What is a concrete paving slab/patio stone?
A concrete paving slab is a square block of concrete between one foot and two and a half feet in diameter, and about an inch and a half thick. Stones made out of both clay and concrete fall into this category. The most commonly used colors are shades of white, grey and red.I recommend you use concrete patio stones instead of poured concrete or interlocking brick
1) Patio stones are require less skill than interlocking bricks to lay
I have laid many patios and driveways using interlocking brick; I have also removed interlocking brick that others have done incorrectly. Even professional landscapers mess it up so I don’t recommend that the average person tries it without prior experience. The ground has to be perfectly flat and compacted before you begin or else the ground will sink in certain spots and leave your patio looking uneven and ugly.
2) Nicer looking than poured concrete and easier to remove if you change your mind later
Once you put down poured concrete it is very difficult to remove. Bricks and patio stones can be pried up but solid concrete involves a lot of hacking, smashing, and taking the debris away in wheelbarrows.
3) You can lay the concrete slabs by yourself to save money
Depending on where you shop you can probably find paving slabs for between $5 and $12. This is much cheaper than interlocking bricks; slabs are also much easier to lay yourself. As long as the ground is relatively flat then and you are strong enough to lift them then there is no need to pay big bucks for a professional landscaper- as the most junior person on the landscaping crew I cost each client $40 per hour myself!
We decided to use concrete paving slabs on our own property, as did my Grandma
We used concrete paving slabs to build a walkway from this the stairs off of out deck to the gate of the dog pen. This project only took a few hours. We dug up some grass, levelled the ground and then placed the concrete slabs onto the ground. Had we instead used interlocking bricks it would have taken at least a day and we would have had to do a lot more measuring as well as use a higher level of caution.
My Grandma also used paving slabs in her backyard. She used them to create a patio outside of her backdoor. This was a simple project and cost substantially less than it would have cost if bricks were used. Posts were then installed at the corners of the patio and some wooden railings above it. This structure is now used to grow grapes for jam and wine.
I have also seen people use these stones to build a walkway from their driveway to their front door. Walkways and patios seem to be the most common use for paving stones.
What to consider when laying patio stones?
If you want the area to look nice once you have laid all of the stones then you should make sure that the ground is flat to begin with and that you are laying the stones on dirt, not rocks or uneven clay. The slabs are very strong so as long as there is nothing really hard underneath it is not going to break; this suggestion is merely to maximize the ending appearance.
I always tell customers to be careful if they plan on transporting the paving stones in their own vehicle
If customers required a large number of concrete paving stone then I would always suggest that we deliver the stones to their home in our store’s dump truck. I would recommend against them putting too many into their own car or truck as the stones can quickly add hundreds of pounds. Putting too much additional weight on the suspension of a small car can cause problems that may later need professional repairs; you can actually see a car sink down lower to the ground on its suspension as stones are added to the car’s trunk. For this reason I recommend you be very careful when transporting stones yourself. If the place you are buying from offers free delivery then you should always go with that option.
My experience with concrete paving slabs
While going to college I spent my summers working for a company that owned a garden center and did landscaping for both middle class and affluent individuals.
While working in a garden center I sold concrete paving slabs of different sizes and colors to people on a regular basis. I also gave people tips and advice regarding how to use them.
I a landscaping/delivery boy I transported slabs to the homes of people who had purchased them as well as laid them according to the landscaping plans we were following. Then when I got home my Dad made me lay them at home and at my grandma’s house for free ><. This is to say that I have quite a bit of experience dealing with patio stones.