Concrete vs. Stone Pavement: Which Should You Choose?

Concrete vs. Stone Pavement: Which Should You Choose?

If you’re considering hiring hardscape contractors or pool contractors for your next home renovation project, you might be wondering what the distinctions between concrete and stoned pavement are. While the sort of material you choose will be determined by your budget, intended use, and desired appearance, there are several other items to consider to ensure you select the best material for your home.

Before making a firm decision, it’s always a good idea to think over all of your possibilities. Continue reading below to learn more about how you can choose with type of paver to use for your next home improvement project and discover how West Hills Masonry can help you bring your vision to reality.

Concrete Pavers Vs. Natural Stone

Concrete pavers or natural stone pavers? Choosing the proper paving material for your outdoor space’s hardscape will significantly impact how your landscape turns out. It’s a bigger commitment than picking which style of furniture or plants to install because altering them after installing natural stone pavers won’t be as simple. As a result, you must carefully evaluate and consider your options.

Which option is most cost-effective now that you understand the distinctions between the two? So, should you use stamped concrete pavers or poured concrete slabs? To address this question, there are several things to consider.

Cost

Because it must be physically mined from quarries, natural stones are substantially more expensive than other hardscape paving materials. Depending on your home renovation budget and surface size to be paved, natural stone paver installation can be prohibitively expensive.

On the other hand, poured concrete pavers are significantly less expensive to construct than natural stone pavers, which is why they are much more economical per square foot. Furthermore, architectural grade concrete pavers are precisely mixed and molded to resemble natural stone, so you may achieve the look of natural stones without the premium price tag per square foot.

It’s crucial to think about long-term costs as well as upfront costs while purchasing these items. While concrete slabs have a lower initial price, they are often connected with higher long-term repairs and replacements. Meanwhile, because pavers are incredibly robust and individual stones can be easily replaced as needed, maintenance expenses are cheaper over time, and the stones will last considerably longer than a concrete surface.

Customizability

Natural stone patios have a polished and elegant curb appeal, but it’s vital to remember that what you see is what you get with natural stone. Of course, natural stone pavers like slate, travertine, flagstone, limestone, and bluestone have an uneven, earthy charm and predictable coloration that many homeowners appreciate.

Additionally, if you have a particular vision in mind for your outdoor living rooms, the natural stone you choose may limit your design alternatives. Concrete pavers are the most versatile alternative if you’re searching for the most creative flexibility at the best pricing.

These are some of the contrasts between natural and concrete pavers. Because this is no minor project, picking the correct one is critical. As a result, it is advisable to begin with the best option for your house and any future installments.

Installation & Maintenance

Installing concrete pavers and natural stone pavers necessitate a significant amount of preparation and professional effort. However, due to some natural stone pavers’ varied forms and thicknesses, such as flagstone, DIY enthusiasts may find it more difficult to lay them.

Natural stone pavers, when maintained and installed properly, will last a long time and look fantastic. However, if natural stone paving stones aren’t laid properly, they might shift over time and even shatter early in extreme conditions. This is especially prevalent when natural stone is embedded in concrete. Any amount of cracking due to changes in the earth beneath them can be exceedingly costly to repair.

Concrete paving stones are also extremely durable, lasting for decades even when subjected to severe traffic and use. One advantage of concrete paving stones over natural stone pavers is that repairing a cracked concrete paver is far more economical, and re-leveling a dislodged concrete paver that isn’t grouted is also quite simple.

Replacement and Repairs

If a typical concrete slab is badly damaged, it will almost certainly need to be replaced. The entire slab will need to be removed, and new concrete will need to be laid.

If more than one area needs to be replaced, this might be pricey. While minor issues can be resolved by fixing cracks or having the concrete resurfaced by an expert, frequent patching leads to color mismatches, which can be unpleasant in high-profile areas.

To compare repair expenses, we’ll assume a five-year repair interval and a 25-year lifetime for each. Concrete and pavers may or may not require maintenance on a regular basis, depending on their use and environment.

Discover How West Hills Masonry Can Help You Today

If you’re thinking about rebuilding or adding a walkway, concrete patio, or driveway to your outdoor living space, you might be overwhelmed by the variety of options available when deciding between concrete pavers vs. stone. We hope you use the previously mentioned information as a guide to determine whether concrete or stone is the best option for your next home landscaping project.

Do you have any plans to improve your driveway, walkway, or paver patio? If so, West Hills Masonry is here to help.

At West Hills Masonry, you can be sure that our team of landscaping experts can help you achieve the home landscaping you have always dreamt of having. Our trained and skilled team of professionals goes to great lengths to ensure that your vision is realized and your home looks better than ever before.

West Hills Masonry welcomes any of your questions and looks forward to discussing the details of your next landscaping and home improvement project with you. Contact us today to receive a free estimate and learn more about how we can help you realize all of your landscaping ambitions.

How to Choose Stones for Landscape Pavers

How to Choose Stones for Landscape Pavers

Today’s concrete pavers provide limitless design options for any landscape remodel, whether it’s a fire pit, walkways, or pool decks. With such a wide variety of concrete pavers, hiring an expert team of Orange County landscape contractors can help you bring the most out of your home’s landscaping.

In this article, we will take a close look at how you can choose the right stones for your landscape pavers to help bring your yard’s appearance together. Keep reading below to learn more, and contact West Hills Masonry today to discover how we can help you get the most out of your new landscaping stones before you begin your next home improvement project.

Things to Consider When Choosing Stones for Your Landscape Patio Pavers

There are numerous sorts of stones that you can choose for your landscape pavers. Before you begin your next home improvement project, here are a few things to consider to ensure that you have a good understanding of the various types and know what to expect.

Your Home’s Style

This is without a doubt one of the most crucial things to keep in mind when utilizing stone pavers and pebbles to decorate your landscape or patio. After all, the goal is to improve the beauty of your home.

Design for Function

What kind of environment are you creating with your patio? Do you want to utilize it as a pathway or as a place to entertain? It’s a good idea to sketch out your thoughts before you start so that you can be sure you’re planning for an upcoming function.

Create Shapes Using Stone Pavers

One of the most significant advantages of employing stepping stones in your yard is that you can use your stone landscaping design to create shapes and places that don’t exist with other pavers. You can design your stepping stones to point in a specific direction or use a basket weave design if you want to call attention to a particular region of your yard.

Various Types of Small Landscape Rocks

Here is a quick look at the various types of small landscape rocks to consider for traditional pavers.

River Rocks

River rock is a timeless classic that is available in a variety of colors ranging from golden to bluish. You can’t go wrong with river rock for contemporary, minimalist, or more natural stone pavers because it comes in various sizes and functions. Because of its natural beauty, clean river rock is the most popular.

Pea Gravel

These rocks are pea-sized, as the name implies. They are small and spherical, with sizes ranging from half an inch to an eighth of an inch.

Lava Rock

These rocks have a low density and are thought to have originated from dormant volcanoes. They have a distinct, bold appearance and are usually black or crimson in hue.

Chipped Rock / Gravel

Finally, there’s chipped rock, often known as gravel. Because of its beautiful, bright white tone, the chipped rock looks fantastic in modern yards.

Various Types of Pavers

Pavers come in various colors and shapes, allowing you to create the right aesthetic for your paver designs. Here is a brief look at some of the various types that you can choose from.

Boulders

Boulders are among the most massive landscaping stones available. They’re made of natural stone and are frequently used to build retaining walls and carve out pathways. They’re sometimes even used as creative embellishments in a room.

Brick

In reds, browns, and tans, these pavers have the architectural impression of brick. Brick pavers can be used to create geometric patterns on patios and walkways.

Cobblestone

Cobblestone is a naturally rounded stone with a reasonably homogeneous appearance and has the natural look of a worn or tumbled stone, with grays and browns in various shades. Cobblestone pavers come in rectangular and square shapes, making it simple to plan and create designs and patterns, such as a basket weave design.

Flagstone

Flagstone is a popular choice for individuals who want to include landscape rocks in their yards or patios. Flagstones are typically a foot or two long and are flat enough to walk on. They create lovely, flat walkways in an area that is frequently used.

Limestone

Limestone, a form of Flagstone, has an earthy flavor that can provide softness and subtlety to your walkways or patios. Bluestone is the most common form of limestone, and it is commonly used in hardscaping and creating an elegant outdoor space. It may come in a limited color palette, but it will give you a rustic and one-of-a-kind look once sanded and smoothed.

Sandstone

Sandstone, another form of Flagstone, has a coarse texture and loose grain characteristics and resembled compacted sand. They are most commonly found in brown and tan tones, but they are available in a variety of other colors, including black, gray, white, and red. They’re lovely for giving your landscaping areas a natural feel and texture for a more appealing appearance.

Contact West Hills Masonry Today for a Free Estimate

It can be difficult to choose from the different patio stones available. However, we hope this article has helped you in your decision-making process and help you in making the best decision for your home.

Are you ready to get started on your landscaping stone home project? West Hills Masonry is the team to trust with your home.

The durable materials you choose to pave your backyard should meet your needs as well as your overall vision for the property, and we want to help make your dreams come true. At West Hills Masonry, our trained and skilled team of professionals go to great lengths to add considerable value to your home by complimenting your landscape with spectacular hardscape features.

Contact us today to receive a free estimate and talk with a member of our landscape paver team about assisting you.

11 Important Questions to Ask a Landscape Contractor

11 Important Questions to Ask a Landscape Contractor

It’s never too early to consider hiring a landscaper to help you with your landscape design ideas this year. However, not every homeowner knows what questions to ask when searching for contractors to assist them with their landscape plant design.

Do you know what to look for in a great landscape company or landscaping companies before you agree to hire them? In this article, we will provide you with 11 critical questions to ask a potential landscape contractor before you decide to hire them to help with your home improvement project.

Continue below to find out more and contact West Hills Masonry today to discover why our customers prefer us when searching for Orange County landscape contractors.

Where Do You Source Your Plants?

While you are not required to employ native species, be sure that the landscaper uses plants that are natural to your area, as they will most likely be less expensive. They will also be easier to maintain over time.

Hardy plants don’t require as much extra watering or care from your landscape crew. Plants that must acclimatize to completely new growing conditions are more susceptible to disease and pests while they adjust to their new surroundings.

Will You Handle All Maintenance? What Kind of Ongoing Maintenance Should I Expect?

Before you sign your name, make sure to create an individual plant, general lawn mowing, snow removal services, and irrigation systems plan with your landscape business and check that the project is included in the contract. Replacement rules and prices for dead plants differ by firm, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to understand which maintenance duties are your duty and which will be handled by the staff.

Do You Understand My Vision?

Your landscape contractor should spend time talking with you about your ideal yard, as well as your budget and the amount of lawn maintenance you’re willing to do. Share samples of yards and landscape projects that you admire since these visuals will help you define what you’re looking for.

After gathering this vital information, your contractor will create a representation of your new yard, which will include a scale drawing of your residential and commercial properties, any outdoor living buildings, and any existing and new plantings.

How Long Do You Estimate the Project will Take?

Unexpected issues and severe weather can occur during landscaping jobs, just as they might with any other landscape project, making completion dates challenging to predict. If you have any deadlines on your end, let your contractor know, but be mindful of schedule-altering circumstances that no one can control.

When Will All the Plantings Reach Maturity?

Your landscaping company will most likely plant young saplings and shrubs unless you specify differently. Plants that are more established are usually more expensive and may not transplant well. Confirm these facts with your contractor, and learn how long it will take your plants to reach full size.

Who Should I Contact if There’s a Problem?

Make sure you know the name and contact information of the foreman of your crew. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something looks out of place during the landscape installation.

Can Costs Be Lowered?

Let your contractor know if the quote for the work you want to be done is higher than you’re comfortable with. They may be able to make design changes or recommend alternative plants to cut the cost down to a level that you can afford.

Can You Install Outdoor Lighting?

A skilled electrician is required to install most outdoor light systems. If you know you want garden lights, find out if any landscaping companies can design and install them or if you’ll have to hire someone else.

What Should I Expect Workdays to Look Like?

Although scheduling difficulties and poor weather sometimes occur, ask your crew’s foreman for an estimate of when the landscapers will come and depart each day. Check various landscaping websites to find a company with a timeline you desire.

What Types of Outdoor Living Structures Are Available?

Many homeowners work with landscapers not simply to improve their curb appeal but also to create an outside place that they like spending time in. A deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen can be perfect for you if you’re looking for a pleasant outside place.

Furthermore, plants aren’t the only thing that landscapers do. If you want outdoor space, make sure to ask the contractors if designing and creating outdoor living areas is something they do.

Do You Have Insurance And Licensing?

Workers compensation insurance, general liability insurance, bonded workers, and necessary state licensing should all be included in the insurance package of your landscape companies. A landscaping contractor should be liable not only for their employees’ safety and well-being and any liabilities incurred as a result of their labor. Remember, some of this information can be found on the best landscaping websites.

Contact the Professional Team of Landscape Contractors at West Hills Masonry Today

If you’re thinking about hiring a landscape designer, knowing what questions to ask and being knowledgeable about the services landscaping companies offer will go a long way toward finding the appropriate fit and avoiding unpleasant surprises later on. We hope this article has helped you in your decision-making process.

Landscaping is a significant financial investment in your home. If you’re looking for the best choice of landscaping contractors in the Orange County area, look no further than West Hills Masonry.

At West Hills Masonry, we’ve worked hard to earn a reputation for providing high-quality landscaping services and accurate and well-crafted solutions. We’re proud to have been able to offer beautiful landscapes and exceptional landscaping services to our customers in Orange County and the surrounding communities for over 15 years.

Contact us today to schedule a free estimate for your next home renovation project and to discover how our team of landscaping experts can assist you in creating the home of your dreams.

How to Care For Your Newly Paved Patio

How to Care For Your Newly Paved Patio

Your outdoor area living space is truly an extension of your home, and it deserves the same care that you lavish on your house interiors. Even if you choose not to work with hardscape contractors, knowing how to maintain your newly paved patio will help you keep your patio looking clean and beautiful all year long.

Below, we’ve listed some of the most essential paver patio maintenance tips that will help you keep your new patio looking beautiful for years to come. Continue reading below to learn more and discover how West Hills Masonry, the number one team of Orange County landscape contractors, can help you achieve the home landscaping of your dreams.

Sweep Patio Regularly

Sweeping your patio on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways to keep them looking beautiful. Dust, soil, leaves, and other debris that might cause stains and collect in those tiny nooks and crannies can be avoided by giving them a quick once-over. If you’re expecting rain, it’s also a good idea to sweep your patio or use a leaf blower to make cleanup easier later.

Use a Paver Sealer

One of the greatest methods to keep your brick and stone pavers in good shape is to seal them. Not only will this keep them safe from the outdoor elements, but it will also make cleanup a snap. If you correctly seal your pavers, all you’ll need to do to keep them looking fantastic is give them frequent cleaning. In general, you should reseal pavers every one to two years, especially if they’re on a patio or driveway that gets a lot of use.

Spot Clean Stubborn Stains

In addition to sweeping and rinsing on a daily basis, you should use a power washer or pressure washer for power washing your brick and stone patios using your preferred cleaning solution on a regular basis. This little bit of patio care will guarantee that you’re getting rid of the soil and filth, especially in cracks and other hard-to-reach spots.

If you do not want to power wash or pressure wash your patio, you can use regular dish soap and water or use a light cleanser and a towel or sponge to clean with your garden hose. Regardless of what cleaning method you use, a bristle wire brush should be used to scrub your newly power-washed patio gently.

Replace Broken or Stained Patio Pavers

Do you have any extremely stained pavers or damaged patio pavers that you can’t seem to clean or repair no matter how hard you try? Individual paving stones can sometimes be removed and replaced without causing damage to the surrounding pavers. This will renew the look of your patio and ensure that it looks brand new at all times.

The most challenging aspect of paver care will most likely be replacing your broken patio stones. It is, nevertheless, necessary not just for appearances but also for safety.

Use Polymeric Sand

Polymeric sand, also known as poly sand, is typically used to keep the bricks on your patio together, but certain varieties of regular sand seem to attract weed growth and nearby critters more than others. However, polymeric sand does not appear to be a favorite of burrowing insects.

Using polymeric sand will help you maintain your paver patio while also reducing the amount of labor you have to perform. While polymeric sand won’t kill weeds, poly sand will keep them from sprouting again and can be found in nearly every home improvement or hardware store. Also, be sure not to use excess sand when choosing this option.

Repair Grout

Just as time and activity may wear down the bricks on your patio, so can the grout. Your patio may need to be re-laid in some circumstances.

In other circumstances, a simple repair is all that is required. All you have to do now is re-sand any paver joints that appear to be disjointed.

Use a Natural Solution to Kill Weeds

With patio pavers, weeds are a regular issue, and they’ll occasionally appear in the cracks between the stones. Pulling them seems not to stop weeds but causes them to multiply and appear more quickly.

To prevent weeds or kill the weeds, combine vinegar solution and water in a natural cleaning weed killer solution. This type of solution is completely safe for your pets and family.

Have a Regular Maintenance Schedule

When you ask folks who have great-looking patios how they keep their patio clean, they will all reply the same thing. They clean them on a regular basis.

We recommend cleaning the patio once a year with a mild, plant-safe mild detergent to remove dirt, debris, and build-up. While this home maintenance tip is optional, it keeps your patio looking brand new.

Contact West Hills Masonry Today

It doesn’t take much time or effort to keep your newly paved patio in good shape. The most important thing to understand about your patio is that, while they don’t require a lot of upkeep, they do need to be maintained on a regular basis.

Would you like to learn more about patio pavers and how they can add a touch of beauty to your home? West Hills Masonry is here to help.

With the help of West Hills Masonry, you can sit back and wonder as our team of landscaping experts transforms your outdoor living space into the valuable space you’ve always pictured. We love watching our customers’ faces light up with excitement after a successful project, and we can’t wait to do the same for you.

If you live in the Orange County area or the neighboring communities and need a team of experienced landscapers to help you with your next landscaping project, contact West Hills Masonry today for a free estimate on your property and to learn more about how we can assist you in creating the backyard of your dreams.

What You Should Know Before Paving Your Backyard

What You Should Know Before Paving Your Backyard

There are numerous advantages to hiring pool contractors or using patio pavers to perform a landscape remodel and transform an ordinary backyard space into a magnificent gathering area. Not only are they appealing, simple to install, and incredibly durable, they’re also low maintenance.

Paving your backyard is a fundamental approach for obtaining an excellent aesthetic appeal of a property’s exterior and outdoor spaces. However, like with any home repair project, you should plan ahead, and keeping a few things in mind can help relieve any unexpected headaches.

In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know before paving your backyard, such as the materials you should use, what to look for in a contractor, and what to expect during the installation process. If you’re considering paving your backyard, continue reading below to learn everything you need to know.

If you’re looking for a team of professional contractors who will work with you every step of the way to improve the curb appeal of your property, West Hills Masonry is here to help. We’ve been providing unique hardscaping and landscaping solutions to our Orange County customers for 15 years that fit their budgets and reflect their changing demands and lifestyles, and we can’t wait to help you.

13 Things to Know Before Paving Your Backyard

It can be intimidating to start a new backyard project, and you will likely have several questions if you’re considering paving your backyard. To find out more about what you should know before paving your backyard, here are a few things to remember.

Purpose

In other words, what exactly do you want to construct? Is it going to be a standard driveway or elegant walkway to the house’s front gate, a convenient parking spot for your car, or simply a solid foundation for a garden shed, an outside BBQ, or outdoor fireplace?

Or are you intending to design a magnificent backyard or courtyard, as well as a romantic path and stairs over the lawn and in the garden? The response to this question will immediately influence the concrete pavers selection.

Features

Backyards, as we all know, have undergone significant transformations. The days of putting a picnic table on a plain old flat concrete rectangle are long gone.

We currently live in an era characterized by “Outdoor Living,” in which our outdoor areas are just extensions of our homes. So, what comes to mind when you think of your backyard and the rest of your home?

Is it a warm nook with an outdoor fireplace, a gathering spot for friends and family while you grill up those luscious steaks, or the calming sounds of flowing water? What are the features that make you think, “Wow, that would be really cool to have for my outdoor fireplace?”

To the contractor seeking to decipher your thoughts and feelings, all of those ideas will be crucial.

Budget

Paving designs are a lovely addition to the exterior of your home, but they can be pricey, just like any other piece of jewelry. The majority of natural paving materials are more expensive; however, contemporary technology products, such as synthetic interlocking pavers and numerous natural stone-like imitations, are significantly less expensive.

To begin, consider the project thoroughly. Consider paving smaller sections or utilizing a variety of interlocking pavers or and prices, with fewer but more expensive blocks/slabs as lavish highlights against a more modest (but less expensive) pavement material.

Furthermore, while the cost of the natural stone is important, it is not the only budget issue to consider. Don’t forget about the costs of preliminary work, installation, labor, edging, and other expenses.

If you intend to finance any order of the project, we propose that you do it before beginning the planning step. As a result, you’ll have a number in mind with which to operate. As you work through the design process, this will save you a lot of time.

It’s critical to share your budget in order to customize your design. Also, don’t be scared to inquire about how they price projects.

Paving Materials

Natural stone paving materials are divided into two categories: natural stone and manmade materials that mimic natural concrete pavers. They differ in structure, functionality, color tones, and maintenance requirements, as well as their ‘behavior’ in different environments.

Quarried natural stone and composite materials are the other two primary groups of paving materials. They are natural raw materials that are extracted from natural sources and then cut, split, or crushed. Concrete pavers made of composite materials, such as brick and precast/poured concrete, are molded and colored while still malleable and then burned or allowed to cure.

Natural stone is often more expensive, but it is also tougher and stronger, whereas manufactured / composite paving materials are less expensive and give greater processing and application versatility. Most paving materials, as versatile as they are and with all of their unique features, benefits, and limitations, can be utilized for both utilitarian and aesthetic objectives. Nonetheless, some are more suited to specific locations or applications than others.

Backyard patio pavers or paving slabs, on the other hand, are usually thinner and can be cut into certain forms, organized in specific designs, and color-matched to the surroundings. They are commonly used for paving courtyards, pool decks, gazebos, lawn/garden steps, and walks.

While the practical usefulness of the paving project is vital in selecting the proper paving material, there are a few other things to consider in obtaining the building’s final aesthetic curb appeal. Paving should be meticulously matched in color, surface texture, and overall design style to the surrounding surroundings and structures.

To choose the best kind, we recommend bringing samples on-site and experimenting with alternative layouts and places. Light, as well as different times of the day, must be taken into account, as concrete pavers will seem different depending on the conditions. Because paving materials change color when wet, sprinkle/pour some water on the samples to see how they change color when wet before choosing the proper color tone.

Here are some of the most common paving materials we’ve seen used in most backyards:

Poured Concrete

Pouring your own concrete outdoor space is the cheapest but most time-consuming alternative. For a unique aesthetic, go with a simple gray slab or add color. Stamped concrete, which requires professional installation, imitates the look of flagstone, natural stone, brick, and other expensive materials, such as manufactured stone or natural stone-like materials, for a fraction of the expense.

Concrete near swimming pools should be avoided since it is slick when wet. Also, keep in mind that concrete backyards are prone to cracking in extreme weather or on properties where the ground shifts.

Pavers

Homeowners can select from a wide range of patio pavers available on the market. Brick, flagstone, manufactured stone, natural stone, clay, concrete, and composite are all popular choices. Concrete patio pavers, which are available in a variety of colors, surface texture, and patterns, are less expensive.

Patio pavers are often slip-resistant and simple to install, but because they absorb stains, they must be re-sealed every two years for optimum upkeep.

Composite Patio Pavers

Composite patio pavers are a relatively new entrance to the outdoor space world, built almost entirely of recycled materials. There are a half-dozen hues to choose from, and the slip-resistant patio pavers are soft underfoot.

The pavers snap into a pre-laid grid, making alignment simple. However, the convenience comes at a price per square foot that is comparable to high-end brick.

Brick

Brick patio pavers, when installed properly, can last for over a century, and who doesn’t love the timeless beauty of their stunning old-world aesthetic? Bricks of different colors can be laid side by side for an eye-catching look, and numerous patterns, like herringbone and basketweave, are feasible.

Buying brick that is rated not only for outdoor use but also for the exact temperature range of the climate where you reside is crucial. Brick backyards range in price from $2 to $13 per square foot, are stain-resistant, and are gentle on bare feet.

Natural Stone

Bluestone, slate, travertine, limestone, natural stone, and sandstone patio pavers are all part of this category and can be purchased as irregular slabs or in square or rectangular shapes. Each has its own heat retention and slide characteristics.

Choose wisely based on how you intend to use your outdoor living space. Natural stone is the most expensive backyard material in use today, with the exception of specialized tile.

Tile

Outdoors, several different types of tiles can be used. Unglazed clay tiles are common (terra cotta being one of them), although glazed alternatives are also available (remember, the latter is likely to be somewhat slippery even when dry).

Tile costs anything from a few dollars to many thousand dollars. The tiles must be set atop a concrete slab during installation; if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to factor the cost of one into your budget.

Contractor

What is the most significant aspect of the contractor you intend to work with you? Does price, quality, and a warranty on workmanship matter to you? Are they licensed and insured?

What about being qualified and trained in their field? Do they have prior expertise with the type and scale of the outdoor project you’re considering? Is it possible to contact them whenever you have a question, or do you have to wait until they have time to speak with you?

These are all important questions to consider before hiring your contractor.

Maintenance

Outdoor spaces and backyards are fantastic complements to any home. This may appear to be a minor matter, but you do want that outdoor space, don’t you? However, just like any other part of your home, there is some upkeep and care to be done.

This is minor in comparison to many other aspects of your interior home, but you must remember that these places are ‘low-maintenance,’ not ‘NO-maintenance.’

On a bright day, a well-laid paved surface in an open position should require no maintenance other than the occasional sweep up. It’s possible that you’ll need to use a power washer or a backyard cleaner after that. Because this can be hazardous to plants, a gravel drainage channel surrounding the paved surface may be the solution.

An outdoor living space can be fashioned out of a variety of materials, but patio pavers are hard to beat for ease of installation and low maintenance. Although it may be more expensive upfront than other options, you will save money by not having to stain or seal it on a regular basis. Repairs are also simpler when done one paver at a time.

Installation Process

In reality, installation is the most important aspect of the outdoor project. You can choose the most elaborate and sophisticated design with all the bells and whistles, but it will fail if it is not installed correctly.

This factor could be the decisive factor in which contractor you hire, so do your research. Nobody likes to see an outdoor project for which they spent good money fall apart in a few years.

Location

We all assume that the most apparent location for a backyard is adjacent to the house. Step straight into the outdoor living space via the back entrance or backyard doors. In actuality, this is a critical factor.

If you want to sunbathe in your backyard, place the installation in the most exposed part of the yard. If your outdoor living room aspirations include dozing comfortably in a gently swaying hammock, find a shady area along a side of the house where an awning can be stretched.

Use pegs and thread (or landscaper’s spray paint) to delineate the perimeter you want once you’ve chosen a location and reviewed appropriate zoning and setback restrictions. For a few days, live with the region you’ve marked off to be sure you’ve made the right decision.

When using the backyard, consider the location of the sun. Would the far corner of the garden, which receives the evening sun, be a better place to sit with a drink? If, on the other hand, the area directly outside your backyard doors bakes in the sun all day and you desire shade, you should reconsider.

Design

The backyard should ideally appear and feel like a natural extension of your home, or if it is set apart from the house, it should blend in with the surrounding nature. Keep an eye on how the sun sets in the region and how much debris accumulates in the trees and bushes.

This is one of the most crucial aspects. We frequently urge folks to first select their garden furniture before determining the size of their backyard.

If you really need a six-seat backyard set, make sure the clean paved area is large enough to accommodate it, with enough space around it for convenient access. A wide paved area, on the other hand, can appear hard and uninviting, especially in the winter, if you only need space for a few sun loungers.

Your backyard does not have to be a regular rectangle, as the shape of your natural stone may suggest. It may be more enticing to have soft curved edges that mix in with the surrounding planting.

Furthermore, consider the practicalities. If you have to mow around it, make sure to plan ahead and avoid any tight edges.

Drainage

Another factor to consider is the flow of water. Even if you grade your backyard to prevent standing water, it’s better to avoid designing your backyard around a low point on the property. Excessive moisture not only affects the earth beneath a backyard installation but also encourages the growth of weeds and mildew.

While having a level backyard is crucial, you must also ensure that it slopes away from your home’s foundation and into an area that can either manage additional moisture or is already a drainage area. For every two feet of distance, plan for a quarter-inch decline in elevation.

Access

This is dependent on how much time you plan to spend in the backyard and what you plan to accomplish with it. If you plan to eat out frequently, don’t put the backyard at the furthest end of the garden and kilometers from the kitchen.

Order Extra

Backyard patio pavers are long-lasting, and they can survive extreme weather, temperature variations, and daily foot traffic. They aren’t, however, impenetrable, and they are prone to cracking and chipping, which is why you should keep some extra patio pavers from your initial project to replace any damaged ones.

Ordering some extra patio pavers is an excellent idea. To fit in the appropriate space, a few may need to be chopped. Also, because patio pavers are heavy, have them delivered.

To make repairs easier, keep a few extra natural stone elements or bricks available (you never know when your particular paver may be discontinued). The broken patio pavers can be pried out with a pair of screwdrivers or a tiny pry bar. If the paver needs to be cut to fit, make sure it’s slightly smaller than the opening’s length to allow for repacking of the sand around it.

Patio pavers come in a variety of forms, sizes, and colors, as well as a variety of pricing points, so finding a style that fits your budget shouldn’t be difficult. You can also update an appearance by mixing and matching different size patio pavers.

Dig Deep

Last but not least, before beginning your project, be sure to call your local utility company to get any plumbing, cable, or electrical lines marked before you start preparing your backyard space. Consider whether you’ll need to run wires through your backyards, such as for landscaping lights or a water feature; putting a sleeve/pipe beneath the patio pavers will make this possible, then dig a good six inches below the root level of the vegetation in the region.

If you have dry soil, irrigate it the night before you plan to dig into dampening and softening it and making digging simpler. If the soil is dry, irrigate it the night before you dig to soften it up and make digging simpler.

Always dig a larger usable space than you’ll need, around three to six inches outside the area where the patio pavers will be installed in the backyard.

Contact West Hills Masonry Today to Learn More

No matter how much experience you might have, it always feels that laying new paving is too much to handle. However, with everything we’ve provided in this article, we believe that we can help point you in the right direction for your next backyard renovation project.

No matter how much experience you might have, it always feels that laying new paving is too much to handle. However, with everything we’ve provided in this article, we believe that we can help point you in the right direction for your next backyard renovation project.

If you live in the Orange County community or any of the surrounding areas, and you need a team of professional landscapers to help with your next project, West Hills Masonry is here to help.

When you use West Hills Masonry for your next landscaping job, you can sit back and marvel as we transform your outdoor living space into a usable space and the haven you’ve always imagined. We take great delight in seeing our customers beam with joy after each successful project, and we can’t wait to do the same for you.

Give us a call today to receive a free estimate for your property and learn more about how the West Hills Masonry team can help you bring the backyard of your dreams to life.

12 Materials You Can Use to Pave Your Backyard

12 Materials You Can Use to Pave Your Backyard

Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ, watching the sunset, or enjoying some time outdoors, your backyard is a refreshing feature of your property. Over time, though, your backyard might need some renovation, which might lead to you looking for the best Orange County landscape contractors or hardscape contractors near you.

Paved backyards not only improve the enjoyment of your outside space but can also boost the value of your home and, not insignificantly, save you money on landscaping maintenance expenditures. However, the decision process can be rather complicated with the different varieties of materials to use for this project.

If you’re thinking about paving your backyard, you’ll want to know which materials are best for you and your property and why. Continue reading below to learn more about 13 of the best materials you can use to pave your backyard and discover how West Hills Masonry can help you achieve the backyard of your dreams.

If you’re looking for a landscaping business in Orange County that can manage even the most difficult landscape requirements, West Hills Masonry has the skills and expertise to match your needs. Learn more below about our extensive landscaping services and why we are one of Orange County’s top landscape contractors.

12 of the Best Materials to Pave Your Backyard

Paving your backyard is a fantastic place to start if you want to make your property more pleasant and usable, and the advantages of paved backyards are gaining more and more attention. The process, however, can be complicated for some homeowners.

Check out our list of 13 of the best materials for some fantastic ideas for your usable space.

Flagstone

Flagstone backyards are unmistakable and difficult to resist if you like the earthy, ageless look of the material. Quarried flagstones are heavy and difficult to work with since they are irregularly shaped and proportioned, especially for the unskilled do-it-yourselfer. Because flagstone is prone to eroding and splitting, proper drainage is essential for a good flagstone or tumbled stone backyard design.

Flagstone comes in a variety of hues and stones, depending on the quarry and area where you live. It’s a popular choice for backyards and front entrances. The uneven shapes distinguish the massive, flat slabs of stone, which are usually 1 to 3 inches thick. When wet, flagstone has a somewhat roughened surface that provides excellent traction.

Many have names that reflect the location or color of the quarry, the geological classification, or the quarry itself, or they can be made up. Moss rock, for example, is a frequent term for a stone found in New Mexico. While stonemasons are aware that it is a form of sandstone, a quarry or dealer may sell it under a different name.

Flagstone’s hue and properties result from a slow and steady buildup of layers of sand, clay, mineral, and organic deposits throughout the natural process of formation. Red, blue, and buff are the most frequent colors, with regional variants like Arizona sandstone and Pennsylvania bluestone being among the most popular.

Brick

Brick has been manufactured for thousands of years by heating a mixture of clay and other materials in a kiln. It’s tough, long-lasting, and has a clean, classic aesthetic that complements a variety of landscape and architectural designs. Many dwellings are made of brick or a combination of brick and other materials.

Its versatility allows it to be used for backyard floors, walkways, walls and edging. It works well with both formal and rustic landscape or hardscape components and different house designs. Different aesthetics can be achieved by using different brick bonding or patterns, such as herringbone, running bond, and jack-on-jack.

Clay brick is a tried-and-true backyard construction material with a distinct appearance that works well with traditional and contemporary design.

Bricks usually retain their rich, warm color over time, and because of their convenient weight and size, putting them in a backyard is a do-it-yourself project. Brick pavers can be laid easily on a dry bed of sand without the use of mortar.

Brick pavers adaptability appeals to homeowners since it can be arranged in a variety of patterns, ranging from rectangular to spherical. Reclaimed brick pavers have increased in favor as a result of its “green” status and unique appearance, despite the fact that it is often more expensive.

Pavers

Nothing compares to the beauty of a natural stone backyard. Depending on how you style it, it can be rustic or stylish. It’s also long-lasting and easy to match to your house’s decor.

The expense is a major disadvantage. Natural stone is mined, and you must pay to have the large slabs delivered to your home. The parts aren’t all the same size, which adds to the style, but it also means they’re not all the same thickness, and the ground beneath each piece must be individually carved out to the exact thickness of the piece in order to create an equitable floor.

Consider building a brick paver backyard in your yard for a traditional and modern appeal. Concrete pavers, often known as paving stones or patio pavers, can be laid in a variety of patterns to create one-of-a-kind backyard designs. Concrete pavers, patio pavers, and interlocking pavers are typically formed of concrete, and they come in a wide material of shapes and colors.

Natural stone, concrete, clay, and even recycled plastics are all used to make concrete pavers and patio pavers. Experts prefer stone or concrete backyard pavers and patio pavers for backyard installations because they are likely to last longer and have less color fading than other paver kinds due to their increased density.

Concrete pavers, or patio pavers, in particular, are a popular choice for backyard construction due to their ease of installation and wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Although some concrete pavers and interlocking pavers are created to look like natural stone or clay brick, this synthetic product invariably lends itself to a less “natural” aesthetic.

Concrete

Concrete is an excellent alternative for bespoke yard designs since it can be poured in rectangular or irregular patterns. A concrete backyard, for example, may be used as a surrounding landscape to your circular pool.

Concrete is a low-cost, easy-to-work-with material for your backyard construction. Because poured concrete is easy to shape, it may be molded into a variety of shapes and styles to make it more distinctive. The material is sturdy and long-lasting, and when placed properly, it will last for years.

However, because concrete is porous, you must avoid allowing water to penetrate it. If it freezes, it will expand, perhaps causing concrete fissures. Painting a sealer over the concrete to prevent it from sucking in water in the first place is a straightforward solution. Every few years, this will have to be reapplied.

Stamped concrete is available in a variety of colors and surface texture, as well as items that mimic natural stone or other materials. You may even make your own patterns, shapes, and designs to give your backyard a distinctive appearance.

Concrete backyards are often among the most affordable to construct. They are also one of the most durable, assuming good installation and upkeep. However, concrete, like brick, is susceptible to freeze-thaw cracking.

Because poured concrete may take any shape, there are virtually endless backyard design possibilities. A concrete slab is a way to go if your dream backyard is covered in glazed decorative tiles since it will provide a sturdy, even base on which to lay tiles in the future.

Gravel

Some homeowners prefer to use loose materials in their backyards rather than laying down a firm floor. Gravel is one of the most popular materials for this type of yard design. Homeowners who prefer DIY projects will welcome the fact that a gravel backyard is generally a do-it-yourself effort.

Gravel is an excellent choice for a backyard material that can be put fast and easily. River rock and crushed stone are the two most common types (in sizes ranging from a quarter-inch to one inch in diameter). When used over landscaping fabric, Gravel significantly inhibits weed development and provides superior drainage as compared to other materials.

Gravel comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from little round pebbles (known as pea gravel) to bigger rough-edged stones. Pea gravel is gentler to walk on, but it shifts a lot, making it difficult to keep your backyard furniture level. Larger gravel retains its shape better, but it is harsh on bare feet.

Gravel backyards are reminiscent of English cottage gardens and Tuscan courtyards at their best. However, keep in mind that a gravel backyard is high-maintenance, with stones that are difficult to maintain the level and in place. Some people also claim that walking on gravel with bare feet is uncomfortable and that other materials give better support for outdoor furniture.

Tile

Unglazed ceramic tile is preferred for a backyard floor, with glazed ornamental tile reserved for edges and accents. Glazed tile has a smooth sheen, which can make it slippery and dangerous when wet. Sealers, coatings, and enhancers protect the outdoor tile from stains, wear, and moisture while preserving or enhancing its natural color.

For backyard surfaces, there are three types of unglazed tile:

Porcelain

These tiles are stain-resistant and durable because they are fired at a high temperature.

Terracotta

A rustic-looking material that is permeable and best suited to moderate regions.

Quarry

Textured tiles with just enough unevenness to provide traction.

Cut Stone

Cut stone, often known as stone tile, is flagstone pavers cut into square or rectangular shapes. Cut stone is utilized for more formal applications than uneven flagstone because of its geometric form and placement. Smooth faces and square edges allow it to be set in even rows or spread apart, with a ground cover or loose material filling in the gaps.

Belgian blocks are sometimes known as cobblestones or stone blocks. Cobbles are typically utilized as edging for other materials such as brick, granite, or flagstone pavers in tiny sections.

Loose Materials

Loose materials, often considered a choice just for side yards or tiny areas, are rising in popularity for backyard surfaces, especially in drought-stricken areas. Why? Homeowners and residents are replacing parched lawns with water-saving alternatives like loose materials. They’re also simple to work with and reasonably priced.

Because of its accessibility and spreadability, a polymeric sand paver base is one of the most popular choices. Sand, on the other hand, is not an ideal base in and of itself. Sand shifts with time, resulting in an uneven foundation. Your concrete pavers will show if your foundation isn’t even close to level.

For added durability, sand is frequently used with crushed stone. Because sand is available in a variety of fineness and coarseness, not all varieties are suitable for paver bases. Washed concrete sand is the ideal base sand for concrete pavers or patio pavers, according to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.

Concrete sand, commonly referred to as bedding sand, is gritty and does not hold moisture beneath the paver surface. This allows concrete pavers to drain after a hard storm while still maintaining structural integrity.

Crushed Stone

A crushed stone paver base is made up of small stone fragments that have been fractured and inspected for consistency. Limestone, dolomite, granite, and trap rock are some of the most common rock types processed into crushed stone. Stone aggregate comes in a range of sizes, but most experts prefer 3/4-inch gravel for paver bases.

Crushed stone is an excellent paver basis because it drains well and is simple to work with. Crushed stone, like sand, comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Quarry processed dense grade aggregate is the ideal material for paver bases.

Furthermore, quarry processing produces a 3/4-inch crushed stone and stone dust mixture. This blend is one of the greatest materials for maximum strength and cohesion since it bonds effectively and boosts durability.

Natural Stone

If you enjoy the aesthetic of bricks or concrete pavers or interlocking pavers but prefer a more natural aspect for your yard, a stone backyard is a good option. Natural rock paving materials such as bluestone and flagstone can be spread in bright, eye-catching patterns.

Natural paving stones may outlast their man-made equivalents in terms of durability. The stones, unlike concrete blocks, will not fade over time.

However, the irregular size and shape of these stones can make installation difficult. As a result, natural stone is frequently one of the most costly backyard materials.

Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA)

Recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) is an environmentally friendly crushed stone alternative. Before being broken up and sold, crushed stone is mined as “virgin aggregate.” Existing concrete is broken down into gravel to create RCA.

The RCA method produces less carbon and uses less energy than mining virgin aggregate, making it a more environmentally friendly solution. Though RCA has a similar purpose to crushed stone in a paver base, it is impossible to tell which rock combinations are there.

When compared to crushed stone, this volatility may make RCA a less trustworthy base choice. If you’re interested in an RCA paver base, inquire about the quality of the paving materials used to guarantee that your project proceeds successfully.

Stone Dust

Stone dust is a sand-like powder that is made out of finely powdered stones. Though it can be a useful basis element when combined with other paving materials, most experts advise against using stone dust as a base on its own.

Stone dust and finely powdered stone, referred to as “screenings,” belong to a material group known as fines because it contains excessive dust particles. The particles hold a lot of water and hinder the base layer from draining properly.

This water storage jeopardizes a base’s ability to bear and distribute loads. Choose a base material that is a little more durable to keep your concrete pavers secure and prevent them from shifting.

Get Professional Help with Your Backyard with West Hills Masonry

The material you select to pave your backyard should be one that suits your needs and overall vision for your property. If it doesn’t meet your goals, even the cheapest backyard material won’t help you much.

When preparing to renovate your backyard or outdoor living room, decide what you want to achieve with your backyard space, then examine your budget to see how much you can afford to spend. Afterward, contact a team of concrete pavers you can trust to get the job done right.

At West Hills Masonry, you can count on us to transform your ideas into reality and leave you with an outdoor space that is elegant, magnificent, and functional. By complementing your landscape with magnificent hardscape features, such as a paved backyard, our knowledgeable and skillful team of contractors go to every length to add tremendous value to your home.

Are you looking to update your outdoor space and realize all of your hardscape fantasies with a paved backyard? Contact West Hills Masonry today to receive a free estimate and speak with an expert member of our paver team about how we can help you.