Buyer beware. Many things in life are not as easy as they may seem. Installing hardscape on your property is one of them. Some DYI websites emphasize the ease of laying pavers for a patio, driveway, footpath, or other hardscape. These sites want homeowners to think all they need is brick, gravel, a rake, and a mallet. Oosting Custom Masonry & Chimney Service has over 30 years in the masonry profession serving homeowners in and around Bergen County, New Jersey. We know how to design and install hardscape and will use the correct products on your property which will endure weather and erosion to maintain the enhancements you are looking to achieve.
DYI sites do not provide homeowners with a professional onsite assessment unique to your property. Only a professional mason and designer can offer the total package customized to your property and objectives. Oosting, as well as many masonry contractors across the globe, recognize the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) as the leading authority when it comes to concrete pavers. ICPI has developed technical guidelines for all quality masons to follow to ensure that the pavement systems its members install “offer durability, life-cycle, and aesthetics through sustainability, pavement systems, design, installation, and maintenance.”
If you’re not fully educated on all the particulars of these standards, it is in your best interest to do business with someone who is educated. Considerations include the proper materials, tools, understand the foundation, grading, drainage, installation, finishing, and maintenance necessary when installing your patio, driveway, footpath, or other hardscape. It’s important to use your investment dollars wisely and find a professional you trust.
It’s also essential to choose the proper materials for your project. Not all pavers are created equal. Not all pavers will sustain the weight of vehicles and are not for use in driveways. Interlocking concrete pavers provide many long term advantages. According to ICPI, “Design Professionals turn to interlocking concrete pavements and permeable interlocking concrete pavements because they offer lower initial and life cycle costs and provide environmentally sustainable solutions.” Permeable pavers allow water to drain through them and become dispersed through their base rather than direct water into the sewers. This not only puts less burden on pipes and sewers and any nearby structures and property, it also eliminates erosion around the hardscaping; and the pavers (and hardscaping they comprise) are environmentally friendly. Both interlocking and permeable interlocking pavers may also earn LEED® points. To learn more click here and ask your professional installer about your eligibility.
Self Growth.com, an online self-improvement community, elaborates on the pros and cons of using a professional to do your hardscaping and provides a detailed overview of the actual work necessary to do the work properly. “Let’s face it, interlock paving could be the best way to enhance the curb appeal of your home, and unless you have infinite time and money to devote to the project, you are going to want your installation done right the first time.” Some designs involve creative designs to enhance the project. When it comes to cutting the stones, it is best to use a professional utilizing their skill, experience and the correct tools. “These aspects of your project can become very tricky and most will require the craftsmanship of a professional.”
Bottom line: It’s ok to do some homework online, as you are doing now; read about the differences in paver types and their uses, check out creative designs, and learn all you can about installation process and maintenance. Just as it is important to properly prepare the foundation for your hardscape, your new knowledge base will also properly prepare you when speaking with your professional masons about your project. However, when it comes to actually doing the work, protect your investment and property and call a professional! If you live in Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Morris, Hudson, or Union counties in New Jersey, call Oosting Custom Masonry & Chimney Services, if you don’t, check out the list of certified contractors from ICPI.