THE TRUTH ABOUT PAVERS VS CONCRETE

 

How does the cost and durability of Pavers compare to Concrete?

 

There is more to know when choosing a pavement material than just whatever is the cheapest.  While poured or stamped concrete may initially achieve a look that is somewhat similar to pavers, poor durability and difficulty in making repairs have a dramatic impact not only on the appearance but also on the actual cost in the long run.

Paver patios don’t crack and will stay beautiful for as long as you own your home.

 

As a conscientious homeowner, you want your driveway, patio, sidewalks etc. to stand up to the harsh Minnesota winters, require little maintenance, and look like new for a long time to come.  You also want them to be ‘cost-effective’.  That is why the popularity of pavers is sky-rocketing.  The unrivaled beauty, easy upkeep, and long-term cost efficiency of properly installed pavers are becoming more and more apparent to homeowners.

 

Concrete

 

Concrete has traditionally been one of the most common paving materials used.  The low cost per square foot makes it a general choice as it initially seems to be a relatively inexpensive option.  However, the inevitable cracking of concrete leads to long-term costs that are far greater than installing pavers, without providing any of the benefits pavers offer.

Cracked Concrete Sidewalk

 

In Minnesota, it is almost unavoidable that concrete will crack at some point in time.  Concrete can crack as a result of the expansion and contraction caused by freezing, thawing, and other changes in the weather.  Other common causes are when the base moves due to heavy loads or settlement, concrete tends to shrink over time, or improper installation. 

Cracked Concrete with Repairs

 

Year by year as cracks form, it is very difficult to match the exact color and composition of the original concrete each time a repair is needed.  As a result, the concrete surface gets uglier and uglier with each repair.  The only alternative to the constant repairs is to replace the entire structure.  By the time the structure is demolished, removed and disposed of, it will likely cost up to 10% more each time you have to replace it.  Not to mention the time and mess involved.

Cracked Stamped Concrete

 

“Stamping” concrete a method of trying to achieve the attractive patterns and colors associated with actual paving stones.  The stamping is done after the concrete is poured and before it begins to harden.  Stamped concrete is usually tinted or colored before it is poured.  There are standard colors that can be added to the mixture as it goes into the truck.

 

Unfortunately, the problems associated with maintaining concrete are compounded with the addition of pattern and color.  Patching cracks with regular gray concrete means creating unsightly scars, while trying to replace a cracked portion with a new piece that exactly matches in pattern and color is nearly impossible.

 

In Minnesota, concrete will cost you more money in the long run.

 

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