Pavers Cost: Patio + Driveway Pavers Cost Guide {PRO Tips}

by Luke Whittaker

pavers cost guide
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One of the most frequently asked questions is How Much Do Pavers Cost to Install?

We must get this question asked at least 5 times a day. Since this is such a popular question, we thought it would be a good idea to address it here in full detail:

The 2nd most popular question we get is how much does Artificial Grass Cost to install?

For this exercise, let’s assume we are working with a 1,000 sqft cracked concrete driveway that is looking to be replaced with beautiful New Interlocking Pavers. (Please Note: All figures discussed in this example are based on Southern California Pricing and will need to be adjusted based on your geographical location)

Ready…..okay, here we go…

There are 5 main costs:

  1. Materials (i.e. Pavers, Geotextile Fiber, Class II Road Base, Bedding Sand, Joint Sand, Concrete)
  2. Operation Fees (i.e Dump Fees, Fueling Fees, Delivery Fees, Porta Potty, Pallet Fee, Clean Up Fee, etc.)
  3. Labor
  4. Company Overhead (i.e Workers Comp, Gen. Liability Insurance, Advertising, Gen. Office Expenses, etc.)
  5. Company Profit

Now, let’s break these 5 components up and dive right in:

patio pavers costs
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Materials

When considering the materials needed for a paver installation, you would be looking at the following:

There are various different styles of pavers to choose from which you can read all about in another post, the Top 5 Paver Patio Design Ideas. Let’s assume we are talking about a Standard Non-Tumbled Paver, which is going to be your least expensive option.

Typically, the standard stones run anywhere from $1.35/sqft plus tax to $1.75/sqft plus tax, all depending on which manufacturer you choose. You can see a full list of the San Diego and Orange County Manufacturers Here. Keep in mind that you will have to account for waste when ordering the material.

Let’s assume we select the least expensive paver and least expensive manufacturer, which means we are looking at $1.35/sqft plus tax for the pavers. For the sake of this exercise let’s also assume there is going to be 10% waste.

pavers price
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Quick Number Crunching…

Now, if we add 10% to 1,000 sqft, we get 1,100 sqft. Let’s multiply 1,100 sqft by our paver cost of $1.35/sqft and then by 8% to account for taxes. We get $1,603.80 (1,100sqft x $1.35/sqft x 8% = $1,603.80) .

To figure out the price/sqft we would divide$1,603.80 by 1,000 sqft and we come up with $1.60/sqft, which takes into consideration for the 10% waste and 8% for the California sales taxes.

The class II road base and bedding sand can vary depending on your specific location. For this exercise we go with the least expensive route. Using 1,000sqft, we would be looking at roughly $.52/sqft (including taxes) for these 2 items, which would be around $520.

The next item to consider is the amount of concrete you will need. The concrete is used to reinforce the borders, which is often referred in the paver world as a “concrete bond beam.” The concrete bond beam is going to be needed in all areas where we are abutting up against a soft-scape surface(i.e. grass, dirt, bark, plants, etc.)

For this example, let’s say the dimensions of your driveway are 20ft wide by 50ft long (20 sqft x 50sqft = 1,000sqft) and we would need a concrete bond beam to support all sides except the 20ft that abuts up against the garage slab(which is made of concrete).

If we add up the 3 sides, we get 120 feet of concrete for the bond beams. At 6-8 inches deep and 6-8inches wide, we would have roughly $.625/ft or $75 for the concrete bond beam.

Now let’s look at the geotextile fiber which is installed underneath the class II road base to inhibit the base from mixing with your native soils(100% recommended). The cost of the fiber is roughly $.20/sqft, which would amount to $200 for a 1,000 sqft driveway.

The last item is regular joint sand which fills the joints of the pavers. At $.05/sqft we would have roughly $50 of joint sand for a 1,000 sqft driveway.

That just about covers the “very basic standard material costs” for a 1,000sqft driveway.

driveway pavers cost
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Now, let’s turn our attention to the Operational Costs

These include dump fees(dirt, concrete, etc.), fueling costs, delivery fees, porta potty on site, pallet fee, and a clean up fee.

For a 1,000 sqft driveway, we would have roughly 5 trips to the dump(3 truckloads of concrete and 2 truckloads of dirt. At approximately $75 for each concrete load and $100 for each dirt load, we would have a total of $425 in dump fees.

Fueling costs are a little too difficult as it all depends on the proximity to the dump and the exact materials that we are hauling away. Let’s just pick a safe number for this example and say it costs $275 in fueling fees throughout the course of the project. This shouldn’t be that far off, if at all.

The next item is the cost of delivery which will range from $285-365 per trip, all depending on the manufacturer and distance to the project. Each truck can hold about 1,400 sqft of pavers. For this case we will use $325, so it will cost us $325 to deliver 1,000 sqt of paving stones.

For a 1000sqft job we would order a porta potty(portable bathroom) to be on-site for the crew to use throughout the project, which costs $110.

In terms of pallets, each manufacturer will charge the installation company a pallet fee which comes to $.05/sqft or $50 for a 1000/sqft project.

The last item is the clean up fee, which is the cost that the company incurs to have all the leftover material and pallets picked up from the installation site. This fee will range depending on the manufacturer used and the distance the truck driver must drive to pick up the materials. The fee can range from $140-$325. In this example, we will use the absolute cheapest clean up fee of $140.

cost pavers
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Up next is the Labor Cost

This is the difference maker (or the “X Factor” as Simon would say), as everything else that has been provided is the exact same across the board from one company to the next. You absolutely 100% get what you pay for in the labor department in terms of the long term durability/integrity of your project.

There are installers who have been installing paving stones for 6-12 months and there are installers who been installing pavers for over 25+ years. You might guess that the team with over 25+ years under their belt might cost a little more and you are absolutely right! But boy oh boy, well worth it!!

For a solid crew, who has the experience that you should want for your installation, you would be looking at $3.45-4.00/sqft for the labor. At 1,000 sqft, that would be $3,450-$4,000 in labor.

You can always go cheap here, however, the last thing you want is to be regretting that decision later down the road when your project is falling apart and the company is out of business or ignoring your repair phone calls.

If you are looking to get your installation done right the first time and never have to think about it again, then you will want to pay the extra money to get a Solid Installation Crew to install your project. This is definitely not an area to shave off a few dollars.

paving stone price
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Moving on…lets tally up what we have so far:

Material for 1,000 sqft Driveway (rough estimates)

  • Pavers =$1,603.80
  • Class II road base and Bedding Sand = $520
  • Concrete = $75
  • Geotextile fiber = $200
  • Joint Sand = $50
  • TOTAL = $2,448.80

Operation Costs for 1,000 sqft Driveway (rough estimates)

  • Dump Fees = $425
  • Delivery Fee = $325
  • Fueling Fees = $275
  • Porta Potty = $110
  • Pallet Fee = $50
  • Clean Up Fee = $140
  • TOTAL = $1,325

Labor for 1,000 sqft Driveway (4-5 person team, taking 5 days to complete) (rough estimates)

  • Outstanding Crew = $4.00/sqft
  • Good Crew = $3.45/sqft
  • TOTAL (Assuming Outstanding Crew) = $4,000

GRAND TOTAL = $7,773.80

Keep in mind that this figure  of $7,773.80, is the cost BEFORE the Paver Company has paid for any of their overhead costs (aka “costs of doing business” and more importantly the costs to remain in business as a legal entity).

AND this is also the cost BEFORE the Paver Company has made a penny in profit.

After all, making a profit is probably one of the main driving factors to being in business unless the intent is to become a nonprofit. We are not aware of any nonprofit paver companies out there. If you know of any, please let us know.

patio paver pricing cost
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Moving right along to the Overhead Costs:

Listed below are some of the Overhead Costs for a legitimate paver company:

  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance
  • CA Licensing Fees
  • Contractors Bond
  • Corporation Fees
  • CSLB Home Improvement Sales(HIS) License Fees
  • Payroll Expenses
  • Accounting Fees
  • Business Taxes
  • Lawyer Fees
  • Advertising/Marketing Expenses
  • Administrative Staffing Fees
  • Auto/Truck Expenses
  • Certifications (BBB, ICPI, etc.)
  • Office Expenses (B-Cards, Contracts/Diagrams, Yard Signs, Car Magnets, Company Shirts, Company Phones, Website, Hosting Fees, Internet, Computers, Camera, Credit Card Processing System, Office Rent, Yard Expense, Electricity, General Supplies (tape measure, landscaping paint, etc.)
  • The overhead costs are not limited to what is described above and it is too difficult to attach an “overhead number” to each installation, however, the point is to showcase that there are quite a few costs that do add up when analyzing the anatomy of a paving stone deal, aside from the material and labor costs.

Again, there are a lot of companies out there that Do Not intend on using the best crews, and Do Not intend on operating legally, so they can and will, offer you a much more enticing “cheaper price.”

Once all of the overhead is paid, the materials are all paid, the operating expenses are paid and the labor is paid, then what is left over, if anything, is the company profit.

outdoor patio paver costs
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Let’s keep rolling with this example

We will go ahead and just pick a number to work with for the overhead. Let’s go with an overhead figure of 10%, which is definitely erring on the LOW side. Marketing, Workers Comp, and Payroll Expenses alone are more than 10%, let alone everything else on the list above. Keep in mind that we have been erring on the low side in this entire exercise.

  • The other thing to note is that INSTALL-IT-DIRECT gets special pricing, which is less than distributor + contractor pricing and less than any other paver company gets their paver materials. The reason for this is because we are the largest paver installer in all of Southern California, installing the highest volume and therefore receive volume pricing based on our production. So, with that said, the prices we are mentioning in this example are going to be the lowest possible prices on the market and if you are using another installer you will need to account for this and increase the prices accordingly.

Moving right along…

So if we use 10% for the overhead costs in this example, we would be looking at $777 for the overhead expenses ($7,773.80 x 10% = $777).

Adding the overhead to our previous total, we now have a Rough Cost of $8,550.80 for a 1,000 sqft paver driveway or $8.55/sqft.

Now, anything less than $8.55/sqft, should be “red flagged” immediately ONLY IF you are interested in getting your installation completed right the 1st time, which would include the highest quality materials manufactured in the USA, a highly skilled paver installation team who have been installing for decades(not months), a professional paver designer, a dedicated construction manager supervising your install and a robust company that will be around to assist you in the future should you need help.

Knowing this information, what do you think a Paver Company should make to remain a healthy and happy company? Should they make 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%?

Please note that the money that is left over, which we have labeled “Company Profit Share,” is to pay for the Field Supervisor, the Design Consultant who assisted you with your project, and The Company as a whole, so they can continue to grow and thrive as a robust business. Oh yeah, and what if you have a repair that needs to be addressed during the warranty of your installation? You see…the company needs to ensure they have properly set aside a repair contingency fund for each project so that when a repair call or email comes into the office, they are prepared and ready to get your repair scheduled and most importantly fixed to your complete satisfaction. If a company is operating on fumes which a lot of paver companies are these days, you can assume your repair call will not be a top priority whatsoever as they will have to take the money from another job to pay the crew to go out and fix the repair. This will turn into a dangerous snowball effect which will eventually end in the company’s demise. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen to you.

With that said, here are some figures to chew on:

  • At a 10% margin, your price would be = $9,500.88 (company profit share = $950.09 )
  • At a 20% margin, your price would be = $10,688.50 (company profit share = $2,137.70)
  • At a 30% margin, your price would be = $12,215.42 (company profit share = $3,664.63)
  • At a 40% margin, your price would be = $14,251.33 (company profit share = $5,700.53)

paving stone pricing costs
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What price do you think is fair?

In this exercise, we have been assuming the Least Expensive Scenarios for all the components involved with determining your paver price, with the exception of the crew where we went with a more experienced crew and we know a more experienced crew is always going to cost you more.

We believe this is not the area to skimp on and you should always consider using the most experienced crew possible. This will be money well spent, Guaranteed!

When looking at these prices, you can get a very good idea as to what you might expect your project will cost on the low end.

pavers cost belgard
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Low End? What do you mean?

There are so many factors that can come into play which will raise the price of your project (i.e. the accessibility of your install in terms of whether it is in the front yard – backyard – upstairs – downstairs or even through your house, to the type of stone you choose, whether you have drainage issues, excessive roots, how many sqft you have, whether you want sealer or not, extra features such as steps, walls, mow-strips, etc.) There is a lot that goes into estimating an installation and each job is unique and completely custom.

Belgard pavers costs
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The Bottom Line:

The key takeaway of this post is to really shed some light as to what a typical paving stone project might cost. By unveiling the curtain and allowing you to have a sneak peak inside to see how the numbers breakdown, we hope that this provides you with the confidence you need to make the right decision on which contractor to use to install your paver stone project.

As you can see from the breakdown above, the only way a company could possibility offer you a lower price than what we have mapped out for you in this example is if they are:

  • A.) using a less experienced crew and pay them less than what we have outlined about which is considered industry standard
  • B.) they are not running a healthy company and neglecting to pay the overhead items listed above which are essential for operating a legal and healthy California Business
  • C.) they are not paying themselves what they should to remain in business.

The company that falls into any of these 3 criteria listed above will not be in business very long. A business based solely on price is simply not sustainable and often times results in a LOSE-LOSE scenario for all parties involved in the transaction.

We hope this paver installation breakdown helps with your decision-making process.

If you are interested in finding out what your paver project will cost, please contact Install-It-Direct today to get your FREE Paver Design and Estimate by clicking on this link or feel free to give us a call at 858-925-3000.

We look forward to answering all your questions and working with you to transform your home!

To continue with Pavers 101: The Ultimate Paver Resource Guide Click Here to Continue Learning

Luke Whittaker

Luke is the Co-Founder of  INSTALL-IT-DIRECT, Venuelust.comEstate Weddings and Events, & YourNorthCounty.com. When Luke is not working on his businesses, his second passions are in health, education(obsessed with learning) and traveling the world(life is too short to remain idle). His favorite destinations to date are Laos, Croatia, South Africa & Sri Lanka. New Zealand is next on the list...Follow him on Google+Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.

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Comments

  • Paul
    October 22, 2012

    Thank you for your article and analysis, you have just discouraged me from taking on my walkway project.

    • Install It Direct
      November 15, 2012

      Hi Paul,
      Glad to hear the article was able to steer you in the right direction for your paver walkway. We would love to hear how everything turns out when your new walkway is complete!

  • rob
    January 6, 2013

    Great article! After reading it I feel I have a much better understanding of Costs and questions to ask. This was excellent. I plan on using it as a template to get quotes. Plus, it showed me how reasonable the pricing should be compared to paving with asphalt. Thank you.

  • Scott
    January 14, 2013

    Wow, this is exactly the kind of in-depth number crunching article I’ve been looking for. Thanks for a great break down!

    • Install It Direct
      January 14, 2013

      Hi Scott,
      You’re welcome…glad it was helpful! If there is anything else we can do to assist, please let us know.

  • Wycliffe Lule-Musoke
    February 5, 2013

    You think if I follow the driveway example will help me for rough estimate to build a patio 40ft by 30ft.

    Wycliffe

    • February 5, 2013

      Hi Wycliffe,

      There are several variables to consider, such as the accessibility to your backyard patio, soil conditions, the demo that is involved(removing concrete, grass, wood-deck, etc.), type of stone, manufacturer & pattern, installation process that is performed, just to name a few….

      The installation costs do vary based on your geographical location. Keep in mind that this paver cost guide is based on Southern California prices. With that being said, it should be a great resource for you to get a general idea.

      Please stop by again soon and let us know how your paver installation turned out. We would love to hear about it!

  • Bonnie Strong
    March 15, 2013

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Well, we’ve had 2 companies out this week for estimates and they are not even close to what you suggest. The first company wants $19.46 per square foot, and the second came in at $16.30. Yes, about the same square footage…1061. So while your article was helpful, not really accurate.

  • Ralph Taylor
    April 7, 2013

    Thank you for your very informative article. You may have saved me a lot of headaches.

    • April 7, 2013

      Hi Ralph,

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you found the article helpful. Please come back to let us know how your paver project turns out and if you have any other questions in the meantime feel free to give us a call, email or comment on the blog.

  • Soren Uhl
    June 24, 2013

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    As a fourth generation builder in Santa Fe N.M. where many of the houses I build or work on are second, third, or fourth houses with clients whom expect first world access to materials and crews in line with their spending on the original property. The fact is is that Santa fe is not a hotbed of construction commerce in relation to the the stride of the real estate. That being said, If one is not lazy with the expectations, and pays crews well and consistently, they will do almost anything to make you happy in the end, and for free. Work is appreciated here as I am sure it is most places at this point. I appreciate your breakdown for both for costs of materials, labor, and more importantly, what a contractor may need for overhead and what a client might reap by understanding that and even inquiring what they need to do the job. When I was younger I was actually up-priced by a few clients who said” well..that will hardly pay for your gas to get here..or those guys deserve a bonus. I would probably stucco their house for free at this point. A little good will goes a LONG way for you. That being said, dont bend to sob stories. Virtually no contractor worth his salt will backslide on an agreement unless it is a huge difference. Be firm, stick to bids, if you trust the person and you do cost plus, set a limit that you wont exceed and agree upon it in writing. In writing. Much luck.
    Sorry for straying from the paver thread. Great advice.

  • Coy
    June 28, 2013

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hi Luke,
    First great article, I`m just starting my concrete paver company here in Az. Could I use the same installation cost here in the Phx, Az area? Thank You

  • Maija Beaudoin
    July 9, 2013

    I really appreciated the details and break downs in your article. It was super informative!

    Thanks and blessings!

    • July 10, 2013

      You are very welcome Maija. Please come back and let us know how your project turns out.

  • Mike
    July 21, 2013

    What an excellent article! I learned a lot from this article alone. Saved me the agony of weeding through the information I found. It is amazing how much went in to paving. This helps me formulate questions to weed out the good companies.

    • July 23, 2013

      Hi Mike,

      Glad you found the article helpful…and yes, there is a lot that goes into a paving stone project behind the scenes. Please do come back and let us know how your decision making process went…we would love to hear about it. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call or email us anytime. Good luck Mike!

  • mike
    July 31, 2013

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Very good advice, thank you. I just had a carport built to protect my GTO, I also have a one car garage with another car in it. I have a friend who has done some of this type of work and he suggested placing a thinner paver over the concrete driveway (which is in fairly good condition) and going with a thicker paver in the grass/dirt area leading to and under the carport. Sound ok? The driveway is approx 50’x9′.
    Thanks again.

  • Jun Camarse
    September 13, 2013

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    In simple English, how much is the total cost that I need pay for my 1,200 sf driveway/walkway for the least expensive paver?

    Thank you.

  • Leon D.
    October 22, 2013

    Hi Luke, I love your article ! I’m having my driveway being paved as I read this article. My contractor charged me $6/square foot (labor only- I live in Orange county, CA) and I have to order the paver stones separately. so it sounds like a fair price at $6/square foot according to your article. My question to you is : is it common practice for the contractor to require me to rent a 40 foot trash bin – which cost $450- to put the debris in ? my original drive way was about 500 sft and it has a big hedge (5 feet by 40 feet) by it. He demoed the concrete and dump it but he refused to dump the hedge. I thought the cost of demo and dumping debris should be included as part of the job. The final job square footage is 1175 square feet . What do you think about this practice? Thank you for your input.

    • October 23, 2013

      Hi Leon,

      Glad you liked the article. Your question is a good one, however, it is tough to know exactly what happened without seeing your contract, diagram, job-site, etc. All those items should have been outlined in your agreement before breaking-ground, that way there would have been no confusion over added costs.

      For our installs, we line-item all those details so that each client knows everything prior to us starting. Typically there are different costs involved when dumping concrete vs. dirt vs. shrubs, etc., all depending on which dump-site is being used.

      For your next project, I would suggest that you get everything in writing prior to the contractor starting, that way everyone will be on the same page moving forward.

      Hope that helps and I hope your project turned out well!

  • Shugg johnson
    October 29, 2013

    I truly appreciate the break down you listed, even though I’m from New Jersey I think the same concept should be applied. Thanks for the great info.

    • October 30, 2013

      Hi Shugg,

      Glad you liked the break-down in the article. Yes, the concept should be the same, however, you will need to factor in the price difference for each of the variables we have listed in the post and adjust those accordingly to the costs in New Jersey (i.e. labor costs, material costs, dump fees, installation depths, etc.).

      Good luck with your project and please come back and let us know how your paver installation turns out.

  • Bob
    November 11, 2013

    Luke,
    Great breakdown of cost/tasks AND the insight to get detailed quotes and agreements up front in the contract. Doesnt’ hurt to get a second and third bid… for same price might get bette service on dumping/cleanup. Before I build a spreadsheat to automate your breakdown, any idea of free downloadable apps for calculating a paver project?
    Any references on viable paver installers in Melbourne Florida?
    Thanks.
    Bob

    • November 12, 2013

      Hi Bob,
      Glad you liked the breakdown in the article and that’s a great point about getting multiple bids. We always suggest getting at least 3 bids.

      Hmmm…yeah, I am not aware of any software/apps for calculating paver costs. We do, however, have a Paver/Turf Calculator located right on our site, but that of course corresponds to Southern California pricing. If I come across something, I will reach out to you and let you know.

      And lastly, unfortunately I do not have any recommendations for Paver Installers in Melbourne Florida. Again, if I come across any, I will shoot you an email.

      Have a great day Bob!

  • Jim Noyes
    December 3, 2013

    Am just now considering pavers in the driveway. SF of approx. 1750/1800. Very rough estimate with just that informtion along with the fact that the driveway,circular wirh a straight section to the 2 car garage now made up of pea gravel is between 11K and 12K. After Thanksgiving we are getting together for more specific specs, but baised on your numbers, this sounds reasonable. Put another way, the “ballpark” numbers are not unreasonable? I know a lot more information is necessary to get specific, but your outline enabled me to not be so fearful of being taken advantage of since I know next to nothing in this area.
    Your articles are reassuring.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  • Paul Iffland
    December 16, 2013

    Very interesting. I like how you have broken it
    Down. Most people don’t consider all the work that
    Is needed. It also makes me think that I need to get some more
    Quotes. I am in CT and got estimates for doing
    Pavers around my pool. About 5 ft wide on three sides.
    Overall about 400 sq ft. I got two quotes do far
    One was 10k and the other 14k! I think that’s
    Insane. Even at 40 percent profit, which is more than
    Enough, your pricing would be about 5 or 6!
    Which is about what I was expecting to pay.

    • December 17, 2013

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by. Please keep in mind that all figures and variables that have been discussed in this article are strictly based on Southern California pricing.

      Unfortunately I cannot speak about pool deck paver installation costs in Connecticut. I know the installers have to excavate quite a bit more (which means more dump fees, labor, etc.) on the East Coast and therefore there will be more class II road base needed. Based on the figures you sent, you are being quoted $25-$35/sqft which seems really high, even when considering the added costs for an East Coast paver installation. Again, there may be other variables to your project that I am not aware of which is the reason for the high sqft price(i.e. difficult access, other extras, etc.).

      Yes Paul, I would recommend getting several more estimates for your pool deck and make sure they clearly breakdown your estimate so that you can have a good understanding as to what you are paying for. (i.e. materials, labor, misc. fees, etc.) I would also advise that you ask the 2 quotes you have received to do the same.

      Please come back and let us know what you discover…have a great day Paul and good luck!

  • P. King
    January 2, 2014

    Paul Iffland,

    I worked as a professional hardscaper/dry-mason for 11 years. I am from the New England area and most of my work was done in upstate NY. The first thing that I will say is, when you are looking for a contractor make sure you can get a list of references from past customers going back 3 years or more. The reason I say this is because the majority of dry-mason or hardscape work is shoddy and unprofessional. I cannot count how many times I have seen contractors put down the wrong base or even worse NO BASE AT ALL. This type of work leads to heaving patios and walkways, blow out, sink holes, flooding, injuries, ect. And worse of all, it gives true masons and hardscapers a bad name. I can count atleast 10 companies returning year after year to repair sunken pavers for unhappy customers. I will say the prices that we used to quote in upstate NY where far less than where I live now. Most areas in Rhode Island offer prices ranging from $18 per sq.ft all the way up to $29 depending on the type of paver being installed. When I was still installing I was charging $7.40 per sq.ft ( for labor alone) this was a baseline estimate per square foot and would go up from there. This price sounds like a lot, but I was one of the least expensive around at the time.my base was 7″ deep for walkways and patios and 10-11″ for driveways or parking areas. My pavers never sank, always were flat and had the proper pitch for run off. Be very cautious of guys that are way way cheaper than anybody else. Guys that do jobs for half price are likely shoddy craftsmen. I always liked to price my labor just under average local median prices. That way I couls still make a living but absolutely annihilate competitors by quality and craftsmanship. I visit my folks twice a year and there are well over 700 walkways, patios, free standing walls and retaining walls that are still as level and flat as they were 17 years ago.There isn’t too many companies that can claim the same. To prove my point, just drive around some neighborhoods some time and you will see…

  • Dan
    February 18, 2014

    Great article. Planning to do a patio and retaining wall, do you know of any contractors in the Monterey Penninsula, CA area. Thanks

    • February 19, 2014

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for stopping by! Shoot…I wish we knew of some installers in Monterey, however, nothing is coming to mind at the moment. I will ask around and let you know if anyone knows of someone. In the meantime, I would recommend looking on Yelp, Angie’s List, Google+ and Houzz for local contractors. Obviously, the best option would be a referral from someone you trust. When you get your bids, try to get at least 3 from reputable companies.

      Take a look at this article as well too http://www.installitdirect.com/contractor-guide/

      Good luck Dan, and please come back to let us know how everything turns out!

  • Carlos
    April 30, 2014

    Well done Mr. Whittaker, please help me understand in end I am confuse , your sample total show $6,886.85 plus 10% margin or “Company Profit Share” my calculator show $7,553.54 but your sample total show $7628.00 that about 11.1% which is ok with me. but I continue to be confuse what is your final margin? 10%, 11.1%, 20%, 30% or 40%? please correct me if am wrong.

    I like how clear you are I have a project in mind by the end of June of this year I live in Lake Los Angeles (93591) do you do business around here?

    thank you

    Carlos D. Scheker
    PO. Box 900153
    Palmdale california 93591

    • April 30, 2014

      Hi Carlos,

      Glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for your question.

      So in order to calculate the company profit share we want to add 10% onto the cost as opposed to 10% of the cost. With this particular example our cost was $6,866.85. So we need to figure out what the price would be where the company makes 10% after the dust settles. We will use a little algebra to figure this out. 90(x) = 100, so x = 100/90 or 1.111 which is the multiplying factor we need to know in order to add 10% to the cost.

      Now if we take our cost of $6,866.85 and multiply that by 1.111 we get $7,629.07.

      Taking our selling price of $7,629.07 and deducting our cost at $6,866.85 we get a $762 company profit share.

      $762 / $7,629.07 = .0999 or 10% margin

      If our selling price was the figure you quoted of $7,553.54, that would yield a 9% margin.

      Carlos, please give us a call when you are ready for a free estimate, we would love the opportunity to improve your property.

      To answer your question about our prices, we have a calculator on the right-side-bar that you can play around with and enter in different figures.

      Hope this was helpful…have a great day!

  • Marc Mendell
    April 30, 2014

    This article is informative and a fantastic resource. Sadly I am in northern CA, or I would love to give you folks a call to get a bid. My project is a pool deck that measures just shy of 1000 sq feet. I am curious if you have any rules of thumb to think about when considering the inclusion of the coping into the project vs the decking alone. Thanks in advance, your article and site in general are a great resource~

    • May 1, 2014

      Hi Marc,

      Thanks for your post…hopefully we will be in the Bay Area soon. I am from the Bay so the plan is to open up an IID operation up there in the not too distant future. I know that doesn’t help you out right now.

      The best advice I can offer is to make sure the paver company separates the pool coping bid from the decking. The coping bid will depend a lot on the material you select. Couple items to consider in terms of collateral damage when installing a pool deck: the skimmer may get broken since it is made of plastic and can break just due to the vibrations of the jack hammer. There are ways to mitigate this and relieve the pressure. Also, when removing the coping sometimes the tile will need to be replaced as well. Last thing is drainage. If it is an old system, this is a great time to replace that.

      Keep in mind that there is a slightly different installation method for pool decks. You will want to ensure that your installer is installing per ICPI standards. This is very important for the longevity of your pool and surrounding hardscape. ICPI doesn’t recommend aggregate bases and pavers immediately surrounding the pool walls. The reason is that the soil and aggregate bases cannot be adequately compacted against the pool walls. It’s just too difficult with the risk of damaging the wall and braces present. Therefore, ICPI recommends a concrete base, or at least a concrete apron around the pool.

      Here is a schematic that provides additional explanation.

      Hope this was helpful and good luck with your project Marc. Please do come back and let us know how it turns out!

  • Marc Mendell
    May 2, 2014

    Luke, Thanks very much for the response and added information. Frankly none of the 5 companies I have met with walked through that level of detail or described the need for the concrete base. It has been a confusing research process and so far, I have found the pricing to be all over the map and considerably higher at a per square foot basis. I considered that in your example you assume lower priced stones etc along with the range of profit margins. However, I have seen one from a larger un-named outfit that came in at over 34$ per square foot. Curious when you folks may make the leap to the Bay Area? May be worth a call, as my project is not urgent and I may opt for a band-aid approach to solve a drainage issue before tackling the larger effort of the full pool deck which I see as eventually inevitable. Regardless – thanks greatly for your inputs and response~

    • May 2, 2014

      You are very welcome Marc!Yeah $34/sqft for a paver installation is out of line, regardless of the paver you choose. What I can suggest is that you ask each company to provide you with a very detailed breakdown of their estimate so that you can see what each line item is(i.e. Labor, Materials, Extras, etc.).

      Take a look at our installation process here and make sure the companies are at least installing to those standards. I believe Northern California is required to excavate even more than Southern California, so you will want to confirm that and make sure they are following the ICPI standards.

      I am not sure exactly to when we will make the leap, however, I will promise to reach out to you when we do. Have a great weekend Marc!

  • Vasu
    May 8, 2014

    Really very good article. The breakdown and summing is very educational.

    I was wondering myself with stone cost at 1.15 sq.ft. what would be the total cost. Your article explains very clearly what else is involved. I live in SoCal. I will definitely give a call.

  • Randy Cox
    June 13, 2014

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    WOW! Beautiful… I could never had imagined this. Thank you for sharing the post. I found the cost for implementing these projects are in budget. However, after the paver has fixed, Brighteners & Sealers are necessary to finish the project.

  • Jimmy
    June 16, 2014

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    Greetings Luke,

    Thank you for the very informative article. I’m up in northern CA and you being in the same state helps give me more accurate cost base. Wondering if you can give some advice as I might try to DIY or at least partially. For the backyard, the previous owner had a 400 sq ft lawn, but then replaced it with landscape cloth and gravel. The existing sprinklers are still present and plumbed, but disconnected from the sprinkler control box. Would you recommend just capping them off, or removing the pvc pipes from underneath as well before doing paving stones? Thanks.

  • Monique S.
    July 10, 2014

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    Excellent article! I’ve designed an approximately 160 sq/ft brick patio for our backyard. There is a 16 foot run with an approximate 8″ drop in elevation. Truly not a big deal. However, WE have our own vintage (about 40 years old) street pavers that we want to use. I want to get quotes for the labor….but, am hesitant to tell them up front that we have our own pavers, as I feel they will UP the labor charges by a great deal in order to ‘make back’ what their profit would have been on selling us their selection of pavers. Would it be ethical for me to choose a paver from them and get a detailed quote with a breakdown of their pavers/materials/fill/labor/dump fees, etc. and THEN reveal we have our own pavers? Or should I just reveal up front we have our own pavers and go from there? I just want a true estimate for labor only. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for an informative site for homeowners everywhere.

  • veste ralph lauren homme
    October 15, 2014

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    EN IMAGES – Trois ans apr

  • Grace
    November 14, 2014

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    Hi Luke, thank you very much for the article, it helped me get an idea what to expect when looking at a paving project estimate. Unfortunately we live in NorCal, not in your service area, but you may be able to offer valuable information to us: we bought a brand new house with a backyard has just dirt. We plan to cover about 750 sft with pavers (debating between mission stone and quarry stone). When we initially met with a large paving company designer, he said mission stone will cost $16/sqt. Today he came back with a more accurate estimate and the price tag became $26,000 total for mission stone. He said the estimate went up due to the difficult access to our backyard (installer would have to carry all the stones and walk up about 20 steps of the stairs to get to the backyard). If we want to upgrade to quarry stone it’ll cost additional $2,750. Do you think this sounds reasonable? I contacted another hardscape company, they charge $14/sqt for labor only then plus the cost of the stones. But he may raise price too if he comes to see the difficult access to backyard. Any suggestions what we should do? Or how to negotiate price lower? Many thanks! -Grace

  • Vivian W.
    December 22, 2014

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    Very informative, thanks! I am currently getting bids (in Los Angeles area) to pave a portion of my driveway, 280 sqft. The driveway is a straight shot, with existing good slope for drainage. Currently it’s concrete. I requested a distressed small cobblestone type product, and I have received bids of $6,000-$7,500. Based on your above, even at 40% margin that seems excessive. Or is it because the sq footage is so small that they are charging a minimum? I suppose I could do more of my driveway but that just seems counter-intuitive, (there is a gate across the driveway and I really only need to do the portion in front of the gate not behind).

  • Vivian W.
    December 22, 2014

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    Very informative; thank you! I am currently receiving bids to pave a portion of my driveway (in Los Angeles), 280 sqft. Straight shot, existing slope for good drainage, currently concrete. I chose a distressed cobblestone paver type product and quotes have ranged from $6000-$7500. Based on the above, seems excessive! Unless they are charging a minimum since my area is small. I suppose I could do more of my driveway, even though that seems counterintuitive (there is a gate across my driveway and I really only need to do the portion in the front of the gate). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • Alexander
    March 1, 2015

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    One comment. I think cost of MATERIALS ($242) should be excluded from your calculation:
    So if we use 10% for the overhead costs in this example, we would be looking at not $624 for the overhead expenses but $382 (about $3820x 10% = $382).

  • Jason
    March 25, 2015

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    This is a great way to get word out about your business(es). I am sure you have many ways of generating leads…..any advice? I make custom furniture (www.weldwoodfurniture.com)

  • John
    June 3, 2015

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    Can you get us a free esteem for paver we in plant city Florida 813 7526457 or813 478 6990

  • John
    June 7, 2015

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    What city are you from here some wet can you com tomorrow we at 1406 Sandalwood drive 33563plant city we like your work or better com today .

  • John
    June 7, 2015

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    We like to get this done asp we glad you from here please let us know thanks

  • Ray
    June 11, 2015

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    Great article. Full of incite full information as we are considering removing our concrete drive & walk way. About 3000sq ft.

    Meeting with contractor in 3 days. This information will be critical to our discussions & not just on costs.

    Thanks

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  • Chris Stewart
    July 8, 2015

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    I had a palm tree in the driveway I sense had the palm tree removed, I have extra pavers for when the driveway was done I would like a price on covering where the palm was the area is roughly 10 x 10 , i’ve had the stump removed .

  • Anonymous
    July 9, 2015

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    converse

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  • Rudra
    August 2, 2015

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    Your article is really very helpful to understand the process. By the way, do you work in San Marcos, CA? I would like to have my driveway & walkway done. Also do you also work with synthetic turf?

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  • Mike Holder
    August 12, 2015

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    Your example uses concrete removal ect. What is the 1,000 sqft. cost if removing existing grass and replacing with pavers ?

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  • jane hong
    September 14, 2015

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    I live in the east bay…18 miles east of san Francisco, ca have you added another co. close by yet? if not do you have a recommendation for a paver contractor close to me?
    the prices that you quoted was in 2013. what is the sq ft price for 2015?
    thanks, jane

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  • Shelley L
    January 13, 2016

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    Thank you for the breakdown. I have a contractor but I am not sure how well he does on driveways. My driveway is 3000 sq/ft. Est cost is $39,000. It seems a little high but I am wondering if you have anyone in the Monterey county that you can recommend.

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