Natural stone or pavers ... What’s best for you?
The past year has really shown people that more intimate, outdoor gatherings can be done at home. Creating a space that is both comfort-able, and functional, is key to an outdoor area that creates a lifetime of memories.
This season, take time to consider investing in an outdoor area that lasts, by utilizing pavers or stonework within your design. When it comes to building the dream backyard living area – it’s the materials that can make or break your experience both short and long term.
Natural Stone vs Pavers
What’s the best decision for you? This question comes up often – and to be honest, it truly depends on the situation and person. Both have pros and cons, depending on the type of material and installation, however it truly is a highly personal decision that should take into account the architectural design, average use, ground conditions and budget.
Durability and Strength
We have clients who heavily use their paver or stone driveways and patios throughout each season – and have yet to notice negative impacts of wear and tear from both weather and constant use. When it comes to pavers there are a variety of sizes, shapes and tex-tures - you can achieve a strong, yet aesthetically pleasing, foundation to your outdoor area isn’t going to need additional support throughout the years.
From slate to crab orchard – the variety in stone for your natural patio is just as tough as concrete pavers. We have many clients that love the moss and creeping thyme that grows and develops over the years in the cracks of their natural stonework and/or pavers.
Unlike poured concrete, or cemented stone pavers, using interlocked pavers allows for the ground to gently move, while creating a hard service for you to use. With any slight move of the earth, the pavers adjust themselves to accommodate the change while keeping the integrity of the overall structure.
Additionally, it prevents cracking and additional maintenance down the road (or driveway, path-way, patio).Working with either cut or broken natural stone creates an interlocking patio or walkway, similar to pavers. With natural stone, some processes include a wet-laid or dry-laid process – depending on the needs of the clients. Like pavers, a dry-laid patio is laid over crushed rock or sand to crate a permeable layer – while allowing flexibility over time.
Laying concrete is also durable, creates a smooth look, while keeps out weeds by eliminating space for them to grow. Concrete, however, can often crack as the ground shifts over time. Both are excellent choices, but often comes down to the preference of the client.
Style, Color and Diversity
With so many varieties of pavers and stone for patios, walk-ways and driveway, it becomes really easy to design your landscape around the exterior of your house. A seamless transition from the indoors to outdoors really pulls the land-scape design together.
The variety of options allows you to think of them more as an architectural accent to your home. Our team loves to take the time in really choosing the right color palette and style that will bring your entire property together. Along with the initial selection of styles and colors, you can rest easy knowing that the pavers and stone will hold their original state for years to come.
Like any hardscape feature, there is rarely is a ton of maintenance. General clean up means getting rid of debris and occasional weeds that find themselves a nice spot to grow in. If you are interested, many of our clients like to use natural crawling plants like moss or creeping thyme to fill in areas of the areas of the hardscapes to blend into nature. Additionally, pavers and some stone-work can be cleaned and sealed to help keep color and protection to the elements.
Easy to Replace and Improve
Should there become a situation that requires replacing, doing so is easy and much more friendly to work with over the years. Whether you want enhance with additional work, or fix a few spots, it’s a style that is flexible to work with the right approach.
The long-term cost benefit on pavers or natural stone is one of the more desirable traits about this service, as repairing the project is much less than concrete slabs or other hard service solutions. A note on repairing concrete stone. While we typically suggest creating a dry-laid stone patio, we do recognize the significance of using concrete with stone on both patios and retaining walls. Repairing concrete can be more difficult over time, however, is also more durable initially.
Weather and vehicle resistant pavers and stone are meant to last. You can see this in historical places around the world, where bricks and cobble stone pathways and roads are still intact. Pavers, which can be made out of natural stone, brick, concrete and other materials, are individually strong, but allow flexibility as a whole. Natural stone was dug out of the earth, after developing and forming for millions of years – so it ready to take on the elements and time.
So what is right for me?
At the end of the day, the choice between pavers or natural stone comes down to personal preference. We often have some parts stone and other parts pavers to help develop a design that fits personal preference and a budget. Making the right decision will ultimately help you create an outdoor living area that you can enjoy for years to come.
Snow Creek specializes in understanding what you want and how to get it in both a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Our team is ready to help design an individualized landscape that enhances your home or business. Whether it’s your back yard for relaxing, company entrance, or front yard that will make your neighbors jealous - we can help! We want to encourage you to engage with the natural world in a manner that brings you joy. Check us out at snowcreekinc.com Call us at 828.687.1677