Above My Pay Grade? Is It Worth It To Install My Own Brick Patio?

Above My Pay Grade? Is It Worth It To Install My Own Brick Patio?

There are many things that homeowners are finding they can do by themselves to save a considerable amount of money. Like many other industries, the home improvement industry has lost its mystique, thanks to do-it-yourself channels, YouTube videos, and other avenues for those looking for expert advice. The problem is that not everyone understands their limitations. And if you don’t know your own home improvement capacity, it might just end up costing you way more if you have to hire someone to undo your do-it-yourself disaster.

Who hasn’t watched one of those shows only to find after getting twenty hours into the same project that you have no idea what you are doing, have spent about twice as much, and are completely stuck at the mercy of a contractor? When it comes to installing your own brick patio, many shows make it look, well, easy. The truth is that it isn’t as simple as the experts on television make it seem.

If you want to cut the costs on your brick patio, you have three options. You can use cheaper material, you can install it yourself, or you can do both. If you think you are a weekend landscaper, don’t be fooled into thinking that those who install brick patios don’t have a real project on their hands.

Brick Patio

If you want to save on the material

There are various grades of brick pavers and materials to can choose from. They vary substantially in price. If you want to save on the cost of your brick patio by using a cheaper material, the type you install can significantly lower your cost. The average cost of brick pavers ranges from fifty cents per piece to about $3 to $15 per square foot.

Clay bricks are the most expensive brick, but that is for several good reasons. Clay bricks will last longer once installed and will require much less maintenance than other brick alternatives. Concrete stone bricks are much less expensive, but they won’t last as long and will require frequent maintenance and repairs. The different types of brick pavers according to ascending cost is red brick, gray brick, dry laid brick pavers and clay bricks.

Other materials you can choose are concrete, stone, and slate, but they all come with an additional cost and require more skill to make them look beautiful. A brick patio will cost you about $10 to $15 per square foot, while slate will cost between $15 and $20. When you stop to consider that’s just the cost of materials alone and that stone and slate are going to be much more labor intensive, you can easily see why the type of material you choose can affect the price.

How much will you save if you install yourself?

If you choose to hire a landscaping contractor, the price range for a patio is typically between  $1,000 to $2,000 just in labor costs. That doesn’t include the cost of materials. On average, installation will cost you about $70 per hour, which includes the price to install and all the legwork that needs to be done ahead of time, like leveling and clearing. The hours can add up quickly, which is why many people consider installing their own brick patio to save costs.

Doing it yourself

Ever heard of spending dollars to save pennies? Building a brick patio is much more intensive than most people understand. Like any job, it is all about the tools. A professional contractor, might cost you more money, but they will save you a ton of time. Being able to clear the land, level the dirt, lay out the edges, pour the gravel and install the pavers is just one part of the job. Once the pavers are placed, you also have to know how to fill the joints and seal the patio too.

If you want your patio to be a place where your family can have fun, hang out and spend their summer nights, then think rationally. Don’t get in over your head trying to save money when it might end up taking all summer, looking haphazard and ending up costing you a whole lot more to repair and maintain. If you are going to put in a brick or stone patio, put the cost in upfront, so you aren’t paying much more in the end.