Wednesday, March 5, 2014

INTERLOCKING PAVERS VS. STAMPED CONCRETE

A question we are asked consistently is how does the cost and durability of pavers compare to stamped concrete? There are many reasons, and we will try to sum it up a little here.

Stamped concrete may achieve a look that is somewhat similar to pavers and look great at first, but poor durability and difficulty in making repairs have a dramatic impact not only on the appearance, but also on the actual cost in the long run. This is not to say, however, that a small area can't do just fine with a stamped concrete pour, and we will accommodate our customer's wishes accordingly. We do recommend, however, (particularly for larger patios, pool surrounds, driveways, steps and walkways), to make the little extra investment in pavers, as it is a more cost-effective choice in the long term. Pavers require little maintenance and look like new for a long time. That’s why the popularity of pavers (also referred to as “paving stones”, "interlocking pavers" and “brick pavers”) continues to increase. The style and color options, easy upkeep, and long-term cost efficiency of installing paving stones are becoming more and more appealing to homeowners, especially here where weather and temperature change are a major factor.

It is almost inevitable that concrete will crack at some point in time. Concrete most often cracks due to the expansion and contraction caused by freezing, thawing, and other changes in the weather as well as very heavy traffic. As these cracks form year after year, it can be difficult to match the color and composition of the original material each time a repair is needed. The alternative to repairing the concrete is to replace the entire structure when the cracks become unbearable. By the time it is broken up, disposed of and re-poured, it will likely ending up costing more per square foot each time you have to do that.

Interlocking pavers solve all of the problems described above. Because they are individual units, the joints between each paver will give with pressure, expansion and contraction, eliminating the cracking inherent to conventional asphalt and concrete pavement, and again, pertinent for our ever-changing weather.

Paving stones are one of the strongest paving materials, rivaled only by brick, and increase their structural capacity over time. However, unlike brick and other paving materials, the paving stones we use come with a lifetime warranty; something you cannot get with concrete. Another advantage of pavers is that if a repair ever does become necessary, pavers are manufactured to be uniform and can therefore easily be replaced without leaving unsightly patches or scars.

Paving stones come in a wide variety of surface finishes, colors and shapes that will complement and enhance the style of any home. Moreover, we can create a variety of laying patterns, further expanding the customization possibilities! Also, unlike concrete, which can take 3 to 5 days before being ready for traffic, paver structures can be used immediately after installation. If a problem should occur due to shifting of the sand base, the structure can easily be repaired by removing individual pavers and then re-installing the same pavers.

Proper installation obviously also makes all the difference. Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes is ICPI Certified and also offers a 5-year guarantee on our own workmanship in addition to the lifetime paver guarantee.

We are sharing a paver style today called Copthorne from Unilock. As you can see, this style then comes in different colors! Which one is your fav?