The Durability of Pavers

One of the best parts of summer is being able to spend time outside with your friends and just enjoy the outdoors. No one wants to spend their time maintaining their hardscape with sealers and cleaners. That is one of the reasons why we love pavers so much! Pavers unlike stamped concrete are individual pieces and require very little to zero maintenance. Pavers are jointed together by sand. This allows for them to flex when under pressure – you know what that means? NO CRACKING!

Every few years it is a good idea to seal your pavers, but for the most part their surface allows for dirt to naturally fall off. Despite the smooth surface of a paver, they provide a stunning visual element that few people consider – texture! Texture can really become a huge part of a design – and you won’t know how much it contributes until you add it. If you are looking for a stunning hardscape that will allow years and years of wear and tear while still looking beautiful, then pavers are the right choice for you. So next summer, spend less time “cleaning” your backyard space and more time enjoying it. If you would like a consult on your outdoor project to help determine if pavers are a good fit for you, we’d be happy to meet with you!

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Why should I use pavers for my driveway?

If you have been watching HGTV or just looking around your neighborhood, you have probably noticed that in the last few years pavers have become a very popular choice for driveways. While there are a multitude of reasons for this, we are going to highlight a couple of what we consider to be the most important in this blog.

Curb appeal….

Especially if you are looking to update your home or plan on selling it in the future, few things will drastically change the overall look of your home like pavers. Think for a moment about your existing driveway… How does it look? Is the asphalt or concrete cracked? Black asphalt or colorless gray concrete do few things to boost the overall curb appeal of your home. Now consider beautiful pavers in a wide array of colors – either subtle or more dramatic. Think about how that will make your home literally “pop”. Hardscape is a way to transform the exterior of a home from one that seemed bland to one that feels warm and inviting.

Durability….

We talk about this a lot. And the reason is because this is such a HUGE feature that so many people overlook! Concrete and asphalt WILL eventually crack. It will also become stained and discolored. Pavers on the other hand are incredibly durable (in terms of weight bearing capacity) AND if they will never crack. The sanded joints allow for slight flexing in between the pavers which shifts the weight load – unlike concrete.

When it comes to selecting the right pavers – this is where you need to speak with an expert. Not all pavers are created equal and are suited for your purpose. Pavers are an investment, and taking a bit more time to speak with the right contractor can make a world of difference.

Why Pavers?

If you have been reading our blog, then you probably know that we are pretty much in love with pavers! We love the texture and interest that they add to even the most mundane of spaces. In this blog, we will briefly capture a couple of the many reasons we feel that pavers are superior to poured in place concrete.

– They won’t crack! Unlike poured in place concrete, you don’t have to worry about the pavers cracking.

Here is a pic that shows how unattractive concrete is once it has cracked – not that you needed a visual.

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Who could love that? Pavers don’t crack because they are jointed together with sand. As opposed to cracking, they will just shift slightly. As the years go by, they will still look beautiful.

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Now, if you had to choose between concrete and pavers, what would you choose?

Another reason we love pavers is because if you have an oil spill or if a paver becomes damaged in any way, it is easy to pop that paver out and replace it. This means that you can continually keep your driveway fresh and clean looking with no stains or markings. Unlike concrete, if you have a stain – you are pretty much stuck.

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Does your driveway look anything like this one? If you had pavers, you wouldn’t have to look at past oil stains. If you are ready to give your driveway a new facelift and add some curb appeal to your home, we’d love to chat with you about a paver driveway!

Paver Retaining Walls

Many times when people think of retaining walls, the image that comes to mind is one of cylinder blocks that are gray and unattractive. What most don’t know is that pavers are strong and durable enough to be used as retaining walls also! Now, if you had your choice, would you rather look at gray cylinder block which may or may not be covered in stucco or would you rather look at a paver wall which would have gorgeous texture and beautiful variations of color? For us, the choice is simple!

Here are some examples of paver retaining walls:

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ScreenHunter_2832 Jul. 18 18.54

Another way that many people use pavers is by creating a paver seating wall. A paver seating wall is a great way to 1.) improve flow of traffic 2.) increase amount of seating and 3.) it can also serve as a small retaining wall. Here are some beautiful paver seating walls that we just had to show you!

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ScreenHunter_2833 Jul. 18 19.01

Have any of these images inspired you? Hardscape is a great way to take a space that was previously inaccessible or unusable and turn it into a beautiful space that can be used on a regular basis. In addition, pavers can add texture and color to what was otherwise a dull and uninteresting space.

If you are considering adding hardscape design to your outdoor space, we’d love to meet with you! Our team of designers are very creative and can help you create a beautiful oasis that will match your entertaining and outdoor living goals. If you would like an estimate, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

 

Spring is Here – Part II

Welcome back to the second part of our blog. Our first blog reviewed two very simple ways that you can refresh the exterior of your home for spring. In this blog, we’ll give you a few more tips and tricks!

1.) Few things scream “spring is here” like the addition of color! Head to your local nursery and grab a couple flats of color. Make sure you pay attention to the type of sun they require. The last thing you want to do is plant shade color in full sun – you won’t like the result! However, you will love the result of a freshly planted carpet of color to welcome you home!

2.) Fresh dirt or wood chips! It’s amazing, but something really simple like a nice dark layer of rich dirt or wood chips over the top of a flower bed can really make a difference. If you don’t believe us – just give it a try!

3.) Clean up your lights! Dirty cobwebs scream poor upkeep. So make sure you clean up any outdoor lighting fixtures and get rid of those cobwebs.

4.) Touch up the paint! Paint is a funny thing – it’s cheap to buy, yet the results can make something look like a million bucks. If the paint is peeling off your gate, or your door is all scuffed up – breathe new life into it with a coat of paint!

If you have any hardscape projects that are tad large for you to handle on your own – give us a call. We’d be happy to come out and give you an estimate.

Spring is here!

Spring is here! And that means that it is time to refresh and rethink at least the exterior of your home. If you are a homeowner who already has pavers -then this blog is for you!

There is something very therapeutic about working in your yard at the beginning of spring. Maybe it’s the promise of warm summer days, or simply knowing that the work you do in the garden today will pay dividends tomorrow. In this two part blog, we are going to review some simple ways to make sure that your yard looks fantastic and well kept.

1.) Give your pavers a good wash

Over the winter months dirt can get caked on the pavers and can ultimately dull their appearance. A good rinse down (nothing crazy) will remove the major dirt and will give your pavers a more fresh look. This is also the time to evaluate if any pavers have any oil stains. If they do, it’s likely that your contractor left you with a few replacement pavers. Simply, pop out the problem paver and insert a new fresh on in its place.

2.) Plants are not made to last a lifetime

One of the fastest ways to spoil good landscape or to make a house look dated is to have plants that are too large for the space. Oftentimes people think that because they landscaped once 5+ years ago, that they are good for the duration of their mortgage. – Not exactly true. While there are no hard or fast rules, small color needs to be replaced seasonally while larger plants might need to be replaced every couple of years (give or take). At the very least, many will require a good trim. By keeping your plants in an appropriate size and shape for the yard, it will keep your space looking manicured and fresh.

Check back for part two!

 

Curb Appeal

When it comes to selling your home, many real estate agents will encourage you to spruce up your paint and plant fresh flowers. If you read about the importance of curb appeal, many writers will tell you that buyers will make up their mind on a house before they set one foot in the door. Why is that? It all comes down to curb appeal. Now, you may not be wanting to sell, but don’t you want to have the most awesome home on the block? In this blog, we are going to highlight a few sure-fire ways to do that!

1.) Evaluate your grass

Your grass can make a big difference! A little bit of fertilizer and new seed can go a long way – and spring is the time to do it!

2.) Plant fresh flowers and plants

Many people think that once you have done some landscape, that you are good to go – pretty much forever. Just like with anything else, plants need to be ripped out, and new ones need to be planted. Some will get too big for the space and others will become too “stocky”. Being able to evaluate plants with a fresh eye and being okay with ripping out ones that are no longer appropriate will keep your landscape looking fresh.

3.) A fresh coat of paint on the trim

We are always amazed a how a little paint can go a long way! If the front of your home is looking a bit drab, then we recommend breaking out the sandpaper and heading down to Home Depot or Lowes for some paint. A good hard weekend worth of prep and paint and you will be amazed at the difference!

4.) Pavers

How could we possibly mention updating the exterior without talking about pavers? If pavers are in the budget – adding a new paver driveway is a surefire way to add curb appeal!