How to Transform Your Outdoor Space With Patio Pavers

Amber Guetebier
Written by Amber Guetebier
Updated December 27, 2021
A brick patio of suburban home
Photo: pics721 / Adobe Stock

Make sure you don’t wind up a few bricks short of an excellent outdoor space

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When it comes to outdoor living, having a beautiful paver patio can take your garden space from plain to personal paradise. Whether you have a small corner of your yard or some serious square footage, patio pavers can elevate your backyard design while making it more usable. These paver patio design ideas will help you get one step closer to enjoying the great outdoors from your veranda

12 Tips for Designing the Perfect Paver Patio 

No two yards are exactly alike, so designing a patio involves a series of choices a homeowner has to make the patio of their dreams. Paver patios can fit in almost any space, style, and budget. These tips for designing the perfect patio should help you decide what kind of patio is in your near future. 

1. Consider Your Home’s Exterior 

Paver patios are an extension of your home, so looking at your home’s exterior for inspiration is a great way to start your design. Do you have a brick facade? A brick patio will complement it; a modern home may call for a more contemporary look. 

2. Think Outside the Box

A curved brick paving
Photo: Alex / Adobe Stock

One of the benefits of using paving stones or bricks for your patio is being more creative. You are not limited to a simple square or rectangle; you can create curved edging with your paver stones or use a material like a flagstone and allow the organic edge of the rock to flow into your landscape design. 

 3.  Spec Your Space

You’ve got the perfect place in mind for your paver patio, but now is the time to get a little more serious about the space itself. How big can you go? Measure the area you want to cover, check it, and measure again. How many square feet you have to cover will be the base of setting any budget, so you’ll want to know what the total square footage is, even if you’re still gathering patio paver ideas and deciding on your paver patio design. 

4. Set Your Budget 

While aesthetics are a driving force in paver patio design, the reality is your budget is what will factor the most into your decision-making process. Once you know how many square feet you want to cover, you’ll want to set a budget. The average brick paver patio cost is $3,400, with most projects ranging from $2,400 to $7,000 for a standard 280-square-foot patio. Prices go up depending on materials, square footage, and labor.  

5.  Choose Your Paver Material

A close up of a paver patio
Photo: Bobcat Beasley / Adobe Stock

There are so many options for pavers, choosing the right paver for your patio may seem a little daunting. The good news is, concrete pavers come in an array of styles that mimic brick, natural stone, and slate, giving you a similar appearance at a significantly lower price. The most common choices and prices per square foot, including installation, include: 

  • Clay Brick: $10–$20 per square foot

  • Concrete Brick: $8–$15 per square foot

  • Concrete Stone/Slate Concrete: $8–$15 per square foot

  • Natural Stone/Slate: $15–$50 per square foot

6. Consider the Pavers’ Color 

Look to the colors of your house, in particular the trim and roof, for color inspiration for your paver stones. Natural materials come in earth tones, and you can tint concrete brick to mimic these colors. Your color palette will likely fall within one of these ranges:

  • Cream or sandstone

  • Gray or charcoal

  • A soft blue or bluish-gray, as with river stone

  • A soft greenish hue, usually a green-gray, such as a green flagstone

  • Terracotta or red hues, such as classic brick

7. Talk About Texture

Different types of pavers have different textures. Even if you decide to go with a concrete substitute for natural stone, you still have a say in the texture of the surface.

  • A slate finish is smooth.

  • Flagstone has a slightly varied texture that is a combination of rough and smooth.

  • Tumbled pavers have a natural stone appearance, rough but still relatively even.

  • Cobblestone has that old castle feeling and has the most varied surface

8. Pick a Pattern

One of the benefits of using pavers is how creative you can get with different paver layout patterns. Here are a few options: 

  • Running bond is an overlapping pattern, as you would see in traditional brick wall design.

  • Jack-on-Jack is a pattern where the paver stones line up in straight, continual lines.

  • Herringbone is another popular pattern, usually created with bricks.

  • An I Pattern takes its name from the repeating capital letter ‘I’ throughout the design.

  • Pinwheel is a repeated pinwheel-like pattern, often done with clay bricks. 

  • A basketweave pattern involves alternating horizontal and vertical bricks to get a checkerboard effect.

  • Mix-and-Match employs a combination of any of the above to create a truly one-of-a-kind patio design.

  • A varied or random layout when using flagstone, including different sizes of pavers, not only creates an interesting pattern but has a more organic feel. Adding some large stones to a small space can also make it feel bigger. 

9. Repetition Is Key 

A brick patio with furniture
Photo: pics721 / Adobe Stock

Bringing the material you choose for your patio pattern into the greater landscape design will create a cohesive outdoor space. A coordinating retainer wall or using the same stone in garden edging is a simple way to tie the patio and other elements of your yard together. Spec out and order simultaneously to ensure you’ll have plenty of materials on hand. 

10. Bring in the Fire

Simultaneously installing an outdoor firepit costs less than creating each element separately, so if this is an important feature to you, think about integrating a firepit into your patio design. You don’t necessarily need an elaborate outdoor kitchen; it can be as simple as a moveable metal firepit. Proper firepit safety states that it should be 10 feet away from your house, any large structure, or trees. 

11. Accessories and Additions

Consider any other element you may want to incorporate into your backyard design, such as a seating wall, pergola, or where you might want to place pots and planter boxes. 

12. Think About Functionality

How will you use your patio? Will it be a space for entertaining, or are you adding it for a private retreat? If grilling is one of your favorite activities, you might want a concrete countertop. If a cozy reading nook complete with a hammock chair is your dream space, think about how your new patio can best meet your needs. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Once you’ve got your picture-perfect patio in mind, you can start the installation process. Depending on how much of a backyard makeover you intend, you can hire a local patio paver contractor to install your patio or contact a local landscape design professional specializing in hardscaping.

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