The biggest expense you will incur with a DIY driveway, walkway, or patio project is from the brick pavers. Brick pavers come in numerous styles and sizes and typically cost between $0.50 and $3.00 per brick, depending on where you purchase them. Next to the total cost of the brick, the cost of the mortar, the edging, the sand, and the gravel is comparatively small. No matter the size of the project you are planning, it is important to estimate your costs. It allows you to budget the expense and make any necessary adjustments as you go. To estimate the cost of brick pavers per square foot, a little math is involved, but it's mostly just measuring.
Step 1 - Determine the Square Footage of Work Area
Find out how much square footage you have to cover. Some pavers may measure one foot by one foot, but don't count on it. With bricks, especially, much of their charm has to do with the pattern they create.
With your tape, measure the total width and length of the space to be covered. With odd shapes such as curved areas, the square footage estimation may be rough without resorting to some complex equations.
Triangular areas are easy enough. Measure the base and the height of the triangle. No matter the shape of the triangle, those lines will be perpendicular to one another. Multiply the numbers you've measured to get the area.
Step 2 - Decide Which Size Brick Paver You Will Use
Brick pavers come in numerous sizes, including 8x16 inches, 4x8 inches, and 3 3/4x8 inches. For simplicity's sake, assume you will use the 4x8-inch mortarless paver. The depth is unimportant for this calculation. The length and width and whether you use mortar will affect how many pavers you need, and the price, per square foot.
Step 3 - Sketch the Pattern
Assuming you will lay out the mortarless bricks in a basket weave pattern consisting of alternating pairs of horizontally-placed and vertically-placed pavers, you have to fit that pattern into your work area. The pairs will be placed side by side, width-wise. One pair of each side by side is a total of eight inches up and down by 16 inches across.
Step 4 - Calculate Number of Bricks per Row
Assume you are paving a walkway six feet wide by 30 feet long for an example calculation. Length multiplied by width gives you a total of 180 square feet. Since twelve inches equals one foot, the walkway is 72 total inches wide and 360 total inches in length. One set of pairs (two vertical bricks next to two horizontal bricks) equals 16 inches wide, which allows you to place four full sets of four bricks each across with eight inches to spare. You can finish off one row with either a vertical or a horizontal pair that perfectly fills that 8-inch space. Thus, one row requires 18 bricks.
Step 5 - Calculate Bricks per Column
Knowing there is a length of 360 inches and that a set of pairs lengthwise is also 16 inches, you can fit 22 full sets in one column with eight inches left over. With four bricks per set plus two additional bricks, a column will need 90 bricks.
Step 6 - Calculate Total Bricks and Price per Square Foot
18 bricks per row multiplied by 45 (22.5, the number of sets of four bricks, multiplied by two because each row is only two bricks wide) rows equals 810 total bricks. Assuming you've decided to use the paver that costs $0.50 each, that makes a total of $405 for the pavers. Divide that number by the total square footage, 180, and you get $2.25 per square foot.
Your calculations will get more complex if you're placing mortar in the joints or if there are odd shapes to factor in. This estimation, however simplistic, breaks down the steps similar to your custom project. The variables are the number of bricks per row and column, the price per brick, and the total square footage. If you plug your own numbers into the steps we've given you here, you should have no problem calculating your own price estimation.