You walked outside today to check your mailbox, and you can’t help but think that having a walkway with pavers or concrete would make this chore so much easier. You take a look around and notice your driveway has cracks. And now that you think about it, you’ve always wanted to add a patio to the backyard so you can finally have those cookouts. You decide it’s finally time to look into your options, and you start to wonder which is better: Pavers or concrete?
Pavers or Concrete: Everything You Need to Know
Concrete slabs are most commonly used for outdoor spaces because they are easy to install and fairly inexpensive. Homeowners even have the option to use stamped concrete or stains, which offers texture and design options.
Paving stones are individual sections. They can be made from natural stone, concrete, or brick. These stones are extremely durable, and some even have interlocking designs for stunning aesthetics.
When contemplating the selection of materials for outdoor surfaces, comparing concrete slabs and paving stones unveils significant considerations. At first glance, concrete slabs seem like the more economically advantageous option since they potentially cost up to 15% less than their paving stone counterparts.
For concrete, you’re looking at around $4 to $8 per square foot. With pavers, on the other hand, the price ranges from $15 to over $20 a square foot.
However, a more comprehensive analysis reveals a nuanced financial landscape. While concrete is more affordable upfront, its advantage diminishes as the cumulative costs of ongoing maintenance and repairs come into play. Paving stones, despite an initially higher investment, prove to be a judicious choice for those prioritizing durability and long-term cost effectiveness.
Transitioning to installation, paving stones exhibit a notable efficiency, typically requiring only five days for installation over a 1,000-square-foot area. While this may seem like a long time, you have to remember that it could take just as long to prep and pour the concrete, and then you have to wait for the concrete to cure before you use it. Meanwhile, with pavers, they are ready to use once they are properly laid out.
Furthermore, paving stones showcase a versatility that transcends mere financial considerations. Their adaptability shines in scenarios involving sloped or uneven surfaces, where they outperform concrete slabs. While concrete can be poured on sloped hillsides, it is incredibly hard to do so, especially if you are DIY-ing the installation.
Prepping for Installation
Choosing paving stones for your outdoor space requires a bit more prep than concrete slabs. You can expect the process to go something like this: excavation, grading, compaction, geotextile install, base prep, base compaction, sand prep, laying stones, cutting the borders, prepping bond, compacting stones, and sealing. But once the installation is complete, it’s ready to use!
Laying concrete is a much simpler process, requiring excavation, grading, setting forms, and pouring the mixture. However, as stated above, concrete takes time to cure and can’t be used until completely dry. One major drawback to consider is cracking if the ground flexes or tree roots grow underneath.
The Best Way to Finance Home Improvements: Pave the Way with HFS Financial
While pavers and concrete each have their pros and cons, the one thing you don’t need to wonder about is how to pay for them. Whether you’re replacing your currently paved spaces or designing new ones, HFS Financial can help find you the right home improvement loans. From swimming pools to outdoor kitchens and everything in between, we can help you find the home improvement financing you need to get your home projects done. Just take 60 seconds to submit an inquiry, with no effect on your credit score. With HFS Financial, “You Dream It, We Finance It!”