One of the first questions garden owners want to know when they call us is : How much does a patio cost? Although this is a very difficult question to answer, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines.
The renovation of a garden is much like renovating any other room in your home. With so many options available, price ranges can vary drastically. Just as a fitted kitchen can start around £2,000 for a basic package, it can quickly cost over £30,000 once you start adding items such as countertops, cabinetry, appliances, etc. If this is your ‘forever home’ you may be willing to put more effort and expense into it than if you expect to be in the property for a limited amount of time.
The process for landscaping a garden is the same.
The biggest expense in a landscaping project will usually be the paving. This is because it is both labour intensive and a specialist skill, so you pay for time and experience. The technology in manufactured slabs and natural stone has leapt forward in recent years. Paving now is produced for the best quality finish to last for the maximum amount of time (most manufacturers guarantee their products for 25 years). This comes at a premium, however, and top-quality paving can run into the thousands before you have even broken earth.
As a rule, we recommend a minimum patio area of 0.9m x 0.9m (3yards x 3yards) as this can comfortably fit a bistro set for sitting / dining outside. There may also be a need for paths running to the new patio area; we recommend paths are approx. 0.9m – 1m wide.
Here I will outline the most common paving options for landscaping projects (although there are many more possibilities out there) and explain what you can expect from them. Then I will then outline some of the more popular designs requested to provide an idea of context.
This will always be the cheapest option and is exactly as it sounds. Concrete is poured into a mould which then hardens to provide a slab. The paving therefore will be a uniform size, shape and colour. This makes it quicker to lay so saves on time. Concrete is more durable than stone and will weather better. Options are available with a ‘riven’ texture that that imitates natural stone, however it doesn’t have the unique charm of stone and will look regular and undeviating.
For the garden below we used a product call Stamford, manufactured by Brett, in the colour ‘buff’. We used a uniform 450mm x 450mm slab, however because we were also building a pond and pergola our paviour used the slabs to create a steppingstone effect and make the finished look more ‘rustic’. This job used about 20m2 of the product. A garden like this would probably cost between £5,000 – £10,000
This includes many types of stone, the most popular being Sandstones, Slates, Granites and Limestone. As the slabs are hewn rather than manufactured, they will be subject to small variances in size, texture and colour. Often natural stone is sold in ‘multi-packs’ and different sizes will be laid in complementary, random patterns rather than uniform rows, providing you with a beautiful and unique feature. They take slightly longer to lay and cuts in the slabs may be required. There is much greater choice than concrete slabs.
At this point, prices will start to vary wildly depending on which products you prefer. Indian sandstone is the best value natural product on the market and looks rustic, whereas black slate will look more sophisticated, especially when wet.
These homeowners chose Indian Sandstone, manufactured by Marshalls, in the colour ‘Sahara’. The slabs are laid randomly but are calibrated to fit together perfectly. The natural colour and texture of the stone compliments the dry-stone wall and timber work. This job used about 50m2 of the product. A garden like this would probably cost between £10,000 – £15,000.
Vitrified paving / Porcelain
These are the best quality (and most expensive) materials. Vitrified paving slabs are ceramic tiles. They are made using clays that are fired to a very high temperature to create a hard and durable finish. The flags are very hard to scratch. They also have a lower rate of water absorption, providing exceptional resistance to stains and growth of moss and algae.
For this Japanese garden we used a product called ‘Knotwood’, manufactured by Stonemarket, in the colour ‘Char’. Knotwood recreates the colours and textures of wood planks but has none of the technical issues of wood and will not rot or warp. This job used about 15m2 of the product. A garden like this would probably cost between £15,000 – £20,000.