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Pavers vs. Concrete - The Debate

So you've come to the decision of pavers vs. concrete for your backyard. Which ones better? Does one last longer than the other? We'll discuss the pros and cons of each to help you decide on your next outdoor project.


Design

This is a great side by side comparison to the two. On this project, we built a paver patio right up against the existing stamped concrete walkway. One of the most important aspects of pavers to us is design. The flexibility of color, style and size options are endless. Giving us freedom to create unique spaces for our clients.




Durability

As we all know, concrete CRACKS. And once it cracks, that smooth and clean look is gone. Especially for stamped concrete where a pattern is embedded. A crack can completely ruin the illusion of the stamp work. Concrete is prone to cracking over time, especially in areas with extreme temperature changes or heavy loads. These cracks can be unsightly and may require costly repairs. On the other hand, pavers are more resistant to cracking due to their interlocking design, which allows for flexibility and reduces the risk of damage. If a paver gets damaged, it can be easily replaced without affecting the rest of the patio. This makes repairs quick and cost-effective. In contrast, repairing a cracked concrete slab can be a more labor-intensive and expensive process, often requiring the entire section to be replaced.


Drainage

A great benefit to pavers over concrete is their ability to permeate storm water. We often design outdoor living spaces to be eco-friendly and prevent excess storm water from run off. While the paver itself is not permeable, the joint spacing between the pavers allows water to pass through. Our typical paver base system is constructed from large stone aggregates that don't include fine particles like sand and stone dust. This allows storm water to freely pass through the paver base and into our drainage system or right back into the ground. It can be difficult to control storm water with a concrete patio. If the concrete is not poured at the correct slope, standing water can be common after a storm.


It is extremely important for the base aggregate to be free draining in both pavers or concrete to prevent freeze/thaw movement. In areas like ours (Southeastern New York), winter month temperatures can move above and below freezing in the matter of a few hours. This can cause severe movement of the concrete or pavers if not installed on the correct base.



Cost

While pavers will initially cost more than a concrete patio, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes down to the benefits. If concrete cracks, the options to repair it are slim. It will likely need to be completely removed and replaced while pavers can be replaced individually. This can be a big factor down the road when it comes down to actual costs. You may save now utilizing concrete, but eventually it will need to be replaced and at that point, you may be over the cost of just installing pavers initially.


Hopefully this article will help you make decisions for your next project! Feel free to contact us for your next project to ensure the ease and comfort of your outdoor living space.






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