walkways because it is smaller and easier to work with. Gravel will come in any size from specks to large rocks.
The downside to gravel is that it easily moves. If you are going to have furniture on your patio, you may need to embed the gravel in cement or install concrete pads to place the furniture on. The upside though, is that unlike the other options, gravel doesn’t require grading.
Grading is the term for adding a slight slope to your patio or walkway. Depending on the size of your patio you may have to grade a bit more. Grading has two forms: Excavation and filling.
When you grade by excavation, you are leveling the land by removing dirt from under the patio area. The slope will go away from the house so water runoff will not build up on the house’s foundation.
Filling is adding dirt to raise one side, again, away from the foundation of the home. In general, patio grading is done at about one-quarter inch per foot, measured from the house.
Some sites will require a permit for grading or slope. You should always check with local authorities to see if you are required to have a permit. It is advised that grading be done by professionals as any mistakes can mean uneven settling and blocking of the drainage or worse, cracking your patio foundation.
The cost of grading will vary depending on the size and depth needed. Some companies will also fill with gravel included in their bids. If you are going to use gravel for your patio, you may be able to save on that cost in this manner.
On average, grading will cost between $500 and $2000, depending on everything that the bid includes.
In essence, a patio is just a foundation. A slab of stone on the ground that you add to with extras to make for an entertaining and relaxing space.
There are many types of extras you can add to your patio to make it a spot you want to visit often. However, you should always consider these extras in your initial budget as it is easy to go overboard and end up spending more than you wanted.
Pathways and walkways are generally added as a means to access the patio from the home. Instead of walking through the grass, you will add a path that winds through your yard and ends up at the patio.
Pathways are usually made from the same material as the patio and can be calculated into your budget by adding the square feet to your existing patio size.
It should be noted that if you are using gravel, you should supply stepping stones in the pathway to walk on. Gravel is loose and can become slippery when wet. Having stepping stones to walk on will help prevent accidents.
Patio furniture nowadays is just as lush and comfortable as living room furniture. It can also cost just as much.
A small table and padded chairs are the norms for patios, but the exterior furniture collections have expanded to include lounge chairs, sofas, and even recliners. You should ensure you have room for the furniture you want and include their size in your layout plans before deciding on your final square footage.
C. Grill/Fire Pit/Fire Place
Outdoor cooking might as well be a national pastime. Patios were designed for backyard barbecues and grilling. Larger patios can include a spot for the grill that is away from the house and the furniture and still provide the chef with room to maneuver and join the entertainment.
Larger patios, like the living room style, can even accommodate outdoor fireplaces. These are great additions for late night and colder weather when you still want to relax on your patio without freezing.
D. Pergolas and Gazebos
Gazebos are a common site near patios. They offer a covered place to hang out when the sun is too bright, or the wind is too brisk.
A pergola is similar to a gazebo in that it offers a shaded, covered area; however, the sides are open, while in a gazebo they are closed off.
Depending on the size and building materials used, gazebos and pergolas can cost an average of $500 to $2000 and up.
The largest cost factor will be the overall size of your patio. Every price (aside from some of the additions) is based on square feet.
There are three basic sizes of patios to choose from:
A. Bistro Patio
These patios are smaller than the other options and great for a few chairs and maybe a small table. Bistro patios measure seven feet by seven feet or 49 square feet.
B. Traditional Patio
A traditional patio is the standard size and will accommodate a table and chairs as well as a grill or fire pit. By measurements, traditional patios are 12 feet square, or 144 square feet.
Traditional is the most common size patio, but you are free to design whatever size, and even shape, you desire.
C. Living Room Patio
These patios are called living room patios because of their large, rectangular size. 16 feet by 18 feet or 288 square feet is quite a large area to have for entertaining, which is plenty of room for that pergola or gazebo.
Living room patios tend to make use of a large table with multiple chairs, a grilling area, and a fireplace. Ultimately, what you do with the patio space is up to you, and the price of your design ideas should be included in your budget.
Once you have decided on the location of your patio and determined how large you need the space to be, you should then consider grading, if needed and the materials you will use to build your patio.
You should also consider if you need a pathway and how long it should be. Adding that square footage in with your patio dimensions will give you a better cost estimate for your project.
After your patio is set, you can decorate it with your extras and fire up your grill for outdoor entertaining of your friends and family. As long as you plan for every obstacle, and decide ahead of time your material needs and permit costs, you will be entertaining and spending nights out under the stars on your new patio in no time at all.
Thank you for your interest in our patio cost calculator.
The results of this calculator are NOT a professional quote. This is a free online patio cost calculator that provides an APPROXIMATE cost of a patio. There are many variables that go into a patio, including expansive price ranges for every material as well as labor costs by region. This calculator is intended to be used merely as a guideline to give you an idea of how much a patio may cost according to select variables, materials and sizes.