Greenville’s Custom Stone and Paver Patio Expert
Patios have progressed so much in the past decade. A patio used to be a little pad of bricks or poured concrete, complete with a sad charcoal grill with a few lawn chairs. Today a patio is really only limited by your imagination. We probably install a couple dozen or more natural stone patios throughout the Greenville area each year. We use a lot of flagstone, slate, bluestone, granite, cobblestone, and even tile. We also work with brick and concrete pavers. It is not unusual for us to work in lighting, fire pits, grilling stations, and sitting walls with our custom patio installations.
What You Need To Know Before You Hire Your Patio Contractor
There are hundreds of individuals in Greenville who would like to tell you that they have been building patios, working with stone, and pouring slabs for a couple of decades. There are definitely some good masons in our area, but few have the expertise and options that we offer at Green Hill. A brief five minute conversation about the installation process can quickly separate the pretenders from the contenders.
Every patio is going to get compliments based on the stone or paver you pick, but the longevity of your patio will be determined by how well the base was installed. You really only see two types of patio bases in the Greenville market. There are concrete bases for mortared stone patios and there are open grade bases for paver patios and stone patios with natural joints. If you ever wondered why one company quotes $10,000 for a patio and another quotes $6,000, the answer very likely comes down to the money and time they intend to put into the base construction of the patio. The base is the foundation between the dirt and the finished patio. This is usually either going to be concrete or a mixture of compacted composite materials.
Lastly, don't forget to see if you need a permit. If you are inside Greenville City limits then you will need a permit. We can help you get that.
Most Expensive Patios: Concrete and Stone
Take a look at the photo below. It is a patio we built in the Chanticleer neighborhood of Greenville. This is a classic example of a stone and brick patio. Why is it so expensive? It costs a lot of money because there is a perfectly executed concrete base below all the finish work. Secondly, and this can apply to any patio, there is a wall structure in place to build up a large flat area for the patio. The last factor that affects the price is the choice of stone. There really is no inexpensive natural stone. There is just expensive and more expensive. Glass half full, while this is an expensive patio, it is built to last and very customizable. This is a patio style that is going to add value to your home and last decades.
Flagstone Patios with Natural Joints
A stone patio with natural joints is always going to be cheaper than the same mortared patio. When we say natural joints we are referring to a material other than mortar. We typically use polysand, mulch, or pea gravel. Polysand has the most formal look, but does require maintenance. Mulch or a ground cover plant can also be a joint filler. And lastly you can do a very small stone like pea gravel. All these styles are less expensive because they require significantly less time to install and a lot less material than a concrete base stone patio. The picture below is a natural joint that was originally a light polysand that we mossed over.
Paver Patios: $7,500 or $75,000???
Generally speaking, in most markets, Greenville included, a paver patio is considered the most budget friendly hardscape. This is because a mass-produced concrete paver can be purchased for about $7 a square foot. The only exception to this would be if you get into a high-end paver like Techo-Bloc. There are luxury pavers that can end up costing more than natural stone. But let's focus on the more commonly used pavers like Tremron and Belgard. When pricing a common paver patio we are considering the following factors:
-Machine Access: Can we drive an eight foot wide mini-excavator and skid steer to the excavation site for the patio?
-Retaining Needed: Will we need to build a retaining wall in order to create a flat area for the patio?
-Drainage: Will we need to alter the current drainage plan and water flow in the yard?
-Soil Conditions: Is the ground a thick clay that will require just 4" of excavation and base? Or is it a loose top soil that will require deeper excavation and compaction that will add to the cost of the aggregate materials?
All of the variables above, plus the size of the patio, determine how much a paver patio should cost. You hear a lot about price per square foot. Every job does ultimately have a price per square foot, but there is no standard dollar figure per sqft. As an example, a small patio with difficult everything could be as much as $50 a square foot. And a 2,000 square foot patio with perfect conditions might only be $18 a square foot. Simply put, the price is the price. If you are getting a wide range on estimates, that is generally because the high estimate knows exactly what it will take to get the project right and the low estimate is just taking the cost of a paver, doubling it, and hoping it all works.
The picture below is a very basic paver patio we did in Piedmont at The River Reserve community. You can see we had to do some retaining on the high side. We used a budget friendly Tremron patio. It looks great and is functional.
This is just a small look at some of our previous patio builds. We would love a chance to get a lot more creative if you have a different type of project in mind.