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Is it Cheaper to Make Your Own Concrete Pavers?

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Concrete pavers with an example of mold with wet concrete.

This is a more complicated question than it seems. In sheer price, at first glance, it seems cheaper to make your own concrete pavers. But that’s not entirely true, and there are way more things you need to consider to have a complete answer.

What about the maintenance costs? The durability and long-term investment of the project? The time and labor involved and their relation with the quality of the final product?

In the end, you decide if it worth it or not. We will simply present to you all the aspects involved in that choice and how they influence the final price comparison between buying pavers and creating your own.

The Cost of Making Your Own Concrete Pavers

From the getgo, you will need more materials than just concrete. You will also need materials for the mold and some form of release agent just to make the pavers.

All these things add up and change the immediate price of the project. So it is not only a question of which one is objectively cheaper, the most important thing, as always, is the cost-efficiency of the entire project.

When choosing between buying or making your own concrete pavers, the first thing you need to consider is how much your time is worth. If you are spending an entire weekend making a few pavers, how much are you really saving on the process?

It takes a lot of time to make concrete pavers, at least one day just for them to dry out. That is not necessarily an issue when you need few pavers, but if your project is big, you’re going to spend a huge amount of time making all the pavers you’ll need.

The second thing you need to consider if you have already worked with concrete before. If you haven’t, forget it, you’re setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

Pouring concrete is hard, especially in a sort of “delicate” work like the one involved in creating pavers. Your pavers need to be uniform, technically identical to each other.

The mold helps, of course, but the most important thing is the skill involved in pouring the concrete and working with it. So if you have never worked with concrete before, you’re better off simply buying pavers.

Close up on an example of mold for a concrete paver.
Example of mold for a concrete paver.

Design and Investment

When making your own concrete pavers, forget about aesthetics as well. While you have options of design and color when buying pavers, the ones you make will all be going to be grey and flat. Sure, you can add color to the concrete, but then that’s one more thing you’re going to have to spend on.

The aesthetic is not even the worst part, the quality of the DIY pavers will for sure be inferior to the store-bought ones. In time, they will crack, break and give you all sorts of things to worry about.

This influences the long-term durability of your project. You will spend less making your own pavers the first time, but in time you will have to make more and more to replace the broken or cracked ones.

As for regular pavers, they are way more resistant. When properly installed, you won’t have to worry about them breaking for years and years.

Cost Comparison

Let’s make a quick calculation.

Let’s say you have a 200 sqft patio to work with. At best, your mold will cover around 4 sqft, which will require a 60 lb bag of concrete, which costs around US$6. In order to cover the entire patio, you will need 50 bags of concrete, making you have to disburse US$300.

Pavers cost, on average, US$3 per sqft. So, in order to cover the entire 200sqft patio, you will spend around US$600. That is not counting the price of delivery.

Of course, these calculations are very basic, but they summarize the overall correct idea that making your own pavers is usually 50% cheaper than buying.

Final Comparison

So, in the end, yes, making your own pavers usually costs half the price of buying from the store. Making your own pavers is objectively cheaper, from a mathematical point of view.

However, the hard work, time investment, and overall long-term quality of the final product make the process of making your own paver not worth it.

You will spend more buying pavers, but they definitely pay for themselves in time and they come in a wild array of options. Enough options to make virtually every design you can come up with possible.

The Help of Professionals is Still the Best Choice

Do you know what is even cheaper than making your own concrete pavers? Hiring professionals to help you with your project.

This will always be the best option. Professionals can help you with the design of your hardscape project, as well as with the supply and installation of anything you might need.

You happen to be around Sarasota, JSBrick has the best professionals in the field. They are committed to using all their expertise to help you with your project and saving you all the hassle of having to make your own pavers.

Give them a call right now at +1 941 586 9140 and schedule a visit for a free estimate of your project.