My wife and I are thinking about digging out a part of our backyard and
putting a new patio. We are not sure if we should go in for a brick or
concrete patio. We have talked to couple of local contractors and
realized that concrete patios are a lot cheaper than brick ones.
What are the big +s and -s of these patios? We live in the new england
area. So, winter is pretty bad here. We have woods in our backyard
(dont know if this matters).
Any help on this is really appreciated.
+ Less expensive.
Long life if properly designed and installed.
Little or no maintenance.
2. Hard set (cemented) pavers:
+ Nicer looking
- More expensive
3. Pavers set in sand:
+ Beset looking
Damage can be repaired
Can be modified making it larger or smaller.
- Most maintenance*
Likely most cost
I chose #3 three times. All three are still in use and look good. The
oldest is about 30 years old now. Others in the same area are about 150
years old. My newest is 15 years old.
It requires regular maintenance to eliminate weeds (I tend to use a
spray) and I tend to do a real clean up and re-sanding about every 5-10
years. In not properly laid originally expect a relaying after about five
years (this is a one time thing)
For negatives, I'd say;
1 It is the least appealing looking. [stamped concrete is better, but
then it costs more, and it still isn't as attractive as pavers.]
2. It will probably crack at some point-- then the whole thing needs
to be replaced. If an area of pavers falls into a sinkhole--not
likely- that area can be patched. [more likely is a stain- paint, BBQ
3. If you ever change your mind about the color, shape, size or
style- removing pavers is a breeze. Concrete removal is as expensive
as its installation.
Also- the OP didn't mention a DIY project, but pavers certainly lend
themselves more to that idea than concrete. DIY pavers are probably
about the same cost as an installed concrete patio. It is hard work,
but within the realm of a healthy adult or two.
With a slab patio, you have the option of putting flagstone, fieldstone or
other mortared in stone surfaces right on top. You can also score and stain
it to look more natural stone like.
For a new concrete patio, there is also the option of stamped and stained
patterns. The cost savings is mainly in the lower labor cost for pouring a
slab as opposed to the prep and manual hard labor of setting pavers. Pavers
can be a DIY but a large slab should be done by an experienced crew and
In new england, you might get frost heave or root intrusion which moves the
patio, pavers make it possisble to fix
The folks that i talked to said that the concrete patios can be made to
match any finish - eg: the basketweave brick pattern that we liked a
lot. If this could be achieved, would it look as good as a brick patio
? The price diff is huge. Would concrete patio stand up to the new
england winter ?
Done properly, yes. Just look how much concrete is around the cities. How
many 50 and 100 year old sidewalks are still in good shape? You need the
proper base, metal screen, expansion joints and a good mix of the right
thickness for the job.
If it's done right, of course concrete can take a NE winter. Just look
at all the concrete buildings, bridges, ramps, etc. They aren't
As to how stamped concrete looks vs pavers, you should call some
companies that do stamped concrete and go see what it looks like. Many
times they can give you commercial sites they did that you can easily
see. You've probably looked at stamped concrete hundreds of times and
never even realized what it was.
Also, I'd be careful with the price. I think right now you are
comparing std concrete to pavers. Stamped costs more, because there
is more material and labor involved. Stamped concrete also requires
some maintenance. It needs to be sealed every 2 years or so to keep
the finish looking sharp. Otherwise, it takes on a weathered look.
If you really like a particular paver look, you may be better off going
with that. If you like some of the stone type looks that stamped
concrete can take on, then that may be a better choice.
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