21 Awesome Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

This article will discuss some of the best landscaping ideas for front yards that you can implement. Of course, you don’t have to do them all, or any of them for that matter. They’re here to get your mind moving, to give you an idea of the scope of possibility and to serve as a catalyst to your own creativity. Even if you are getting someone to design your landscape for you, you will want to have ideas of your own, just so at the very least you will know what you like.

Front Yard Landscape Design Ideas and Generation

  1. One of the best things you can do to get your creativity flowing is to see what others have done with their front yards. A quick drive around your neighborhood or other parts of your town can accomplish this; you can even snap some photos to bring home (as long as you aren’t obnoxious about it). The benefit here is that you can see what people with similar home designs and property sizes have done with their yards; plus, if you really like how someone did something, you can ask them for advice or for the number of their landscaper. You can also see what supplies may be readily available in your area. However, don’t get ‘stuck’ into what your neighbors and fellows townspeople have done – you may want to try something totally unique, and fitting in with what everyone else has done and limiting yourself to that worldview won’t help you.
  2. Thus, a great way to get past this is to find some front yard landscape photos or pictures in magazines, books, on TV shows, and on the Internet. Having this supply of ‘foreign’ ideas can really help stimulate your noggin; the only drawback here is that the homes you’ll be seeing in the images will have a totally different design and specifications than your home. (You can also use this technique to get backyard landscaping ideas, though that is a different topic altogether!)
  3. The main objectives with front yard design flow around a few things: curb appeal, creating an inviting nature, and allowing for people to come and go as necessary. For instance, you’ll want to have the general ‘skeleton’ of the yard, in the form of your driveway, walkway, stoop, etc., formed or at least planned before you can figure out your landscape design. (More on the hardscape in a bit.)
  4. Note that if you have a limited budget, you can do a cheap front yard landscape design without sacrificing the beauty or uniqueness of your project. This is because you really won’t be spending much time in the front yard, and most people who will be looking at the front yard will not be spending time gawking at it. Thus, you want something that’s simple, effective, easy to put together and maintain, and easy to navigate. Beauty and value are of course important, but as long as you have the first members of this list, you’ll be satisfied with your project. The topic of front yards is relatively easy, then, when compared to backyards – since we spend a bunch of time there, such as in and around a pool, we’ll want to make sure that we’ve created something truly beautiful and functional. However, that investment of time and energy and money can wait until another day and another article.
  5. As part of your design, you may want to come up with some kind of “theme” as a general guiding system to help you design your project. Your design and theme will depend largely on the climate and general appearance of your space, but you’ll still have some freedom to explore different ideas if that’s your game. For instance, tropical themes may work well in lush environments, while desert themes may work better in drier and more arid locales.
  6. Don’t be afraid that you’ll have limited freedom if you have a small front yard. In fact, you may have more freedom, because you won’t have to maintain a huge amount of green life and can focus on really getting the major details right instead of worrying if all the major components are in place.
  7. Work with what you’ve got. If you have an interesting or unique feature of the surrounding terrain, or even a body of water to play with, you can either a) downplay and try to hide the feature or b) bring it out and make it a focal point.
  8. A good general point: make sure your yard and garden has some kind of focal point. This is perhaps the most important front yard landscape idea – you want to draw your eye somewhere, and you wan tot draw it to where you want it to go. The alternatives – the eye finds nothing to look at, or it focuses on something ugly – are to be avoided at all costs!

Creating Your Green Space

  1. The first major decision you’ll have to make is how much ‘green space,’ or lawn, you’ll want to keep and maintain. Note that the more you have of the lawn, the more you’ll have to maintain. You may also consider working in designs for automatic irrigation systems or sprinklers so that you can at least keep that part of the maintenance pretty easy for you. If you need new grass, you can either use grass seed or lay down sod. The type of grass is up to you as well, though you may be limited in your choices due to local ordinances and the like.
  2. Next, sketch out the areas where you’d like to add some special landscaping touches – your flowerbeds, planters with beautiful flowers, areas for new shrubs and trees, and places to put other interesting objects (such as bird baths, water fountains, statues, and more). Don’t forget to add curves wherever possible, especially if your walkways allow you to do this. Curves are generally pleasing to the eye and a bit more ‘artistic’ than ordered straight lines. I don’t want to denigrate the straight line though, as it has a certain beauty to it all its own.
  3. Note that picking certain kinds of flowers and plants to fill in your beds and planters may require certain obligations of maintenance and upkeep. For instance, some plants may need frequent watering, while others won’t need much attention at all. Thus, make sure you find out all the properties of your flora before you go ahead and install them – you can save yourself a lot of hassle!
  4. Consider having ‘mobile’ landscaping in your front yard. This means using pots and planters and other containers that you can move, mix, and match at will. This will allow you to be flexible and adaptable with your landscaping as your mood and taste changes.
  5. There are two major kinds of plants that you can use: annuals and perennials. Annuals will only last you for one year, but they will give you an amazing burst of color and beauty for your yard during that season. Having to replace them year after year is both good and bad. The bad side of it is that you’ll have to remake your front yard landscape every year, but this can also be seen as a good thing, because then you’ll be able to ‘remake’ your landscape every year. This can allow you to experiment and play around with different landscape features.
  6. Perennials will last you for many years – each year they will bloom anew. These will be more expensive than annuals, but they will be the ‘centerpieces’ or focal points of your yard for years to come. Thus, it pays to choose carefully and make your big investments here. Once they’re planted, you’re stuck with them unless you want to go through the hassle of removing them. Thus, your best bet is probably to get a good mix between these two kinds of plants.
  7. Don’t forget to consider the kinds of topsoil and mulch you can use for your yard. You could also use landscaping rocks as well. Each will have their own benefits and drawbacks, so make sure you do your research before you commit to one or the other.

Some Warnings and Other Notes

  1. Note that some landscape installations will require more maintenance than others. Large lawns, for instance, have to be watered, fertilized, and mowed and trimmed regularly in order to keep it look healthy and beautiful. Huge flowerbeds, on the other hand, will require their own maintenance, such as periodic weeding and trimming to keep things looking nice. Thus, don’t just think about the short term benefits of whatever material you’re using – think also about the long term costs, i.e. how much time and energy you’ll have to sink into upkeep. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to put in effort into maintaining your front yard, that will significantly affect your landscape choices.
  2. Don’t go overboard. You don’t want your home to be absolutely overwhelmed by your landscaping. Sometimes less is more – having the perfectly selected or designed element can be much better than have dozens of different things in a complex arrangement.

Other Options and Accessories for Front Yard Landscaping

  1. Even though we are talking about front yard landscaping ideas here, we don’t want to forget the other important aspect of your design that goes hand in hand with the landscape – your front yard hardscape design! Your driveway, walkways, patios, stoops, retaining walls, and other stone accessories to your yard are perhaps just as important as the landscaping itself, since this hardscape gives shape and structure to your yard and interacts with the organic components in interesting ways. Thus, consider using concrete pavers or other hardscape materials as part of your total project – walkways are a particularly good use for this material, as are garden pavers and landscape pavers interspersed through your organics.
  2. Another thing to think about is using stepping stones as a pathway through various parts of your yard – more information on different kinds of stepping stone can be found in articles here: Large Stepping Stones, Round Stepping Stones, and Slate Stepping Stones.
  3. If you’ve spent this much time and money and energy on making your beautiful front yard, why not increase its curb appeal by adding outdoor lighting? This will make it so that everyone will be able to see your beautiful landscaping even at the darkest of night. There’s a lot I can say about this topic, so check out the articles on outdoor lighting and garden lighting for more information on this vast topic.
  4. Don’t forget the possibility of installing outdoor rooms in your front yard area. Whether an enclosed patio or a gazebo or whatever, this may be the ticket to a nice place to relax during a beautiful day or evening. However, this will work best only with large yards, as small yards may get cramped. Still, you could even install some kind of hardscape seating in yards of any size, so you can at least have a place to sit if you don’t have a deck or porch of some kind.
Some other articles you might enjoy related to this topic include articles on garden paving

Garden Lighting Ideas, Tips, and Designs

Garden lighting, also known as landscape lighting in some quarters, is a particular class of outdoor lighting that can add much beauty to your home, garden, and landscape.

Whether you go antique or modern, old-school or contemporary, you’ll be sure to add much value, beauty, and elegance to your home and garden by using these lights. However, the sheer variety of information and kinds of lighting and design that’s out there can be intimidating. To help you out, this article will give you a basic understanding of the ‘universe’ of outdoor lighting that exists out there. This article will be continually updated, so check back often for more information.

Benefits of and Reasons for Garden Lighting

There are many reasons to light up your garden or your landscape. The first, most obvious, reason is aesthetic – at night, no one can see the landscaping that you’ve spent so much time, money, and energy designing and creating. Of course, while aesthetics are important, they’re not the only reason: for instance, some use garden lighting to help protect their gardens, landscaping, walkways, etc. from people accidently stepping where they shouldn’t. You can illuminate a flowerbed to prevent people from stepping into it at night and potentially harming your installation. You can also light up a walking path through your yard and/or leading to your home to prevent people from tripping – this is the important safety element of proper garden lighting design.

Others install garden lights to help improve security around their home. Having a well-illuminated home may prevent robberies and other criminal activities – sometimes the best cure is prevention! This is especially true if you set up a motion-sensor connected flood light leading up to your house – this will prevent someone from sneaking up on your home unaware, and may prevent them from entering the area even if you’re not home, potentially discouraging robberies or vandalism.

The final major reason for installing garden and landscape lights is probably the most important – it enables you to make use of these spaces at night. For instance, you can light up your backyard patio, walkway, pool area, garden, and landscaping, enabling you to have an all-night barbecue or other party without fear of being left in the dark.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to installing garden lights. The main drawback is expense: outdoor lighting may not be cheap at times, especially when you’re dealing with fancy varieties or complex installations. But don’t worry if you can’t afford it all at the same time – this is the rare kind of home improvement project where you don’t have to do it all at once. Pick and choose what’s most important at the time, and then just do that – later, when you have the money, time, and inclination, expand your lighting as you see fit.

Kinds of Garden Lights

The most popular kinds of garden lights include low voltage garden lighting and (LED) solar powered garden lights. Lighting connected to mains is probably not going to be appropriate for most garden installations, simply because the light will be too bright for the purposes that most people want to use garden lighting for (soft, simple illumination). However, it is possible to use this, such as if you want to install a flood light of some kind, though you will want to hire an electrician to deal with this as you’ll want to make sure the installation is safe, well hidden, and protected against the elements.

The other main option is low voltage (usually 12V) lamps. These are connected not to the mains but to electricity that has been ‘transformed’ down to a lower voltage. You can get your own low voltage outdoor garden lighting kits and install this yourself with few problems – compare this to the main connected lighting above.

While most garden and landscaping lights will be powered by electricity, other lighting can potentially be powered by gas and other natural fuels. However, this is generally not viable for the purposes described in this article, as having open flames is usually not a good idea near vegetation and other potentially combustible areas. However, you can get garden lanterns and torches that emulate the look and feel of natural gas and propane alternatives if you’re looking for that antique appearance to your lighting.

If you are looking to save energy and protect the environment, solar garden lighting is probably your best bet, as it’s easy to install on your own since you won’t have to deal with laying wires or dealing with electricity in the usual sense. These LED garden lights options can either be powered individually, as each bulb will have its own photovoltaic cell and solar energy generator; or you can hook the lighting you’re your home’s solar panel system if you have one. However, this lighting is usually not as bright as the electric options, and if it doesn’t get enough sunlight it may not last long enough into the night for your taste. However, you can also get battery powered backups for these lights to make sure they have enough juice even during the cloudiest and darkest periods of the year. You can easily purchase solar outdoor lighting kits for relatively low cost, especially considering you probably won’t have to pay labor costs to get it installed by a contractor.

Garden Lighting Design Ideas

The first thing to keep in mind when installing your garden lights and designing the project is figuring out where you want to put them. For most projects, the location of the exterior garden lighting will be somewhat obvious. However, what may not be obvious are the ways to mount and display these lights.

The debate between mounting your lights and keeping them mobile is a debate that can’t be solved generally – it needs to be considered on a case by case basis. Having mounted lighting can give you the most options when it comes to the types and styles of lights to use, but of course it will be difficult to change things up. On the other hand, mobile lighting will restrict your options for light varieties while also allowing you to move your lights and experiment at will with different arrangements.

While we go into a more in-depth discussion of the locations of lights in the article about outdoor lighting, we’ll repeat them here:

  • You can install lights on posts or poles in the middle of your flowerbed or landscape. This also includes installing them in or on trees in the area.
  • Garden lights can also be mounted on walls nearby the area that’s to be illuminated, for instance near the home, a shed, or other area. A variant of the wall-mounted lights are the strings of lights that are strewn about the home; you can also place these strings of lights directly on the plants and landscaping that you already have set up. While the above two ideas (pole and wall mounted) give you illumination from above, otherwise known as “down lighting”…
  • Lights can also be buried ‘in grade’, or ‘recessed,’ to have illumination come from the ground up. They can also rest directly on the ground, as they don’t necessarily need to be buried. This is called “up lighting.” One example of this is path lights or concrete pavers lights; these lights are installed directly into the project to allow for illumination to line the path or trail as necessary. You can also bury these lights into your flowerbeds and other landscaping installations to create subtle but effective illumination in those areas. You can also put other lights at the ground level of trees and other shrubbery to illuminate them differently than simply putting them up at the top of the structures. Putting them in flowerbeds and other landscaping installations can illuminate your flowers, statues, stepping stones, walkways, and other structures that you want to be visible at night.
  • Depending on what you’re working with in the area of illumination, you can also mount these lights on ceilings (hanging lights).
  • String lighting is also interesting, not only for trees but also shrubs of any kind. It doesn’t have to be Christmas or the holiday season to use these!
  • Much of these garden lighting ideas are stationary, but you can also get lighting that is a bit more mobile. Torches, lamps, and other lighting fixtures can be easily transported as aesthetics or function dictates (for instance, if you want to move the main gathering area for a party).

Some Other Outdoor and Deck Lighting Ideas

  1. Besides motion activated lights, you can also get lights that turn on according to the directions of a timer. Some lights will also turn on automatically when the ambient light gets to a certain point (i.e. they will turn on at night and turn off in the morning by themselves).
  2. Note when installing any garden or landscape lighting to be careful about the wiring. You want to make sure that the wiring is accessible enough to be maintained or replaced as necessary but not so vulnerable as to be potentially cut or damaged during other excavation or digging. Thus, you may need to hire an electrician or contractor to get the job done correctly. This is one of the advantages of solar garden lights – you often don’t have to deal with any wiring at all.
  3. Note that some lighting will require permits and other applications to your local town or county, so make sure you do research pertaining to your local area before you commit to any project. Note that many landscape designers and contractors will probably be able to tell you what you need to do here, so use them as a resource.
  4. Some general garden lights landscape advice: aside from the location of the lights, don’t forget to think about their orientation. Where are they pointing? In what direction? What is the interaction between different lights in the area? There’s an art and a science to all this, so don’t be afraid to experiment, especially if you have access to cheap garden lights that you can play around with liberally.
  5. You can also integrate your lights into your hardscape structures. We’ve already discussed paver lights, used especially for walkways, outdoor patios, pool decks, and driveways, but don’t forget the vertical structures. Adding lights to retaining walls and paver steps may be a great way to illuminate these structures for both beauty and safety.
  6. Don’t forget about underwater lighting? If you have a pool, pond, fountain, or waterfall, or any other body of water, don’t forget the possibility of using these outdoor lights to illuminate them. The lighting can wall mounted, submerged in the water, or even floating on the surface, among other options!
  7. Note that heat is an issue – you don’t want the lights to get too hot for the kinds of plants you have, lest you kill them!

Some Final Garden Lighting Tips

Here are some final tips to help you when you’re putting the finishing touches on your project:
Note that you may not want the light itself to be visible – thus, consider blocking it or covering it with another structure (rock, bush, whatever) to make the light itself disappear while still allowing the illumination emanating from it to do its job.
Don’t forget the possibilities of using lights to ‘pick out’ or highlight particular areas or structures in your yard. For instance, you can illuminate your new waterfall solely, or use lights to illuminate the entire garden area. What the light ‘focuses’ on will often determine how the entire area looks.
Experiment with different light brightness levels. Bright lights are more appropriate for functional and security reasons, while dimmer lights and ‘backlights’ may be more suitable for aesthetic reasons – i.e. they will look the best from a distance.

An Outdoor Lighting Guide: What You Need to Know

Though this is primarily a site about concrete pavers, we of course want to cover all the aspects of outdoor home improvement and design that we can to maximize the beauty and functionality of your hardscape investment. When many people think of outdoor lighting, they think about the string lights that are often put up around homes during Christmas. But this is just a small fraction of the choices for lighting available, and the benefits you’ll get from installing it can be immense. If you are sprucing up your front yard or backyard, don’t forget about making sure it’s visible at night! The right outdoor lighting can transform the appearance of your home, and it can allow you to use your new hardscape and landscape through all hours of the night. Plus, it can also make your home look more attractive from the street.

Another major benefit is not just aesthetic, it’s also practical: safety. Making sure your backyard or frontyard environment is well lit is a good way to prevent trips, falls, and other accidents. You can also use it as protection against would-be thieves or interlopers.

Exterior lighting is resistant to water and weather – as it should be – and is relatively easy to install. However, some projects may require the aid of an electrician, especially if you are dealing with lots of electricity, so you will definitely not want to do this work yourself! You’ll want to make sure that you’re using lighting that’s meant for wet and outdoor areas – lighting meant for dry, indoor environments could short out and get damaged when exposed to the elements. In addition, you may have to get certain permits and follow certain rules and laws given your local area; you may also need periodic inspections to confirm that there are no hazards associated with your installation, especially if you have heavy-duty lights installed.

Of course, the huge amount of lighting options out there can be very confusing. This article thus seeks to give you a good guide to explain the many kinds of modern outdoor lighting available for purchase as well as a discussion of the design options you have at your disposal, regardless of the project.

While much of what follows applies to commercial lighting, much of this advice is most applicable to residential applications.

Picking the Basic Type of Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

There are two main types of outdoor lights – gas powered and electric (bulb) powered lights. Each comes with its own drawbacks and benefits.

Electric powered lights are very popular, as they give an elegant and modern look to the area. There are three kinds of ‘electric lights.’ One kind, powered by the electric mains, gives the strongest light, and is best for security and safety rather than aesthetics. For instance, these are best for outdoor flood lights, especially for a business or secure area that needs to be protected from interlopers. However, there is a ton of voltage and power going to these lights, so safety is an issue – for instance, the main line that connects to the light must be well hidden and protected. The amount of power that can be used ranges from 40 to 1000 watts. Only the brightest lights will need these high values; most will be satisfied with a 40 to 100 watt light.

If you don’t need such bright lighting, you could go with low voltage outdoor lighting. This is often used as garden lighting, such as that used to light up a particular path or to illuminate a flower bed or other landscaping installation. This lighting will not be as high a voltage (usually around 12V), so you won’t need to worry about protecting people from potentially getting electrocuted with it. Obviously, you’ll want to make sure the lines are out of the way and insulated against water and weather, but no extra special precautions need be taken like they do with mains lighting. Installing this lighting yourself is very doable, and there are plenty of low voltage outdoor lighting kits out there that you can purchase and set up without the need for a contractor or electrician.

The final type of exterior lighting is solar powered. These solar powered LED lights are not as bright as the other options, but they can still serve some aesthetic purposes if used correctly. The best feature for these is that they don’t need to be plugged into an electricity source, as they are powered by the sun – simply put them where you want them and you’re done! A solar panel diverts energy to a battery during the day; this battery then powers up the lights at night.

Gas powered lights are more ‘traditional’ but may be a bit more of a hassle to install and maintain, especially if you don’t have any gas to pipe in to the area. Still, if you’re looking for something nostalgic and antique-ish, go with this option, though you might find you have fewer options available here than you will with electric lights.

You will also want to figure out if you want to create a modern or antique theme to your lighting. Most homeowners go with the modern option, though the antique option can absolutely look well in many different home environments. Modern lighting is generally silver and black in color and is not very complex in its lines, while antique lighting can pull in a wider range of colors and designs.

Designing Your Outside Lights Project

Don’t stress too much about your lighting design. Sure, there are plenty of options available for you when it comes to your outdoor lighting design, but don’t worry about getting it ‘exactly right.’ You’ll have to experiment and use trial and error, unless you hire a contractor or designer to do the creating for you, so just go with your gut and what you think you’ll enjoy. Don’t forget the other factors besides looks – function, protection, and safety. And it goes without saying that budget can be an issue – a seemingly modest decorative outdoor lighting project can soon turn financially serious if you’re not careful!

Draw up a plan of your home, or have someone do it for you. On this picture, mark where you will want to install outdoor and landscape lighting. Obviously, if your project is small, you can skip this step. Make sure that it will be feasible to install the lights in those areas; for example, you may need to run a significant amount of wiring in order to have your plan work out like you want – this may mean added time and expense to your project.

One of the first things that you need to figure out is the location of that you want to set up your lights as well as how you want to ‘mount’ them in the area. Some of the popular areas to put lights include: walkways, patios, pool decks and other yard decking, gardens and landscape features, entrances and exits of yards, homes, and sheds/garages, and mounted on walls and columns to illuminate large patches of the back or front yard. They may also be useful as security, especially if they are set up with motion sensors. Some lights can also be put into water, such as if you have a waterfall or pond or pool in your backyard that you want to light up. Don’t forget about using lighting for ambiance as well – sometimes very low level LED landscape lighting is all you need to transform your landspace. There are many ways to mount your lights, depending of course on what kinds of lights you are dealing with. Your options include:

  • The most basic kind of mount is putting the light on a wall. You can either attach it directly to the wall or other surface, or you can mount a bracket on the surface of the wall and then set the light up there. These brackets themselves can give you many design options, as you can buy these items in a variety of styles and materials.
  • Mount your lights on a post or column. The column can be made from many different materials (such as wood or metal) and can be installed wherever you want at whatever height you want. This means you can mount your light at whatever height you want in order to produce the desired functional or aesthetic appearance. This option obviously includes the lights and torches that already come in a column or post format.
  • If you have an outdoor area available that is covered by some kind of ceiling, you can add hanging lights to the area.

During this process you also need to determine how many lights you will need to cover the space. Obviously this depends on a number of factors, including the types of lights you’re using, the square footage of the area, other light that may be already installed, and the amount of light you want to use (or the ‘effect’ you want to create with your lighting). This is where somewhat of a judgment call comes in, and you may want to experiment a bit with different kinds and numbers of lights (if feasible) in order to get the look you want. Obviously this testing won’t be possible for those on a smaller budget, so your mileage may vary here.

In addition, realize that there also many different ways to ‘display’ your lighting. In other words, you can do things like down or up lighting, spot lighting, shadowing, cross lighting, and much more. In other words: where is the light pointing? Is it direct or diffuse? How is it interacting with other lights in the area? Obviously, you don’t have to go fancy here if you don’t want to, but just be aware of these options here.

Note that getting lighting just right can be tricky. Sometimes lights that you think will be ‘understated’ will be totally invisible or even too much, while other times the opposite can be true. That’s why, though it’s useful to consult with pictures, videos, and other visual aids in order to see what works best in certain environments, it won’t be a cure-all, as your specific home context will be different from anything else you see.

Suggestions for Outdoor Landscape Lighting (Ideas)

  • Lanterns are an interesting throwback, though modern ones are also available. These can either be mounted on posts and columns, wall mounted, or bracket mounted. Some of these lanterns can be truly unique, so you’ll have a lot of freedom to explore different styles and designs, all depending on your home’s theme and your tastes and style.
  • Outdoor post lights are also a great way to either set off particular areas for seating (such as patios), but these poles are probably best used as a way to line a path or walkway through your yard or walking up to your house.
  • One of the coolest outdoor lighting ideas is path lighting. You can use path lighting for your gardens, walkways, and other installations. One very popular option for those who use concrete pavers or other paving stones is paver lights – these lights can be placed within the paver installation so that they seamlessly blend with your project. A especially useful version of this kind of lighting is step lighting – having your steps illuminated, or even surrounded by path lights, will both increase their beauty at night and prevent injuries, trips, and falls.
  • There are many different uses for outdoor wall lights, but most of the time these lights will be mounted in the front or back of your home. They can be used in the front to light up the façade of your home, or you can use them in back to help light up a patio or pool deck area, depending on the layout of your home.
  • Hanging lights are a bit less flexible due to the fact that they have to be ‘hung’ from somewhere. Of course, if you have an enclosed patio or walkway, this could work very well as a way to light a path in a unique way. However, don’t discount the use of these lights at the front of a home, hanging down from the roof or other overhang. They can be a great way to call attention to your home and make it stand out from the crowd.
  • Note as well that you can often get energy efficient or low energy bulbs. This is a great idea if you’re planning on leaving your lighting on more or less permanently, as otherwise you could face a rather hefty electric bill.

Ten Cheap Paving Ideas to Get You Started

If you are thinking of paving your driveway or other outdoor project, you probably want to know what cheap paving options exist out there to help save you money and aggravation. While the exact prices, and what turns out to be the cheapest option, will depend on your particular circumstances (such as the area you live in, the particular project you want to work on, etc.), there are a few general cheap paving ideas that can get you started in your research.

By cheap, of course, we don’t mean or want ‘poor quality.’ What we mean is inexpensive price for something that offers good value. If we create a driveway out of poor quality materials and workmanship, we might have to replace or repair it sooner than we like, increasing the overall price we’ll have to pay over the lifetime of the driveway. Thus, go for inexpensive instead of ‘cheap’ in the sense of poor quality. With that caveat behind us, here are some cheap paving ideas that can stimulate your own ideas and thinking:

  1. Perhaps the cheapest option out there is using loose stone or gravel for your driveway. This is easy to install, but it comes with heavy maintenance costs. Even if you put borders around the driveway, stone will get loose and will have to be raked and tended to often. In addition, plowing or removing snow from these driveways is near impossible without doing  harm to the driveway, so don’t get this material if you live in a snowy area. In general, stone can look good with the right driveways and homes, but many people prefer hardscape options.
  2. Macadam, also known as tar and chip, is also quite cheap. It looks like a combination of asphalt and loose stones/gravel. You could also go with asphalt if you’d like, as this is quite cheap and, if installed properly, could last for awhile.
  3. Concrete, of course, is a popular option. This may not be the best choice if you have a huge driveway, but for small projects it works well. Make sure that whoever installs it does whatever it takes to minimize the cracking of concrete, but realize that concrete will eventually crack. Don’t go cheap here with concrete, as you’ll regret it when it starts cracking and looking terrible after one winter.
  4. Any option using bricks or pavers of any kind will be quite expensive as the pavers need to be laid by hand. Of course, if you do the work yourself instead of hiring a contractor, you’ll probably be able to install them relatively cheaply. This is especially true if you are able to obtain cheap paving stones from a variety of sources – for more information on this, see the pages on this website having to do with cheap pavers for sale.
  5. Clay bricks are a particularly good material, as they will handle the rigors of expansion/contraction cycles well due to their flexibility while also imparting some strength to your project.
  6. If you want to go the ‘paver’ route without using pavers, consider using bigger slabs. You can find cheap paving slabs and cheap paving flags more easily than cheap pavers, as the larger size of the material will make the price per square foot lower than pavers. This is due both to the size of the flag and the fact that fewer flags than pavers will be needed to cover a particular area.
  7. Note as well that you can save money depending on the contractor that you hire for the work. If you get a cheap contractor, you’ll lower the overall price of the installation regardless of the material you use. In addition, if you install the paving yourself, you’ll save even more money, at the expense of your own time of course.
  8. Keep in mind maintenance costs when thinking of your options. For instance, a material like asphalt will need to be sealed periodically, while stone or concrete will not. This can add up after awhile, so add the long-term costs to the short-term equation.
  9. If you and multiple houses in your neighborhood are getting new driveways, combine your efforts to receive a lower price for everyone. For instance, if you are installing asphalt, you can often get a much better price if other houses in your neighborhood are also getting new asphalt driveways. Talk with your neighbors to see what can be arranged.
  10. Permeable paving may also be a great option for you if you need something cheap, environmentally friendly, and permeable to water.

Good luck! We hope this gives you some ideas to get you started! If you have any more ideas or thoughts, leave them in the comments below.

Patio Steps: What You Need to Know

If you are building a new patio out of any material, you may want to add patio steps to your creation. There are a number of places where and reasons why you will want to install these steps. Some enjoy putting them as an entrance to the home. Others like putting them as an entrance to another part of the yard, or towards a lower, pool area. Some patio steps allow movement to different areas of your backyard, perhaps to a walkway or the backyard itself, if the patio is raised above the rest of the year. Other patio steps will allow you and your family and guests to comfortably and safely enter and exit your home, especially if your doorway is high above the ground. It can also help you keep your home clean, preventing people from dragging in mud and dirt.

Whether or not you have to install steps depends on the grade of the area. If your backyard slopes, and you want to install a flat patio, you will need to install steps to get to the other areas of the house and yard. This means that you are in essence installing a raised patio.

Patio Steps Ideas

The types of materials you can use for your patio steps are many. The material you choose will depend on the height, dimensions, specifications, and requirements of your stairs. Obviously, aesthetic considerations will also come into play – you want to pick the stairs that look the best given your home style and theme.

The first decision you have to make is what material to use for your patio steps. Your decision will be affected by the material already in place for your patio, your home’s general theme and design, and your budget. One popular choice for materials is the concrete patio steps. These are quite generic, and can go with nearly any patio and decor. However, aesthetically they are a bit bland, and are more functional than anything else. Homeowners may also have trouble building such steps themselves, especially if they don’t have the skills and experience.

Another popular choice are paver patio steps. These offer more opportunities for patio steps design, as you can lay them in different patterns and in many different colors. There are also special patterns, like circles, that you can add to your steps to give them a unique flair. Paver patio steps are very durable and can withstand weather and foot traffic. They go best with concrete paver patios, but can fit with any decor as well. They are a bit more expensive than concrete, but they also can be laid by a homeowner who is committed to learning how to do it and to doing the job right.

Another option are brick patio steps. These are also quite cheap, and can be laid in many different patterns. However, they do not look as nice as concrete pavers, and there are fewer color and shape options. Thus, if you have a lot of patio steps ideas that you want to play around with, your best bet is to select paving stones for your steps.

If you have a small drop off, you may only need to lay a few brick or concrete block down to act as a mini-step. Don’t get more complex if you don’t have to!

You can also go with wooden steps. Though they are cheaper than stone steps and may look nice at first, over time they will not hold up as well as concrete, brick, and paver options. You could also purchase metal steps that you simply lay in the area you need them, though these don’t look as nice as customized options do.

There are also a number of different materials you can use to face or veneer the steps. First install concrete steps, and then you can put a number of materials on top of it, including pavers, stone, and other material.

When picking the material for your application, you will also want to consider how much maintenance you want to put into your stairs or stoop. Some materials and installations will require more maintenance than others. Wood, for instance, will need periodic sealing, where concrete and concrete pavers will not need it as much, if at all.

Consider also the weather factors and other wear and tear that may be put on the steps. If you expect to use the steps for work or to bear heavy loads, go with heavy duty materials.

Patio Steps Installation Tips

If you want to know how to build patio steps, you first need to know what the design of your area is. You need to measure out the dimensions in all three ways – length and width of the entire installation as well as each step, and the height of the entire project as well as each step. You need to figure out how big the landing will be and how big the steps will be. There are certain minimum safety requirements you will need to consider, such as the length, width, and depth of the individual steps. Most people are used to a 6 inch height for steps and a 15 inch width, so change them at your own peril – people are ‘used’ to walking up and down steps a certain way, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Then, you need to determine what material you will use for the steps, some of which are detailed above.

If you have DIY experience, you can install the steps or stoop yourself. However, you may find it necessary to contract some or all of this project, as installing steps can be tricky. You can easily combine this project into another project, such as a patio, walkway, pool deck, or other application to save money and time.

Most installations will require poured concrete regardless of the surface or veneer material. Many will also require the use of mortar to keep the bricks together. If you have no experience with these materials, don’t mess around with stoops. Since many people will be walking on them, and safety will be a primary consideration, don’t skimp on this.

Keep in mind that you may also have to install hand rails if the height of your steps is big enough. This will prevent people from falling if the steps are obstructed or slippery. There may also be other codes and regulations that you need to follow, so it may pay to consult with a contractor or other professional to find out before attempting any installation yourself.

Twelve Front Yard Walkways Ideas

The walkway in your front yard is what greets your visitors, and it’s what you see every day when you walk to your front door. This is what makes them so important – they define the initial experience of your home for you and your guests. A poorly planned and constructed walkway can mar an otherwise beautiful and well-designed front yard. If you want to install a new walkway, and you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas on front yard walkways design:

  1. Set your budget for your walkway. This will determine the types of materials that you will be able to use for your installation.
  2. First, you need to decide what kind of materials to use for your front yard walkway. One great choice are concrete pavers or paving stones.
  3. You could also go with natural stone pavers or brick pavers as well if you like the idea of pavers but want a different material.
  4. Concrete is a good standby material – cheap and strong, it does however leave something to be desired aesthetically. You could go with stamped or colored concrete if you are willing to pay extra for the improved looks.
  5. Asphalt is also an option. Though it is cheap, it is unideal in terms of its looks.
  6. Rock or stone is also a possibility, but it can be high maintenance.
  7. The material you select will also depend on the design for your walkway. Figure out how you want it to wind through your yard. Will it start at the driveway or will it start at the road or sidewalk? Will it curve around to the backyard and hook up with any other hardscapes? How long and wide will it be – what are its dimensions? Will it have curves or just be straight? These are all important questions to figure out before you move to the next stage. A sketch is usually a good idea to make sure it’s all on paper and so that you can show it to a contractor if necessary.
  8. Pretend to walk your ‘walkway’ even if it’s not laid. Is it comfortable? Is it natural? Can it handle heavy traffic, or two people next to each other? Three people? Figure out what the experience of walking the walkway would be before you confirm your decisions.
  9. Consider how you will add landscaping to your front yard area, and how that will blend in with your new walkway and other features of your landscape and hardscape as well as your home’s theme and style. An arch, walkway lights, planters and gardens, and interesting stones can all add a layer of sophistication and complexity to your front entrance.
  10. Steps or a stoop might be a great addition to your home, or you can upgrade an existing installation to match or complement your new walkway. You can even use the same material for the stoop as you do for the walkway or other projects you create.
  11. If you hire a contractor, make sure to see front yard walkways pictures of his prior work so you can get an idea of his skill and style.
  12. Consider the possibility of installing the walkway yourself. If you have the DIY skills, you could save a lot of money on labor costs and possibly use a better material. Don’t experiment, though, if you know little, as the walkway is such a crucial element of your home.

If you have any more ideas, leave them in the comments below!

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.

Concrete Paver Patterns

Once the plan has been set and the relevant preparations (installation of the base and sand) have been completed, it is time to lay the concrete pavers. There are many different paver patterns available, all depending on the shape of the pavers and the size of the project. The number of patterns keeps increasing as new paver shapes are designed and as the creativity of contractors and landscapers continues to produce new ideas. Still, there are some patterns, like the running bond and herringbone (described below), that are classics. Picking your paver pattern may not seem as important as picking the brand of paver or the color, but you’d be surprised as to just how important it is.

The Basics of Picking a Paver Pattern

The major factor that determines what kinds of patterns are at your disposal is the shape of the paver you select. The shape and patterns of pavers go hand in hand – when you pick one, you in some sense pick the other. Thus, when you are thinking about patterns of laid pavers or their sizes, you must (by necessity) think of the others as well. You will want to make sure that the size paver you select is appropriate both to the space it will be installed in and to the implementation of the actual pattern you’ve selected. In general, smaller spaces do better with simpler patterns; larger spaces can use either simple or complex patterns.

When considering different designs for a paving stones application, such as patio paver patterns, considerable attention should be brought to bear on the optical effects that the particular pattern will bring. A simple pattern, like running bond, where the pavers are in a straight line, will simply make the project ‘blend in’ to its environment. It will not draw the eye, and perhaps this is what you want.

However, other patterns will draw the eye more and make the paving stone project the center of attention. For example, the project will look different if the pavers are placed at  a 45 degree angle to the house than if they were parallel or perpendicular. Still another feeling may be evoked with a more complex or a random pattern. The more complex and eye catching a pattern, the more people will pay attention to the area itself over anything else, so you need to consider the aesthetics of your space. What do you want you and your guests to look at? Some complex patterns also make the space look smaller than it is, so keep this in mind when designing your project. Other patterns may make the area look longer or wider, larger or smaller. This consideration is especially important when laying walkway pavers, as the pattern will affect the relative width or length of the project according to an observer’s eye.

How Patterns Affect Paver Price

Keep in mind as well that one paver pattern may be more expensive than another due to size considerations and the amount of cuts required. A pattern at a 45 degree angle, for example, or one that incorporates curves, will require more cuts and thus affect the overall time to completion (and thus price!). The more pavers that have to be cut by hand, the more time spent on the job by contractors, and the more brick that are required. Thus, the project may be more expensive. It may pay to select a simpler design just to reduce the costs of the project.  Another feature that could increase the time and cost is any curves or special patterns (like circle kits) added to the design. While it will certainly improve the looks of your project, it will come at a rather steep pavers cost.

Other Minor Considerations

Some concrete pavers patterns are more complex than others and require more skill to install properly. A novice installer may make a mistake in the pattern and only notice it when a lot more of the interlocking pavers have been installed. If a contractor is installing the paving stone application for you, this may not matter as much, though you will want to make sure your contractor has the experience working with the design you’ve chosen. This is why it’s important to pick the right pavers contractor – follow this link for some some tips.

Keep in mind that some patterns are stronger than others. Herringbone patterns, for example, provide more interlocking than others, and may be a better choice for projects that need to withstand a lot of traffic (such as driveway pavers).

Some Example Paver Patterns

Here below we detail some of the patterns possible with bricks of various shapes and sizes. All of these patterns apply to pavers regardless of the material – concrete, brick, or natural stone (i.e. flagstone pavers). They are organized according to the sizes and styles of brick available with Nicolock pavers. Nicolock usually has the standard brick sizes available in other brands, so it’s a good stand in, but we eventually want to expand this page with more examples and, eventually, images of the most popular patterns that you can use – so stay tuned!

Note that you can also mix and match pavers patterns, adding a straight border to a herringbone or running bond pattern, for instance. We are also not considering some of the more rare and unique patterns due to uniquely shaped brick – i.e. anything outside of the ‘quadrilateral’ family. Don’t forget, also, that a ‘random’ or ‘irregular’ pattern can also be laid with particular kinds of paving stones.

Always consult with your designer, contractor, or paver manufacturer for more ideas and suggestions!

Holland Stone

Borders: Soldier Course with Herringbone Pattern, Soldier Course with Running Bond Pattern, Sailor Course with 45 degree Herringbone Pattern, double sailor course with double basketweave pattern;

Patterns: Double Basketweave, Single Basketweave, Running Bond, Stack Bond, 90 Degree Herringbone, 45 Degree Herringbone, Single Offset Herringbone, 45 Degree Running Bond, Double offset Herringbone

Cobblestone:

Runner, Parquet or Basketweave, or Herringbone

Multiweave:

45 Degree Herringbone, 90 Degree Herringbone, Running Bond Pattern, Basketweave Pattern, Stack Bond Pattern

Roma 1:

Running Bond, Herringbone, or used as border for Roma 2

Roma 2:

Running bond, installed in random pattern with Roma 1, can have circles installed as well.

Rustico Series:

6×6 Running bond, 6×9 Running Bond

More Articles

The Concrete Pavers Guide also has more articles on this and related topics, listed here:

Brick Paving Patterns: Some Information

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.

Concrete Paver Shapes and Sizes

One of the benefit of concrete pavers is that they come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. This allows you to come up with many different paver designs for your next driveway, walkway, patio, pool deck, or garden/landscape project. This is opposed to slab options like concrete and asphalt, which are relatively limited in the designs you can choose for the material.

This variety is definitely a positive – the only problem is that you may also be overwhelmed by all this choice. Of course, you could rely on the suggestions and advice of your contractor, but you may also want to be educated on the options available to you – and this is what this article is for. This will also be very useful for you if you are embarking on a DIY concrete pavers project.

Picking the Right Paver Shapes and Sizes

The most common shape of paver is the Holland stone. It is 6 inches by 9 inches and can be used to create many paver patterns. Another common size of paver is the 6″ x 6″ square. These can be used by themselves or in conjunction with another brick size, such as the 6 x 9, to make a even wider variety of patterns.

For most, if not all, projects, you can’t go wrong with the standard 6 x 9 and 6 x 6 pavers. However, there are also other shapes out there that may useful for you to look into using.

For instance, one popular paver shape is the ‘stop sign’ or octagon. One example of these are Unilock’s stop sign pavers. These don’t offer you many different pattern options, as they must be laid just so, but many enjoy the ease of installation and classic look of the material.

Choosing the right paver shape and size for your depends on a few factors. The most important one is your own tastes and style. In addition, the shape you select will have an impact on the patterns you can do, so if you’re looking for a particular pattern, you will be more limited in the shapes you select.

On a related note, certain project types, like walkways and stoops, and certain dimensions of projects require certain shapes and patterns. Thus, you’ll want to check with a professional to make sure that you’re picking a shape, size, and pattern appropriate for the job.

Of course, if you want to go larger, then you are ranging into the 24 x 24 concrete pavers end, or even the paving slabs end. There are a lot of articles on paving slabs on this site, so check them out here:

Concrete Paving Slabs: What You Need to Know

How to Find Cheap Paving Slabs

A Paving Slabs Prices Guide

Don’t forget that you can also mix shapes and sizes together to form an almost limitless amount of patterns and designs.

Finally, some brands have ‘irregular’ shaped pavers and slabs – this can be a quite interesting and unique pattern to lay in your yard, but know that laying this irregular pattern properly may take some skill and shouldn’t be attempted by DIYers.

Specific Brand Shapes and Sizes of Pavers

There are many different pavers shapes and paver sizes available from different manufacturers. Some examples are listed below. Check with the manufacturer for more information and for local availability. Keep in mind that the paver shape and paver size you select have a profound impact on your intended design, and vice versa. Note that at this point we are just evaluating the pavers available from one company, Nicolock, but in the future we will discuss more. Note, however, that Nicolock’s selection is a good sub for the selections of most paver companies, so at least you’ll get a solid idea of the types available.

Nicolock

Holland Stone: 200mm x 100mm (7 13/16” x 3-7/8”). 1 Bundle is 120 sq. ft (540 brick). These are basically rectangular brick, and one of the most popular sizes of concrete paving stones. There are many different patterns that can be created by using Holland Stone, with or without borders.

Cobblestone: Fullstone, 222mm x 157mm, 8-13/16” x 6-3/16”. 1 Bundle is 111 sq. ft (400 brick); Edgestone, same as above except 500 brick.

Multiweave: Full stone 222mm x 112 mm, 9” x 4-1/2”; 1 bundle is 109 sq. ft. (400 brick)

Circles and Fans: Large circle stone, 80mm x 120 mm, 3-1/8” x 4-3/4”, 360/bundle; center stone, 118 mm, 4-5/8”, 9/bundle; ¾ normal stone 90mm x 120mm, 3-9/16”x4-3/4”, 288/bundle; small circle stone 50mm x 120mm 2” x 4-3/4”, 27/bundle. Amount of stones needed for circles depends on the layout of the job, size of circle (in layers), etc.

Roma Series Pavers: Roma 1 1-1/2 Normal Stone, 120mm x 180mm, 4-3/4” x 7-3/16”, 560/bundle (131 sq. ft.); Roma 2 – Normal stone 120mm x 120mm, 4-3/4” x 4-3/4”, ½ stone 60mm x 120mm, 2-3/8” x 4-3/4”; 1  bundle = 126 sq. ft, each bundle has 760 pieces

Rustico: Full Stone 150mm x 150mm, 5-7/8” x 5-7/8”; half stone 150mm x 150mm, 5-7/8” x 2-15/16”; 1 bundle – 120 sq. ft. and 490 pieces

Simmetria: Diamond, 366mm x 150mm, 13-1/8 x 5-7/16”; 1 bundle = 105 sq. ft (260 pcs); Bishop Hat: 11-1/16” x 3-7/8” x 7-13/16”. 1 Bundle = 84 sq ft (160 pieces); 4×4 100mm x 100mm 3-7/8” x 3-7/8”, 1 bundle – 80 sq. ft (720 pieces); 8×8 200mm x 200mm, 7-13/16” x 7-13/16”, 1 bundle – 120 sq. ft., 270 pieces [many different patterns available, but needs to be manufactured as it isn’t stocked]

Utility Edge Stones: Bullnose, Fullnose, Pool Coping, 8×12 Fullnose, 4×12 Fullnose

SF-Verona: 140mm x 202mm, 5-1/2” x 8” – 1 bundle – 120 sq. ft (490 pieces) [many patterns available]

Heritage Pavers: 8”x16”, 12”x12”, 18”x18”, 18” round, 24”x24”, 24”x36”, straight scallop and scallop curve

Colonial Cobble: ½ Normal stone, 3-1/8” x 6-5/16”, 106 sq. ft (770); Normal stone 6-5/16” x 6-5/16”, 116 sq ft (420); ¾ normal stone 4-3/4”x6-5/16”, 115.7 sq. ft (560); 1-1/2 normal stone 6-5/16”x9-7/16”, 124 sq. ft (300) [many many patterns available given the variety of sizes)

Colonial Cobble Circle: Large wedge, center stone, small wedge, small rectangle, medium rectangle.

Tumbled: Certain varieties come in tumbled variety, including Holland stone, rustico 6×6 and 6×9, tumbled 8×8, Tuscany pavers