A patio is one of the best investments you can make to the outside of your home, simply because it adds both beauty and functionality to your backyard. Being able to enjoy your backyard during the summer is one of the finest joys in life; it can also save you money as well, as you can take a ‘staycation’ instead of spending thousands of dollars in travel.
One of the most important decisions you will make when it comes time to install your patio is picking the correct building material. The decision you make will come down to many different factors, so I can’t provide you with the choice that will be right for your project, budget, and environment without your specific information. Among all the material choices you can pick, however, I can usually recommend paving stones to almost anyone who wants to install a new patio. There are four main reasons for this:
- Paving stones give you the beauty of natural stone pavers for a fraction of the price. Natural stone is perhaps the gold standard when it comes to hardscape materials; the only problem with them is that they are crazy expensive. Pavers give you the benefits of natural stone – color options, different shapes and sizes of the brick, and a lot of design freedom – without having to deal with the financial headaches down the line.
- Pavers are strong and durable. They will withstand all the usual rigors of the environment – water, wind, and sunlight – while also enjoying a certain amount of flexibility due to the joint system that exists between the paving stones. This prevents the typical cracking that plagues slab materials, simply because the paver system can rise and fall in accordance with the freeze/thaw cycles in the ground below.
- Pavers can be installed by a homeowner. While in some ways paving stones can be more complex to install than materials like concrete, in other ways they are easier, as long as the DIYer has the right tools for the job and puts in the time and effort to do the job correctly. For instance, he or she must spend a ton of time properly preparing the aggregate base below, simply because it is the base that determines the strength and durability of the paver project above.
- Finally, paving stones offer you many more design options than slab options. Pavers can be arranged in curves, circles, and many more shapes. You’re only limited by what paver sizes you pick and your design imagination and creativity.
I hope these four reasons have made my case, and that you look closely at paving stones for your next hardscape project. If you’d like to learn more about concrete pavers and other hardscape materials, check out the Concrete Pavers Guide.