8 Wonderful Patio Ideas

Installing a new outdoor patio is one of the best investments you can make into both the financial state of your home and the satsifaction you can gain out of it. Obviously, a new patio is an important investment, one that cannot be overlooked. I want to help you avoid regret when you finally get that patio installed a realize that you don’t like what you got, whether that’s 10 minutes or 10 years down the line. Thus, here are eight outdoor patio ideas that will hopefully inspire you and educate you about what is truly possible when it comes to an outdoor patio. I cover nearly every facet of your choices, the patio’s design, installation, and extra features that can make your patio even more beautiful.

Location of Your Patio

Obviously, the first decision you need to make is where to install the new patio. The standard location is in your backyard, perhaps just outside the back entrance of your home, but don’t limit yourself to this location. While it’s a classic for sure, there may be other interesting places to install your patio. For instance, think about combining your patio with a pool deck, especially if you have an in-ground pool, as you’ll enjoy a well-integrated backyard. (There could be a whole article on pool patio ideas as well!)

While you are planning out your back patio, don’t forget that you can add other features to the installation, such as a new stoop or garden area – indeed, there are many patio ideas for small gardens that can combine the beauty of your organic garden life with the man-made beauty of your new patios.

One final note – don’t just limit yourself to the back patio! Many people have begun adding patios to their front yard. Obviously, this will depend on the dimensions of your property, but front patio ideas are at least something to consider during this phase.

Choosing Patio Materials

Another decision you need to make about your patio paving is picking the right patio material. There are tons of materials you can choose from, and many different designs and patterns (more on that in a sec), so the major factors for you will probably fall more along the lines of budget than anything else. At the lower end of the price spectrum is gravel, asphalt, and concrete – they are strong and durable, but don’t offer much in the way of design choices. You can spruce up this traditional slab look with stamped and colored concrete patio options.

The next level are concrete paving slabs, large square or rectangular cuts of precast concrete. The next paving level up are pavers – concrete pavers, grass pavers, and brick pavers. Each type of patio pavers has its own qualities – I go over bricks and paving stones in other areas of this site, linked here. Finally, there are the natural stone options, such as flagstone, both in paver and slab form. These are by far the most expensive options.

Other factors that you have to consider are your project plans, the climate (cold areas may crack patio slabs), and possibilities for expansion (i.e. are you considering adding on to your project at another time).

Patio Design Ideas

Next comes the hard part – actually determining the design of your patio. A lot of your design will be determined by the material you select – for instance, pavers may be easier to form into curves and allow you to play around more with colors and patterns, moreso than traditional options like concrete. You’ll need to determine the dimensions of the patio, the pattern (if applicable), color scheme, add-ons (like walkways and steps), and more. Create a picture if you can, or get a contractor or designer to do it for you.

Don’t forget about possibly adding a system of walkways around your new patio as well! The best part of using materials like concrete pavers is that you can use the material for all your backyard projects, even if you decide to add on to the installation years down the line. Still, it makes the most economic and efficiency sense to do as much work as possible at the same time.

One way to get ideas is to be inspired by what other people have done. Look around to your friends’ and family’s patios and see what you like and dislike about their projets. You can also seek out photos to get more patio ideas. Your material manufacturer or contractor may be able to supply you with these pictures as well. (I will be adding some images soon to this page, so check back.)

Hiring a Patio Contractor

This is an important step – all your well-laid plans could go to waste by missing this step. I’ve written extensively on how to hire paver contractors here – much of what I wrote applies to hiring any contractor.

Do It Yourself Patio Ideas

One way to save money is to do it yourself – forgo hiring a contractor and install that patio with your own efforts. This will save you much money that you would have had to pay in labor costs, but you will of course pay with your own time and labor.

If you are considering this option, make sure to think about DIY patio ideas, ones that will fit with your skill level and budget. For instance, certain materials are harder to handle than others, and require more skill and experience. You may also have a difficult area to install your project in (for instance, issues with grades or soil settling/composition) that necessitate the help of an expert. Still, you may be able to do a lot of the work yourself, especially if you’re using easy to install materials like pavers and slabs.

One quick trick here is to try installing a small patio somewhere else in your yard as a ‘practice run.’ It can be a simple design where you can test out different materials, ideas, and so on. Then, when you feel more comfortable, upgrade to a larger application.

Landscaping and Your Patio

Improving the look and feel of your backyard is not just about the hardscape! Consider how adding landscaping can enhance your newly installed patio. Doing so is an easy and cheap way of increasing the beauty of your project, especially when you can’t afford high-priced materials like sandstone paving. For instance, integrating a garden with a backyard patio may be a great way to showcase your hobby while enhancing the beauty of your backyard retreat. This site doesn’t have too much information (yet) on landscaping, but consider these articles on landscaping rocks and garden pavers for some preliminary ideas.

Adding Extras to Your Patio

Once the patio has been installed, you can also add other features to your patio that can increase its beauty and utility. For instance, if you’re looking for more privacy, you can get a screened in or enclosed patio. A covered patio is also good if you want to enjoy your project in any weather – extreme rain or extreme shine. Other ideas include getting a raised paver patio, adding patio furniture, outdoor lighting, barbecue pits, fireplaces, fountains, and much more!

Even if you are not installing a new patio, or you don’t own your patio (like if you live in an apartment), you can still use these ideas to spruce up what you’ve got to make it a more enjoyable and relaxing living space.

Saving Money

Finally, there are plenty of ways to save money on your next patio. Cheap paving doesn’t have to be low quality as long as you make the right shortcuts. First, you can look for inexpensive materials – I discuss some ways to find pavers for sale and paving slabs for sale on this site. As already mentioned, you can make use of patio ideas on a budget by doing the work yourself. For a more in-depth discussion of costs associated to different materials, see the Costs & Saving Money section of this site, including articles on such topics as the cost of pavers and a concrete patio cost guide.

10 Amazing Outdoor Patio Ideas

Adding a new patio to your yard – or simply redoing an old one – is a major project, one that you should approach with care. If you have no idea what kind of patio you want, or where you want to put it, or anything to do with your patio, you can certainly have a designer or contractor figure it out for you. But it’s also possible for you to come up with your own outdoor patio ideas. To help you out, here are ten outdoor patio ideas that you can either use for your next project or use to stimulate your own creativity when it comes to imagining and designing your patio. More comprehensive discussions of materials related to patios – such as articles on patio pavers and general patio paving information – can be found at those links.

  1. While you are coming up with patio design ideas, don’t ignore the other projects you can build with your patio. For instance, you can connect your patio to your home with new patio steps (made out of the same materials as the patio). You can also create walkways, pool decks, driveways, and other installations, all out of the same or other materials. This is a good idea for two reasons. First, you’ll save money if you install all those project at the same time than if you install them separately. Second, you’ll ensure that all your projects have the same design theme, style, and material.
  2. Of course, the most common materials – concrete – are tried and true, but don’t forget about the other materials options available. If your budget can handle it, we strongly encourage you to use patio pavers. You can find enough colors, patterns, and styles that you’ll be sure to create a design that will go with your general decor. If your heart is set on concrete, you should look into other decorative concrete options, such as stamped, colored, and stained concrete. You could also cover your concrete patio with thin concrete pavers or outdoor patio tile to provide the facade of a paver installation without the expense.
  3. Aside from concrete pavers, don’t forget other paver materials too for your outdoor patio, such as brick pavers and natural stone pavers. These are more expensive than concrete pavers and other materials, but they are beautiful to look at and go well with nearly any decorating taste.
  4. If you have no skills or willingness to install your projects, you can find plenty of contractors who can do the job for you. However, consider the possibilities, both aesthetic and financial, of doing it yourself. A DIY patio can save you money and ensure that your application turns out how you like. Use pictures for reference as necessary, and do your research to learn how to install your project. For instance, you can read about paver installation here.
  5. As with everything in life, it’s all about location, location, location. Of course, a backyard patio close to your house, or even adjacent to it, is a great option. But think about other places you can put your patio, or consider installing more than one patio, all with different uses. For instance, you can have one patio near your home for entertaining, and another garden patio for relaxation and for work on your landscaping.
  6. If you’re installing a new patio, the size of the new project is up to you, of course. This is also true if you’re installing a new patio in place of an old one – consider experimenting with different sized patios. For instance, you can create one large patio, as per normal, or you can create a series of small patios, perhaps connected by walkways and/or landscaping.
  7. If you are using your patio for entertaining, consider the ways you can maximize its utility. You can install a barbecue or fire pit; then it’s easy to cook food and have a BBQ without having to pull out the Weber grill. If you will be entertaining guests at night, try outdoor patio lighting to ensure that your guests will be bathed in light.
  8. Ultimately, the dimensions and design of your patio will depend on what you want to use it for. Make sure that the patio will fit all the accessories and people you want to put there. Make sure to measure out your gear to make sure that it will all be able to fit on the new patio with enough room.
  9. Of course, if you want to be able to use your patio year round, consider enclosing it. You can go as far or as close to an ‘outdoor room’ as you’d like. For instance, you can put a retractable roof on it if you want to get some sun occasionally; or you can enclose your patio with mesh, screen, windows, or even walls. You can then make your patio more of an extension on your home, perhaps adding a kitchen or entertainment area. Click this link for more information on enclosed patios.
  10. Once your patio is installed, don’t forget the furniture. You can really go wild here – of course, you’ll need some good patio sets with tables and chairs, but you can also add extras depending on the size of the project, such as a bar or hot tub.

BONUS: Here are some other accessories you can add to your patio: umbrella, hammock, torches and other lamps, benches, walls, planters and other landscaping features, fireplace, fountains, statues, and waterfalls.

10 DIY Patio Ideas

Among all the outdoor projects that you can build to enhance your own, the patio is among the most fun and valuable. Having a comfortable and beatiful place to entertain friends and family is worth the price of installation, and it will pay itself off many times over the years of use you’ll get out of it.

Best of all, if you have the skills and desire, you can make your own patio without needing to hire a contractor and bear the brunt of that expense. In fact, a DIY patio is a great first project, as it is hidden in your backyard and doesn’t have to deal with vehicular traffic. If you messed up a new DIY driveway, for example, you’d have much more of a headache on your hands.

To help you with your DIY paving project, we are giving you ten DIY patio tips to stimulate your creativity and get you thinking about your next project.

Note: You can also find 10 DIY concrete pavers tips here.

  1. The first major decision you have to make is picking your material that will use. Some are more appropriate for homeowner installation than others. Concrete pavers, for example, are highly recommended here, as they are easy to work with and install. The only difficult aspect of a DIY patio pavers project is preparing the base – this is the most important part of the project, so the utmost amount of care should be taken to make sure it’s right. Your other options are brick pavers and natural stone pavers – these are similar to install, but they are more expensive, so are usually not recommended for beginners. Concrete is easy to work with if you know what you are doing, but difficult if you are unskilled.
  2. When designing your new patio, don’t be hemmed in by the old shape and size (if you have an old patio that you’re replacing, of course). Be creative and aggressive – expand your DIY patios beyond their original borders and outside of their previous shape.
  3. Even if you want to do the entire project yourself, you have a backup plan if things go sour – you can subcontract out pieces of the project that you can’t handle or are having problems with. This way you can still save money while making sure the job is done right. An example of this is with the paver patio – you might want to have someone come in and excavate the old base and install the new one. You can then lay the pavers on the sand bed yourself and complete the finishing touches.
  4. Speaking of finishing touches, don’t forget them. Many little tweeks are easy to do yourself and can add much beauty and value to your patio. For example, when laying your pavers, your do it yourself patio can be fashioned into an interesting pattern with a good color scheme. If you are installing a concrete patio, you can use concrete patio paint or outdoor patio tile to help spruce up the appearance of the plain concrete slab.
  5. If you want the look of pavers without the expense, go with stamped concrete for your DIY patio. You can find concrete stamps for sale and concrete patio molds to make the shapes and designs you want; simply press them into the surface of the still wet concrete. You should only do this, however, if you live in a mild environment that doesn’t experience regular freezing and thawing in the winter.
  6. Don’t forget the accessories. You can also DIY your own enclosed patios, patio doors, awnings, canopies, and other aspects of your patio that will add both form and function. Don’t forget the furniture or barbecue, either.
  7. If you are having trouble coming up with a unique and effective design for your patio, you can hire a contractor or designer to create the plans for you. This is often worth the investment, as the designer can give you suggestions as to what works best with your backyard, home style, and landscape theme.
  8. Think big. Just because you’re working on a patio doesn’t mean you can’t add other pieces at the same time. Consider building walkways, driveways, and pool decks at the same time as you’re making your patio. It will be easier and more cost effective to create all of it at once than to split up the projects across many months and years.
  9. Be free with your design. Don’t stick to straight (perpendicular and parallel) lines if you want something more. For example, if you are using pavers, consider adding circle kits and curves to your design.
  10. If you want more information on how to build a patio, consult with resources pertaining to your particular material. This website deals especially with pavers and paving stones of all kinds, so you might have to find other resources on concrete and other materials.

Natural Stone Steps Information

One of the more interesting and elegant projects you can add to your yard, landscape, and hardscape are steps. If you have an area of your yard that is at higher grade, or a path that travels up or down a rather steep slope, you might consider adding steps to the area. And one of the best materials you can use for these new steps is natural stone.

Note that natural stone is actually a broader category that encompasses many kinds of natural stone. They all share the fact that they are quarried from the earth and cut into the shape you need. Thus, how the natural stone will look, how easy it is to work with, and the price you’ll pay for it will all depend on the specific type of stone you get, from cobblestone to flagstone and everything in between.

The Benefits of Natural Stone Steps

Natural stone offers you many benefits that other materials options, like concrete and brick pavers and regular concrete, can’t offer you. Like the other hardscaping options, natural stone is durable and strong. It will resist the weathering effects of wind, sun, and rain, and you won’t be able to crack the stone or chip it. Think about it – it’s a material that’s stood the test of time for eons, just waiting to get to your yard. You can thus be sure that your natural stone steps will have a long life, so you shouldn’t expect to have to reinstall a new set of steps again unless you want to change up your yard.

Another advantage of natural stone over its competitors is its beauty. Sure, concrete pavers can compete with natural stone in terms of the ‘ordered’ and ‘manufactured’ look, but if you want a material that captures the beauty and disorder of nature, you’ll want to go with stone.

Finally, stone can be cut and shaped into whatever forms you need it. Thus, you’ll be able to build your steps according to your own specifications. If you do like regularity, of course, you can by stone pavers that work much like their brick and concrete brethren. However, if you want a more free form and ‘natural’ looking staircase, as if it were already there in the natural world, you can also go with irregular block and slabs of stone.

Designing With Natural Stone

The main variable when it comes to designing a natural stone step, besides the dimensions (i.e. length, width, curves, size of step, thickness, etc.) is the ‘regularity’ of the project. This largely depends on the kind of stone you buy. If you buy stone that is regularly cut, almost slab or paver-like, you’ll get a ‘regular’ looking set of stoops. However, if you buy irregularly shaped stone, stone that seems to have been ripped straight from the ground with little ‘manufacturing,’ you’ll have an irregularly laid step project. There is of course a continuum as well between ‘regular’ and ‘irregular,’ and where your project sits along this continuum depends on your tastes and needs for the project.

While we can’t give you every single stone type that’s out there, we can at least point you in the direction of some popular choices. What may be available to you will depend on what’s available in your local area. Some popular stone types include: sandstone, slate, granite, limestone, chilton, bluestone, cobblestone, flagstone, and much, much more. Certain natural stone suppliers may also have ‘branded’ types of stone that are particular to that company.

Also realize, besides the different kinds of stone out there, that you can also get different kinds of stone colors and textures, even within the same ‘family’ of stones. This is why it’s important to shop around and see sample products in person. Pictures can lie sometimes, despite best efforts, so it’s always good to preview the stone in person to get a better idea of its properties.

Note that you can also get natural stone veneer and tiles that you can use to face old concrete steps and stoops. This is a great way to capture the beauty of natural stone without dealing with the heavy expense that’s usually associated with it.

Natural Stone Steps Cost

The main disadvantage of natural stone, and one that prevents most interested homeowners from pursuing the material, is its cost. Natural stone prices do vary depending on the kind of stone, but you will pay more than other options, regardless of whether you get finely cut natural stone pavers or ‘irregularly shaped’ stone. Even if you get the stone for sale, expect to pay $100 to $200 per step, or more, for materials and installation. The exact number you’ll pay will depend on the contractor you hire as well as other factors in your local environment.

Building Natural Stone Steps

While you can work with natural stone as a DIY paving project if you have the skills, most homeowners will not want to attempt to build natural stone steps themselves. Instead, they should find a contractor who can do this kind of work.

A word of caution. All hardscape projects – patios, driveways, walkways, and the like – have a certain element of ‘artistry’ involved. In other words, a good contractor is not only skilled at doing the work; he also has an eye for the artistic and aesthetic aspects of the project. This is very true when it comes to natural stone steps, as there’s an art to making your steps look ‘natural.’ So when you’re evaluating a contractor for this work, make sure you see samples of previous job’s he’s done to make sure that he will craft something beautiful and according to your expectations. While natural stone can never be boring, it can certainly be laid suboptimally.

If you want to learn more about patio steps, including how to build them yourself, follow this link.

A Definitive Driveway Paving Guide

The first thing visitors and passerbys will see when they look at your house – besides your house, of course – will be the driveway. A well designed and well installed residential driveway, made from quality materials, will accentuate the fine appearance of your home, even taking a modest home and turning it into something more. A pathetic driveway, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect – a crumbling mess can make even the nicest home look less valuable.

So, you’re probably considering a new driveway paving project, either for functional or aesthetic reasons, or perhaps both. Fortunately, and unfortunately, there are plenty of driveway paving materials available for you to choose from. Fortunately, insofar as you’ll be able to pick the perfect driveway for your home, given your budget, but unfortunately because the inexperienced homeowner may feel overwhelmed by choice. Paving a driveway is a complex affair: Which material should you use? Should you install it yourself as a DIY paving project? How do you hire a contractor? These and many other questions might be going through your mind right now. To help you out, this driveway paving guide will help you sort out the various aspects of this process, both to help answer questions you have and to better inform your ongoing research process.

A driveway is a huge investment in your home, both in your time and financial resources, so you’ll want to spend time doing your due diligence. The more research, the better. We hope that this article reveals and guides you in your quest!

BUDGETS AND COSTS

Before going further, you’ll need to sketch out your basic budget. Obviously, you’ll want to have a range, as sometimes costs can add up faster than you expect, especially if your job will require special work.

Which material is the cheapest? This is a different question from “which material is the most valuable?” You may pay more money, in absolute terms, for one material, but end up making more in the long run given the quality of the material and the potential to increase your home’s value. Thus, don’t necessarily think only in terms of sheer prices per square foot, but rather in short and long term costs and value.

If you’d like a general cost estimate to get you started, here is a general scale for price for the most common driveway materials for both materials and labor, all other things being equal: To

Stone < Asphalt < Concrete < Concrete Pavers < Brick Pavers < Natural Stone Pavers

To get a more specific estimate, you can read this article on driveway paving cost or you can find  a cost calculator for these products for a decent guide, but the only true measure will be an estimate from a local contractor.

Let’s talk about the relative merits of each material.

WHAT DO YOU WANT IN A DRIVEWAY?

After budget, the next questions you need to ask yourself are about performance and looks. First, performance – you’re going to be driving and parking on this surface, so you want to make sure it won’t break apart. Most driveway materials will have no problem standing up to this kind of abuse – as long as they’re installed in a proper manner. This is why it’s critical to find a skilled contractor – if you look for a bargain, you may get a disaster instead. Go with quality.

Next, aesthetics. This may be a very small concern of yours after the above two – paving cost and how well and long the driveway holds up – but it’s still important, especially considering you’ll be living with the driveway for many years. In general, go with the materials that have more design options – usually, these are your paving stone materials, as they come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and thus give you more freedom to create.

Depending on your project and circumstance, you may have other concerns to consider. For example, you may have environmental concerns to balance; in this case, you’d want to avoid materials like asphalt that damage the environment or any driveway material that isn’t permeable in order to allow for proper water drainage. A good material to look into in this case are grass pavers or other permeable alternatives.

DRIVEWAY PAVING MATERIALS

As stated in the cost section above, the most popular materials for your driveway include loose stone (gravel, for example), asphalt, concrete, concrete pavers, brick pavers, and natural stone pavers. The material you choose will depend on a large number of factors, not least of which is your budget. This will probably be the main determinant of your final selection. Truth be told, if you had an unlimited budget, you’d surely go for one of the pavers options, and probably with the most expensive option – one of the natural stone pavers. However, most of us need to settle with more affordable options, which is why concrete and asphalt, in particular, are so popular.

For a long discussion of the relative merits of each material, check out this discussion on the merits of stamped concrete vs pavers and a comparison of all the other materials mentioned above in terms of strength, durability, maintenance, price/value, and more. Note, however, that there also other materials out there, from paving flags and concrete slabs to macadam and block paving and everything in between. Thus, this discussion isn’t exhaustive, but it will at least highlight the most common and popular material types available.

Even if we go with these inexpensive options, we still shouldn’t settle for “cheap” necessarily. There is a big, big difference between high quality and low quality asphalt driveway paving, for example, so keep this in mind when shopping around with potential driveway paving contractors.

MAINTENANCE AND YOUR DRIVEWAY

The sticker price you pay at first installation may not be the only money you lay out over the lifetime of the driveway. Consider what maintenance costs, both in dollars and in your time, may also come with that material. It may be prudent, for example, to invest more now for a low-maintenance material (concrete) than to pay a little bit now for a material that won’t hold up as well over time and will require more maintenance and repair (e.g. asphalt).

Blacktop, for instance, will require periodic maintenance to keep it looking fine. Over time, it will fade and crack, showing the aggregate within the structure, and will thus not look as nice. To keep it looking great, you’ll probably have to get some sealcoating or resurfacing work done; if you don’t, that’s fine, but be ready to deal with a less than optimal driveway. Even paving stones will require occasional concrete paver sealer; usually homeowners will be able to go on sealing pavers themselves, so it usually is not much more of an added expense aside from the time spent working on the project.

TEN DRIVEWAY PAVING IDEAS

To finish this article, we’d like to leave you with ten design ideas and construction tips that you may want to consider when getting your new driveway. Of course, these are just suggestions, but hopefully they’ll spur your own ideas and thoughts when it comes time to craft designs and plan your own outdoor creation.

1. If you’re going with the traditional materials, like concrete or asphalt, don’t limit yourself to the standard iteration of these materials. For instance, you can get stamped concrete to look like paving stones at a fraction of the cost. You can also use stains and finishes to make your concrete look totally different from the typical drab, grey appearance.

2. Consider adding a walkway, patio, or pool deck at the same time as your driveway. You can have an integrated project while also saving more money overall if you get it all done at once.

3. Watch out for scams, especially for companies that will come in, excavate your old driveway, and leave you hanging for weeks or even months while they get other jobs in the area, all just to save them a few bucks. Read reviews, do your research – for instance, here’s some information on how to hire the best paver contractors. These questions can be asked of any contractor, as well.

4. Consider matching your new driveway with new landscaping.

5. Don’t just automatically copy the old design for your new driveway. Consider making the driveway bigger or smaller, depending on your needs, and think about the design flairs you can add, such as curves and sections.

6. You can mix and match options – if you can’t afford driveway pavers, for instance, consider mixing an asphalt or concrete driveway with a paver apron, border, or walkway. Thus, you can capture some of the beauty of this material without the full expense.

7. Don’t balk about hiring professional design services if you need the help. For a small investment up front, you can have a driveway created for your that will go best with your decor and your home’s style and theme.

8. Consider adding other flairs to your driveway, such as fans, circle kits, benches, retaining walls, and more.

9. Pick a color that complements, not necessarily matches, your home’s colors.

10. Finally, if you really need to save money but want to use a brilliant material, consider the driveway a do it yourself project. If you know how to pave a driveway yourself, and have the skills and experience and tools to do the job safely and correctly, you can save money on labor, making a job more affordable, though of course you’ll be paying some of the ‘cost’ of the driveway in your time.

The Asphalt Driveway: What You Need to Know

One of the more popular options available for paving a driveway is asphalt. These types of residential driveways are ubiquitous throughout the world due to their cheap price, durability, and relative easy of install. This article will describe what you need to know about the asphalt driveway – what it is, its benefits, its drawbacks, its prices, and what to look for when getting a driveway installed.

More information on other driveway materials, such as driveway pavers, can be found at these links.

The Benefits and Drawbacks (Pros and Cons) Of Asphalt

The major benefit of asphalt is its durability and resistance to vehicular traffic. You can park and drive on it with no problems. It is also very easy to install, as long as the company or contractor knows what they are doing, and the material is also cheap. Thus, prices for the installation of asphalt driveways are usually low, especially if you get contractors to bid against one another. The installation can be finished quickly, so you won’t have to wait for days for the project to be completed. (In theory, at least – see the ‘Scams’ section). Another benefit is that you won’t have to worry much about stains, even of oil, because they will usually blend in with the black of the asphalt. Maintenance is usually quite easy, too.

Asphalt also does well in many climates, as it can resist cracking due to cold and be flexible in hot environments due to the composition of the driveway. It is easy to remove snow from, with shovels, plows, and deicing salts, and absorbs the sunlight in the winter, helping to melt snow and ice.

There are some drawbacks to asphalt, however. Though maintenance is easy, you will still have to seal the driveway once a year, or at least get someone else to do it. While it’s not necessarily required, the proper application of asphalt sealer will help keep the driveway looking great and being strong for years to come. A little investment now could spare you the costs of replacing the driveway well before its time.

Another drawback of asphalt is that it doesn’t look as good as other driveway options. It is certainly outclassed by paving stones, and even concrete, especially if it is stamped or colored, can be more interesting to look at than asphalt. Indeed, asphalt is kind of generic, but this may not be a problem for you if you just want the job done and don’t want to invest into the looks of your home. Just know that your design options will be limited – in the patterns, shapes, and colors you’ll have (or rather lack) at your disposal. If you are looking for more flexiblity and creativity in designs, go with concrete, paving stones, natural stone, or brick pavers.

Like concrete, asphalt may crack due to freeze-thaw cycles. This is a common problem in areas with cold and wet climates, but it can happen anywhere. Whether or not this happens depends on a number of factors, including random chance, but the most important factor is the quality of the base on which the asphalt is installed. When looking for a contractor, make sure he or she knows the importance of the base, and is willing and able to put in the time necessary to prepare it properly. You may want to subcontract out that part of the work to someone who is great at preparing bases if you don’t trust your contractor’s ability to deliver on this.

Asphalt may also have issues in hot climates. If it gets too soft and too much weight is put on it, it may form ruts or dips that can be unsightly.

One other disadvantage is that you can track in oil and grime from the driveway into your home and other clean areas if you are not careful about taking off your shoes. For instance, it’s totally possible to track in seal coating into your home, especially if it’s a hot day and the asphalt is soft or just recently sealed.

If you are concerned with the environment, asphalt may not the be best choice, as chemicals and oils will leach into the ground. However, if you use recycled asphalt, you will help save the environment by using fewer fossil fuels. You’ll also save a few bucks, too!

Finally, you will not be able to install asphalt yourself unless you have the tools and experience to do so. Thus, if you are looking for a DIY driveway project, asphalt may not be the choice for you. If you do want to get asphalt done, you’ll have to hire a pavers contractor – and that comes with the obvious drawbacks of that process.

Asphalt Driveway Cost Estimate

Asphalt is usually one of the cheapest options out there, though the price will vary depending on many factors. One of these factors is the price of crude oil. Components of oil are actually important components of blacktop, so as oil increases in price, blacktop increases in price. Other factors include the size of the job, the season, your location, the contractor you hire, and the specifics of the job itself. In general, however, the cost per square foot for most driveways will range from $1 to $6. The exact cost will depend on the estimate you receive from a contractor; you may also be able to find a cost calculator as well to give you a more specific, but still rough, estimate.

If you get an old asphalt driveway resurfacing, you’ll pay much less in the short term than if you got a new driveway. However, realize that many of the flaws, like cracks, may come through the new layer, despite the contractor’s best efforts, so it may pay in many cases to get a totally new installation.

A more in depth look at the asphalt driveway cost can be found at this link.

Asphalt Driveway Maintenance and Repairs

Asphalt benefits from periodic sealing, though it is by no means required. If you want to extend the life of your driveway, or if you want to protect it from water damage, have it sealed every year or two. However, wait at least a year before sealing a new asphalt driveway. You will want to to do this when the surface turns a bit more grey and when you can see the small stones coming to the surface. If you don’t want to hire someone who specializes in sealing asphalt driveways, it is possible for you to do the work yourself as long as you follow the “how to” directions listed on the sealant product you purchase.

If your driveway does get cracked, chipped, or otherwise damage, it is possible to hire someone who does asphalt driveway repair; you can also do the work yourself, if you know how. Simple crack filler or patches might not look great, but they will look better than the unfixed alternative; they are usually relatively easy for you to DIY.

How Do These Driveways Compare to Other Materials?

What about concrete vs. an asphalt driveway? These are two of the most popular options for driveways, not counting concrete pavers and stone.

Asphalt is very similar to concrete, in that they are both a mixture of sand and stones, but asphalt is bound together with asphalt cement instead of Portland cement. Asphalt is, in a sense, “concrete asphalt,” in that it contains similar components to concrete and is bound together in a similar manner. Despite the minor differences, both are strong, and asphalt has the added bonus of being quite flexible.

Whether you pick asphalt or concrete is up to your budget, design ideas, and home style and theme. Concrete is usually slightly more expensive than asphalt, but this may not be true all the time. You’ll have more design options with concrete, even if you do pick special colored or stamped asphalt, but the installation and maintenance of your asphalt will probably be easier.

Note that asphalt and concrete are both different from a crushed asphalt driveway, also known as tar and chip or macadam. Instead of mixing the stone, sand, and binding agent before laying the driveway, the stone and sand are laid on the driveway first and then ‘sprayed’ with the cement.

A more in depth comparison of hardscape materials can be found here.

What About Asphalt Driveway Scams?

Asphalt driveway paving is big business in the home construction niche, so you’ll have no shortage of people willing to do the work for your home. However, many people report having many problems when dealing with contractors, everything from delivering substandard work to excavating an old driveway and then waiting for months to finish the job, leaving the homeowner with a dirty and dusty driveway throughout that time.

One of the main reasons this happens is that certain unscrupulous contractors will wait until they score multiple jobs in one area before laying down the asphalt. This is because asphalt must be hot in order to be laid, and it is more convenient and efficient to lay more than one driveway at a time. Thus, they will often excavate a driveway, wait for more homes, and then finish the job days, weeks, or even months later. This is why it’s so important to get reviews of contractors’ work before you commit to them. You need to make sure you are getting good value, and not getting scammed, so do your homework and ask for referrals from friends and family who’ve had good work done in the past.

When picking a contractor, the most important factor is how much attention they pay to a base. The base of the driveway should be around 8 inches of well compacted gravel or aggregate base. In addition, this base should extend farther than the actual driveway in order to give a little edging around the structure. Don’t let the contractor install the new driveway without assessing the thickness and the strength of the base – if you are getting a new driveway because the old one cracked, you’ll want to make sure you get a full checkup, even if this will cost you more in the short term.

Grass Pavers: What You Need to Know

Original photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmr/3485316730/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The installation of a grass paver driveway.

If you have an area that requires detailed water management and drainage, needs to withstand heavy traffic and abuse, and doesn’t need to be aesthetically exquisite, grass pavers (also known as turf pavers, pervious pavers, and porous pavers) may be the best choice for you. The grass paver  differs from concrete pavers in that they are hollow and “grid-like,” as you can see in the picture to the right.

There are many different uses, both residential and commercial, for turf paving stones. They have been most commonly used in commercial applications, particularly in places where lots of driving and parking occurs. However, they have also recently gained in popularity for uses in the home. At home, these pavers can be used for driveways, walkways, garden applications, landscaping projects, patios, and many other ideas. Commercially, grass pavers can be used anywhere high vehicular traffic can be expected, such as parking lots or construction sites, or anywhere soil or grass erosion can occur. Other common uses include:

  • trails
  • emergency access paths
  • golf cart paths
  • sewer access roads
  • barn flooring
  • drainage channels
  • parking lots
  • and more.

For those with environmental concerns, grass pavers are one of the best ‘green’ options out there.

The Benefits of Grass Pavers

Grass pavers are primarily used in areas where soil erosion or water drainage is of paramount concern. For example, grass driveway pavers help stabilize the soil in an area where lots of vehicular traffic may unsettle and damage it. Water can also drain easily in between these paving stones, putting less pressure on water draining systems that would otherwise have to accept all of this rainwater running down grade. This can help with containing and controlling water pollution, as runoff from asphalt driveways can be very polluting due to all the chemical it carries. Grass pavers, however, allow water to drain free and clear, and thus represent an environmentally friendly driveway and paving solution.

Another example of where this material may be used is where there is a hill, slope, or other slight grade that might run off or erode due to wind, rain, or other inclement weather or abusive forces. Grass pavers keep the area secure and stable while also providing a sleek look.

A final example is any area that is flooded often. Normal paving options – concrete, asphalt, or even concrete pavers – do not drain water as well as regular ground, as the water will often slide down the grade. However, turf pavers provide both the strength and durability of concrete pavers with the drainage capability of grass or soil – a useful combination for some applications.

Another benefit of these permeable pavers is how they support and protect the grass roots system. Constant driving and parking on the grass can easily tear it apart and damage it beyond repair. This can look ugly and require work to replace if you ever want to have grass in the area again. Well-installed grass pavers will help protect this grass and prevent major damage due to ruts and tears caused by moving wheels.

Different Kinds of Grass Pavers

Grass pavers are made out of many materials depending on the needs of the project. One common option is concrete, much like standard paving stones. Another choice is plastic; this is often used for applications that don’t need as much strength and need more subtlety instead (i.e. so they can’t be seen as easily by the naked eye). Plastic grass pavers are often used for areas like backyards that need the soil protection and water management but not the strength intended for vehicular applications. These “lawn pavers” actually leave more space for the grass in between the plastic, letting you get the benefits of the permeable paving system without the robust quality of the concrete variety.

Grass Turf Pavers and Design

Grass pavers, because they are functional, do not focus much on looks, so you won’t find much variety in color, shapes, or sizes as you will with other concrete paving stones. If looks are a concern to you, you may want to look elsewhere, though there is certainly something to be said for the simplicity and utility of these grass paving stones. However, some people do enjoy the natural ‘grassy’ look of these pavers, especially as the grass grows over time. It can also help you blend in different areas of your yard regardless of whether or not you park on those areas – instead of installing a concrete or stone driveway to accommodate extra parking, for example, install grass pavers and you won’t have to have a jarring concrete blob on your property.

Installation of Grass Pavers

Luckily, installing grassy pavers is quite easy compared to other options, and can often be completed by the homeowner. You should still consult your local contractor or paver manufacturer for assistance with your particular project. Maintenance is also easy, and you can often still mow the areas where these pavers are installed to keep the grass in check. Overall, grass pavers are often the most environmentally conscious and functionally effective paving material you can purchase.

The concrete grass pavers ‘honeycomb’ is laid first on a graded, properly excavated area. Even though it drains well, it should still have a slight grade away from the home to ensure that the water doesn’t pool or flood. Depending on the volume of water you expect, you may have to install a drainage system and catch basin to help channel the water to where you want it to go. The base will want to be made up of 3/4 to 1″ of gravel or crushed aggregate. You’ll want to compact this surface.

If the grass pavers are the concrete variety, they are laid much like concrete pavers are – by hand, one by one, in the pattern and shape as needed. Plastic grass pavers may be laid in the same fashion, or they may come in a roll (such as EZ Roll), in which case they are ‘unrolled’ around the area as necessary.

Next, sand or aggregate is spread over the system. This material helps keep the grass pavers in place and keeps them strong while also allowing for proper drainage of water. Next, the grass paver blocks are then filled with a top layer of topsoil to allow for grass to grow; however, more aggregate or stones can be used instead of grass isn’t desired given the desired look of the installation. Then, grass may be planted in the area, if desired. You can also roll sod over the top of the pavers as well. Eventually, the grass will grow between the pavers, creating a mixed grass/concrete look that is also quite permeable and durable. (Or, simple stone or sand will fill in the hollow grass pavers network.)

After the paving system is installed, homeowners should check on it over the next few months to make sure water is draining properly and that there are no problems with the installation. After everything checks out, normal lawn and grass maintenance may go on as if the paving system weren’t in place.

Grass Pavers Cost

Best of all, the grass pavers cost is quite low compared to other paving options, and will depend on the usual factors (location, size, complexity, etc.). You can expect to pay somewhere around $2.00 a square foot. For plastic rolls, you can pay anywhere around $250-$300 per 4′ x 24′ roll – this translates into about $2.50 to $3.00 per foot. Installation may be extra for both of these depending on the project. All in all, you’ll probably pay more for grass pavers installation than for other materials options like concrete, asphalt, and the like. Note that you can save money on these projects by finding the material for sale or by laying it yourself – it is definitely a possible DIY project, within the skill of many homeowners.

The Fundamentals of Outdoor Pavers

Outdoor pavers can add beauty and functionality to any home or business. Also called concrete pavers, paving stones, or pavers, they come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes that complement any landscape or hardscape theme or design. This article will describe some of the fundamentals of the outdoor paver, including information on varieties of paving stones, hardscape design, and installation and maintenance tips. (Note: Other pavers, including brick pavers, flagstone pavers, and other natural stone pavers will not be discussed here.)

While this is a solid introduction to the topic, I’d also suggest that you search around this site for more specific information on many of these topics, not only for concrete pavers but also materials as diverse as bluestone pavers to paving flags and everything in between. This will ensure you that you are making the right decision on the material to use when it comes time to install your next driveway, walkway, patio, pool deck, or other project.

The Strengths of Outdoor Pavers

First, outdoor pavers are very strong and durable. You won’t have to worry about installing a new application for many decades, if at all – as long as they are installed correctly, of course. Second, these stones are very beautiful and unique – they will add more elegance to your home than other, more typical hardscaping materials (such as poured concrete and asphalt).

Another of the strengths of outdoor concrete pavers is that they come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. The shapes and sizes you select will depend on the particular installation you are pursuing. For instance, outdoor patio pavers will require certain properties that may or may not differ from driveway or walkway pavers. Depending on the size and shapes of the brick selected, many different patterns and layouts are possible. The color of the outdoor pavers – either single, double, or triple blends – will depend on any other projects installed in the area and on the general theme, style, and design of the home or business itself. We go over a discussion of paver patterns, paver colors, and more on these pages on this site.

One of the best aspects of outdoor paver installations is that they are nearly maintenance free. Their flexibility and strength resists the rigors of freezing and thawing cycles. They will thus rarely crack (though they may settle). If any pavers do crack or chip or fade over time, they can be easily replaced: simply remove the damaged paver from the area, fix the base, reinsert a new paver, and fill in the joints with sand. It’s that easy!

Outdoor Paver and Hardscape Design

Many different interesting designs can be incorporated into an outdoor paving stone application. For instance, curves or circles can be added to give the project a more luxurious look and feel. Borders (called ‘soldier courses’) can be added to highlight particular aspects of the area. Fancy patterns and layouts can be used to draw attention to a walkway or patio, or a simpler design can be used to make the project blend in more with its environment. Whatever your intention, you can be sure that these pavers will meet your needs.

There’s not enough room in this article to describe all the various kinds of designs that you can build. For more specific information, such as patio ideas, front yard walkway ideas, and others, check out the articles by following the links provided.

Installation Procedures of Outdoor Paving Stones

Installation of outdoor pavers can be rather challenging, however. In most cases, it is probably best to hire a contractor with experience in this field. For the adventurous do it yourselfer, paving stones can be installed with the proper effort and preparation. The most important part of the installation is preparing the proper aggregate base (6″ or more, depending on the project) on which the patio, walkway, driveway, etc. will sit. This includes as well around one inch of fine sand that will act as the main bed for the stones. The area should be correctly graded (sloped) to ensure that water drains away from the home or business and to prevent flooding. Homeowners should also be mindful to obtain the proper equipment, such as plate compactors, necessary to complete the job right. These compactors can be rented for the day. For more installation information, always contact your local contractor or paver manufacturer. You can also check out our pavers installation guide here on this site. Note, however, that the particularities of your project may significantly alter the proper installation discussions – this is why you either need to have the experience to tell what is different or the guidance from a professional.

As for other installation/DIY projects, sealing pavers is something that you can do to increase the beauty and lifespan of your pavers, though it is certainly not required. In general, outdoor pavers do best when sealed once every one or two years. More information on sealing pavers can be found by following the link. They can be easily cleaned with pressure washers or other cleaners, especially if any stains appear. They are also easy to remove snow and ice from, either with plows, shovels, or de-icing salts. More information on cleaning pavers and removing stains can be found by following the link.

Costs of This Material

Though outdoor pavers are more expensive than other options, they more than pay off the investment over time. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $15 per square foot for your next project. The exact cost you’ll pay depends on so many factors that it’s impossible to list them all here – instead, check out this discussion of pavers cost for more guidance. In the end, though, nothing will replace an individual inspection by a local contractor.

The range quoted above may seem kind of expensive to you, though. However, the important thing to remember here is that an outdoor paver project should be seen in part as a financial investment as well as simple consumption. These brick projects last longer than other materials (like concrete and asphalt) and they add more to the beauty and value of a home. Thus, if a house with paving stones is sold, the selling price will be higher if it has an outdoor paver patio, driveway, or walkway than if it doesn’t.

Garden Pavers – Add Beauty and Functionality

Of the many possible applications for paving stones, garden pavers are among the most interesting, due to the potential stylistic and thematic connections between the many paver sizes, shapes, colors, and designs of paving stones and the garden’s inhabitants and style that you’ve already set up. Garden paving stones can complement many gardens in aesthetic design while also increasing the functionality of the garden, either by providing walking spaces or by protecting the valuable plants inside it.

Garden paving slabs and stone are essentially equivalent to that used for other projects – driveways, walkways, pool decks, and the like. The only difference is in its functionality in the garden itself. The walkway, patio, or garden edging pavers both contribute to and are affected by the design of the garden. Using outdoor pavers not only can protect and beautify the fruits of your hobby, but they can also increase your enjoyment of the home itself, as well as represent a financial investment since the brick, if installed correctly, can increase the property value of your home.

Reasons to Use Garden Paving Stones

Note that there are many kinds of garden paving stones available; each has its own pros and cons. The three main categories of pavers include brick, concrete, and natural stone; a comparison of these materials has been made elsewhere on this site, in particular in the comparison of stamped concrete vs pavers and other paving materials. The major difference you’ll see, aside from looks, is price – landscaping with stone, like cobblestone for instance, will be much more expensive than using manufactured options like concrete.

Pavers, as discussed elsewhere, are strong and durable. You won’t have to reinstall them for many decades as long as they are properly installed. They will stand up to the rigors of their environment, especially if this includes close contact to soil and gardening chemicals.

One advantage of pavers that is important for garden applications  is the balance they strike between smoothness and roughness. They are not too rough as to be uncomfortable if one walks on them with bare feet but they are also not too rough as to be worn down by the elements. Their roughness also makes them less slippery when wet – an important feature if they are installed around pools or gardens. On the other hand, many concrete paver brands retain their smooth finish over time, keeping them beautiful and new looking for many years.

Another good reason to install these pavers is if you park your car, machine, or other equipment in the garden area. Driving and parking over grass and dirt will eventually create a messy area, one that could clash with the beauty of your garden. There are many dedicated grass pavers that are subtle, environmentally friendly, permeable to water, and durable to stand up against any kind of traffic. If you have a high traffic garden (in terms of feet or wheels) you may benefit from installing these kinds of pavers in addition to the typical walkways, borders, and the like.

Garden Design Ideas with Paving Stones

Image labeled for reuse - found on http://www.wickedlocal.com/franklin/fun/gardening/x1194167052/Home-Help-Add-curb-appeal-to-your-home?img=2 through Google image search.As stated above, garden pavers can be used for many applications in your hardscape and landscape. One potential application for these pavers, and perhaps the simplest, is their use as garden edging. These borders made from landscape pavers can  delineate and protect the boundaries of your garden. This will prevent people (or animals) from walking through fresh planted gardens. In addition, the pavers can be used to mark off particular sections of the garden – and the color and style you choose for each section can nicely complement each section as you see fit. Functionally, the garden edging  can prevent dirt and mud from escaping from the flower bed and mucking up your patio or walkway (or your yard or garden itself).

Aside from simple edging, you can mark off the boundaries of your garden by installing  walkways to mark off the garden and provide a place for visitors to walk; another strategy is to install walls or retaining walls if a more heavy duty solution is needed, or if a wall would fit better with the theme you are trying to create in your yard. You can thus use these walls as part of your garden fencing ideas – if you need to keep people or critters out of your garden, you can use beautiful and regal walls instead of or in addition to the normal fences you might use. You can use the same garden brick for flat projects (walkways and patios) as you can for walls, so you won’t have to worry about mixing and matching brands.

Of course, your garden edging ideas don’t simply have to be purely functional – don’t forget about the aesthetics of your garden as well as the experiences it can provide to you and your guests. If you have a large garden, installing a walkway or patio can help you create a special garden space, through which you, your friends, and family can travel or simply relax. Your garden can thus be more than functional, but also aesthetic – you can create a space for contemplation, relaxation, or conversation with the judicious use of a garden pavers walkway or patio. You could also create a central space in your garden to hold parties or bar-b-ques. The only limit is your imagination.

Don’t forget that there are other paving options at your disposal besides pavers. You can also use stepping stones to fulfill many of these functions; garden stones are cheap and easy to install, so they make a great DIY project if you want to lay down a hardscape quickly. You may also find rubber pavers that may be of benefit to certain garden applications.

Note that all decisions should be made in concert with professional landscapers and gardeners who may be able to give you additional backyard landscaping ideas in addition to those you’ve read here or thought of yourself. The more eyes and ideas that come into a project, the better the project will turn out – as long as you have the funds to pay for these services, of course.

Laying Garden Pavers  – DIY or Contractors

Overall, installing pavers, either in a small or large project, may be a great addition to your home and garden. If you are installing the concrete pavers yourself, make sure you follow the directions, and pay special attention to the problems of grading, as you want to make sure water leaves the garden area in the right ways – you don’t want any flooding to wash away all your hard work. If you’re having a contractor install them, make sure he or she knows the specific needs for garden pavers installation, and that they have experience in that particular application. Note that the cost for installing these paving stones will be similar to what you’d pay for any hardscape project, like walkways, driveways, and the like, though you may have to pay more if you need to protect your delicate creations during the process, as this will require more effort and time. You can also lower the overall price you’ll pay for the installation if you lay the material yourself; you can also save money if you find cheap pavers for sale, a subject that is discussed in that link.

Landscape Pavers: What You Need to Know

When we think about improving our landscape, we rarely think about how improving our hardscape could improve the landscape as well. This means installing new walkways, driveways, patios, and other projects around the landscape to heighten, protect, and beautify your landscape and your yard. This article will give you the basics of paver landscaping to help you design and construct your next project – or at least give you the information you need to feel comfortable dealing with a paver contractor or designer.

Benefits of Landscape Pavers

As described elsewhere on this site, concrete pavers offer the homeowner many benefits that make up for its relatively high price of installation. Note that much of this also applies to pavers made from other materials, such as brick pavers and natural stone pavers (like flagstone pavers, bluestone pavers, sandstone pavers, etc.).

One of the benefits of landscaping with pavers is that your installations will hold up over time, regardless of any weather or other stressors. The flexible aggregate base underneath will buckle and bend with freezing and thawing of water, as will the landscape paver installation itself (due to the joints between paving stones). The patio, walkway, etc. will thus not crack as would concrete or asphalt. This is especially useful when your pavers have an aesthetic quality to them – i.e. they are there primarily to look nice. Having them crack and fall apart would mar your otherwise beautiful project.

In addition, building walkways and patios and borders around and in your landscaping can help protect your meticulously created landscape. Landscaping edging pavers are a great way to both separate different sections of your yard while also protecting that which must not be stepped on or disturbed.

These landscape pavers, regardless of how you use them, will not clash or not fit together – they are no different than any other concrete paver used for driveways, patios, or walkways. Thus, you can use the same materials throughout your yard, ensuring continuity and integration of your design. What is especailly useful about using landscaping pavers versus other options like concrete to decorate and separate other landscaping features is the design options possible. Paving stones come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, offering many options for the homeowner or contractor to complement other features of the landscape or home. The different blends of colors available can bring match or complement any color palette. In the next section, we will discuss the various design options at your disposal, as well as some of the more interesting projects that you can add to your yard to enhance your landscaping.

Designing Landscaping With Pavers

Should you create your landscape or your hardscape first? In a perfect world, the answer is ‘both.’ What you do with your hardscape should affect your landscape design and vice versa.

When designing your pavers landscaping project, try to plan other paver installations at the same time. Not only is this more cost efficient than doing single projects, but you can also streamline designs across different projects. Your options to highlight and frame your landscaping are many; they include walkways, garden pavers, patios, pool decks, and retaining walls, among others.

Note when designing your projects that you can use straight and curved lines throughout your design. Straight lines are more ‘formal’ and rigid, but are much easier to install. Curving lines are more informal and perhaps more interesting, but overall cost more money. Balancing out cost and features, depending on your budget, is a priority before you begin any project or contact a contractor.

Here are some of the best landscaping paver ideas that you can implement in your yard today. Building a walkway or patio in your yard is a nice way for you to complement your landscaping while also creating a space for you and your family and friends to relax and enjoy each others’ company. Patio pavers are especially nice, especially when they are framed by fresh flowerbeds or other landscaping installations.

One great way to highlight (literally!) your landscaping pavers is to install paver lights around your walkway or patio. These can increase night time safety while also boosting the beauty of your home at night.

Another way to highlight your landscaping is to put them at varying heights, not merely at ground level. This will often require you to build a retaining wall…which you can do with retaining wall pavers! You can thus use the same material – style, color, design – for your walls as you do for your flatwork. Building a paver retaining wall can serve a dual function – first, it can certainly raise the beauty and style of your entire landscape. But perhaps more importantly, it can protect your hard work from water and mud damage, especially if there are any steep slopes near your home. Retaining walls can keep back mud or dirt from sliding down a hill onto you beautiful lawn, patio, or other project. In addition, they can help properly drain water to avoid flooding – an important aspect of keeping your landscaping fresh and new.

Note as well the benefits of installing pool pavers. The combination of your landscaping, paving stones, and the bright blue of the pool can make for a stunning look for any home and yard.

If you need something more functional, consider adding grass pavers to your yard. This is a great way to keep your grass/lawn intact while making sure it is protected from the elements and vehicular traffic.

Once you decide the basic elements of your landscaping paver project, sketch out a design and the dimensions of the parts. You will need this information to tell the contractor or, if you are doing the installation yourself, when ordering materials.

How to Install Landscape Pavers

Installing landscape pavers are in principle no different than installing concrete pavers in other contexts – it is merely the design and use of the pavers that may differ a bit. Thus, those interested in knowing how to do this should check out this page on how to lay pavers.