A patio is one of the best things you can add if you want to enjoy your backyard more. Whether you use it to cookout, entertain, or just relax, it is an investment that will pay off in time well spent. When it comes to patios, you have several choices for materials. The following guide can help you pick the right one.
Gravel is generally the least expensive option. You have a lot of choice when it comes to the type of gravel, but generally smooth varieties like pea gravel are preferred over those with sharp edges. The installation process requires removal of all existing turf. Then, the patio site has a weed barrier installed as well as edging to keep the gravel contained. Finally, several inches of gravel is poured into the prepared patio bed. Regular maintenance requires raking to level the patio, as well as prompt weed removal.
Pavers are cost-effective and popular, due to the ease of installation and range of style choices. You can find pavers that resemble everything from natural stone to terracotta, and in every shape imaginable. Pavers are usually dry laid. This means the turf is removed and a weed barrier is installed. Then, several inches of sand is laid over the base. Finally, the pavers are fit on top of the sand base and tamped into place until level. Polymetric sand, which clings together to form a strong bond, is placed into the paver joints to keep weeds out. Sand may need to be replenished periodically.
Bricks are similar to pavers in form and function, but they can require a bit more cost and work to install. In most cases, bricks are mortarted into place after the ground is cleared and leveled. The increased labor and time results in a durable and attractive patio. Other than time and cost, the main concern with brick is breakage. A broken brick requires mortar removal followed by replacement and reapplication of the mortar. When compared to pavers, where a broken one can just be lifted and replaced, this seems time consuming.
For the most durable surface, poured concrete is the way to go. Concrete can be tinted a wide variety of colors. It can also be stamped so it resembles pavers, bricks, or stone. You can even have mosaics dyed into the surface. When installed on a properly cleared and leveled base, there are no concerns with leveling or breakage.
For more help, contact a patio contractor in your area.