A patio is a place where people commonly stay for relaxation or gatherings. This area of the house provides beautiful features and is mostly found in backyards. Making an aesthetically pleasing type of patio flooring will surely require a consequent budget.
Still, some patio materials are recognized as inexpensive. Among them are concrete, gravel, pavers, and bricks. Each of the materials contains distinctive features. One of them may suit your budget and preference.
In this article, we will discuss all four of the least expensive patio materials. We will tackle each characteristic from the cost to the durability, styles, and installation process.
4 of the Least Expensive Patio Materials
Patio construction requires materials that are durable and bear great designs. The least expensive materials to use are concrete, gravel, pavers, and bricks. Using these can help you save more money and offer you great advantages.
Concrete is a commonly used material to build a patio, and it is also cheap. If you are looking for affordable and durable patio materials, concrete may be the answer.
The estimated price range for concrete is around $6 to $13 per square foot. Concrete also comes in different colors, although at a different price. Colored concrete is indeed more expensive and the cost varies depending on the shade you want.
Concrete is undeniably one of the most durable construction materials. However, you may need an expert’s help when using this material. The tolerance and hold are also affected by its installation.
Water can cause concrete to break. Therefore, it is better to prevent water absorption during the drying process. The water can form into ice and damage the foundation of the concrete’s body. A waterproof sealer for concrete can help you avoid this issue.
Style & Installation
There are two ways to install concrete: poured and stamped. Poured concrete involves pouring the concrete mixture onto a specific area. Usually, the design is plain and flat.
For stamped concrete, the method also consists of pouring but, you apply it to a specific shape. Meaning, it already bears a design before it completely dries. This type of concrete installation requires the intervention of an expert for a well-built foundation and definite style.
The second most famous material used for patio construction is gravel. It is somewhat close to concrete in terms of cost and installation. Most people say that using gravel is easier as it gives you the freedom to apply the material. This also does not require help from an expert.
When it comes to cost, gravel is one of the most affordable patio materials, like concrete. Although, different types of gravel can affect the total price. On average, gravel’s price reaches $6 to $10 per square foot.
Gravel is made of small pebbles, and the most recognized type is pea gravel. There are several types of gravel to choose from, namely base, quarry process, marble chips, and river rock gravels.
This material is not solid and gravels are loose, unlike concrete. However, applying some doesn’t require a colossal amount of work. You just need to place the gravels on the ground so that they can build a strong foundation.
Gravels are durable if set down with stability. Your only enemy in using gravel for your patio is the growth of weeds and grass. Indeed, as gravels’ texture is not fully concealed, space and holes will serve as a path for these plants. Thus, you should place a landscaping fabric to the base of the gravel to prevent this from happening in the future.
Style & Installation
The advantage of using gravels for your patio is the installation process. This is probably one of the simplest materials to use. You only need to pour it onto the designated area, and you’re done!
Another advantage is that you can save more money. For example, using concrete requires you to hire an expert, which will definitely add up to your expenses.
On the other hand, putting gravel for your patio doesn’t require a lot of work. Although, you should ensure that the walls and corners of your foundation are sturdy and strong. If the foundations lack stability, your patio may end up weak, and the style is indefinite.
Having an unlevel patio can be frustrating and it will also requires thorough repairs. Leveling your patio is important as it prevents water problems in the future, among other ground issues. The question is: should your patio be leveled with the grass? Read our article to find out.
Pavers are concrete bricks that are often utilized for patios and are some of the least expensive patio materials. The best thing about pavers is their size since each brick is identical to the others.
Pavers are best to incorporate with patios as their design looks neat. This material costs around $13 to $20 per square foot, which is relatively expensive compared to gravel and concrete.
This material is also dependable, which contributes to its higher cost. Although, pavers are still among the least expensive patio materials compared to other types.
Pavers are made of concrete, which is very durable. Sometimes, floor materials are damaged due to weather, temperature, and time. Although this is a strong material, it could still break.
The advantage of using pavers for your patio is the brick feature. If a certain part cracks, you can easily change that specific area or brick. Meanwhile, with concrete, you’ll never know if the damage will widen, and it requires expert advice to find a remedy for it.
Style & Installation
The installation is undeniably easy, but this is also a heavy type of patio material. Pavers come in various colors, designs, and styles. They are available in natural-stone design, brick texture, cobblestone style, and hardwood floor surface type. This material is frequently used to design patios.
Since these are bricks, they will make your patio’s look uniform and organized. Installing this is preferable if you need to hire an expert. These are heavy, and without proper handling, may lead to a messy outcome.
Bricks are made of clay and used for several types of structures. They are usually used for making patios and are known for their classic look.
This patio material is quite affordable but still comes at a higher price than the other materials presented in this article. Indeed, bricks cost around $14 to $20 per square foot. The rate range is close to pavers, which also have the shape of bricks.
Bricks last long and are considered a strong material to employ on your patio. Even though they are durable, they are permeable, like gravels. The difference between gravels and bricks is the solidity of their shapes.
The drawback of bricks is that they permit water to seep in. The water may then freeze and damage the overall outcome of the patio. You can use sealant to prevent this from happening.
Style & Installation
The installation of bricks is difficult compared to that of other patio materials. The factor that affects this is the level or height of each brick. It requires carving before placing them in the foundation.
The difficulty of installation will require you to hire a professional to ensure the good results of the work, and thus, the longevity of the material. However, the downside is the added charge that comes with hiring an expert.
Last but not least, pavers have the same shape as bricks. The distinction between bricks and pavers is the material used to make them. Indeed, despite their identical shapes, pavers are created with concrete while bricks are made of clay.
Patios are an excellent addition to any backyard, but just like everything else, it will cost you money. If you want to build a patio on a budget, there are a couple of things that you can do. One of which is using the least expensive materials to build your patio.
No matter what type of patio material you are planning to use, you should consider your place first. Wonder whether or not the material can withstand the atmosphere, temperature, and weather as those factors can affect the longevity of these materials if exposed for a long time. Using these can also help you save more money. But before picking the material, we recommend that you plan out your project first.