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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 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.

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.