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How to Stay on Budget When Planning a Paver Patio or Driveway Project

As with any landscaping or hardscaping project, prices can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the job as well as the materials you choose. Your budget has the potential of going off the rails if you don’t have a handle on it from the start.

Here are some tips to keep the costs of a new paver patio or a paver driveway on track.

  1. Start with a budget you can live with – To begin with, establish an amount that you’re comfortable spending. You might even have a range in mind to give you some flexibility.
  2. Get specific quotes from contractors – Ask for good/better/best versions of the project that provides cost breakdowns with different materials and different features, such as a fireplace. Then you can determine if the estimate reflects your realistic budget and adjust from there. There may even be an opportunity to go on a payment plan. REMEMBER – When it comes to hiring a contractor, the lowest price is rarely the best choice. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples in terms of installation methods, materials and the level of service provided.
  3. Look at doing your paver projects in stages – If your budget doesn’t allow for your entire dream installation in one season, talk to your contractor about breaking the project into stages. For example, install your paved driveway this year, and add a decorative border and complementing walkway next year. Alternatively, install a smaller paver patio with plans to add an outdoor kitchen in the future.
  4. Understand how different materials affect the cost – A landscape contractor or landscape dealer can give you the exact price for the paver of your choosing, but to get an idea, the products page on our website allows you to filter by price range. Whatever materials you use, keep in mind that the cost of pavers is only about 20 percent of the overall project budget. Choose the product you love to get the most enjoyment from your investment.
  5. Know that complexity increases labor costs – Another factor that will impact the cost is the intricacy of the design. If you want your patio or driveway to have curves or a complicated paving pattern, the cost will be higher due to the additional time it will take to cut paving stones and install them. If your budget is limited, choose rectangular or square designs.
  6. Work with what you have – If you have a slope in your backyard, you may be thinking of levelling the land for your patio. But this requires earthmoving equipment and other heavy machinery, which means more expense. Instead consider building down into the slope to create stepped areas that are more intimate and visually interesting – not to mention more cost-effective.
  7. Changing the plan can blow the budget – As the homeowner, you have the prerogative to change your mind about your paver project. However, know that adjustments will likely result in increased labor and material costs. It’s best to agree on the parameters of your paver project in the beginning and stick to the plan.
  8. Consider the long-term value of pavers – The most durable and economical choice for your driveway and patio is interlocking pavers because they are easy to replace and maintain. Stains and cracks that occur on asphalt can lead to costly and time-consuming restoration. In contrast, if a paver does become damaged, that stone can simply be removed and replaced with a new one. If your pavers become stained, they are easier to clean than poured concrete – and some pavers even have unique manufacturing technologies that help to protect against staining.

Adding a new paver patio or driveway not only adds to the enjoyment of your home, but also enhances its curb appeal, which can actually increase the value (click here, to read our blog Does Curb Appeal Affect Home Value). The key is to balance budget with quality and workmanship for an end result you can be proud of. A Unilock Authorized Contractor can help you plan a patio or driveway project that makes economic sense for you.