Affordable Alternatives to Natural Stone Paving
Paving is both the most essential and the most expensive part of landscaping. This is mainly due to the material used, the labor, and the expertise necessary. The material used is what takes the largest bite out of your landscaping budget. Natural stone for instance, will be more expensive than other pavers. But even among natural stone pavers, some materials such as cobblestone cost more per square foot than travertine.
Factors to consider when choosing affordable paving options
There are cheaper paving materials available in the market. Cost is however not the only metric to consider when deciding which paver to go with. There are several other factors to consider such as:
It might not seem like a big deal, but where you’re installing your pavers is important. Paving materials for the driveway have different characteristics from patio and pool pavers. Driveway pavers must withstand massive weight (from your car), while pool pavers should be non-slip and able to cope with daily exposure to water and chlorine.
Different paving materials have different lifespans. Brick, for instance, will most likely crumble and break in comparison to concrete. Concrete does chip eventually, but it definitely outlasts baked brick pavers. Areas with large amounts of traffic require longer lasting materials, so you may want to avoid these too for your outdoor garage.
The paving needs to add beauty to your home. Pick a paving option that matches your existing color scheme, or can be customized to match. This may mean mixing different pavers to achieve the look you are going for. Bluestone can be added for decorative effect, while concrete can be colored by using tinted cement as a base.
Certain pavers require more care than others. Brick for instance, may need replacement due to water damage or cracking. Tiles, on the other hand, call for constant checking to catch cracks and repair the grouting. Maintenance should be both inexpensive and easy to do.
Pocket-friendly paving patterns
Now that we know some of the criteria you should be looking into, let’s take a closer peek at affordable pavers options for your home or office.
This is one of the oldest man-made construction materials in existence, old enough to have been used in the Great Wall of China. The first recorded use of brick in the US in 1611 in Virginia, and 1629 in Massachusetts.
As a paving material, brick comes with its own list of benefits and challenges. To begin with, it’s fairly strong and can withstand multiple uses, including residential driveways. The non-slip surface of the bricks also makes it ideal for homes that have children and the elderly. It’s a versatile material that can be used to fill many different landscaping needs, such as patios, walkways, or even a fire pit for the ultimate barbecue.
One of the most important things to note about brick is that it’s unaffected by ultraviolet radiation. The pigmentation is inherent in the burned clay, so it won’t change color or fade when exposed to the sunlight. The installation process is pretty straightforward, and can be done in any sort of moderate climate.
They are ready-to-use as soon as the laying is done. This is a material that’s also easy to clean. It only requires detergent, water, and a brush every few months. Being made from soil, this is an organic, biodegradable, fully recyclable building material. Bricks will need to be periodically replaced.
It’s made primarily from rock aggregate, water, and cement, in various mixture ratios which depend on your intended usage. It’s pliant when wet, and can be molded into different shapes. Once dry, it hardens into a strong and durable building material.
It’s one of the strongest man-made construction materials, capable of handling heavy pressure and weight. This makes it a pocket friendly driveway alternative to natural stone. Concrete as a paver comes with its own set of benefits.
To begin with, it’s resistant to the effects of snow. In other types of pavers, the constant freezing and thawing can cause cracks. Concrete can be treated to withstand these effects, and is not damaged by the salt you use to melt snow and ice.
It’s also an attractive paving material which comes in various shapes and colors, thanks to pigmentation that is added during the mixing process. Concrete is non-slip and resistant to water damage, which makes it ideal for the poolside.
Maintaining concrete is an easy affair, requiring a simple sweeping and occasional hosing down with water. Weeds may sometimes grow between the pavers, although this can be maintained using weed spray.
Asphalt has been used as paving material for the longest time. It isn’t used on its own. Instead, gravel or other aggregates of rock and sand are mixed with hot asphalt. The asphalt acts as the glue, while the gravel adds strength and character. It’s desired for its durability, safety, and long term economic value.
The durability of asphalt is evident in the roads you use every day. It’s a weather resistant material that can withstand heavy loads. It can be used in both low and high traffic areas. Being weather resistant, it can handle the freeze and thaw cycle of areas such as the North East US, where temperatures during winter can get to below zero. Asphalt has a never-ending life cycle, and can be reused as many times as you wish.
Maintenance of asphalt is pretty straightforward. It requires minimal cleaning, with a seasonal wash being sufficient. Any cracks should be sealed as soon as they appear, to increase the longevity of your paving. Asphalt tends to get hot in the sun however, which makes it impossible to walk on barefoot.
Rubber has been used for paving running tracks in Europe for over 80 years, and is now making its way into residential construction. It’s used to pave driveways, patios, apartment entrances, staircases, porches, and even playgrounds. It’s mostly sought after for its safety features. Rubber is not only non-slip, it’s also shock absorbent, soundproof, and doesn’t absorb allergens such as dust.
These qualities make it an excellent paver for homes with children or the elderly. Both sets of people are susceptible to falls, and rubber pavers reduce their risk of injury. Paving rubber is made from recycled tyres, and the paving itself can be reused. This makes it an environmentally friendly paving material. It’s also not affected by waterlogging or other extreme weather conditions.
Picking the right paver
With so many options on offer, it can be tough deciding which one is right for you. In this article, we were focusing on cost. But as you make your paving choices, it is best to speak with professional floorers and installers. They can guide you on the best paving solution for your own unique requirements.