Back to Section

How Does My Patio’s Construction Method Affect its Cost?

When you budget for a patio, there are three factors to consider. The first two are obvious: What is your patio’s design, and what’s it made of? Larger patios cost more. And different patio materials have different costs as well.

But the third factor in your patio’s landscaping cost is underneath the surface – literally. What construction methodology will your landscape contractor use?

There’s more than one way to build a patio. Here are four, along with how they change your cost.

  • Flat patios: Sand foundation. If you’ve ever seen an older patio that rolled or buckled, you’ve probably seen the results of dry-laid brick or stone on top of sand. A sand foundation’s fast and easy to work with – which keeps your costs down. But it simply doesn’t stand the test of time.

And that’s why Hursthouse simply doesn’t build our patios on sand.

  • Flat patios: Gravel foundation. The better method for your dry-laid hardscape is a gravel foundation. We’ll pour loose gravel 8” or 10” deep before laying brick or stone on top. Above this deep bed of gravel is a “setting bed,” a finer layer of stone for pavers to sit in.

The whole foundation tamps and packs, becoming very tight as pavers lay on top. Rainwater percolates down through this gravel bed. It leaves your pavers room to flex with freeze-thaw cycles in the winter without wear or damage, so they last. And it won’t shift like sand foundations do, which means your patio stays level well into the future.

  • Elevated patios: Concrete foundation. If your landscape design has stairs and different levels on your patio, the most effective way to make that work is with a full concrete foundation. Just like adding a room to your house, we’ll pour concrete with piers that reach below the frost line so the whole foundation remains level and secure through all weather. Stone or brick pave right on top of this foundation.
  • Elevated patios: Wood porch. If your landscape design has stairs and different levels, but you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative than concrete and hardscape, then wood might be the way. Wood porches come in a variety of stains and colors. They’re great to live on, and they’re usually less expensive to build stairs from than dry pavers. We can even build theater lighting right into your steps to help you see the way at night.