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How do Different Patio Surfaces Affect My Landscaping Budget?

There’s more than one way to patio. And if you’re considering an outdoor living space, your landscape architect will have a lot of options for your patio materials.

What’s the difference? A good landscape designer will consider three big factors for your patio surface: There’s the feel and function of the material, which factors into how you plan to use your patio. There’s the aesthetic of the material, which should be informed by the rest of your home and the rest of your project.

And, of course, there’s budget.

It’s hard to list specific dollar amounts here, since every landscape involves patios of very different shapes and sizes. But here are our most popular patio surfaces, ordered by typical cost from low to high.

  1. Poured concrete. The most affordable patio surface is also the most familiar. But there’s more than one way to do concrete! You can opt for a broom-swept finish, or choose exposed aggregate for a more textured look.

Concrete is smooth, comfortable and easy to install – which keeps your cost low. But it doesn’t last as long as other options. As the weather freezes and thaws, your patio will expand and contract – causing potential cracks in concrete over time. We try to limit cracks by building seams into your patio design, but concrete always has a limited life span.

  1. Concrete pavers. Dry-laid products like pavers will last longer than a concrete pour because the patio design will let them flex with freeze-thaw cycles. Concrete pavers are the most affordable in the dry-laid family.

One downside: Concrete pavers will change color as they weather. We’ll select a neutral paver color to make shifts less noticeable.

  1. Clay paving brick. A classic in more ways than one: You can find antique paving bricks in many Illinois towns that are more than a century old. So longevity won’t be a problem here!

Clay bricks are pressed and fired to make them strong, and unlike concrete pavers they won’t shift in color as they weather. They’re a classic, mid-priced solution that should last a long time if they suit your overall design.

  1. Natural stone. A patio of natural stone makes for a lovely outdoor living space – stone weathers beautifully and gives a natural, non-slippery surface for your family to build memories on. The hand-chosen, hand-laid nature of stone patios makes them more costly than other options, but the result is one you’ll love and live with for a long time.

Natural stone comes in a variety of tones and colors, from the full range of blue stone to the warm tones of sandstone or the cool hues of limestone or granite. We can make recommendations based on the look and feel most suited to your family and your house.