After our cold northeastern winter, you’re probably happy to see spring arrive. It’s coming up quickly though, and it won’t be long before you’ll be ready to start living outdoors again. If your patio isn’t ready for the spring and summer seasons, or you’d like to update your current patio with some new paving, there are lots of great patio paving options to choose from.
Brick—a traditional look that never goes out of style. However, brick is not only meticulous to install but also needs frequent replacement. Because brick is porous, it retains moisture, leading to cracks in freezing weather. Brick can grow slippery moss which needs a bleach solution and a hard scrubbing to remove, especially in shaded areas. For modern outdoor patio hardscaping, it’s not as favored as it once was. Fortunately, other alternatives can give you the look of brick without the cost and maintenance.
Concrete—an inexpensive and malleable option, concrete can also be outright boring! Before you start mixing, think about how you can shape it, or add character to it, such as glass, aggregate or other decorative add-ins. You can also add color to concrete, although you may have to re-apply it every couple of years. Concrete can also be used as a base for pavers and other patio options.
Concrete Pavers—it’s the creative way to style your patio (or other hardscapes) space. These shaped and colored concrete pieces can be arranged in nearly any design, using different shapes and color combinations to create a one-of-a-kind look. Since they’re the same thickness, they install fast and easy. Buy as few or as many as you need, or buy a kit that helps you create shapes and curves to customize your patio.
Flagstone/Marble/Slate—even though manufactured stone can capture the look and shaping of natural stone, it’s still an elegant but expensive option for a patio space. Most stone pavers are made of limestone, granite, marble or slate. They can be cut into modular shapes or left uncut. Since they can be expensive, check with a local supplier before using a national chain; using a local stone supplier can be more cost-efficient. A professional can do the job quickly and efficiently.
Decomposed Granite (DG)—the loose, unconstructed look of DG may not be for everyone. But as a less-expensive option, it remains stable underfoot, and rain runs off quickly. DG comes in a myriad of colors, and can also be used as mulch and under trees where grass doesn’t grow well. One caveat is that it can stick to shoes, so you’ll need to separate it from doorways with concrete, stone, pavers or other material, and have a doormat in place. You’ll need to replenish it occasionally, but you might not mind, considering the price.
Tiles—the potential for an elegant outdoor sanctuary exists with tile, but you must purchase and install tiles made for outdoor use. Ceramic tile may look good, but outside it’s subjected to weather and can be easily damaged. Look for the more solid, water-resistant types such as granite, slate, marble, travertine, limestone, and quartzite, as well as porcelain. Anything that can absorb water will, and can crack during colder weather, leaving a crumbled mess. To prevent slippery, dangerous conditions when it’s wet, use a tile that has a rough, slightly abrasive surface that offers traction.
Recycled Materials And Composites—if sustainability interests you, consider AZEK’s line of composite-based pavers. Boasting 95% recycled materials from tires and other scrap plastics and lighter than traditional stones, AZEK’s pavers are made to give a new look to old concrete and hardscaping. The pavers are resistant to mold and mildew, offer finishes like brick and stone, and are designed for easier water runoff. They are also slip-resistant, and manufactured with spacer lugs that are engineered to maintain a precise 0.275″ space between pavers, conforming with ADA compliance. Although they’re fairly new to the market, they’re quick to install and can be installed on older patio surfaces.
Combining Different Materials—you don’t have to stick with just one type of patio paving. If you’re in a conundrum on which type of paving to use, consider how you can make one or two of them work together. Plan your design to reflect the floor of your home, so that the design flows from outside to inside (using outdoor tiles, of course.)
Your Base/Foundation—there are two types of underpinnings for new patio paving. A concrete base is more stable and permanent but is best left to the pros. A sand/gravel base can be done by DIYers, but you can also call a pro for it. Unlike concrete, you’ll have settling, so you’ll need to reset your pavers every couple of years.
Once you’ve updated and installed your paving, there’s only one thing left to do. Get outside and enjoy the warm weather!
Are you ready for a new patio this spring? Don’t wait—get started now so you can enjoy your patio when the warm weather arrives. Give Precision Landscape & Maintenance a call at (207) 939-8757. We can design, create and install your new exterior living spaces, including patios, outdoor kitchens and more.