Building a New Patio? Reasons to Choose Concrete Patios
When your existing patio wears out or you want to build a new one to increase the value of your home, you have several different options. There are typically five options most homeowners choose between, including:
- Paver Tiles
- Crushed Gravel/Pebbles/Limestone
While some of the options may be attractive because their initial upfront cost may be less, in the long run, concrete patios always come out on top. Concrete is a good choice over the others for many reasons.
Wood vs. Concrete
With wood, you must elevate it off the ground. This is required whether you are building a simple square patio or elevated deck. If the wood is placed directly on the ground, it will start to rot and deteriorate much faster.
Another drawback with wood is you have to stain or paint the wood to protect it from the elements. This task has to be done at least once a year, sometimes more often if the sealant from the stain or pain wears off. Most people do not take into account the added cost of maintenance of wood.
Wood wears out quickly. Most wood patios and decks have to be replaced about every 10 years. Concrete, on the other hand, offers a very durable finished surface. Well-cared for concrete patios can last 25 years or longer!
You can choose from several different designs, ranging from a modern finished look to a tropical, beachy look. Once fully cured, concrete requires very little maintenance. You sweep it off or hose it off with a garden hose to keep it clean. Every five years or so, you have our Houston concrete contractors reseal the concrete.
Paver Tiles vs. Concrete
Even though most paver tiles are made from concrete, there are some key differences. Before installing the pavers, you must dig out the ground in the location where you want the patio installed and level it. This process is very similar to digging out the ground and leveling it for a concrete patio.
However, when leveling the ground for paver tiles, you cannot dig down that deep. If you do, you would need a few layers of paver tiles if you wanted the patio extended above the ground several inches. During installation, you have to be very careful that each and every paver tile is level with the other ones. Otherwise, you can end up with areas where water pools on the patio’s surface.
Next, you must fill in the gaps of the joints in between the pavers. Some people use mortar to secure them in place. Other people use sand. You could even use ground-up cement that, when it is exposed to moisture, hardens like concrete.
Even with the joint fillers to eliminate gaps, there can be problems with weeds, grass, and other vegetation growth. If the patio is not covered, exposure to rain can slowly erode away the joint filler. Not to mention, with certain ones you have to reapply them every year.
Paver tiles can also sink into the ground over time. This will result in an uneven patio that will need to be fixed. Doing so would require a lot of rework since you have to remove parts of the paver tiles to fix the problem with the ones that have sunk.
Concrete patios require much less maintenance and care work. Plus, it is much easier to ensure the entire patio is level. Once fully cured, concrete is one solid sheet that does not sink into the ground. You don’t have the annual maintenance costs of having to refill the joints in between paver tiles.
Bricks vs. Concrete
Bricks pose many of the same issues as paver tiles. You must fill in the gaps in between bricks to secure them to each other. You also have to deal with ensuring that each small brick is level with the adjoining ones. You will have to refill the joint every year to avoid problems with weeds.
Another issue with bricks is they tend to dry out over time. You will start to notice as the bricks will slowly fade in color from exposure to sunlight. This causes them to become more brittle. Eventually, the bricks will start to crack and break.
You do not have all the added maintenance costs. Not to mention, the costs per square foot of concrete are often less compared to the cost per square foot of brick. The long-term maintenance and care costs for concrete patios are also less.
Crushed Gravel vs. Concrete
Crushed gravel is an affordable patio option some people choose. The process of pouring crushed up rocks over the area where they want their patio seems like it would be very easy to do—although, what they do not account for is having to prepare the patio site ahead of time. If you just pour the crushed gravel over the yard, it will lead to all sorts of problems later—like grass and weeds growing up from underneath the gravel.
In order to prepare the patio site for crushed gravel, you have to first dig out the area and remove all the grass. Next, you must level the ground to ensure proper drainage. After that, you have to put some sort of liner down to stop grass and weeds from growing up from under the crushed rocks.
Most liners are made of very thick plastic. Yet, after a while, the liner material starts to break down and weaken. So, even with a high-quality liner, eventually it will deteriorate and allow grass and weeds to grow through it and the gravel. The only way to prevent this is to remove all the gravel and put down a new liner, which can be very time-consuming.
One drawback of using crushed gravel for your patio is it can easily be washed away. All it takes is one strong downpour of rain, and all those little rocks and pebbles will wash out all over your yard. Another drawback is, even using a liner underneath the gravel, weeds can still be a problem if seeds get blown over the patio and settle in between rocks.
If you want to place patio furniture and a grill on your crushed gravel patio, you often have to use some type of solid concrete paver tiles or poured concrete sections to prevent them from sinking into the gravel.
While the upfront costs for concrete will be more than crushed gravel, you do not have all of the added concerns over weeds, sinking patio furniture, and a patio that will wash away during a strong rain shower.
Other Benefits of Choosing Concrete for Your Patio
Aside from the long-term cost savings, durability, versatility, easier maintenance, and better overall value, there are some other benefits gained by choosing a concrete patio for your home.
- Concrete makes it easier to install patio covers. If you know you will want a patio cover, having it installed at the same time as your concrete patio allows the cover’s supports to be sunk into the concrete and ground for a secure and strong cover.
- Concrete allows you the option to add onto your home. Another option many people choose when adding concrete patios is to extend their roof out over the patio. They then can choose to enclose the patio with various walls, windows, and screens they can open and close for a versatile sunroom/patio they can enjoy year-round.
- Concrete is the perfect solution when installing an in-ground pool and enclosure. When you want to add an in-ground pool, you need to make sure the area is secured correctly. This normally means enclosing the pool area to keep people out. One of the easiest ways to do this is by building a concrete pool deck around the exterior of the pool and having a pool enclosure with screens put up.
Concrete patios have much to offer over other types of building materials. For great patio ideas, help with patio designs, or to request a free quote, please feel free to contact Cross Construction Services at 713-254-1703 today! Our Houston concrete contractors are happy to answer your questions and help transform your patio ideas into reality!