Patio, Lawn & Garden

What Is the Least Expensive Patio Material?

A simple patio with two chairs and a table

All that a backyard needs to create a cozy atmosphere in addition to a pool is an inviting patio space. When considering a renovation while on a budget, it is unnecessary to go all out while choosing the material; this guide helps you explore multiple easy-on-the-pocket materials, allowing you to create a beautiful place outside your living space.

We will explore several options while noting their pros and cons, as well as other factors that include labor costs to add a roof over the patio and other expenses. You can make an informed decision regarding the budget and vision for your patio.

Cost Factor in Patio Materials

It is important to understand the cost that is involved in making a comfortable patio, especially if the budget is tight. Material cost is just one of the considerations while thinking about the budget as it also includes labor costs, which include local labor costs, the complexity of installing the patio, and whether a professional can be hired or do it by themselves.

One should also consider any additional features that they want the patio to include, which can be an outdoor kitchen, fire pits, and seating, which also impact the budget. Maintenance cost is to be included in addition to the initial costs of creating the patio, which vary according to the material chosen.

1. Concrete Patio

Concrete patio with stone wall and seating area

Concrete is one of the most pocket-friendly materials that can be chosen to create a patio. The main reason for its affordability is due to its easy availability and simple installation design.

While choosing concrete, you can choose the simple design, which is the least expensive, or a decorative (stamped or stained) pattern for a twist to the patio’s visuals. Concrete patios are easy to maintain and are durable, making them a part of your house for long.

2. Gravel Patio

A beautiful pea gravel patio with comfortable outdoor furniture

Gravel patios give you the option of creating an affordable and amazing design right outside your place that is best for people who have a tight budget. Gravel is one of the most cost-effective materials as it is easily available and the simplicity of the installation.

You can even design the patio yourself for this very reason. The drainage property of gravel makes it an amazing material to use as it reduces the risk of water damage during rains. However, gravel patios require occasional maintenance to maintain the surface level.

3. Paver Patios

A beautifully designed outdoor space with interlocking pavers

Paver patios give a pleasing visual appeal to our backyard while being an affordable alternative to the regular stone. Pavers are easy to install, which is a suitable choice for your DIY projects. Since you have a lot of options to choose from while creating a paver patio, it is budget-friendly as well.

Pavers have multiple shapes, colors, and sizes available. You can easily customize the design according to your budget while being easy to install. You can also reduce the labor costs if you choose to install the patio yourself. Pavers are one of the best choices for a budget-friendly and long-term patio.

4. Concrete Slabs

A cozy patio featuring a fire pit and a brick walkway

Concrete slabs make a minimalist design for your patio while being an economical option. The easy-to-install design reduces the labor costs. Concrete slabs come in various sizes, and the placement is also easy.

These slabs are an easy option for DIY enthusiasts. The plain design may not attract everyone, but these slabs do give a clean look to the patio. A stained or colored design addition can give them a better look. Concrete slabs are durable and easy to maintain. These slabs are the best choice for a modern and cheap patio.

5. Crushed Stone Patios

Outdoor fire pit with two blue chairs and a table

Crushed stones are a visual and texturally appealing choice to create your patio. The small and crushed stones give you a cheaper alternative to execute your design choice.

These are also available in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to mix and match the design. You can choose from granite, gravel, or limestone for the patio. Occasional maintenance is required to create these as the stones may become uneven in the long run.

6. Flagstone Patio

A serene backyard featuring a flagstone patio and a wooden fence

Flagstones are a cheap option to give an elegant look to your patio when sourced locally. Salvaged flagstone is one of the cheapest options available for you to use. The earthy tones give a warm and natural look to the patio. Flagstones are durable, and the maintenance cost is reduced as well if placed accurately.

Other Costs for Patio

Other Costs for Patio

While you have to consider the labor and material costs, there are additional costs that can affect the patio budget. You need to prepare the site before any construction can take place. Accessories like furniture and lighting need to be added to enhance the look of the patio. A foundation can also be required depending on the material chosen. These are just a few options that can affect your overall budget.


Selecting the right material to create a budget-friendly patio is a crucial decision. You have various options available to suit your design preferences and budget. While you do not only have to choose the material costs, you must also consider other costs such as labor, foundation, maintenance, and permits if required. You need to consider these and plan accordingly while balancing everything.

A patio is an outdoor space where you can relax and cherish essential moments. The right material and budgeted decisions can enhance the design of the patio.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen, a celebrated writer in the home and garden niche, boasts over 12 years of hands-on experience. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. Before joining our team in 2016, she worked as a landscape designer, combining her love for nature and design. Sandy's expertise shines through her articles, offering readers practical and aesthetically pleasing gardening tips. Off the clock, she enjoys hiking and nature photography, further nurturing her connection with the outdoors.

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