How to Choose the Right Path

When you’re considering walkways and driveways, you might not realize that these two areas of your landscape could be missed opportunities when it comes to eye appeal. Most people hear those terms and automatically associate them with plain poured concrete, but sidewalks, patios, driveways, and other footpaths can be enlivened to become features, depending on what type of material you choose to use.

Watch Where You Walk

So how do you find your ultimate match? Think about how the area will be used: What kind of traffic will it see, and what else is around it? What is the climate like where you live? How big is your property, and how is the pathway scaled? If you’re in a part of the country where things tend to stay damp or you have a long rainy season, choose a material that won’t become a safety hazard when it’s wet. Slip-factor is also an important consideration for areas around a pool and for climates where snow and sleet are common during winter.

Would you benefit from wood? Sunny spots will stay cooler if you use wood planking—timber won’t retain the heat the same way that stone, concrete, or brick will; so consider it a foot-friendly option, not to mention one that adds a bit of rustic charm. Asphalt-stabilized adobe and porcelain tiles are great for all types of weather, and terra-cotta tiling is naturally suited for warm climates.

If the area is a high-traffic one, think about walkability. Natural stone paths can be uneven; tiles may start to shift and become trip hazards; and gravel is hard on bare feet, so ask a few local landscape designers for their advice on hardscape design. They’ll be able to advise you on the pros and cons of each type of material and provide you with a clearer picture on pricing.

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Pave the Way to Perfection

Still not sure which direction to go? Here are a few more details that can help you find your happy trail…

Poured concrete: It may be the most commonly chosen route, but when you’re planning on a DIY-project, it can be your best option. If you’ve already got an existing concrete patio, driveway, or walkway that needs a bit of refreshing, color-bonding products can be the perfect way to add a little flair and chase away the grey.

Concrete pavers: If you’re looking for something strong and durable, consider pavers. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles and interlock to form a stable surface, which makes them almost limitless in possibility.

Outdoor tiles: They might generally be thought of as an indoor material, but outdoor tiles are versatile because of the options they afford in color, size, and shape. They’re also one of the smoothest and most easily cleaned paving materials; but keep in mind that that smooth surface isn’t exactly slip resistant.

Timber: DIY-ers love decking. Constructing a wooden deck or patio area is an easy project, so if hiring a professional trips you up, embrace your inner carpenter and pick your planks.

Gravel: Gravel is one of the most-budget friendly products to use in hardscaped areas, and it compacts well and conforms to the shape of the area in which it’s spread. Unfortunately, that compacting means that you’ll eventually have to add more of it, and it will require smoothing on a regular basis.

Stone: Stone pavers are one of the more rugged-looking materials; and because of their natural irregularity in texture and color, they add unique appeal unlike that achieved by engineered pavers.

Pick the path that’s right for you! Give the team at Executive Landscaping, Inc., a call today!