About Driveways and Patios
Brick pavers are an attractive feature of any home. Allscapes can design and build custom paver patios of your choice to create a great outdoor living space for you to enjoy with your family and friends. We also install paver walkways and paver driveways that will make your home stand out from the rest of the houses on your block.
Why pavers are the superior choice
Brick pavers are an excellent alternative to stamped concrete or a concrete patio because pavers are designed to withstand the Michigan climate. They also require less maintenance than a deck. During the freeze and thaw period, the interlocking pavers can allow some flexibility whereas concrete will often crack. Once the concrete is cracked, you either have to live with it, or it must be replaced. The great thing about brick pavers is that if you ever get an area that does settle over many years, it’s a quick, easy, and cost-efficient fix to re-level that area. So if you are looking for patio ideas, a paver patio is the way to go. Our paver designs are all customized for each residence to fit the texture and architecture of the home and, most importantly, the vision and budget of each client. We can design and build your project using any paver material or brand you prefer. The top three hardscape manufacturers that we recommend are Fendt, Unilock, and Oaks. Each company has many styles of brick and block to choose from.
Base Preparation is Most Important
The first step for prepping the base consists of excavating the subsoil down to the proper depth in the hardscape area. For patios, we tend to excavate a depth of 9-11 inches. We also dig 6-8 inches outside of the paver area to provide over-prep for the base. For driveways, we excavate a depth of 12-14 inches. We prefer to over-prep 1 foot outside of the perimeter of any brick driveway to provide extra stability near the edges. If the subsoil contains a fair amount of moisture, we sometimes recommend installing a geotextile fabric. This fabric will separate the subsoil from our base material, blocking soil particles from mixing in with our base material and will provide extra durability over the long term. When it comes to building your paver project, we are very particular in the base materials we use and how the base material is installed. We insist on using a 21AA limestone base for the gravel portion of the basing process. Many hardscape contractors today use crushed concrete for a gravel base because it cost less than the 21AA limestone. From our years and years of experience, we believe that the limestone base is much stronger than the crushed concrete, and we will only use 21AA limestone for building hardscapes. The 21AA limestone is installed after excavating the subsoil of the hardscape area down to the proper depth. We install the limestone in 3-4 inch layers and compact the base after each installment. The top leveling agent the pavers will be set on is a material called slag sand. Roughly a one-inch layer of slag sand is used for our projects. We use certain procedures to level and compact this product. The amount we use for each of these materials may vary for some projects. For example, in areas containing heavy clay, more gravel base is used compared to a project location where the soil is more of a sandy topsoil mix. During the initial consultation, we will explain in detail how we install the base materials and how much of each material we recommend using for your project. We look forward to designing and building your desired hardscape project.