I'd like to put a patio in at the back of our house. I don't know how long
we'll be here (could be 5 years, could be 30), so economy is a big factor.
I know somewhat is involved in preparing the surface, soI won't skimp on
that, but what is the most economical surfacing? I am worried about a solid
concrete slab as they crack like crazy in our cold , (-40 winters sometimes)
wet (especially in winter) climate. The freeze/thaw problem is really the
biggest factor. Some advice I have read suggests a concrete pad that is
sawed in sections ro relieve the pressure. Others say large concrete pavers
What is good advice for an economical patio that can withstand a vicious
Properly poured concrete won't be a problem. IOW, Thick. At least 3-4
inches, with a <deep> gravel layer under with good drainage, troweled-in
(not sawn) grooves to choose where the cracks happen, proper curing, and
<never> use salt on it. Make sure it slopes away from house, of course. If
your yard moves around when it frosts, maybe even monolithic footers as part
of the pour (think upside down bowl). Find a guy that will do it pretty much
like a commercial sidewalk. Just because I'm old-fashioned, I'd also
recommend wire fabric in the pour, and that black squishy stuff at any
joints where it abuts house or other slabs. It'll cost a little more than
paver blocks, but properly done, it will outlast the house next to it.
Concrete is cheap, it is the skilled labor that expensive, either doing the
pour or telling the unskilled labor how to do the site prep.
<< What is good advice for an economical patio that can withstand a vicious
freeze/thaw climate >>
One common recipe for durable concrete pads starts with a well drained site
(like an upside down bowl). Prepare this with mechanical tamping, four to six
inches of bank run gravel (unwashed, big rocks removed) and more tamping. Put
up the forms (2 x 8's) plumb, square and level, fill with pea gravel to allow
for 4" of concrete, then a layer of plastic sheet, 4 x 4 10 ga. wire
reinforcement and you should be good to go. Insist on a high strength concrete
(5 1/2 bag or better) and if you want top of the line, fiber filled. Do it
right and it will probably oulast all of us. If your project involves any
unusal size at all, get a crew of finishers on board. As a practical metter,
you wouldn't want to struggle with more than yard of concrete by yourself. HTH
We are considering the same thing. In Upstate NY we get freezing cold
winters, wet springs & falls and sometimes blistering summers.
Anyone around us who went the stamped concrete way has had a crack develop
in the first 5 years (just after their warranty expired). Others who have
used concrete pavers (Belgard, Navastone) which the proper base has had
little problems other than some weeds. Those people spray Round Up a few
times a year & it's done.
Our lean is towards the paver option. You may also want to consider natural
stone that does well in your area - if you like that look. Our's is
Bluestone. It can be more costly if your paying someone to install as it's
not consistent in thickness as a manufactured paver which results in more
time. Time = Money for an installer. If you're doing it yourself, then
perhaps not an issue.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.