Designing with patio pavers can be intimidating if you don't have a lot of experience, although such work is fun and rewarding once you arm yourself with sufficient information. With so many pavers to choose from, you might be wondering where in the world to begin. To get off on the right foot, answer these three questions:
- How much can I spend to design with patio pavers? The first step is to make a budget. Before you start shopping for materials and thinking about how beautiful your new patio will look (you can also build walkways with patio pavers), determine how much money you can spend on the project. There are a lot of different types of pavers out there. Knowing exactly how much money you have available to spend before you begin will help you narrow your choices. It will also keep you from falling in love with a product and a paver design that you can't afford. Once you've created a budget, you're ready to answer the next question.
- Why am I doing this? This isn't an existential question. When designing with pavers, before you choose a product, you need to determine what function it will perform. Does your paver design include a walkway? Is it the main entrance to your home? Will you have any visitors that have difficulty with mobility? In this situation, you would want to stay away from rougher, more natural products like cobblestone pavers. You'd want a walkway that was very smooth and accessible. Concrete pavers, with their uniform shapes and sizes, might be a good option in this scenario, or a smooth stone paver, like bluestone pavers. Choose a building material that fits your particular needs.
- What will it look like? Now that you've got the nuts and bolts covered, it's time to get creative with your paver design. With the myriad of products from which to choose, it can be difficult to settle on one. By determining how much money you can spend, and the function the product will be required to perform, you've already made life easier by narrowing the field. As long as you meet the first two requirements, your paver design can include any paver you desire.
Here are some tips for choosing the right material for your paver design:
- Browse. Look in books and magazines for inspiration. Check out your neighbor's and see what they have done. Keep an eye on the backgrounds in movies. What kind of pavers are those lovers strolling down? Are those concrete pavers or paving bricks at that café?
- Don't be afraid to mix it up. No one said you could only choose one product. When designing with pavers, don't be afraid to mix materials. I've had great success mixing paving bricks and bluestone pavers for patios. Cobblestone can make great edging for your concrete paver walkway. If you look online or in your local classifieds, you might be able to find some leftover stone pavers for sale from one person and some old brick pavers for sale in another location. Buy them both and see what you can make with the two. Get creative with your paver design.
- Most importantly, make it for yourself. Create a paver design that you love, not one that you think is cool or trendy. When planning, remember that you are the one that will be living with this paver design, so think less about impressing your neighbors and more about creating something that you'll want to look at everyday.
More Paver Design Tips:
- Draw it out. Even a simple sketch will help you visualize the final product.
- Take measurements. Before you start shopping, know exactly how many you need. Patio pavers are usually sold by the square foot, so measure the length and width (in feet) of your paver design project and multiply them together. Add 5% to 10% to make sure you have plenty to work with.