• Benefits of Paving Stones

    pitched paving stone driveway in SacramentoWhy Choose Paving Stones for Your Sacramento Property?

    When installing a driveway, patio, pool deck or similar masonry feature at your Sacramento home, you have two primary options: poured concrete or paving stones. If you don’t know which choice is right for you, consider the following benefits of the latter:

    Aesthetic beauty

    On the sole basis of appearance, it’s hard to compete with the visual and textural appeal of paving stones. Since paving stone masonry features are assembled by hand, they not only provide ample opportunities for custom design, they also lend a uniquely nuanced, artisan aesthetic.

    Creative possibilities

    Since paving stones are available in myriad colors, shapes, sizes and textures, the possibilities for design are practically endless. Furthermore, if the architecture of your Sacramento home reflects a specific era or style, you can find a paving stone product to match it. For example, if you own a Victorian home in Mansion Flats, you can choose cobblestone pavers to achieve a befitting aesthetic with your masonry driveway or walkway.

    Flexibility

    Since they’re composed of multiple pieces rather than a monolithic slab, paving stone masonry features are better able to handle soil movement and resist cracking than poured concrete installations. This attribute is particularly beneficial in Sacramento, which, like much of Northern California, contains high amounts of hardpan clay soil. Since clay soil is prone to absorb and retain water, the consequent soil expansion and contraction throughout the year is apt to cause cracking in poured concrete slabs. Of course, the prevalence of seismic activity in Northern California is also a pertinent factor. Overall, using paving stones to build your masonry driveway or pool deck will substantially reduce the likelihood of damage caused by these natural factors.

    Easy repair

    If a paving stone masonry feature is damaged, repairs are typically easy thanks to its piecemeal composition, which allows individual pavers to be removed and replaced as needed. This attribute is particularly beneficial if there’s plumbing or electrical piping situated beneath the installation. In contrast, it’s rarely possible to repair a concrete slab without ruining its aesthetic continuity, which is why replacement is often the sole option.

    Environmental friendliness

    A common problem with landscape construction projects is their contribution to lowered water table levels. When an area is paved over with concrete, water is unable to penetrate the soil beneath, which means it must run off into a nearby sewer or stream. Fortunately, paving stone masonry features can be engineered in a way that amends this deficiency. Permeable pavers allow water to penetrate the installation’s surface and recharge the water table below. As you interview masonry contractors, ask about their experience with permeable paving stone installations.

    Increased Property Value

    With its combination of aesthetic beauty, durability and practicality, a paving stone masonry feature typically adds more property resale value than a poured concrete installation. However, paving stones are also more expensive than concrete, so make sure the amount you invest makes sense for your home’s value. If you reside in a high-value Sacramento neighborhood like Richmond Grove or Land Park, paving stones will likely give you a good return on your investment. Ask your masonry contractor if paving stones are a wise investment for your property.

    Budget flexibility

    If budget constraints are impeding your masonry project, paving stones can offer yet another benefit. Since paver features are constructed piecemeal, you have the option to complete yours in phases, which can help accommodate a modest budget. In contrast, poured concrete installations typically have to be installed all at once, which offers little budget flexibility.

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  • Planning for a Masonry Feature

    masonry contractors used paving stones to build this Sacramento driveway5 Things to Consider for a Paving Stone Masonry Feature

    When planning for a new paving stone masonry feature at your Sacramento home, you’ll need to consider several factors to ensure a satisfactory result.

    1. Design

    One of the first things to consider for your masonry project is its design. Here are some pertinent aspects:

    Your home’s architecture

    Make sure the feature’s design complements the architectural period and style of your home—otherwise, it may look out of place. Fortunately, modern paving stones can match any architectural style, including Victorian, Tudor, Mediterranean, Eichler, Craftsman and more. When interviewing masonry contractors for your project, ask about their experience with designing for specific architectural styles.

    Color scheme

    Choose a color scheme that complements the colors of your home and landscape. Muted hues and earth tones are often good choices for exterior masonry features because they don’t stand out too much. However, some applications may call for brighter or bolder colors.

    Stone size and shape

    Paving stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so consider the full spectrum of your options. Homeowners who install pavers in a small area often assume large stones are out of the question, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, large stones can actually make a small area appear more expansive.

    2. Practicality

    Your paver installation may look beautiful, but if it isn’t practical, you could wind up with unexpected issues. For example, if you have elderly family members who live with you or visit often, a cobblestone walkway won’t be a good choice. Not only will it make using a walker or wheelchair difficult, it’ll also increase the chances for falls.

    3. Foundation

    Any masonry feature requires a solid foundation beneath it­—otherwise, all your hard work can gradually come undone. The first step is to determine the type of soil you’re working with and the level of soil compaction that’s needed. Much of the Sacramento region contains hardpan clay soil, which is more difficult to work with than other soil types due to its composition and high water retention. If you’re working with clay soil, you’ll likely need to amend it with base rock and compact it.

    After preparing and compacting the soil, the next step is to put down a layer of geotextile fabric