The Easy Answer
If you Google “Cost of Pavers,” you’ll see plenty of articles quoting between $10 – $50 per square foot. That is a very wide range and it doesn’t answer your question: what is my project going to cost.
Most of our projects range from $17-30/square foot (Excludes porcelain, walls, steps, Turf, etc).
That is still a pretty broad range, so let’s take a look at what drives the cost of doing a professional paver installation.
Generally, interlocking concrete pavers cost between $4-15 per square foot. As you can tell by those numbers, this might be the clearest cost of pavers (and the most controllable), but it’s only a fraction of the total costs.
There are five main job types that may influence how much your paver job costs:
- Walkways – Generally the cheapest because it only needs to support foot traffic. Your walkway will be more expensive if an old concrete walkway needs to be removed.
- Backyards – These tend to be larger projects with more potential for engineering complications (see below), which can make them more expensive per square foot than walkways.
- Changing Elevations / Retaining Walls – If your project has a drastic change in elevation it may need (or you may want) a retaining wall. This will significantly increase the “cost per square foot.”
- Driveways – Concrete pavers designed for driveways have a minimum strength of 8,000 PSI and if you’re planning to park heavy vehicles on the driveway you’ll need a 6” – 12” aggregate base (rather than the 4” – 6” base required by foot traffic). Both of these affect the cost of the project.
- Around a Pool – Most backyard pools are all curves, which means the pavers will need to be custom cut to fit. When using pavers around a pool, they also need to be able to withstand pool chemicals, and should be SRI (solar reflectance index) certified, so you don’t burn your feet!
Regulations and Permits
Simply put: the regulations and permits required for a job vary by location and job type. Following the rules and obtaining all the proper permits can take time and money, which adds to the cost of the job.
The most important consideration for any hardscaping project is drainage. Poor drainage can cause a myriad of problems ranging from killing plants and rotting fences to flooding patios and sinking foundations. A poorly executed paver installation can hide existing problems and create new ones. Our team inspects the property for existing issues and carefully measures elevations so we can develop a drainage plan which moves water away from your house without creating a nuisance for your neighbors.
- Grading – the slope of the land around your house. It is extremely important to get water off your patio and away from your foundation. One way to do this is actually moving the earth to create a slope that carries water away from the house.
- Drains – sometimes creating a grade is not practical, but it’s still vital to carry water away from the house. This is where running storm drains for gutters and/or French Drains in the yard may be required.
- Utilities – sometimes utility lines intersect with a job (which is why we call 811 before we start digging).
- Mechanicals – depending on the project type, you may want to add electrical or water lines yourself (for an outdoor kitchen or simply backyard lighting).
- Roots and Rocks – There might be existing plants that you want to preserve, existing hardscaping that needs to be removed (such as a concrete driveway), or large rocks are hidden under the ground.
All of these engineering concerns can add time and thousands of dollars to a project, but they are also factors that turn a hardscaping project from a potential liability into a solution.
When thinking about the cost of a hardscaping project, it’s important to consider all the features you want to add – not just the cost of the pavers themselves. For example, you might want to include: retaining walls, outdoor kitchens or custom barbeques, lighting, water for irrigation, or other features that will make the “cost per square foot” seem larger.
As the Bay Area emerges from lockdown, concerns over CoronaVirus transmission are the new normal. In this environment, it’s important to do business with companies who invest in protecting their family and yours. Being careful takes time (disinfecting all hard surfaces every day) and money (bringing a Porta-Potty and hand washing station to the job site).
At Atlas, we strictly adhere to the following protocols:
- No Contact Appointments: While we still need to visit the job site, our designer can conduct an assessment while speaking to the homeowner over the phone.
- All further communication, such as daily progress reports, can be handled by phone.
- Atlas employees will not enter your home.
- All Atlas employees will be screened weekly prior to entering the job site.
- We bring a Porta-Potty to every job.
- All employees will wear masks.
- All trash and personal belongings will be removed from the job each day (we may leave some tools).
The Company You Keep
Finally, when you work with a professional company, like Atlas Pavers, you’re getting access to award-winning designers with years of expertise in their field as well as a lifetime warranty on materials and labor. Our designers will listen to your vision, or your family’s needs, and help you craft a perfect project. Then our crews will get it done.
Atlas Paver Co
Call us at 925-852-7438 or request a free estimate and consulation with our online form.