As we round the corner to the middle of April, we know that warmer days really are ahead – even if our northern Nevada weather remains predictably unpredictable. Spring is typically when homeowners start making plans for outdoor projects in anticipation of the sunny days to come. If a new patio is on your to-do list and you’re considering your options, here’s what Harris Landscape Construction wants you to know about the pros and cons of paver patios.
Pro: Durability & Lifespan
When we reference pavers, we’re usually talking about stones made from concrete. Other pavers can be made from clay brick or natural stone. In general, pavers are relatively small with varying colors and textures, and they can be installed in a number of beautiful patterns. When they’re installed properly, the individual paving stones interlock for a flexible but very strong patio system. All those joints reduces the risk of breaking or cracking – which can be an issue with traditional concrete patios. In fact, pavers are so strong, many manufacturers offer lifetime warranties.
Pavers are typically manufactured with aggregates and pigments that run throughout the individual stones. Even if a paver does get chipped, it won’t be very noticeable. Colored concrete patios, on the other hand, tend to fade quickly and require reapplication every year or two.
Pro: Season Proof
We’re no strangers to wintry weather in northern Nevada, which can take a real toll on our outdoor spaces. Freeze-thaw cycles – when moisture in the ground freezes and thaws – can be especially damaging to patios. As the ground expands and contracts, it can move your patio. In a paver patio, the seams make it possible for the pavers to flex individually and settle back into place, particularly if they were installed professionally with proper construction practices. A concrete patio is a solid surface, so it’s more likely to crack in its weaker spots.
Pro: Low Maintenance
With regular applications of protective sealants, pavers are wonderfully low maintenance. Sweep or blow off any debris as needed, and that’s pretty much it! Re-sanding to fill joints should also be done every few years to keep your pavers looking like new.
One of the drawbacks of pavers is a potential side effect of those small pieces making up the patio space – weeds! All those joints must be filled with sand when they’re first installed, and that sand can wash away over time, making space for intrepid little weeds. But here’s a tip – polymer sand hardens in the joints, which keeps weeds from taking root. While the occasional hardy weed may still poke through, polymer sand can address between 95 and 98 percent. A weedy paver patio can be whipped into shape – ask Harris Landscape Construction for an estimate to clean, re-sand, and seal your patio today.
Con: Longer Install
An average-sized paver patio will take an experienced team between three and five days to complete. Once the pavers are installed, they’re immediately walkable. A concrete patio can be poured in just a few hours, but curing will take one to three days and can’t be stepped on during that time.
Installing pavers does involve more steps. Prepping the area requires clearing the installation site, leveling the subsoil, pouring and leveling the gravel, installing bedding sand, installing the actual pavers, setting the edging, filling the joints, and then cleaning and sealing that beautiful new patio!
Con: Price Tag
While it’s true that a paver patio will often require a greater up-front investment, it can be more cost-effective over the long run. The ongoing maintenance of a stamped concrete patio, for example, tends to cost more than the paver version would have. And that doesn’t include repairing cracks!
The Best Choice
Deciding whether a paver patio fits your needs isn’t always easy. But understanding the pros and cons can help. If you want prices for a new patio, or you need recommendations for the best kind, contact Harris Landscape Construction today.