Materials: Pros & Cons
The three most popular patio materials are concrete
pavers, natural stone, and stamped concrete. When
selecting materials, consider appearance, costs, maintenance, durability, and snow removal.
Concrete pavers are available in a wide range of surface finishes, colors, shapes, and patterns. The initial
cost is moderate, and installation can be done by the
homeowner or a professional. The smooth surface
allows for easy snow removal.
Natural stone, such as flagstone, has a distinctive
appearance but is more difficult to install. In order
for the patio to be level, the depth of the base must
be adjusted to accommodate the varying thickness
of the stone. Fitting irregular shapes together is like
assembling a puzzle, so installation takes about twice as
long. Natural stone is extremely durable and can last
for centuries. Like concrete pavers, it’s easy to replace
broken or cracked stones, but the irregular surface is
not plowable and can make shoveling difficult.
Stamped concrete simulates the appearance of pavers with poured concrete that has been colored and
“stamped.” The initial cost varies depending on
the site but is generally comparable to concrete
pavers. Like any concrete slab, cracks from freezing
and thawing can be a problem.