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How Much Does Paving Cost?

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Wouldn't it be nice if you wanted paving installed on your property and you could go to the World Wide Web and find out the exact cost ahead of time? For example, you would like a new driveway and discover the cost is about $65 a square metre for pavers. Your driveway is about 12 metres by 3 metres so that gives you 36 square meters and the price will be $2340. Unfortunately, figuring out paving costs is a little more involved than that, because you have to consider several factors. Let's look into the cost of paving to help you get a good idea of the approximate costs, before you call a professional.

How Much Do Pavers Cost?

Here is a breakdown of the average cost per square meter for typical paving materials. This includes both labour and materials costs:

  • Concrete pavers - $53 ($45-$60 on average) not only is concrete the cheapest option, it is very durable. It requires little maintenance and with proper care should last for decades. Concrete pavers come in a wide variety of colours and sizes.
  • Limestone - $55 ($40-$70)
  • Quartzite - $60 ($40-$80 or more)
  • Brick - $80 (between $70 and $90) due to their smaller size, it requires more labour.
  • Granite or flagstone - can be from $75 to as much as $100 per square meter

Cost Factors

Several things (besides the materials you choose) can affect your total costs:

  • Size of the area to be paved
  • Size of the pavers - the larger the paving stone, the quicker it can be installed and so you pay less for labour.
  • Paver thickness
  • Land preparation - does the area need to be levelled? Maybe some digging is involved. Trees or other things may have to be removed.
  • Demolition - do you need the old surface taken up and removed? This can add a lot to the costs.
  • Slope of the land - if you are paving on a steep slope it takes more work and costs can increase as much as $10 per square metre.
  • Patterns - do you want special paving patterns with borders? This involves cutting the pavers and requires a great deal more labour and equipment. In addition, you may end up with waste materials.

Paving Base

In order to create a solid paving surface, your contractor may need to lay down a base first. The base keeps the pavers solid and stops them from sinking into the ground. Without a good base, you could be dealing with a very uneven surface in the future.

Crushed rock is sufficient for most pavers (where no cars drive). To lay down a crushed rock base, you will pay from $30 to $35 per square metre. In other words, a 60 square metre area would run between $1800 and $2100. This is assuming the area is easy to access and not on a steep slope.

Your contractor may need to put down a poured concrete base, depending on the type of project. For instance, driveways and pool areas have special needs and a concrete base is the best option. This can cost between $46 and $56 per square metre or about $3060 for 60 square metres.

What is the Cheapest Option?

It is possible to complete a paving project for as low as $20 a square metre for labour. Inexpensive concrete pavers can cost as little as $12 per square metre, so the entire job could be as cheap as $36 (inc GST) per square metre but this is the very low end of an estimate.

What Kind of Pavers Do I Need?

Did you know there are different thickness, as well as material selections when it comes to pavers? The first consideration is traffic and wear. Are the pavers meant for people to walk on or cars to drive on?

For cars, it's best to have pavers made from solid rock and they should be 100 millimetres thick. If you plan to only have foot traffic on your pavers, you can go with 40 millimetre thick sandstone or granite. Sandstone is an excellent material if you plan to pave around a swimming pool. It has a natural non-slip surface which is a must for areas around pools.

What about Colour?

The easiest to care for pavers come in natural colours. This way you never have to worry about fading after years of sunlight exposure. For walkways and pools choose light colours like white. This reflects heat and is much cooler on your feet. Neutral colours are a good choice because they will match any changes you make to the property in the future.

Why Not Go with Poured Concrete?

It may seem much simpler to use poured concrete for patios, drives, and walkways. After all, it is far less labour intensive. However, a poured concrete surface requires a great deal of maintenance. Plus, years of temperature changes and erosion can cause concrete to form cracks and this can result in all kinds of problems. If you develop a crack in a paved surface, you only need to replace the damaged stones. Cracks are not easily fixed in poured concrete.

Choosing a Paving Contractor

Price is not the most important consideration for hiring a contractor. In other words, the cheapest may be cheaper for a good reason. A reputable contractor has many costs to consider and simply cannot afford to cut corners and still give you quality materials and workmanship.

Before you hire contractors, make sure they have insurance. Also, check to see if they have the required license or certification for your state.

Your contractor should come to your home and provide you with a written estimate for the work. Get an estimate for the entire job and not just a "per square meter" cost estimate.

Make sure to ask if the estimate includes all charges like gravel, sand, and borders. In case something goes wrong, you may need someone to make repairs or corrections. Find out what kind of guarantees you will receive with the services.

When you check into contractors, ask if they can show you a portfolio or past work they have done. Choose a tradie with years of experience in the business, because there is no substitute for actual on the job experience.

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