store bought vs. homemade pavers

castorpAugust 2, 2005

I'm considering beginning a major gardening project: I want to create paved paths throughout the garden. My question is, What's more frugal? To buy the store bought pavers at the big box stores, or to buy concrete and make them myself?

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garden_witch(z6a MI)

Last summer Dh and I made acouple square pavers ourselves, just to see how they would turn out. We made two that are a little over a foot square and maybe three inches thick, and these took a full bag of cement to make. They are a bit thicker than the store bought pavers, but since we put them at the bottom of the steps off our deck, we wanted them sturdy. I think you could get three thinner pavers from one bag. A bag of cement up here is is about $4, and pavers are about $1.50 for the plain ones, and maybe less at bigger stores. I/m thinking if you got the pavers premade, you could save a bit of cash plus lots of time and work. But if you are thinking of making garden paths, you should also consider other cheaper (or free) options. Check construction sites in you area for bricks or broken concrete. Also, if you have an architechural (sp?) salvage dealer in your area you may find bricks there. I have several brick paths in my garden that were made from 'used' bricks that came from my brother in law's store when they remodeled. Another option is to place an ad in your local paper offering free hauling for rocks, bricks, concrete etc.

But whichever way you go, good luck and have fun =)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 4:33PM
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Thanks for the information. I was talking to a friend who said even used bricks could be quite expensive around here--it is not an especially common building material in Central FL nowadays--but the broken concrete just may be what I'm looking for. What I'm wondering is if I could fit and cement/mortar the concrete pieces together to make a neat, straight-edged path, the way you would with stones. . .

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 6:10PM
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Kelly_Slocum(sw WA state)

I hope you don't mind a post from a lurker who's not posted much before, but I have been re-landscaping my propoerty for the last two years and part of that prooject has been to make all of my paths and patios from my own poured concrete flagstones. I have, to date, used more than 300 80 pound bags of concrete to pour these stones, and I now have just 30 or 40 more bags to go before my pahts and patio are completed.

The $15.00 flagstone mold I use is approximately 1.5x1.5 and produces 10 individual stones. I did not use the stones in the pattern set by the mold, but randomized them, thus I cover a bit more area than I would have had I left the stones in the mold pattern. One 80 pound bag of concrete costs $2.47 and fills two and one half molds.

Pouring concrete flagstones is extremely simple but does require that you can move an 80 pound bag of concrete.

If I can find my digital camera in our teenagers room I will try to take some photos...

Kelly S

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 7:49PM
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garden_witch(z6a MI)

Wow, I'm moving to WA, cement is cheaper there! Actually, its cheaper in big towns around here, but I would have to drive 30 miles to get there =( Gas prices make it expensive to bargain hunt nowdays.

Anyhoo, I found some pics of my used brick paths and other recycled rocks in my webshots page....

Here is a link that might be useful: garden stuff

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 10:19AM
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Garden Witch, thanks for the pictures. I'm getting lots of new ideas for my garden looking at them. I may try some of the wooden edging too--the one where you put short pieces in vertically. I have a few boards that I didn't know what else to do with.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 9:12AM
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garden witch, tell us about the bottles on your web page.
I like those!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 10:44AM
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I am a do it yourself home improver who is on a limited budget. Here is my advise to you.
If you looking to cut costs on bags of cement hereâÂÂs what you do if its for big projects. At home improvement stores you can get a torn bag of cement for between $1.00 to 1.52 plus tax a bag, here in Georgia one 14X14 paver goes for $1.97 (walmart) or a 16X16 inch paver is $3.97 per paver which can be very expensive if your needing a lot of pavers, were as if you make them yourself you would be paying per paver from an 80lb bag of cement around .50 cents a paver. again you would have to go to your home improvement store and ask the manager for torn bags of cement that has been processed and reduced, do not go through the clerks for they will give you the run around as to who they want to purchase the torn bags of cement, this cuts home improvement costs a lot and since I am a most of all do it yourselfer, I was able to go to my home improvement store pick up ten ripped or torn bags of cement for 1.52 each to fix the flashing by my foundation of my home and my driveway this is a savings of $2.45 cents per bag. Out of the rest of the bags I picked up for this amount I also will be making my own pavers and putting up a small retaining wall to keep the dogs in the yard next to the fence were they are digging. Should I need more bags of cement all I have to do is go back and purchase more damaged bags of cement.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 8:34AM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

If I were making walkways, I wouldn't make pavers. I'd put down forms where I wanted the walkway and I'd pour slabs.

For poured areas, it might be cheaper, maybe a lot cheaper, to just order a truck of concrete. It's certainly a lot less work.

For cheap, if you are nice and strong, you can get broken concrete for free. Sometimes you can even get it delivered. Call a few local excavating companies and ask them.

Broken concrete looks nice set random like flagstone and some sort of ground cover planted in between.

If I am buying pavers, I get them from the factory, not the big box stores. Look around and see if you can find who is making them. I get them 30-50% cheaper that way, and can sometimes get seconds for very cheap.

Those plain square flat pavers are difficult to get completely level and if they aren't exactly level, they don't look good.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 6:22PM
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We've been saving things such as shells, wine bottles, broken plates, so that we can make mosaic type pavers. Like the idea of asking for the broken open bags of cement, that would help cut down costs. Need get some scrap wood to make forms as well. I'm hoping to make an umbrella stand for the patio as well.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 5:21PM
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