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How Much Does Sidewalk Paving Cost?

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Installing sidewalk pavers is a terrific way to refurbish an existing walkway or create a new path. Sidewalk pavers are priced by the square foot. To estimate the full cost of your project, measure the length and width of the path or walkway to calculate total square footage. Some of the pavers may need to be cut to ensure conformity along the path, which means that adding extra materials to ensure enough to complete the project is a smart idea. Experts typically recommend pricing out and buying 110 percent of the total square footage to be covered with pavers.

The Cost of Installing Sidewalk Paver

  • Minimum: $3 per square foot
  • Maximum: $9 per square foot

The design and materials used in sidewalk pavers can vary widely, impacting cost. Typical costs, differentiated by quality and décor, include:

  • Basic - $3-5 per square foot
  • Median - $5-10 per square foot
  • Premium - $10-15+ per square foot

Sidewalk pavers are commonly made similarly to bricks. In fact, some projects substitute bricks for sidewalk pavers. Material costs differ based on whether the pavers are crafted more like bricks or like molded concrete, what colors and sizes are being used, and if any design elements are incorporated. Design elements that can significantly change the cost of a paver include shapes other than basic squares or rectangles, stamped or raised patterns or the inclusion of premium add-ins like decorative stones or photovoltaic units that capture sunlight and use it to light the pavers at night.

Material costs are only one component of installing sidewalk pavers. Other costs to consider include demolition, preparation, installation and supplementary materials. Self-installation or working with a professional will significantly alter the total calculated cost.

Advantages

When it comes to paving options, sidewalk pavers can be a durable and visually striking solution. There is a wide variety of colors and shapes available, which means most homeowners will be able to find something to suit their aesthetic pursuits. Pavers are more flexible than concrete blocks and are generally considered to be more visually appealing.

Disadvantages

While pavers can be durable, they are not as permanent has flat concrete blocks. Since they are paved tiles, moss or weeds could grow around the edges of pavers if proper maintenance is not kept.

Installing sidewalk pavers

Before installing sidewalk pavers, demolition must occur on the targeted area. This can range from simple to extensive. If the walkway is already covered in pavers, the old materials simply need to be removed and hauled away. Depending on how long old pavers were in the ground, they may come right up or need to be dug out. For easily removed old materials, the cost involved includes any dumping fees for the discarded materials and the cost of any hired workers to perform the demolition.

Going up one level of complexity includes removing a pathway composed of different materials to prepare for the installation of pavers. Rock or pebble pathways typically remove quite easily, requiring simple equipment like a shovel and wheelbarrow. Bricks can also be easy to remove if they are laid similarly to pavers and not cemented into the walkway. For easily removed old materials, the cost involved includes any dumping fees for the discarded materials and the cost of any hired workers to perform the demolition. Often, homeowners can perform their own simple demolition, saving money on the overall project.

Simple demolition costs:

  • Manpower - $10 to $30 per hour per person
  • Disposal - $20 to $200, depending on size of load

Removal becomes far more difficult when paths including concrete or other solid binding materials are used. Costs elevate quickly to include the need for power equipment like jackhammers for small paths or heavy construction equipment for large areas like driveways or trails. At this level of demolition, costs now include both manpower, equipment rentals and disposal fees. Depending on the power or construction equipment used, a homeowner may need to hire a licensed professional to perform the demolition duties.

Heavy-duty demolition costs:

  • Equipment - $50 to $5,000, depending on equipment and length of time needed
  • Manpower - $10 to $30 per hour per person
  • Disposal - $20 to $200+, depending on size of load

The most complex level of path preparation involves excavating a new walkway where one didn't exist before. This process can be undertaken similarly to demolishing a concrete path and typically involves the same type of equipment. The added complexity, however, comes from the planning necessary before excavation can begin. Costs at this level can include using an engineer to evaluate elevation, draining and other issues homeowners may not be able to rough out on their own. Excavating a new path, depending on local ordinances, may also require gaining a permit.

Path excavation costs:

  • Engineer - $500 to $5,000, depending on complexity of planning needed
  • Manpower - $10 to $30 per hour per person
  • Disposal - $20 to $200+, depending on size of load
  • Permits - $50+, depending on local regulations

Once demolition has been performed, work can be performed to prepare the ground for sidewalk pavers. This process includes leveling the ground and ensuring the path or walkway has straight edges. Like demolition, this part of the process can have various levels of complexity, and can depend upon the materials originally used on the path. Depending on the condition of the path after demolition or excavation, this step may also necessitate hiring professionals to complete the work or an engineer to map out the work to be done.

Ground preparation costs:

  • Engineer - $500 to $5,000, depending on complexity of planning needed
  • Manpower - $10 to $30 per hour per person

After demolition and preparation, the only costs and work that remain are related to installation. Installing sidewalk pavers can necessitate additional materials, including sand to lay the pavers in as a bases. Costs to actually install pavers can be minimized when homeowners decide to complete the work themselves. This is dependent upon complexity, much like the preparatory process. For simple and straightforward designs, homeowners may take on this project on their own. However, when intricate designs are desired, that necessitate detailed patterns, a lot of cutting or splicing, or for paths that wind or curve or turn, a professional installer may be the best bet.

Paver installation costs for DIYers:

  • Sand - $3-$5 per 50 pound bag; 1 bag covers 6-10 square feet, depending on depth

Paver installation costs for professional installed paths:

  • Sand - $3-$5 per 50 pound bag; 1 bag covers 6-10 square feet, depending on depth
  • Manpower - $10 to $30 per hour per person

Estimating the overall cost of sidewalk pavers can be tricky, as it is dependent upon locally-driven costs, including manpower, permits and materials. A good rule of thumb to follow, however, would be the following equation:

  • Basic/Self-Installation: (Cost of materials) x (110 percent of total square feet) x (1.5)
  • Moderate/Assisted Installation: (Cost of materials) x (110 percent of total square feet) x (2)
  • Intricate/Assisted Installation: (Cost of materials) x (110 percent of total square feet) x (3)

These calculations are imprecise and will change with the addition of actual manpower, material and other costs, but can be a good way to estimate the budget that may be necessary for a sidewalk paver project. As with any home improvement project, begin with a solid design, investigate all options and then proceed with the materials and plans that bring your dream to life.

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Last updated on Apr 10, 2014

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