Last Updated Mar 10, 2017 · Written by Craig Gibson
Pavers are a practical surface for a wide range of outdoor areas, including patios, driveways, pathways and pool surrounds. You may want outdoor paving to extend your outdoor lifestyle, ensure your driveway has a stable base or as a decorative element for your garden path.
Like any home improvement project you want to get a handle on the costs so you can plan your budget, choose your materials and work out who you can afford to hire.
This article will help you make an accurate estimate of how much your outdoor paving is going to cost.
Before you start getting quotes for your outdoor paving project, take the time to work out:
Do you want a pattern?
Do you want border pavers?
Is your surface level or sloping?
What is the most suitable paver for your application, for e.g. if you are paving around a pool you will need a slip resistant surface.
If you're paving a driveway, you will probably be advised to lay a concrete base, even if you're laying pavers on top of it. If you're laying a pathway, you might get away with a gravel base and if it's a patio, you will probably need concrete, but the base won't need to be as thick as a driveway base.
Read more: 5 outdoor paving options for your yard
Wondering which paver is right for your project? Here is what you need to know.
Clay or terracotta: If you fancy the Mediterranean look then look to this type of paver for your outdoor area. They are especially popular for driveways and pool surrounds.
Concrete: Precast concrete pavers are a cost effective paver and come in a wide variety of colours and designs. They are durable, easy to maintain and will not crack. Some designs can even mimic the look of more expensive stone pavers.
Brick: If you like the look of exposed brick then choose this paver for your driveway or garden path. You may even be able to find old pre-used bricks for a rustic feel.
Natural stone: You can’t ignore the character and warmth of natural stone but some types are expensive. Choose limestone for a light, reflective surface, travertine for something more durable and granite or slate where price is no obstacle.
Pavers can vary drastically in price.
Concrete pavers are the least expensive, while some natural stone pavers like limestone will be at the high end of the scale. You can also opt for stamped or stencilled concrete resurfacing, which gives a natural stone look at a lower price than pavers on the high end of the price scale. On average, expect to pay about $50-$55 per square metre for 500 X 500 X 30mm pavers or stencilled resurfacing. You will also have to add the cost of sealing the pavers into the mix. That typically runs around $10-$15 a metre squared.
A number of factors will determine the overall cost of your outdoor paving job, specifically:
Labour costs start at about $20 per square metre for a simple paving job, but can go up to $50 per square metre or more.
Access and the terrain will have a significant impact on the cost of an outdoor paving job. If paving is done on a flat, level surface, work can proceed quickly, so will cost less per square metre than paving on a sloping surface.
The style of paving helps determine the cost, too. A driveway made from large, square pavers will be less expensive than an intricately patterned driveway made up of small pavers.
To have your outdoor pavers laid expect to pay in the region of:
$40 to $65 per square metre for concrete pavers
$45 to $75 per square metre for limestone pavers
$40 to $80 per square metre for quartzite pavers
$70 to $95 for brick pavers
$70 to $100 per square metre for granite, travertine and flagstone pavers
For a base, expect to pay in the region of:
$1,500 to $1800 for a crushed rock base for a site of 50 square metres (easy access and little preparation)
$2300 to $2,800 for a poured concrete base for a site of 50 square metres (easy access and little preparation)
When it comes time to hiring an outdoor paving contractor make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask them include:
Are you licensed for my project?
Do you hold valid insurance?
Can you provide a written quote?
Does my quote include edging, gravel and sand?
Do you have references I can follow up?
Always ask for the entire job to be quoted rather than get square metre or hourly rates.
Before you start getting quotes from paving contractors.
For example, you may want genuine limestone pavers, but if the cost is too high, you might want to find out how much liquid limestone or stencilled concrete costs to lay. Our Paving Design Ideas pages is a good place to start exploring your options.
After you have a clear idea of the type of paving you want you can start to get quotes for paving. Your paving contractor will want to know:
Type of pavers or paving materials you want
Area to be covered (driveway, path, pool surround?)
Square metres of coverage
Details about the terrain (flat, sloping, etc.)
Giving paving contractors the opportunity to factor all these things into their quotes will enable them to give you more accurate initial quotes. After you've compared the quotes, you can arrange to discuss the job with you in person.
*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.