Choosing the Right Material for Your Patio
Summer is the time for outdoor gatherings and neighborhood cookouts. However, this increases your exposure to other people’s patios, and patio envy sets in. You may decide that you’re ready to invest in your own patio to enjoy this summer. But what material do you choose to build your patio? Concrete or stone? Brick or pavers? It’s a significant choice. We’ve put together a guide evaluating these materials to help you make this decision and build the right patio for you.
There are two main benefits to choosing a concrete patio: concrete is customizable and cheap. While a slab of concrete may seem like the dullest option, the material can actually be customized to fit individual aesthetic tastes. Concrete can be stamped with any pattern or dyed with any coloring agent. In addition, a concrete patio could be formed in any shape or size. Better yet, it is essentially the cheapest way to achieve a hard surface outdoors, making it a compelling choice.
That said, there are a few drawbacks to using concrete to build a patio. Concrete suffers wear and tear and requires regular maintenance. The surface coating must be reapplied every two years to preserve the color of the concrete. In addition, concrete fades and cracks in highly trafficked areas. It is important to keep these maintenance needs and costs in mind when considering building a concrete patio.
Natural stone is a great choice for a naturally beautiful patio. There are several different kinds of stone to choose from, such as flagstone, slate or limestone. Stones also offer some variation in size and color for a truly unique look.
However, because stone is naturally found and not manmade, it can be more costly to acquire and install. Stone must be quarried and then transported to the site. Also, the installation of stone is a longer process. Stones of varying size and thickness must be fit and held into place while the bed is raised or lowered to make the patio level. In spite of this, if you want a natural aesthetic and are willing to splurge a bit more, a stone patio could be the perfect fit for you.
Brick is a classic choice for some old world appeal. The material is somewhat customizable in terms of size and color. However, each brick is manmade and uniform. Because of this uniformity, brick is typically more easily and cheaply installed than stone.
Keep in mind, though, that a brick patio can require some additional maintenance. Bricks are porous, absorb moisture and can crack over time. Your brick patio may require some repairs over the years but will always retain that colonial charm.
Pavers can be an incredibly versatile and affordable option. Manufacturers now create paving stones in an impressive variety of colors, sizes and patterns. Pavers offer complete customization and can even be shaped to form curved or circular patios. Additionally, unlike stone, pavers are all the same thickness. This makes for an easier and cheaper installation process. Because of this, pavers could be the optimal choice for your patio.
There is no “perfect” material for an outdoor patio. Any one of these materials would make an excellent choice. This abundance of choices gives homeowners incredible freedom and versatility. It’s really about what you want for your patio. If you’re still having trouble making the decision, don’t hesitate to call CMO. We love collaborating on patio projects and would be happy to see the space, make some recommendations and provide a free quote.