Saving on Flagstone Patio Costs and Materials Saving on Flagstone Patio Costs and Materials
Having a flagstone patio is a great way to enjoy your yard and entertain outdoors. Installing these are time consuming, and can be quite expensive. There are several ways you can cut back on the costs without cutting back on the quality.
Clear the Area
If you plan on hiring someone to install your patio, you should expect to have to pay extra if they need to remove any trees, brushes, or other elements. You can save as much as $1000 on the installation of a medium patio if you do this on your own. If you have large trees that need to be removed, consider hiring an outside company before you call the landscaper. Patio installers will charge you extra for their equipment as well, and it's typically cheaper to hire a tree company first to remove these.
Purchase Your Own Flagstones
Instead of buying from the landscaping service, purchase your patio materials from a direct retailer first. It may take some more time out of your schedule, but it can save you from 10-15% over buying from the landscaper. The additional charge for this is for the convenience, and it usually isn't worth that much if you can take a few hours to find the flagstones you want. For extra savings, look at direct buy warehouses and salvage sales. This can score you an added 10-15% off the retail prices, sometimes more.
Consider Self Installation
Having a contractor create the patio for you can cost as much as $30,000 for an 80X20 foot area with materials included. The materials alone will be much less than that. A contractor will work faster than you will, and will take all the back breaking work out of it, but you can save thousands of dollars if you just have a few friends help you over a weekend. This will only be an option if you have an area that you can grade yourself. It's also preferable that self installation be used for small patio areas. Just know what you are getting into before you begin.
Another way to reduce the cost is to reduce the patio size. You may want a large patio, but the whole thing may not need to be paved. Consider some creative landscaping, gravel areas, and other ways to incorporate additional space without adding to the cost of materials or installation. For example, a barbecue area can easily be done with sand by creating a barbecue pit and will still look good. Kids areas can also be done with this material for a fraction of the cost. You can keep these separated with some creative edging.
This is the most important step when it comes to saving money. Get accurate measurements and know exactly what you want to get the most accurate estimates. Most companies will do quick estimates for free, but you may have to pay a small fee. In most cases paying a small fee for an estimate will still save you money when you comparison shop.