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How Much to Lay a Patio? – Everything you need to know about laying a patio

This article discusses the costs involved in patio laying as well as the labour, materials, and turnaround time associated with it.

Patio Cost: Installation 101

If installing a patio is on your mind, you may be wondering how you can choose one and what expenses you need to take care of. Do you know how much work is entailed in patio laying? Patio laying is considered one of the biggest outdoor landscaping jobs, with 25 square metres as the average size of a small patio.

The work usually begins by digging out about 150mm off the ground and then put 100mm of a hardcore base on top. The last layer is usually 30mm of grit or sand. Then slabs are installed into the base by using sand and cement mix. Patio laying is a project that can be done by someone competent in DIY work because it does involve plenty of work!


Patio Laying Planning

All projects, to be successful, require careful planning. A wall building project needs a safe and solid foundation and the same goes for a patio – a patio should have a firm base. The type and depth of the foundation will depend on how the area will be used – if it’s for vehicle parking, driving, or simply to walk on.

There are other factors to consider, like if there is adequate drainage in the area or if the patio area is secure and private (you will not want anyone peeking while you are relaxing at the patio. It is also important to check how much sun the area you are planning to build the patio. If your patio area is facing the west or south, you can expect plenty of sunlight in the day up to dusk.

When choosing what pattern to use for patio tiles and slabs, remember that there are different designs to select from. The good news is that there is plenty of designs to make your patio unique and aesthetically-pleasing.


Fixing the Patio Drainage

An efficient drainage system is essential along the edges of your patio unless the material you will install is permeable or porous. The presence of standing water can seep into the walls of your home and also promote the growth of vegetation and algae – it can make the patio surface dangerous to use.

If sand was used to bed the patio slabs, standing water may be prevented since it will seep to the subsoil through the joints. It is important to have some slope when laying down the patio so that it does not touch the adjacent walls. A professional can ensure that the correct slope is established, especially for large areas that require hard landscaping.

It is not required to install a hardcore bed when building a patio unless the patio will also serve as a parking area or the ground is damp or boggy. Patios must be built with a slight slope to ensure the draining of surface water. However, there are times when draining out to the lawn is not enough – most especially if the paved surface is large. To ensure that water will not be left standing on your patio, a drainage channel can be created to direct the water to a soakaway or water drain.


Costs of Patio Slabs?

Remember that when it comes to the quality of paving slabs for patios, the price always matters. There are numerous concrete slabs that you can buy at a very cheap price but do not expect to get quality materials. The air bubbles in cheap concrete slabs will fill with water and the air pockets will expand when the water freezes. The cracks in the concrete slabs will eventually break down to pieces because of this process.

High-quality slabs are naturally more expensive since they have fewer air bubbles. Not only will they look better on your patio, but it will also definitely last longer. It is safe to say that the type of material that you choose to build your patio with has a direct effect on the appearance and durability of the outdoor space. Choosing higher quality material will increase costs, but you will end up saving money from repairs in the long run.

It is quite difficult to answer how much it will cost to build a patio. The best way to answer the question is to assess the factors that influence the cost of building a patio: the location, the size of the area, who will carry out the work for you (are you hiring or doing the project on your own?), the current condition of the area where you want the patio installed.


Costs to Remove and Replace My Patios?

There are many homeowners with an existing patio that wants to build a new one. The first thing that you need to consider here is removing the old patio and who will do such a task. You may also need to hire a skip to do this. A competent DIYer can remove an existing patio since it is a fairly manageable job. However, it is best to practice safety and precaution when removing heavy slabs.

The cost of hiring a tradesperson to remove and replace an existing patio usually depends on the patio size as well as the material that you want to use. Concrete patios take longer to remove since the material is more difficult to dismantle and remove. Paving slabs are typically easier to remove.


Costs to Repair a Patio?

If your patio is still in good condition and only require repair instead of replacement, you can expect a lower total cost for the project. But before any repair work commences, you should have the patio assessed whether there are only a few paving bricks or slabs that need replacement. Minimal patio repair will only cost around £250 which will likely cover the cost of materials and labour fees for an entire day of work.


What Type of Material Should I Choose for Laying My Patio?

Choosing the type of material for your patio can be challenging but the best thing to do is assess your budget and your personal preferences. In terms of durability, a concrete patio gets the upper hand but not in terms of aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners choose paving slabs since these are usually very cheap and can last a long time If maintained properly. However, paving slabs are not too visually appealing compared to other materials.

You may also opt for block paving which is utilized for patios and driveways. It may take longer to lay if you choose smaller paving materials. The labourer may also have difficulty laying out small and unusual shapes if they have very little experience working with such materials.


Average price to Lay a Patio?

Laying a patio with an area size of 20 square metres will cost about £1800. The price typically involves the following work: excavating or digging up the area, laying down the necessary foundations, obtaining the slabs and laying them to construct the patio. You can expect to pay around £15 for every square metre for budget paving slabs. More expensive paving slabs may cost somewhere between £30 to £60 for every square metre. The type of materials has a significant effect on the total price of your patio project.

About labour fees, you can expect to pay about £150 per day for a landscape gardener, while a general labourer may charge as much as £250 per day. The turnaround time for the patio-laying job depends on how complex the project is. The average number of days to complete a 20 square metre patio is 3 to 4 days.

The table below shows how much you can expect to spend on building a patio with the help of a landscape gardener:

£1,500 (£15 /slab): cost to lay a 20 sqm patio, with a turnaround time of 3 to 4 days
£1,800 (£30 /slab): cost to lay a 20 sqm patio, with a turnaround time of 3 to 4 days
£2,200 (£50 /slab): cost to lay a 20 sqm patio, with a turnaround time of 3 to 4 days
£2,750 (£15 /slab): cost to lay a 40 sqm patio, with a turnaround time of 6 to 7 days
£3,300 (£30 /slab): cost to lay a 40 sqm patio, with a turnaround time of 6 to 7 days
£4,000 (£50 /slab): cost to lay a 40 sqm patio, with a turnaround time of 6 to 7 days

Lay a Patio: The Cost Breakdown

Below is an illustration of the total cost (£1,800) breakdown to install a patio on a 20 square metre outdoor space and includes materials, excavation, laying hardcore and slabs, and the brush-in pointing.

£900 for materials or 50% of the total cost
£810 for labour fees or 45% of the total cost
£90 for waste removal or 5% of the total cost


Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Will It Cost Me to Build a Patio?

Assuming the area is 25 square metres and work entails excavating the area, you can expect to pay about £1,800 if there are no special requirements and no problems with access. The cost includes the price of the tiles and slabs but does not include VAT. If you are looking for additional features such as retaining walls, fancy patterns, and edgings, expect to pay a little more since the estimated £1,800 only covers the basic work.

The estimated price of £1,800 will not include any type of pointing such as ridge pointing since doing the task requires additional skill and time. However, if you are laying premium patio slabs, you should consider requesting for ridge pointing because it improves the aesthetics of the patio.

The estimated cost of £1,800 is also meant for patios that will be walked on, not as a parking space of vehicles. Sturdier foundations are required if you are planning to install a hot tub or use the space for other than foot traffic. The total price will also be significantly influenced by other factors such as an existing patio that should be removed, or problems with drainage or access.

Is It Required to Obtain Planning Permission to Install a Patio?

It is usually not required to obtain planning permission to install a patio, except for the following circumstances:
The total area should not exceed 5 metres
The hard surface of the area is composed of porous materials

It is possible to build a bigger driveway or patio area as long as there are no issues with the drainage and the materials used are non-porous. You will need to get a planning permit if the patio works require terracing or embanking works.

If you are residing in a listed building, you must obtain consent for any kind of work that you want to be done, whether external or internal. Should you need to install lighting in your patio area, you should obtain permission to conduct any kind of electrical work. If you are not sure about the regulations and permitting requirements, it is best to check the information with the authorized government office. Even if you are 100% sure that there are no applications or consents required for your construction, you should still verify with the responsible local authorities – doing so will prevent any unexpected hassles or future troubles and will not cost you anything to double-check.

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