Pave Your Way to Greatness: Fabulous Ideas for Paving on a Budget

A hardscape can be one of the most influential (and expensive) components of a landscape remodel. Aside from the details of built structures, like outdoor kitchens, seat walls, or fire pits, the estimated cost for paving can give you some pause, wondering, “Can I really afford this? Is it even worth it?” But while stone pavers are costly, you also don’t like the idea of a bland concrete slab for your outdoor living space. Fortunately, these aren’t your only options. Today’s homeowners can create gorgeous hardscape by getting creative with concrete pavers and slabs, bricks, and even by getting creative with the design of standard pavers. Here’s a look at your options and how you can incorporate them into your landscape.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers have grown increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Although concrete has gotten a bad rep in the past for being dull or unexciting, today’s manufacturing technologies make it possible to mimic the shape, color, look, and feel of natural stone. They’re a whole lot cheaper than pavers while still adding a lot of aesthetic value and functionality to your outdoor living environment. Concrete is tough, durable, and easy to maintain. 

Concrete Slabs 

I love the look of mid-sized concrete slabs for patios, courtyards, and walkways. Concrete can be stamped and brushed to offer a more unique, inviting appearance. This also adds significant texture to increase the visual interest of your property while adding traction. Larger slabs of concrete are great for adding a modern touch to your property, although dyed concrete can generate the warmth needed to match your home’s architecture and aesthetic. 

Brick Pavers

Another affordable way to pave your landscape is with brick. Brick can come in shades of rust red, charcoal, and beige to match your home’s existing architectural style and other hardscaping elements. Bricks add a touch of timeless elegance and sophistication and are more affordable than other paving options. They can withstand frequent traffic and usage without becoming damaged.

Smart Spacing

I’ve had a great deal of success in scaling back clients’ paving costs by getting strategic about paver spacing. Pavers and slabs can be spaced out to reduce the number of hardscaping materials required. The voids can then be filled in with artificial turf or decorative rocks, both of which are very affordable. 

4 Ideas for Paving Your Landscape

Regardless of which materials you work with, pavers are a fantastic option for numerous applications throughout the landscape.

  • Courtyards – When guests first approach your home, you want them to feel welcomed and be attracted to the aesthetic of your property. A great way to accomplish this is by paving a gorgeous front courtyard. This space can be used for outdoor living or entertaining and is a great place for fountains, fire pits, potted plants, or a work of art that you’s like to display. I’m especially fond of sunken courtyards in order to create an intimate feeling of privacy.
  • Patios – One of the most common ways that pavers are used is to construct large patios that will serve as the base for an outdoor living space. Manufactured pavers and brick pavers give off a sense of warmth, inviting you and your loved ones to kick back, relax, and stay awhile. When sealed properly, pavers are an excellent choice for areas where you’ll be eating and drinking, as they won’t stain and are easy to clean. 
  • Pool Decks – Backyard swimming pools are in high demand in California, and the right pool deck can attract the eye, emphasize the beauty of the water, and serve a functional purpose. Stamped pavers are ideal because they help with traction, reducing the risk of slip-and-fall injuries. Pavers also stay relatively cool for bare feet.
  • Paths and Walkways – Pavers are an excellent choice for creating inviting and imaginative main walkways and garden paths. They can be cut to specific sizes and shapes and used to establish straight or curved surfaces, and they can even feature geometric patterns to create further visual interest. You can also experiment with spacing, as I mentioned above. Using larger pavers as “stepping stones,” you can fill the space between with turf or rocks, thus adding texture while reducing costs. I enjoy playing with spacing when establishing front walkways and when connecting various areas of the hardscape together. 

Final Thoughts 

If I can leave you with one thing from this entire post, it’s that well-designed hardscaping is well worth the investment. Properties become far more functional and desirable when there’s an attractive, useable space for outdoor living. Although you’ll absolutely need to spend money on a project like this, there are plenty of ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality. Working with an experienced landscape designer will help you find paving materials that are more budget-friendly and can help you to get creative in finding ways to reduce your spending. 

If you’d like to chat about how you can use pavers to enhance your landscape without overspending, I’m happy to chat with you. Be sure to also check out our instagram (@charteroaklandscape) for design inspiration.