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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.

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.