I want to add a brick patio directly outside of my home's sliding glass door. The ground is flat (covered in grass) and I have easy access for a dump truck and excavator. What do you think a 500 sq.ft. patio like this might cost?
Joshua ~ Lincoln, NE
Hi Joshua. The cost of your brick patio is going to depend a lot on how long you would like it to last and just how professional it needs to look. If you're doing the landscaping on a tight budget, it's possible to remove the grass, do a little soil compaction and minor leveling, and install the patio bricks in a sand base. If you don't mind the labor, this type of patio should cost you little more than the bricks and a few scoops of sand. Unfortunately, this type of patio normally doesn't stand up to the test of time. Within a few seasons some of the brick may begin to sink or tilt and before you know it the landscaping may need to be redone.
The best method for doing your patio bricks would be to use the excavator and dump truck to remove enough of the dirt where the patio is planned that a concrete slab can be poured. The concrete can then serve as a support foundation for your patio bricks. This is the type of base used for paver driveways so it should be more than sufficient for your patio. A layer of sand should be placed over the concrete to help level the surface of the patio and account for any width variations in the brick. After the bricks are installed, sweep sand into the gaps to help hold them in place.
There are a lot of variables that can affect your landscaping cost such as access to the patio location, the type of brick you plan to use, and whether any patterns are involved. The labor rates for this type of work in Nebraska can also be a factor. My ballpark estimate for your patio cost is about $8,000 - $10,000. However, you should be able to reduce this price quite a bit by doing a lot of the work yourself or using the brick directly onto the soil method.