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Photography by Citizens of Style; Design by Soul Home Australia @soulhomeaus

Before you get wrapped up in patio dining sets and starry outdoor lighting, make sure you know the answer to this question: How much does a patio cost? To be fair, it depends on whether you’re interested in a basic build (we’re talking a 10-by-10 gravel surface and that’s it) or one with a few bells and whistles (see: the firepit of your dreams). For estimate breakdowns based on materials, design, and size, we tapped Angi home exterior expert Scott Reid. Read on for the details. 

How Much Does a Patio Cost?

Photography by Brittany Ambridge

The average patio installation ranges anywhere from $500 to $8,000 (with DIY patio projects making up the lower end of the spectrum). But other factors—such as the complexity of the layout; installation prep (removing a previous patio or ground leveling); and add-ons like retaining walls, water features, landscaping, and firepits—also influence the overall price. More on those later.

Based on Materials

Gravel and concrete are among the most affordable patio materials. Despite being a bit tedious to maintain (you’ll be filling in potholes, raking to even out areas that shift, and weeding), gravel costs between $1 and $4 per square foot. Concrete is slightly pricier at between $2 to $4, but factor in that it lasts longer and requires minimal upkeep, Reid explains. Brick pavers can run anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot, depending on the pattern and surface area, while natural stone ones (also known as flagstone) have a wide price range, from $3 to $35 per square foot that covers everything from limestone to rarer, regional-specific options like quartzite. At an average cost of $10 to $30 per square foot, permeable pavers (made from concrete or fired-clay brick) are one of the most expensive choices. Why? They’re eco-friendly and purposefully laid with larger spaces in between, which prevents water buildup. 

Based on Size

Your patio’s size will determine most of your project’s budget, Reid says. For instance, a 7-by-7-foot patio averages $250 to $5,000, compared to a 20-by-20-foot patio, which carries a steeper price range, between $2,000 and $20,000. The bigger, the more expensive.

Based on Everything Else

Don’t forget to calculate permits and labor in your estimates, too. “Not all areas require permits, but if you need one, it could cost anywhere from $425 to $2,300,” Reid explains. Plus there’s a labor fee—based on your location and the project’s difficulty level—that’s typically between $5 and $15 per square foot.

Be prepared to loosen your purse strings if you want a patio with frills. That built-in firepit you’ve been fawning over? It’ll cost between $300 and $3,000 depending on the size and style, Reid says. For a roof, plan to spend anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. Get ready to add between $14,000 and $42,000 to your overall tab for a hot tub or pool installation, while an outdoor kitchen comes in somewhere between $5,500 and $22,000. Exterior lighting installations like outdoor sconces (between $300 and $1,400) and simple landscaping around the patio (from $1,400 to $5,300) are among the more affordable features.

The Difference Between Ground and Raised Patios

For already level backyards, Reid recommends a flat patio, which typically costs between $750 and $7,200 for a 12-by-12-foot area. If your lawn is uneven or slopes down from the back door, a raised patio is a better bet (no need to add extra dirt to make the ground level). However, the latter comes in a bit higher, between $1,038 and $8,064, for the same size. Blame it on the extra materials and additional labor to build a retaining wall.

Should You DIY Your Patio?

You’ll save on labor costs by building your own, but you’ll still need to budget for the full cost of materials, Reid points out. Plus in most cases, contractors receive discounts, particularly those with high-volume businesses. Then there’s the matter of your skill level: Certain materials like limestone are more difficult to work with (it’s extremely hard and comes in smaller pieces that make putting together a design more challenging). “If you don’t have the time, tools, or talent,” says Reid, “it’s best to call a pro who can get the job done quickly and correctly.”

For When It’s Built