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How much will a patio really cost to lay?

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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How much should it be to lay a patio? It's a question so many of us ask, given that a striking terrace is a really lovely addition to any garden, which is why we thought we'd take a closer look and really try to work out how where you can save some cash during a patio project. While we are certainly not saying that cheaper is always better, and your landscape architect would agree with us there, it's got to be a good thing to understand how different materials will impact on your final price, no? Come with us now and see how expensive your tastes are!

1. Things that will affect your overall cost the most.

Before we get started, let's appreciate the elements of a new patio that are always going to cost the most money. Yes, materials will be a huge factor, but added to this are the services of numerous professionals and any groundworks that will need completing before you can begin in earnest. It's not just a case of buying some slabs you know, patio costs can escalate in a number of ways.

2. What will you need a professional for?

So we've mentioned that you'll need a team of professionals to come and complete your project for you, but what exactly will they be doing? A few of the most critical tasks will include:

• Preparing a space in the garden and digging up any existing turf.

• Laying new topsoil.

• Compacting solid foundations.

• Trimming back surrounding foliage.

• Laying slabs.

Always make sure that you check your chosen team's references. In terms of how much to lay a patio, quotes will vary greatly, but there is no better deciding factor than reliable references.

3. Approximate costings.

Choosing materials for your new patio can be something of a nightmare, as there are so many lovely options to consider, but always work to your budget. It's so easy to get carried away, but why land yourself in debt, just for a terrace?

Patio costs per square metre will vary dramatically, both in how much your materials cost and what your team of professionals will charge to work with them, but for a general guide, the following should apply:

• Manufactured Square Flags: The cheapest option, as these are easy to work with, come in a variety of ready-to-use sizes and are cost-effective to purchase.

• Stone-Style Paving: More costly, as they have the look and properties of quarried stone, but are a little easier to cut and manhandle. A good mid-range option.

• Sandstone Flags: At the upper end of the mid-range options, as quarrying costs are taken into account. Beautiful, easy to care for and not too hard to work with.

• High-Quality Textured Flags: The most expensive option, as they are crafted form pricey material. Qualified professionals will be needed, to ensure as little wastage as possible and this can result in higher costs.

4. Materials to consider.

Wood: A great, natural and relatively cheap option for a new patio. Decking is the most common style of wooden patio, which sees an elevated platform covered in a hardwearing variation of planks, such as teak. Regular care will be needed to protect the longevity.

Natural stone: With lots of variations to choose from, stone is a brilliant choice for a new patio, and will last an age, thanks to the steadfast properties of your slabs. It Needs little care but does require proper laying and preparation of the ground.

Bricks: While bricks look very pretty and are able to adapt to uneven surfaces, they remain a little less frequently-used, due to their tendency to crack in extreme cold. Cementing them into place is not always a permanent solution either.

Paving slabs: Available in a vast array of different styles, paving slabs are perhaps the most simple option for your patio, as even amateur DIY enthusiasts can install them. The style of slabs that you choose, material composition, size and pattern that you want to emulate will all have an impact on final cost.

5. Cleaning tips.

With a gorgeous new patio in place, you need to know how to keep it clean and maintained, so as to not need to repair or replace it ever again. The answer is relatively simple and will work for every material option as well: invest in a pressure washer! 

For more delicate materials, such as wood, you can use a softer spray, but for hard surfaces, including stone, you can turn the pressure up full and watch all the grime simply melt away. Some simple dish soap should be all you need to tackle really pesky stains and the whole process will take just a few minutes. Isn't that what Sundays are for, after all?

For more terrace inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 20 cute and creative ideas for your small balcony or terrace.

So, are you getting ready to embark on a patio project now?
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