Your front walkway makes a great first impression and all your paver paths move people around with ease. They connect outdoor “rooms” no matter if your Madison WI home features a spacious lawn or postage stamp hideaway. Creative paths and walkways provide separation and definition. At the same time, they connect and unify your outdoor living space. Whether straight or free-flowing a path not only directs the feet, it directs the eye as well.
Pathways also set a mood in your landscape. They do it with color, styling and texture. In general, formal areas or space where you want traffic to move quickly rely upon straight paths with right angles. Curving, meandering paths are casual and relaxed. The width of a path depends on style and focus, too. The more traffic, the wider the path in most cases.
When contemplating the best form and function of a new paver, brick or concrete walk consider:
- Natural flow – follow the contour of the land or direct visitors through specific spaces.
- Easy navigation – concentration on getting people from “here to there.”
- Protect surroundings – get people from one area to another without putting pressure on lawns or gardens.
- Direct traffic – create intimate areas around fire pits, water features, etc. where visitors will linger.
Where Paver Paths Fit Best
You can have a well-thought out landscaping plan without including walks or pathway. But by ignoring paths a garden and outdoor living space get disjointed. Transitions from one spot to another are lacking. Pathways guide people through your yard – and provide surfaces for moving yard tools and toys, too.
As you plan for a paver, concrete or brick path, begin with deciding if you want a formal or casual look. That’s important both for choosing layout and materials. You can have something as simple as gravel or crushed stone or as luxurious as poured, polished and stained concrete.
Including the following in your planning:
- What will travel the path most often – will it just be people walking, kids on toys, outdoor power equipment?
- What’s most important, looks or performance – some materials provide great curb appeal while others are more utilitarian and hard-working. Some need more maintenance than others.
- Where do you need a hard-surface pathway – are there places where your lawn is getting worn down by foot traffic and a walk can replace dead grass?
- How can you connect patios, flower beds and other hardscape elements?
- How can you invite visitors to special areas – fire pits, water features, secluded seating areas, etc.
- Do you want to include outdoor pathway lighting – low-voltage or solar-powered?
- Should your path have a manicured, well-defined look or a meandering appearance?
- What plantings will complement and soften the impact of hardscapes?
Pick The Pathway Material That’s Right
There are three top very popular choices for creating walks and paths: poured concrete, concrete-based stone pavers and bricks.
- Poured concrete – you’re familiar with the old-fashioned “sidewalk” right? Well, for your home that boring gray concrete is an option. But there’s a lot more to poured concrete these days than ever before. It can be colored, textured and polished. You can curve a pathway anywhere on your property and make a statement every foot of the way.
- Concrete pavers gain favor – once thought of as poor imitations of real stone or brick, modern pavers work well everywhere. They come in dozens of sizes, shapes, textures and colors. Paver paths can match or complement your patio, retaining walls and fire pits. Paves offer a great outlet for creativity. In addition they wear well and don’t need much maintenance.
- Real brick, an old favorite – brick walks say “early American heritage” more than any other walkway material. They are stately and aristocratic. They work equally well in a cottage garden or a formal estate. Bricks harmonize well with plantings and architectural styles. Bricks don’t wear as well as concrete or concrete pavers. And, because of their popularity, bricks are often more expensive than other options.
- Other stone options – in addition to paving stones you have a choice of real stone like slate, sandstone, limestone and granite. Slate is attractive but susceptible to moisture. Sandstone is tough, colorful and readily available. Limestone is also colorful but hard to find. Granite is durable but hard to work with. All the stones are heavy and need extra care for installation.
There are other less durable choices, too, including gravel and wood chips/mulch.
Consult A Pro For Paver Paths
There’s a lot to think about. More than you expected when you thought “I’d like a path or stone walk in the backyard,” right? What if you like more than one of the several material choices? You’re not limited to just one. Think “mix and match.” A popular style incorporates a paver stone or brick edge around a poured, polished concrete walk. Or you can used stones of different sizes, shapes and colors for affect.
Professional hardscape designers caution: “don’t get carried away.” It’s best to limit the plan to two or three material options. Especially for small spaces and short distances.
After choosing paving materials the work is just beginning. Each takes a good, firm foundation. You want your investment in paving materials and design to last, right? So bringing a professional crew to prepare the site and install the stones makes sense, doesn’t it?
Marvin Martinez at Marvin’s Brick Pavers has decades of experience installing pavers and decorative poured concrete. He and his crews know how best to evaluate what you want and provide professional recommendations. Give him a call at 608-630-8855. Or contact him via email at www.marvinsbrickpavers.com.
Marvin’s skilled hardscape professionals work daily with concrete pavers, bricks, stones and decorative poured concrete. Their craftsmanship and experience is unmatched.
Make a statement and move about your yard on attractive paver paths installed anywhere in the Madison WI area.