Patio Materials - What To Use

by Karen
(New York)

Need help deciding on patio materials and what to use.

We are creating a small patio area in the walk-out area of our home. We're now ready to pick out the material for the top. There are too many choices! We live in Livonia, NY where we have short, but beautiful summers...and then there are very cold, darkish winters. What would be the best material for our climate?

Thanks for your help,


Hi Karen,
You're right...there are tons of choices!

It all depends on what the material of your house is and your budget. What is the siding on your house made of?

Pavers are a relatively inexpensive way to go. But there are a lot of paver choices....again, it depends on the other materials in your landscape including your house. Pavers are safe in cold climates.
Take a look here.
Paver Patio Design

Travertine pavers are lovely. They resist freeze-thaw conditions so would be fine patio material to use for cold climates. You dry lay them like pavers.
Here are some examples:
Travertine Paving

Bluestone is a nice option too. I like the dry laid geometric shapes in different sizes....also safe in New York.
Look here:
Blues Stone Patio


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paver patio cost proposal

Hi, I just received a proposal for a 25x14 paver patio using Imperial pavers, $6,900. This includes digging up an old concrete patio (10x12) then digging a six inch base. Do you think I am getting a reasonable estimate? It seems very high to me.


This sounds high to me also. You have about 350 sf for the new patio. Even if you take a high cost (in this economy) of $15/sf that would be $5250. Add on about $1000 for the existing concrete patio removal, and you are at about $6250.

I don't know what area of the country you live in, but I don't see why you can't get an installed patio paver price of $12/sf (even possibly less). This would bring the patio cost down to $4200...add on $800 to $1000 for the concrete patio removal and you are at $5200.

I am assuming the concrete pavers will be dry laid. There also might be some lawn repair involved. If this is the case, you must add on for that. Why don't you get the landscaper (or any other landscapers if you choose to get additional prices) to itemize everything for you? Don't let them just lump everything together as then you are in the dark!

Also check out their work from other jobs. And here is a tip. Ask if the person that did the installation of a project you are looking at will be doing your job!

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Stamped Concrete vs. Pavers

We are ready to tear down a huge deck and create a patio. The deck is high above the ground and we will be installing steps to get us to the ground level. We have looked at both Stamped Concrete an Pavers. What are the pros and cons of each? We have been told that the concrete will eventually crack throughout the years. Will Pavers hold up longer? We just can't decide.


I'm not a fan of stamped concrete, and yes, there is the chance of it cracking over the years. Other than the cracking issue, the other thing I do not like is that construction joints are typically placed throughout the paving, detracting from the pattern you have chosen.

Pavers are very forgiving. If anything should happen, they can just be picked up and easily replaced. In addition, there are so many color, patterns and sizes, along with those that are stone-like in appearance.

You'll find both of these pages helpful.
Patio Designs

Concrete Pavers

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Flagstone Patio | Granite Cobbles

I am building a patio which has a combination of materials but it is mostly Pennsylvania flagstone and a border which I would like to be in granite.

Is there such a thing as 6"x6" granite - hopefully only 3-4" thick?

That sounds like a nice design. Most that I know of are rectangles.

Here are two places you might try. - beautiful old reclaimed cobbles. Probably not 6 x 6, but very unusual.
Charles Luck - Charlottesville, Va. - I may have seen square ones there, but they also may have not been quite 6 x 6.

Granite cobbles can come in different colors. Consider this when adding them to the flagstone patio. The typical granite cobble color is gray, but they are also available in a tan or even other colors. Colors will be different depending on where they come from.

They may be newly made and come from the U.S. or another country. They also may be old (as mentioned above). These granite cobblestones are beautiful.They are rather uneven since they were hand made, but that's the beauty.

Let me know how you make out.


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Concrete Patio Design for House Resale

by Cindi

We are moving but need a concrete patio design/ideas for our house spruce up our patio area as our french doors open to a drop off.

The existing patio is concrete and we don't want to spend $$$ in redoing it. We are looking for an idea that will allow us to add to our patio (extend our patio and build over one edge or section of the concrete patio. We are unsure what material to use and how to do this without the patio design looking like a mistake. Because we will need to build up we were thinking of decking, blending the two together with an interesting look.


Hi Cindi,
If I understand your layout correctly, you have french doors which lead out to a patio. Yet the patio is too far of a drop off the house level of the doors. Therefore you are looking for a transition to the patio and also to enlarge the patio you have. I hope I have it envisioned somewhat correctly!

The first issue is stepping down from your doors to the patio with comfortable steps, regardless of how this is done. I am not sure how much of a change in elevation this foot, two feet, etc. If I were building this from scratch, I would step down one step to a comfortable landing and then to the patio. This creates a gradual transition.

However, the logistics of construction become an issue since the patio is already there. Structurally, this is probably not an option. I understand your thoughts of possibly creating a decked landing, which would then lead down to the patio. If this can be done where the deck posts are clear of the existing patio, it might be an option. However, I am guessing that this is not the case. Therefore, you must break up the patio where the deck posts are going to be installed.

You now have the labor of breaking up the patio in that area. In addition, now the patio has been broken! It gets to be complicated and I would also guess that this is going to cost you quite a bit also.

I understand that this is a decision you are making due to the fact that you want to sell your home. My suggestion would be to start over again. Either have a concrete porch installed, with steps leading down to the patio, or, if less expensive, decking with steps doing the same.

Install a small patio. It doesn't have to be large to look nice and function. You will most likely pay in the area of $8 per square foot for the concrete. Add the costs on for the porch and the demolition of the existing patio. I feel this will be the best way to go.

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