The patio is in a great location but it's plain ugly. Rather than take all the time and effort to smash it all up and haul it away, then lay down gravel and sand for a paver patio, I decided to look at some alternatives.
I wanted something that I could just put over the existing patio. Something fairly easy and not too terribly expensive. I'll share with you what I came up with.
Easiest/Lowest Cost - Paint or Stain Over It
If I'm willing to live with the ugly stamped design, I can simply paint over the concrete with one of the deck/patio restoring finishes. I could also apply a stain with a sealer. I would first need to patch up that big crack, but once that's done, I could simply apply a new finish and have a much better looking patio. I would probably spend about $200 to $300 for this method on my 10 ft. by 10 ft. patio.
Easiest/Moderate Cost - Overlay with Deck or Paver Tiles
If I really want a completely different look and am willing to pay for it, I could simply install deck or paver tiles right over my concrete patio. These tiles are interlocking and quickly snap together to complete the look in under an hour. Prices vary depending on which style of tile I choose, but I would expect to pay about $1500 for my 10 ft. by 10 ft. patio.
Labor Intensive/Moderate Cost - Pavers Over The Patio
This would probably be the best looking option and the most labor intensive. In order to lay down pavers I'd need a level surface and that crack down the middle is going to cause some problems. I would need to not only repair the crack but install an anti-crack membrane over it so that it doesn't become worse. Then I'd need to lay down sand to help level it and then place all the pavers. Then lay down some polymeric sand to lock it all together. Finally, I'd need to apply a sealer to help them look good and handle the weather over time.
However, this option would give me the true look of a paver patio which would be nice. I'd expect to spend about $1,500 to $2,000 for this method on my 10 ft. by 10 ft. deck.
Source: Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors