Walkways, Stairs, Walls
BRICK WALKWAYS & DRIVEWAYS
Due to settlement of the earth, almost every concrete, asphalt driveway or walkway cracks at some point in time. A sinking walkway or cracked driveway can become somewhat of an eyesore not to mention a safety factor. Paving with brick pavers to pave driveways and walkways can give elegance while lasting longer and looking better that the same surface paved with concrete or asphalt. They add beauty and functionality to your hardscape.
What is difference between walkways and pathways? Pathways are usually constructed either using loose gravel or mulch and are generally 2’ to 3’ wide. Walkways are usually formed from stable materials such as large slabs of stone or pavers and are usually 4 to 6 feet wide to allow for side by side walking.
There are two main categories that driveways include: solid surface such as smooth, seamless, even surfaces, which is the most popular, led by asphalt and concrete, or an aggregate-surface. Aggregate-surface driveway paving materials include gravel and crushed stone.
Driveways constructed of pavers lie somewhere in between these two main categories. Although they are individual blocks pieced together to form a whole, some types of driveway pavers can, if laid properly, for an almost seamless even surface, with no raised areas, which is an excellent advantage when trying to use the snow blower. Paving bricks are a permeable hardscape, allowing contaminants to flow into the ground instead of running off into our water supply.
Similar to asphalt, the “odd-ball” of paver driveways is tar & chip. This method doesn’t provide a smooth enough surface for snow blowing.
Your driveway takes up a good portion of your front yard and contributes significantly to the curb appeal of your home. Cracked concrete or old asphalt may take away from the beauty of the landscape you are trying to create and your home. With all the color choices, patterns and textures, paver bricks are the sure choice for a driveway surface.
Our designers can help you with all types of choices of material and design on driveway, walkways, sidewalks and pathway.
STAIRCASES & STEPS
If the yard has different levels of steepness, outdoor steps might be incorporated into a walkway design to lessen the steepness of the walk. Raised patios also would benefit if there is a transition needed to get to a lower or upper level. They can offer safety, practicality, and creative design to any design.
The materials used for the steps should go well with whatever pavers, etc., that is adjacent to them, whether it is walkways or patio designs.
Although concrete and brick are standard building materials in outdoor stairs and steps, large slabs of stone or slate, as well as pavers, are unique and dimensional building materials versus the standard concrete or brick.
RETAINING & SEATING WALLS
Garden and retaining walls offer strength, functionality and beauty while creating dimension to your yard. Walls serve a unique purpose as they can be used to create pathways, group plans and gardens, add depth and texture, to completely change the shape and feel of your landscape.
Retaining walls can be utilized by raising planter beds, whereby protecting the soil and plants within the beds from erosion. Perhaps you have a very steep drop in your backyard that gives the feeling of a small yard. You can construct terraced, curved, retaining wall along the back of your property, fill in with soil and plants, which will give a whole new dimension to your back yard.
You can choose from many types of retaining walls, including conventional stacked blocks, pavers, stackable decorative blocks that need no mortar. There is a new array of façade elements available that are being manufactured consisting of blocks and glass/concrete. These products are now available in a growing array of colors and textures made to resemble just about anything, from wood to stacked slate.
Wood retaining walls can be used at a relatively low cost and lend a warm organic look to your landscape design. It is best not to use any woods that contain Creosote. Creosote is registered as a fungicide, insecticide and repellent. It is used as a wood preservative to prevent fungus and insect damage to wood products, but is bad for our environment.
With the addition of larger brick tops over the retaining walls, a seat wall is made available for people to sit on, while also defining space within your outdoor living area. They also provide a place to elevate colorful shrubs and flowers closer to eye level. Seat walls are an asset to any garden. They create interest by adding dimension and texture to landscapes as well as help to define and divide spaces.
Whether you desire a square design or a design consisting of complex curves and cuts, your needs will be met by retaining and seating walls.
Please contact our designers so we can show you how a retaining wall and. /or seating wall can add functionality and beauty to your property.
RAISED AND BUILT-IN PLANTERS
If you have a small deck, built-in planters can be the best idea to include, especially when paired with the built-in seating, and kept in scale with the small size of the small size of the area. They can be grouped together at one side of the area to save on space or change the levels to provide additional open space and improve traffic flow.
Planter walls can be designed as a backrest for a bench or perhaps an impromptu shelf for setting down plates and glasses. Large decks can benefit from built-in planters to decorate the area with flower arrangements, etc. Large planters are especially useful as privacy screens when filled with tall, bushy plants.
Raised planter beds are basically just raised beds of soil with a strong retaining wall that can be as tall as a few feet or more. They provide needed drainage whether you build the bed without a bottom or when raising it more than a foot to create a wooden bottom to lift the soil to be more like a table and would have holes in it to allow for seepage.
The raised beds can be constructed of concrete, stone, brick pavers or durable wood retaining walls. Just think about the type of material that would best embellish your home. Raised beds can also be used by fencing or along the border of a patio or sidewalk.
Please contact our designers and we will be happy to help you introduce raised and built-in planters to your landscaping.
LANDSCAPE BRICK REPAIR
Every spring homeowners can’t wait to get out of hibernation and stretch their arms and legs. One of the first things homeowners do is inspect their paver patios, walks, or driveways.
One of the devastating effects of the freeze-thaw cycles, which can cause buckling, shifting and cracking, will push all pavements, including brick pavers, to their limits.
The beauty of interlocking pavers is their capability to expand from winter frost with minimal or no damage. The paver joints absorb the effects of frost and high density and low absorption rate of the brick pavers keep them from cracking.