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jizzle 04-14-2009 08:07 PM

Pavers vs concrete
Hi, just a quick question regarding the costs of each. I have a small parking area (28x40). 5" concrete will cost about $1700 for material, $1000 for some guys I work with to finish it.

I just read about using pavers. If I used these instead, it seems more feasible for my brother and I to lay them ourselves. Is there a quick cost estimate on using these? Would it look better/last longer/cost less for pavers?


Tscarborough 04-14-2009 08:26 PM

With pavers, all cracking is pre-engineered. How is your back and knees?

concretemasonry 04-14-2009 08:32 PM

Pavers can easily be a DIY project because you can do them at your own pace instead of doing it all at once with a contractor.

For concrete you know the price of the slab installed, but have no guarantees about the placement, curing and performance of the 3000 psi slab. For pavers (8000 psi), the labor should be free, but the material will probably cost a little more than the wet concrete.

With pavers you will also have to prepare the base and 1" sand setting bed. Figure on renting a walk behind vibratory compactor to get the compaction in vibrate the sand in between the pavers.

It all depends on how much you want to work for a superior driveway this wil do more to your resale value.


jomama45 04-14-2009 10:37 PM

I definatly reepect the pro opinions of the last 2 posters, but I have to disagree. If this area is used for vehicular traffic, pavers will never perform as well as 5" concrete with a "decent" subgrade. Actually, I think asphalt would perform better than pavers, & I have installed plenty of pavers, thousands of yards of successful concrete, & barely no asphalt in my career.

Tscarborough 04-14-2009 11:11 PM

Asphalt is in no way a DIY project. Concrete can be, but Pavers are certainly a DIYable deal.

Bondo 04-15-2009 06:38 AM


Asphalt is in no way a DIY project.
Nope,... But, It's a Better driveway...

AllanJ 04-15-2009 07:23 AM

Pavers are very attractive but every now and then you need to take one out and reset it (relevel it). Also you are always tracking sand exuding from between the blocks onto the bottoms of your shoes into the house in wet weather.

jizzle 04-15-2009 07:39 AM

Thanks for all of the info. The parking lot is for a small commercial building and we're about out of money so I was looking for ways to cut costs (although I have been told that $1000 labor for the concrete is good).

I am going to check prices today on having asphalt installed. I prefer concrete over asphalt, but I'd like to know how much it would cost fully installed.

RegeSullivan 04-15-2009 08:10 AM

My last paver project was 14 x 30 and cost about me about $1,800 for all material and the rental of a compactor. The cost will depend largely on the pavers you choose. The cost of the stone base will depend largely on where you live so check around with stone quarries and building suppliers. Paver done correctly or cement done correctly will cost about the same.

Properly done pavers can out last concrete or asphalt and usually look much better. They can really add to the value of your home. An added benefit if problems do occur in one small area is you can reset just that area and when the repair is done it is not noticeable. The keys to making it long lasting are good containment (curbs to hold pavers in place) compacting the soil, stone base and sand setting bed. Be sure to use the correct pavers. Some pavers are rated for patios and walkways not for traffic so be sure to use the correct material.

It is can be a great diy project because you can do it at your own pace but it is very labor intensive. The cost will depend on the material you need. If this is already a parking area you may have a pretty good base in place reducing the need to purchase a lot of stone for the base.

You will find lots of good how to books but a few things to keep in mind… Where you live will determine what material you use. Where I live we use limestone, 2A modified for the base and limestone dust (finely crushed limestone) for the sand base. I like to use 8” - to 10” of base and 1” of sand base. Compacting is very very very important. It does not hurt to overdo this step of the project. Rent a plate compactor, compact in 2” to 3” layers and run the compactor over the area at least 5 times at a slow walking pace for every layer. This will do a good job compacting the material and by doing layers make it easier to get a flat surface. Use a hose to wet the material as you compact to keep the dust down if necessary. You will be “locking in” the pavers by sweeping course sand (you want sharp sand) or limestone dust into the spaces between pavers. Run the compactor over the pavers making 2 or 3 pass at a normal walking pace sweep in the sand and repeat. That should do it for the compacting. At first water will drain between the pavers but in a few weeks or months they will fill with fine particles and no longer drain. I like 1/8” per foot if that is possible so be sure to plan a proper slope for water runoff.


Scuba_Dave 04-15-2009 08:20 AM

I agree pavers can outlast concrete & asphalt
Properly installed they will last virtually forever
Ever seen a cobblestone street?
It is a lot of work, & the base needs to be properly installed
I thought of pavers for our driveway
But I think we will go wityh asphalt for a smooth surface for our son to play on

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