Landscape contractors have long sought ways to improve upon traditional paving options. Previously reserved for those with large design budgets, pavers have become more available as paver costs have dropped. When the value of durability as well as the ease of paver repair is added to the cost equation, more people are installing the flagstone patio, brick walkway, or paver sidewalk they have always imagined.
Pavers have evolved greatly over the years from a basic brick style units to products with styles that have the appearance of flagstone, marble, granite, cobble stone, that come in many different sizes, colors and shapes. Innovation has also led manufacturers to create additional products such as cut stone, travertine, and other exotic stone products fitting any customers preferred aesthetic look for their pavement project. Paver products are also being widely used for pedestrian applications such as patios, walkways, pool decks, and step areas for that desired aesthetic look with optimal structural integrity. Pavers are also structural enough to be utilized for vehicular applications such as driveways, roadways even airport runways.
Paver and Concrete Patios and Driveways
New Era of Building Stone Technology
In the 70’s and 80’s, customers were left with very few options in wall stones and stone pavers. Retaining wall stones were a gray 4″ thick tongue and groove concrete looking block. Another option was the so-called Life Time 6×6 or 6×8 timber walls. Neither product was durable. The gray stone walls have been rebuilt by owners, over and over again, only to see them fall over. Landscape timbers, over 10 years old, have decayed and turned into a breeding ground for termites. paving stone used for driveways and patios were a clay or soft 4×8 brick which cracked and fell apart.
Concrete Pavers for Driveways, Patios, Walkways, Sidewalks and More
Landscape contractors have long sought ways to improve upon traditional paving options. Previously reserved for those with large design budgets, pavers have become more available as paver costs have dropped. When the value of durability as well as the ease of paver repair is added to the cost equation, more people are installing the flagstone patio, brick walkway, or paver sidewalk they have always imagined. However, the value of a paver installation is greatly increased when done by a licensed landscaping contractor. Because durability depends on quality installation, those considering installing a new brick patio or driveway pavers should employ a landscape contractor with experience installing landscape pavers.
Among the many advantages of patio pavers is its ability to expand and contract in response to weather changes. While concrete sidewalks have a tendency to crack in winter, a brick walkway or paver sidewalk responds to environmental changes, thus diminishing the need for repairs.
Although slightly more expensive, flagstone patios provide an unrivaled charm to any outdoor landscape. The beauty of flagstone presents the landscaping contractor with countless paving options, whether it be an ancient or contemporary design. Similarly, a brick patio fits in beautifully in both traditional colonial and modern urban design settings. With pavers the design options are nearly limitless.
With its affordability and long-lasting value, now is the time to make your dream flagstone patio or brick walkway a reality. In the hands of a licensed landscape contractor, flagstone, brick, or concrete pavers can transform any drab landscape into the envy of the neighborhood.
Interlocking Concrete Pavers
In the 90’s, a new wall and paver stone was introduced by various companies. These products are called “Interlocking Segmented Retaining Wall Systems” and “Interlocking Paving Systems”. They have been engineered and constructed to outlast products of the past. The engineering and architectural community has approved these products which is demonstrated by their use in every type of project. They can be seen around shopping malls, schools, parks and residential homes. Interlocking wall systems have been constructed 50′ to 100′ supporting various land masses and buildings.
A well-constructed wall or paver system will always be a significant selling point to a future home owner instead of a sticking point when closing a home deal. A cracked driveway or a retaining wall ready to fall over could mean “Buyer Beware”.
For years, most consumers in this part of the country have been sold on asphalt or concrete for patios, driveways, and walkways. For the most part, building contractors have left them with little or no other option. Concrete is cheap. Asphalt is cheaper. Pavers are more expensive. All of this is true.
Builders have used concrete because it is fast and it looks good to the buyer. Plus, it keeps the cost of the house down. You really can’t blame the builder, can you? Here’s what the customer should know:
How Do Interlocking Concrete Pavers Compare?
Includes stamped and exposed 4″ – 5″ aggregate
Product Life: 2 – 10 years
Guarantee:In 90% of all installations, there is NO guarantee.
Durability: Maintenance: this is what contractors don’t tell you: Concrete must be sealed often, and a good sealant is expensive. Expansion joints will need repaired. Once the bituminous joint filler has deteriorated, Epoxy filler is required. Spaldingoccurs due to salt. Concrete does not like salt. Salt damage occurs when salt meshes and passes through the pores in the concrete and reaches the rebar of reinforcing steel. Patching products stick out like a sore thumb. Driveways look like a checkerboard.
Repair: One slab 10′ x 10′ can cost $1000 dollars to remove and replace. You now have one new white slab that does not match the older discolored concrete.
Average thickness: 3″ to 4″
Product Life: 2 to 10 years
Guarantee: Maybe 1 year
Durability: Poor (cracking, settlement)
Maintenance: High. Requires sealing yearly and if settlement occurs, it is difficult to repair.
Pavers come in many architectural shapes which must meet ASTM C936 (standard specification for Solid Concrete Interlocking Paving Units)
Product Life: 30 to 50 years.
Guarantee: 3 to 5 years
Durability: Excellent – since pavers are installed over a stone base that can move rather than crack.
Maintenance: No maintenance for the life of the paver
Repair: Repair would only be necessary if an area would settle due to excessive excavation. Paver can be lifted and reset, restoring the area back to original beauty. Stained pavers can be replace or cleaned easily.
Customer can be assured his or her driveway will oulast concrete or asphalt 10 to 1.
Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes has been educated and certified through the Interlocking paving institute ICPI. The ICPI is the world’s leader in interlocking paving installation education for landscape contractors. When searching for a contractor for your next pavement project, always check the ICPI web site at icpi.org to find a certified contractor in your area. Knowing a contractor is ICPI certified is the first step in knowing you’re not dealing with an unqualified contractor.
Portfolio -View Some Of Our Completed Projects
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What Do Our Clients Have to Say? - THEY LOVE US & SO WILL YOU!
I have hired Pghsw to do multiple projects at two different homes we owned. Jeff and his team are great to work with, do high quality work at a fair price, and are true professionals! Jeff came up with great hard scape design that complemented our home and landscape! We absolutely love our patio! It still looks as beautiful as it did the day it was finished. I highly recommend this company! Thank you Jeff and Bob!
Excellent Quality Of Work!
I have hired Pittsburgh Stone & Waterscapes for multiple projects over the years. At the end of each project I could confidently say the quality of work I received exceeded the price I paid. In addition to the quality of work, this companies professionalism, responsibility and accountability was second to none. Jeff Blunkosky’s ability to develop recommendations and implement plans of action, allows for a seamless transition for completion of any project. Quite simply Jeff and his company provide service beyond any expectations. I would recommend Jeff and his company to anyone.
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“Throughout our 30 years of landscape service for the Greater Pittsburgh area, we have faced many challenges: from running a professional company, to staying on the cutting edge of the newest landscape trends, and most important of all, exceeding our customers’ expectations. Without our loyal customers, we would not survive as a landscape company.”
-Jeff Blunkosky Owner/President