The time had come for us to finally decide on a patio for the back of the house. We knew we wanted to add some outdoor ambiance and general curb appeal; more so than the look of the plain concrete slabs that were already in place. After checking out the options we narrowed it down to stamped concrete or brick pavers. Stamped concrete was not anything I was going to tackle alone; it needs to be done by a professional and brick pavers are costly. This was going to be a pretty sizable investment either way. I went to seek out some information from the pros, here’s what I learned.
I talked to a few stamped concrete contractors in Elgin and learned that this is a really great option for uniformity and is very versatile. It comes in many different styles, shapes and colors which would make it relatively easy to coordinate with your home. People worry that the concrete can shrink or crack, if this does happen, the repairs can be difficult or costly.
In researching, I learned that this is largely dependent on the quality of the installation. Basically, do your homework here people. Check reviews and references to ensure the company you hire is going to provide great quality installation.
When these types of patios are installed properly, they are very low maintenance. I don’t know about you but I am a huge fan of that! A perk the wife mentioned was how it would be easier to sweep or power wash the concrete. No leaves, mulch or weeds would get stuck in between like it would with the pavers. It seems like the pros just kept rolling in.
In thinking about doing it yourself with brick pavers, transport can often be an overlooked aspect. They can be very heavy and difficult to transport yourself especially if the area they are being placed is not near where your vehicle or a delivery truck can reach.
Brick pavers can and do typically stand the test of time when installed properly. That last part is key. Lets just be honest here, I did not feel confident I could do this properly. The pavers are said to be relatively easy to repair or replace when needed but in my case I could foresee a lot of repairs would be needed.
One thing I have noticed at neighbors houses, many pavers shift due to ground changes, and end up looking terrible not to mention become unsafe quickly.
If drainage is a concern though, brick pavers will allow for this which can be helpful for a few different reasons. In the winter, it can help avoid ice building on top which can be dangerous if the space is used regularly. On the contrary, it can be difficult to shovel a paved path in the winter because it’s not a smooth or level surface. To me, this all just seemed like way more trouble than I was up for.
In the end we opted to let the pros do it and have the stamped concrete installed. We liked how it was done quickly and seamlessly. I also enjoyed the weekend much more than I would have if I was attempting to install the pavers. We are both very pleased with the look and ease of use in general.