I analyzed patio paver costs at several home improvement stores and realized only a handful of cheap options exist. The rest get expensive quickly. For this list of inexpensive patio paver ideas, I selected each option based on its price per square foot. I also considered the size of each paver. Obviously, the larger the paver, the fewer you need. Here’s what I’ve come up with, ordered in price from cheapest to cheap. If you’re planning to tackle this great DIY project for your home, you can choose the option that suits you best, based on your aesthetic preferences.
On this page
- 6 IDEAS
- 1. Use Plastic Molds to Make Your Own Pavers
- 2. Use Stepping Stones to DIY Your Patio
- 3. Save Even More Money – Reduce Your Number of Pavers by Adding Rocks
- 4. Use Cheap Red Bricks as Pavers
- 5. For a Small Patio or Sidewalk, Try an Irregular Concrete Step Stones Kit
- 6. For the Best Look on a Budget, Go with Meshed Flagstone Paver Tile
1. Use Plastic Molds to Make Your Own Pavers
Plastic molds are an excellent option for making pavers on a budget. You can buy a few of these molds and complete your patio for far less than what a contractor would charge. In terms of design, you can opt to make them in a concrete color, a single color, or in multiple colors of your choice. But be warned. While this is your cheapest option, it’s also the most laborious. To make these pavers, you’ll need molds and bags of Quikrete concrete, a color dye, and lots of patience for labor.
Plastic molds are the perfect solution for your paver DIY project, but they may take you a week or longer to finish, depending on the size of the patio you want to build. It also depends on how you want to install them. You can either lay the molded pavers straight onto leveled dirt or install them with a gravel base. What’s great about using plastic paving molds is that they are designed to fit together like a puzzle, which will give your patio a uniform, modern look. You also have a lot of control in terms of color, which means you can really experiment with your layout and design.
2. Use Stepping Stones to DIY Your Patio
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time or money building a patio, then stepping stones are the way to go as far as pavers are concerned. The pavers in this example will work well for a range of outdoor projects, from a small walkway to a larger space. They also require a lot less labor than option #1. The benefit of steppingstones is that they are large and very cheap. Even better, they look neat and come in multiple colors. The ones I recommend are commonly called Concrete Step Stones.
And why do I opt for these? Well, they’re strong and durable, for one. They’re also easy to cut. I would get them in the 12″x12″ square size – as this is the easiest size to manage. In terms of price, the last time I checked, they were going for less than $2 apiece. Affordability aside, stepping stones are very versatile pavers that you can do a lot with.
Here are some examples.
Fire Pit Patios
Because steppingstones are so durable, they serve as a great base for firepits and won’t suffer any lasting damage as a result. Build a raised platform to protect your grass – either directly into leveled earth or on a gravel base. To further boost the aesthetic of your stones, build your firepit in matching tones. This is an affordable way to make a desirable entertainment area that you can DIY all by yourself.
Generally speaking, steppingstones are available to purchase in uniform shapes and sizes, which makes them great for developing patterns. Patterned patios add visual interest to your property. And they’re simple to install. Look at this brilliant example of a steppingstone chessboard – a great project you could have nailed down in a weekend.
Small Patio Ideas
By all means, the cheapest way to build a small paved patio or a short narrow sidewalk is to use stepping stones as pavers. Fast, easy, and on a budget!
3. Save Even More Money – Reduce Your Number of Pavers by Adding Rocks
Decorative pebbles and rocks are sold in bulk bags for incredibly low prices. One bag can cover lots of ground. Indeed, these types of rocks are available in different colors and textures, including solid tones and mixed shades. They work great for creating borders around patio pavers, filling the gaps to complete minimalist designs. If you’re after a modern aesthetic, consider purchasing river pebbles, especially in bright, stark white.
4. Use Cheap Red Bricks as Pavers
A brick patio is another excellent on-a-budget option. They are strong, lightweight, easy to handle, and last forever. Usually, they are also very inexpensive. During my research, the cheapest red brick I found was under 70 cents apiece. It’s 7.75″ x 4″ x 1.75″ Holland Concrete Paver – and is basically a cheap red brick. However, while bricks as pavers are a great budget DIY option, there are a few things to consider. Because of their smaller size, you’ll need at least twice as many pieces as you would steppingstones, for example.
To compare: to replace a 12″x12″ paver, which is basically a square foot, you’ll need 4.5 bricks of the above-mentioned size. At around $0.70 per brick, this would make it around $3.15 per square foot. That said, it’s still darn cheap compared to other paver options out there. Plus, you’ll have more flexibility when designing your patio and will require fewer cuts.
One of the benefits of red brick pavers is that they offer classic old-world charm. Thanks to their simple rectangular shape, you can use a number of different patterns to build a simple or creative patio. You can even mix these patterns. Or you can mix in other colors, so long as you make sure to stick with standard colors, to maintain the same price point per brick. While I’ll always recommend red bricks, be mindful that some labor is involved, and you’ll need to apply sand to set the bricks in place.
5. For a Small Patio or Sidewalk, Try an Irregular Concrete Step Stones Kit
These irregular size pavers look like natural flagstones or sandstones, but they are actually manufactured from concrete. They come in large sizes – 20 in. x 21 in. – in other words, they are quite big. Given their size, they work well as a budget-friendly DIY project because you’ll only need a few. In my opinion, these steppingstones are not as strong as the other options on this list, but if you’re going for a more rustic look, you won’t find many other options that are cheaper.
If you need to build a small patio or a narrow pathway, or simply cover a part of a backyard around a fire pit, these steppingstones are a great substitute for pavers. And they look terrific. Better yet, they are easy to install, and a good size for the human foot. This is a brilliant and inexpensive option for making an attractive walkway or creating a small seating area on a patio filled with mulch.
6. For the Best Look on a Budget, Go with Meshed Flagstone Paver Tile
If you aim to add value to your property by building an expensive-looking patio on a small budget, look no further than the Meshed Slate Paver Tile. As I’ve calculated it, this option comes up to under $5 per square foot. It’s a truly great deal for what you get back in aesthetics. I found this Santa Barbara 18″x24″ Meshed Paver Tile and the overall look is stunning.
Making a patio from these pavers will easily add thousands to your home value. However, it will take some work, as you need to lay out, cut, and install the meshed pavers. This would be a good job for a professional installer, but of course, it’s doable as a DIY project if you have enough time and patience. The result will be an impressive-looking patio for your front or backyard, depending on your preference.