Save time and money with pavers
There are dozens of hard surfaces that Arizona homeowners can install in their yards. You can create a beautiful patio from materials that include stamped or colored concrete, travertine and other natural stone products, porcelain or brick pavers and more.
Among the most durable and economical choices are interlocking concrete pavers. That's why you see pavers all over your neighborhood used on driveways, walkways, patios, etc.
Price can be a great reason for installing pavers
Pavers generally cost from $6 to $8 a square foot including installation. Poured concrete will be cheaper ($4 a square foot) but is harder to maintain and is not as long-lasting, and as attractive.
To begin with, proper installation is crucial with concrete pavers. Unless you have a lot of experience installing pavers yourself, you need to hire a certified concrete paver installer. Crucial steps must be taken to prepare a surface for pavers, including possible excavation to remove existing pavement or turf. Compaction of the surface is needed after the excavation; then, a base material must be installed and compacted. However, it is also possible to lay some types of pavers on top of an old concrete pad.
Pavers can allow you to do a yard in stages
For example, install your paver patio this year, and then add paved walkways next year in another section of the yard when your budget allows. You can build a fire pit the year after that and use pavers to help tie that new feature into your design scheme.
Easy control for pesky weeds
Weeds may sometimes pop up in joints between pavers. Many homeowners control them by pulling weeds by hand. But you can also use a spot vegetation killer in the joints without damaging pavers themselves.
Pavers can handle lots of stress plus heavy loads
After proper installation, you can park heavy vehicles on concrete paver driveways – everything from SUVs to RVs to big trucks. Used on a driveway, pavers are even stronger than poured concrete. It takes about two and a half times as much force to crack a paver as it does to crack a concrete pad.
Accidents with pavers? No problem
What happens if someone drops a heavy object on your concrete paver patio and chips just one or two pavers? Or what if two or three pavers pop out of a walkway due to drainage problems? Or what if there's a dark, oily spill on your pavers during a backyard barbecue and you can't clean it up?
Repairing damage easily is one of the big advantages pavers provide. After installation, store spare pavers in your garage or yard for possible future use. If so, you can easily remove and replace some areas if necessary.
Obviously, if this happens a few years after you first install of a patio, walkway or driveway, the new pavers may differ in color from the rest of your hard surface. That is usually the result of fading due to the Arizona sun. But over time, according to Tim Barber, director of operations for Border Construction Specialties and Marvel Masonry in Arizona, the newer pavers will fade to the same color as well.
Generally, regular DIY TLC will keep pavers looking great
It's easy to keep pavers in good shape. According to Barber, regular rinsing with a water hose or sweeping is fine for cleaning now and then, but every couple years, homeowners should clean and seal pavers, particularly if they look dull and dusty.
Belgard, a manufacturer of concrete pavers, recommends that homeowners first remove any special stains – like rust, paint, wine or grease.
"There is a whole range of cleaning products available that are homeowner friendly and long lasting. Maintenance is not that hard," says Nathan Angel, Belgard sales manager.
After that, use a hardscape cleaner to remove ground-in dirt from the surface of concrete pavers. It will brighten the color of pavers and dislodge soil and debris. Spray the cleaner on pavers, then scrub with a push broom, and rinse with a water hose. After the surface dries 24 hours, apply the sealant. Don't use sealant if rain is forecast. Contractors can do the cleaning and sealing for you as well.
Print this page