If you are starting a new DIY paving project in your front or backyard of your home, such as a patio, walkway, driveway, and more, and you are using brick pavers, you are probably here because you are interesting in buying brick pavers for your project. However, before you buy brick pavers, there are a few things you should know. This includes the prices you’ll pay, how to save money on your pavers, and other options that are available to you if you find brick to be too expensive or not appropriate for your project.
Types of Brick Pavers
Unlike their cousins (concrete pavers and natural stone pavers), there aren’t as many options available when it comes to colors, shapes, and sizes of brick. Most will come in the ‘standard’ brick size. As a result, your patterns and designs will be somewhat limited, especially when compared to other options. Due to the hardness of the clay, it is difficult to cut them into the shape you want, so you should use brick pavers only if you want the traditional look of laid brick.
In addition, there are fewer colors of brick available than what’s available in concrete and stone. If the brick goes with your decor, then this probably doesn’t matter to you, but keep in mind that there are other options available to you if you want to explore other designs. (See the discussion below for some leads.) You will see red brick as the most common, though browns, blacks, and other colors are possible.
However, you might also find that these limitations are useful in that they make it easier for you to make your selections. Before you begin your research, you should narrow down the shape, size, and color of the brick you want. This will help you during the research process, though you will not be that hindered if you go into it unprepared.
The Costs of Brick Pavers
Note that much of this discussion of costs depends on the square footage of your project, so be sure to measure that out before you do your research. Realize as well that you’re going to be buying more brick than you need, both for cuts and for wasteage.
For the material, you will pay around $5 to $15 per square foot. The exact pavers cost relies on so many factors that it’s hard to pin down an exact one for you given your different areas and needs. Just know that if you get pavers on the low end of this scale, you’re getting a pretty good deal. Note that concrete pavers are a cheaper option, so if budget matters, consider looking into these.
How to Save Money on Clay (Brick) Pavers
When it comes to saving money on clay pavers, it’s all about knowing where to buy brick pavers in the first place. Here’s a listing of the best places, both offline and online, to do that.
You should always start with the usual suspects when it comes to home improvement – stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They will have a limited selection in types and colors, though, and you may not get the best prices through these sources. Thus, just use these bricks and prices as a guideline.
If these places don’t have the brick you want and need, you should try mason supply yards next. This is a requirement if you need a large number of brick. If you just need a few for some stepping stones or garden border, a home improvement store is probably fine. But if you are constructing a patio or walkway and need them by the pallet, you will definitely need to go with a mason supply yard or other materials supplier.
You can also check with online companies for discounts and other good deals. Note, however, the importance of geography here: you might find a great deal on brick pavers but actually end up paying more due to high shipping costs. In general, it’s best to stay as local as possible, since the shipping costs will be lower and already factored in to the price you’ll pay. Note though that you’ll also have to pay a delivery charge to have the brick brought to your home, though if you have a big vehicle you could transport them yourself.
Probably the best ‘underground’ option is to check out classified ad sites like Craigslist. Many homeowners rip out old brick walkways, driveways, and other projects, but don’t want to pay for the disposal of the brick. They then post them for free, or at least a nominal charge, on craigslist. As long as you can come and pick them up, they’re yours. Granted, you’ll have to get lucky with the color, type, and condition of brick you get, but this is a phenomenal way to get an amazing deal on used brick.
Another way to save money is to get ‘thin brick’ and lay it over an existing concrete slab. Thin pavers over concrete should only be done if the slab below is in good condition; if it cracks, you may have a problem with the surface of the paver project over time.
Finally, the other major way to save money on your pavers is to install them yourself. If you pay a contractor for installation, you will pay much more for the project above and beyond the materials costs. Thus, if you have any skill and willingness to do the work yourself, consider doing as much of hte work as you can. Of course, if there are certain parts of the project that are beyond your skill, consider hiring out subcontractors for those portions of the project.
NOTE: Don’t buy regular bricks that you’d use for walls or facing! These are actually different than ‘brick pavers,’ which are made to withstand soil and water. Regular brick will fall apart if you use them for these ground applications.
If you have your heart set on interlocking pavers, realize that there are other types out there beyond brick, types that may actually turn out to be better for your budget and your project. Check out concrete pavers as the main alternative option when it comes to paving stones. If budget isn’t an issue, than natural stone pavers can be a wonderful addition to your home.