Stamped Concrete vs. Pavers Cost Guide {Driveway + Patio}

by Luke Whittaker

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Whenever you are considering an improvement to your home, it can add a lot of unwanted stress and anxiety on top of whatever you already have going on in your busy life.

Common thoughts that might pop into your mind…

  • Am I doing the right thing?
  • Did I consider all my options?
  • How is it going to look?
  • Did I pick the right contractor?
  • Did I select the right product for my house?

And on and on….

These thoughts of doubt and uncertainty will continue to weigh on you until you can paint a clear picture in your mind of what the “best option for YOU looks like.”

The best option is going to feel right…

That warm feeling in your stomach, the excitement, the anticipation, the panic…oh wait, why am I doubting myself again…

Read on to find out how to overcome this feeling

stamped concrete driveway cost
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So you are in the planning stages of your back patio, driveway or pool deck and are considering your hardscape options?

You are looking at concrete, more specifically stamped concrete and you are also looking at pavers.

The first thought that comes to mind is what is going to be the most cost effective solution because I am on a budget.

Of course, you want the very best, at the very cheapest possible price.

Who doesn’t want this right…?

Guess what, we all do, and unfortunately, it doen’t exist.

The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” is true, especially in construction.

So you get on the internet, fire up google, and start typing in concrete, stamped concrete, pavers, concrete vs. pavers, stamped concrete vs. pavers, how much do pavers cost, how much does stamped concrete cost, what is better pavers or stamped concrete?

You type it all in, and you start reading away.

And you keep reading and reading and reading…

Here are a few articles to answer several of these questions

— How Much Do Pavers Cost To Install?

— Pavers vs. Concrete

Some of your major concerns are:

  • The Look
  • The Price
  • And the Longevity

Okay, so let’s tackle the first one….

The Look

pavers vs stamped concrete
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One of the main reasons you are wanting to do this project is that you are sick of the way your driveway, patio, entryway or pool deck looks right now.

You want a fresh new look.

You want something that you can be proud of, something to show off to your friends, and family.

Deep down, you want something that your neighbors will be drooling over.

You can just hear them now, “did you see what the Smiths did with their driveway….it looks incredible, I wonder how much that set them back….looks expensive?”

Yeah, that’s the feeling right there!

So back to the look of stamped concrete and pavers.

Stamped concrete is made to look like pavers.

Basically, you can think of stamping as imitation pavers.

Pavers come in 100’s of colors, styles and pattern combinations, whereas stamped concrete can be limited by the contractor’s capability.

Check out this article on different paver design ideas.

So as far as the look goes, pavers definitely win the first round of the battle.

On to the price.

The Price

cost for stamped concrete and pavers
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Pavers and stamped concrete are generally very close in price.

There are many different styles of pavers which do vary in price, as well as many different installation methods of stamped concrete which will also increase or decrease the price.

When looking at standard installations without all the bells and whistles, pavers and stamped concrete are about dead even.

This round is a tie.

Now onto the 3rd area of concern, that being the long-term health of the product.

The Longevity

pavers or stamped patio cost
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Questions you might be asking yourself:

  • How long will this last?
  • What are the guarantees? 
  • Will it add any value to my home?
  • Can I recoup any of the costs upon resale?

Looking at stamped concrete first.

Depending on the contractor, most contractors will not guarantee the installation at all.

The reason is that concrete is cured with the natural elements of the environment and there are too many unknown variables which are out of the contractor’s hands.

It is a proven fact that concrete and stamped concrete will eventually crack, stain, and fade over the years.

Depending on the thickness of the concrete,  the amount of rebar, and the quality of the crew installing the project, this can happen sooner than later.

On to pavers.

Unlike stamped concrete, pavers are backed with a Lifetime Guarantee against breaking and cracking.

This should immediately provide you as a homeowner with the peace of mind when comparing the longevity of the 2 products.

When considering adding value to your home, pavers without a doubt instantly add value to your home.

The fact that they look gorgeous, and that they never have to be replaced will give you bonus points when your house in being appraised.

Going to the scorecards, with 2 rounds going to pavers,  1 round a draw, the winner is pavers.

We install both pavers and stamped concrete (now we only install pavers), however, when all the facts are laid on the table for the homeowner, it is a no-brainer as to which option they choose every time.

Now that you have your main concerns answered:

1. The Look: Pavers are going to look better than stamped concrete in the short term and most importantly in the long term.

2. The Price: The same

3. The Longevity: Hands down goes to pavers

Just imagine your new Driveway, Entryway, or Patio with your friends and family over for a party and everyone is commenting on how amazing your new transformation looks.

Imagine your neighbors driving down the street, envious of your new improvement.

Now that you have the picture painted in your head, you should be feeling pretty good right about now, knowing that pavers are the clear choice, when considering paving stones or stamped concrete.

So what are the next steps?

The next steps for you are to figure out which contractor you are going to work with.

This is another arena, where you are going to want to do your research.

A great option is if you can get a referral from someone you know who has had their driveway, patio or pool deck done, and ask them how their experience was and if they would recommend the company.

Be sure to check out this article for a step by step guide on how to choose your paver contractor.

Can’t wait for you to “become the ENVY of your neighborhood!”

Please come back to share your experience with us by adding a comment below.

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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