A new patio or path in your garden can give it an instant lift. Whether you choose a classic block-paved garden path or a trendy porcelain patio, you’ll want to know how much it’s going to set you back. Our cost guides will help you to budget for your dream patio or path project so you can enjoy your garden for years to come as well as increase the value of your home.
The cheapest way to create a patio on a budget is with gravel. A pea gravel patio will cost around £60-£75 per square metre including labour costs, so for an average 25 square metre patio you should expect to spend between £1,500 and £1,875.
If your budget can stretch a little further and you’d prefer to have a patio made from a smooth surface that doesn’t make noise underfoot and requires very little maintenance, you could try a poured concrete patio. Concrete patios cost between £60-£90 per square metre, so the average patio will cost between £1,500 and £2,250. You can even get the concrete stamped to create a pattern or look like block paving, but this will probably cost a bit more. This type of concrete patio is often called a pattern-imprinted patio.
For a luxury patio that is bang on trend, try a porcelain patio. Porcelain paving slabs are becoming more and more popular because they’re non-porous, making them more weather-resistant and generally more hard-wearing. Available in various colours, most homeowners choose light-coloured porcelain patios to give them a timeless look. Expect to pay between £100-£160 per square metre, making the average porcelain patio cost around £2,500-£4,000.
Yes, a garden path does need a sub-base. The sub-base is essential for stability and load-bearing and also helps with drainage to prevent your garden from becoming flooded in heavy rainfall. A paving specialist will be able to tell you what kind of sub-base you need, but generally, it involves digging down to a recommended depth and adding aggregate (gravel) or sharp sand and levelling it out to create a base before laying your chosen paving material on top.
As we explained above, the cheapest option for a patio is a gravel patio. These patios are easy to lay and the materials aren’t expensive, even when you choose a high-quality pea gravel. Another relatively cheap option is a concrete patio, although it can be £15-£30 per square metre more expensive than gravel depending on where you live. However, a concrete patio requires less maintenance than a gravel patio, so you may spend less money on replacing the gravel and hiring a gardener to do weeding if you choose a concrete patio.
The most low-maintenance patio is probably a poured concrete patio. Weeds can’t grow as there are no gaps like you get with paving slabs, but they may grow in cracks if they appear due to a low-quality sub-base. Porcelain patios are also very low maintenance; they may only require occasional gentle pressure washing to keep them looking their best, and with a good sub-base with a weed-proof layer, weeds shouldn’t grow through.