Landscape East & West Expert, Christin Bryk, Talks Patio Landscape Design

February 2013

Attached roof with paver patio and cultured stone columnsPaver patios are some of the most popular landscaping materials, and for good reason. From years of experience managing Pacific Northwest paver patio installation projects, I can tell you that Portland homeowners love the versatility and beauty of paver patio stones. The fact that some pavers are permeable also appeals to the tree hugger in many Portlanders. (Hardscaping that allows water to permeate improves the health of local watersheds.) A well-done paver patio project results in a low-maintenance, beautiful space for family enjoyment.

However, my years in the local landscaping scene have also taught me that paver patios can go very wrong, wasting homeowners’ money and time and potentially causing significant damage due to poor drainage. To prevent such a tragedy from befalling your outdoor living project, it’s important to dedicate time to patio landscape design. Here are a few steps I suggest customers follow:

1. Look at plenty of paver patios so you know what you like.

Peruse magazines, search online, and look around your town for paver patio installation options that appeal to you. There are many different types of patio pavers, from bricks to concrete to natural stone. Some of my favorite options are the Belgard Urbana paver; the Willamette Graystone Tudor and Holland pavers; and variegated bluestone. Favor pavers that tie into your garden’s color scheme; for instance, variegated bluestone pavers boast blues, greens and browns that will complement many garden structures.

2. Visit local stone yards and paver manufacturers.

This step will help you better understand local materials as well as the installation requirements for each. For instance, interlocking patio pavers fit together so neatly that no mortar is required, making for easy installation.

3. Set a budget.

Landscaping Pavers and StoneAt this point, you’ll have a better idea of what materials you can afford. Because natural stone is pulled right from the earth, it tends to run higher than concrete or brick pavers. Also consider labor costs when setting your budget – laying down paver patios is hard work, and you’ll want to hire experts to make sure the job is done right. A local paver patio installation expert like Landscape East & West can provide you with accurate price estimates.

4. Review your project for potential pitfalls.

Digging in patio pavers may seem simple, but the truth is that improper placement can cause significant drainage issues and unsightly shifting later on. A paver patio installation should be sloped away from a home’s foundation, for instance, to facilitate drainage. And proper crushed rock/sand ratios must be applied to the patio’s foundation to avoid excessive shifting.

As you can appreciate, a patio landscape design expert is essential when adding new pathways and outdoor living spaces to your home.  When partnering with you for paver patio installation, we begin with a phone conversation to make sure we have a clear understanding of your goals for the project. If Landscape East & West can fulfill your needs, we then set up an in-person meeting at the project site to discuss budgeting and materials in further detail. We have designed paver patios of all types and sizes. Each yard is different and has different challenges we can overcome. Contact us today to start your paver patio installation project!

Christin Bryk, Landscape Design ExpertContributing author Christin Bryk is a Design & Sales Associate at Landscape East & West, Portland, Oregon’s landscaping professionals. Christin specializes in helping customers create the perfect patio landscape design.

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