Choosing Your Decking and Pavers
September 24, 2018
CHOOSING MATERIALS FOR YOUR LANDSCAPE DECKING
Your outdoor decking is one of the most conspicuous parts of your front yard or backyard landscape. With lots of options to choose from, how do you decide?
Start with this short guide to choosing your decking and patios in Phoenix. We’ll introduce options for materials, areas where they tend to work best, price ranges and considerations for installation.
Travertine and limestone are beautiful options for your front yard or backyard landscape. Because they are natural, both will have variations in color and texture, with lots of holes, nooks and crannies. Some pieces are more pitted and pocketed than others, promising a beautiful mix of imperfections.
The nice thing about natural materials is they never trend in and out, so they’re always a safe bet. Being porous and generally lighter in color they are also cooler than concrete pavers.
Travertine naturally has more pits and veining, while limestone has a smoother finish, offering a more refined appearance reminiscent of tile.
Natural materials are great for walkways, around swimming pools, over existing concrete patio, courtyards, and transitioning from inside to outside. At $8.00 – $12.00 per square foot, natural materials are in the middle price range.
Pavers are a classic, popular choice. With the expansive soil we have in Phoenix, which can cause concrete to crack, interlocking pavers are ideal for their flexibility to move with the earth. They’re available in many different colors and design options, and as a certified installer, our manufacturers offer Straight Line customers a lifetime manufacturer warranty against breaking or cracking.
While there are many different brands, here at Straight Line we use mainly Belgard pavers and Phoenix pavers, so we’ll tell you about those.
A trusted national brand, Belgard pavers are often used by home builders for driveways and backyards in Phoenix due to their beautiful finish and color options, which complement the natural colors of the Arizona landscape.
Phoenix pavers can be a more economical option, while providing many different color, size and pattern options. In addition to their “Standard” paver, this trusted local company offers a large format “Aztec Stone.” With multiple color options and 2-piece up to 5-piece patterns, you can’t go wrong with these beautiful pavers in Phoenix.
Pavers are great almost anywhere, including, driveways, walkways, decking, raised patio construction and courtyards, and range in price between $4.00 – $8.00 per square foot.
A newer material on the market offering a modern appearance. Porcelain looks like tile, but it’s installed more like concrete pavers, meaning they are filled with sand and we don’t need to pour concrete. They’re also thinner than pavers which can come in handy with certain installations.
With larger sizes and plank-style pieces, porcelain lends itself to tasteful contemporary design options. They do tend to be warmer under foot, and by warmer we mean scalding hot, so maybe not ideal for areas in extended direct sunlight.
Porcelain is ideal for shaded areas, existing covered patios, and areas with low clearance, e.g. existing concrete with minimal clearance for a threshold. At $11.00 – $16.00 per square foot porcelain is in the higher price range.
Whatever materials you use, be sure you hire the right people to install them. Among other details, a competent, professional installer should always: a) manage water flow, b) set the pavers tight and straight, and c) construct a strong border to hold the completed installation together.
And they always leave the job site clean.
Red flags if they give you an estimate without looking at the job site, if they need to borrow your tools to complete the project, and if they leave a mess at your house every day.
You could always do it yourself, but if you want to save yourself several years of nagging back pain and countless hours of cursing, you might as well hire a professional.
START YOUR PHOENIX PAVER PROJECT WITH STRAIGHT LINE
Here at Straight Line Landscape we are experts in the custom landscape design process and construction, and that includes decking and pavers.
From the creative design and selection of materials to installation and construction, you’ll recognize quality and attention to detail from start to finish.