When thinking about an outdoor living space, it is your hardscaped areas that tend to bring the most value. A patio is where you entertain, share meals with your family, or even just sit outside to read a book or enjoy the nice weather. Adding a patio provides a lot more versatility to your outdoor space.
Patios are incredibly popular so it’s no surprise that a lot of companies build them. But you’ll likely find that natural stone or paver patio costs can really run the gamut.
While you might be inclined to “shop on price” while researching patio companies in Reading and Lancaster, PA, that can be a big mistake. You must consider what you’re actually getting for your cost investment. Value and cost are two very different things and while cost should obviously be a consideration (after all, everyone has a budget), it’s value that you’re truly seeking.
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How Much Does a Natural Stone or Paver Patio Cost?
Materials are obviously a big factor in determining how much it will cost to install a paver or natural stone patio. It’s not just the material cost but also the labor involved with installing a particular material. When it comes to your patio project, you have the choice between natural stone and manmade pavers. Both have their own pros and cons that should be considered.
One benefit of natural stone is that it’s not going to fade over time. Natural stone does not need to be sealed like pavers and is also highly durable. In our region, flagstone is a popular choice for a natural stone patio and integrates easily into the surrounding area since it’s a natural material. But the cost to install a stone patio can be 20 to 30 percent higher. That’s largely due to the fact that it’s a bit more labor intensive and requires a higher level of attention to detail during installation.
Manmade pavers mimic the look like natural stone and also come in hundreds of other colors and designs. There is a lot of versatility when it comes to shapes, patterns, and layout. Many homeowners actually prefer the uniformity of paving stones as color and style will be consistent throughout the product. You also have a lot of customization opportunity with mixing colors.
Patios built from pavers are highly durable, and some homeowners to elect to seal pavers to resist the slight fading that happens over time. Others, however, love the effect. Pavers are a bit easier in terms of labor intensity and therefore the cost to install a paver patio is typically less, though there are a number of factors that affect price.
The property itself could even dramatically affect the cost of any patio project. Some factors that could increase price include required demolition work (such as demo on an old deck or existing patio), major grade transitions that require the construction of additional retaining walls, or even challenging site access.
Cost Breakdowns to Install a Patio
To give you a realistic sense of the cost to install a patio, we ran some numbers. Bear in mind this is for the patio alone and does not take additional expenses into account such as site restoration, plantings, mulching, or lighting.
In addition, these numbers were calculated for a flagstone patio. You can anticipate that the cost of a paver patio could be lower (approximately 20 percent less) in some cases since it typically requires less installation time. But choosing a high-end paver could level the playing field in terms of cost.
Here are some realistic cost breakdowns to consider.
- $11k-$16k: 200 sq ft patio
- $20k-$25k: 400 sq ft patio
- $28k-$33k: 600 sq ft patio
- $40k and Up: 1,000 sq ft patio and walkway
Understanding Value Vs. Patio Install Cost
We’ve already touched upon the importance of value, but let’s delve deeper into why you should seek out patio contractors in Lancaster or Reading, PA that get you the most bang for your buck. As you begin to shop around for someone to install your patio, you may find a drastic variation in pricing. This is where you really need to explore what you’re getting for your investment.
For example, you might compare two different patio design proposals and find that one is a whole 20-30 percent less. They might appear to be the same patio - but are they really? The less expensive patio might be cheaper because it was slapped together by workers who weren’t properly trained. A company might be able to charge less because they’re paying their employees less. But that often means a lack of training and experience which can lead to problems on your end.
A patio is a major construction undertaking that requires skills and expertise that not all companies possess. A lot is taking place underneath the surface that is critical to the integrity and lifespan of the patio. For instance, it would not be uncommon that when builders were digging out for your home that they just filled in loose soil where the patio will ultimately be going. If a patio is built overtop of that, it can start sinking over time. But a reputable company will do proper base prep to ensure that the ground is solid to build upon.
Site grading is also incredibly important. The installation of a large patio can change how stormwater flows through your property. You want the builders to not only ensure water isn’t pooling on your patio but that it’s draining properly throughout the rest of the property. If the installation of the patio is going to make changes to stormwater flow, a reputable company will make necessary changes to remedy this.
Two patios may look alike on the surface but be drastically different. Unfortunately it’s something that homeowners might not even recognize until down the road, when the patio fails or maybe even when they see a better design and recognize what they could have had.
Every single step of the process counts. Even if working from a design, if installers make “creative tweaks” or their pursue their own interpretations during the installation process, you could wind up with changes such as strange cuts or wider joints that alter the overall look. Installing a patio is so much more than just slapping stones together. There is an art to the installation process and little touches can make a big difference. That’s why you want a hardscaping contractor that pays attention to even the finest details and uses skilled installers.
At Earth Turf & Wood we not only have the experience and the know-how but we think about all those little things that many other companies do not. There are so many fine details and considerations that go into the design and build of a patio project. Everything from creativity to how cuts are made to site grading are all factors that really matter to the finished product.
Our expertise starts from the very beginning during the design phase. Unlike many other patio companies in Reading and Lancaster, PA, we have an in-house Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) with nearly four decades of experience. The process of having a patio built with Earth Turf & Wood begins with a detailed meeting with our RLA that will result in an original, professional design.
We always make sure the project is done right and we stand behind our work by offering an extended warranty guarantee of up to 5 years on patio builds. That alone sets us apart from the crowd that typically only offers 1-2 years of warranties. When you have a patio built with Earth Turf & Wood you can feel confident you will end up with a top quality result that will be enjoyed for years to come.
If you’d like some inspiration for a patio in your Reading or Lancaster, PA backyard, check out our idea gallery. If you’re ready to chat more, schedule a free consultation or give us a call at (717) 276-9447.