Factor To Consider When Deciding To Build an Outside Patio

Have you ever been to a party on an outdoor patio? If you have, then you probably understand the power of those spaces. A gathering outside beneath the stars on a warm summer night is always more appealing than a get-together inside a house. The cost to build an outside patio for times like these could be priceless.

A patio serves as a place to spend quiet mornings with coffee and paper in hand, as well as the perfect spot for a party or family barbecue. The right patio can make a home feel more spacious and more inviting.

But how much does it cost to build an outside patio or one in your backyard? And what are some factors to consider?

Factors to consider before building a patio

Purpose of the patio

RJ Lamb, the owner of Lambs Lawn Service and Landscaping, advises people to think about what they actually want to do with the patio and how they are going to use it before considering pricing and materials. “You want to make sure that it is big enough for the number of people you plan to entertain,” says Lamb.

He adds, “If you are going to build an outdoor kitchen or add a fire pit, make sure you plan for the extra space it will take up. While adding on down the road is possible, the block or flagstone that you initially used may be discontinued by the manufacturer, so you won’t be able to match the block in the future.”

Lamb says that most of his clients are homeowners just wanting a small place where they can entertain guests and that “the big thing right now is having a fire pit.”

Yard layout

Brian C. McHugh, owner of McHugh Construction in Colorado, says it’s also important to consider any yard setbacks as well as where the sun rises and sets.

Sun exposure is a personal choice. If you plan to sunbathe, make sure your patio is installed in a portion of the yard with good sun exposure. If you want to add a hammock or dine outside, you might want a spot with more shade, particularly if you live in a hot climate.

Of course, if your yard is small, you may not have much choice in this matter, but you can always add an umbrella or shade sail if there’s too much sun. Some designers recommend using stakes and string (or landscaper’s spray paint) to outline the perimeter you have in mind– this will help you make sure you’ve made the right decision.

Yard setback requirements are typically set by the county or housing development where you reside. Make sure you understand the rules regarding the required distance between your property line and any nearby structures.

Water flow is another consideration. It’s best to avoid building your patio on a low spot on the property.

And don’t forget to give some thought to the plumbing, septic, and electrical lines in your yard. You don’t want to have to dig up your patio to access pipes or wires that need repair.

Patio materials

Patios can be built from a variety of materials, including pavers, flagstone, or concrete. There are colors and blocks for every style of thee. Lamb says that stamped and colored concrete is pretty popular right now, but he advises paying attention to quality when selecting your material.

“You can buy block pavers from national chain stores, but they are cheap [quality]. Look at a company like Belgard Pavers. They have quality products and can even give you contractors that they recommend.”

Size of the patio

Lamb says his company’s average size patio is 20’ x 20’, or 400 square feet. Of course, the size will all depend on your space, budget, and patio desires.

What is the average cost to build an outside patio?

Patios have a wide range of prices and trying to calculate the cost isn’t easy, because there are many factors to consider. Homeadvisor says factors that have the potential to influence the total price of a patio project include:

  • Urban or rural location
  • Size of the patio
  • Shape of the patio
  • Thickness
  • Stains and coloring
  • Patterns
  • Multiple levels

Concrete patios are typically the cheapest, and Homeadvisor says these can run anywhere from $2.50 per square foot all the way up to nearly $8 per square foot.

According to PaveTech, the average concrete patio will cost around $700 using pavers and doing all of the work independently. When professional concrete contractors and excavators are used, the price of an average patio increases to roughly $2,000 to $4,000.

Hughes puts the average cost of a standard concrete patio at about $5 per square foot, plus any steps (this matches up with Homeadvisor’s estimate per square foot). “The minimum cost would be around $1,000 to get a good crew out to a home for a smaller patio. A larger patio with custom color and stamp pattern can be as much as $15,000,” says Hughes.

If you don’t want concrete, the cost rises. Lamb says a small, low-end patio built with block pavers or flagstone, which is a natural stone, starts out at around $3,000. He says, “These are the two most popular materials.” He also adds, “We have built patios that have been in the $100K range. Really, it all comes down to what you can afford and your taste. But expect to spend $10 to $12 per square foot.”

The materials you use may cost more in certain states, but Lamb says labor rates should be about the same.

Permits and upkeep

“Permits aren’t typically required for a concrete or stone patio,” explains Hughes, “but will be for any decks or patio covers, like pergolas, and if you are extending the roof of the home over the patio.”

Concrete will last longer, says Hughes, and require less maintenance, “but other materials like flagstone, pavers, or brick can be more visually appealing and have more character.” However, these require more prep work, upfront cost, and some need regular maintenance, he explains.

Don’t forget to clean up!

Most people don’t think about cleaning up after the patio is built, says Lamb. “Most times contractors don’t add in finish grading, sodding, or seeding after they are done, typically because they don’t do that type of work. But you have to remember; there will be heavy equipment coming in and out of your backyard for a few days or weeks. Ask your contractor if they can handle this for you and add it into the price so you’re not surprised.”

He adds that you should also think about landscaping for the new area.

Building a patio correctly

Lamb suggests hiring someone who knows exactly what they are doing and will warranty their work. “There is so much that can go wrong with a patio that paying the cheapest contractor you find is the worst idea. We have been called to come to place paver patios that have settled because the original builders didn’t know what they were doing–patios that were only months old.”

Make sure to ask the contractor for examples of their previous work or references, he advises.

Hughes suggests that you make sure access to the patio area is easy and that your expectations are clear. “Your contractor is more likely to provide an accurate bid if they know exactly what you want and expect from the project. If you like one contractor more than another but they have a higher bid, you can always tell them and ask them to price match — but don’t hold a grudge if they won’t.”

Cost to Build an Outside Patio: Financing Options

If you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for your patio, consider a home equity loan, home improvement loan, or personal loan to pay for your addition.

 

Blog Source: Super Money | Cost to Build an Outside Patio: 4 Ways to Finance

 

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