When you’re looking for new paving, getting a great deal is fantastic. However, it’s important to not base your decision on cost alone. The cheapest option won’t – more often than not – be the best option. And although cutting costs will save you money in the short-term, it’s almost certain to cost you more in the long run.
Opting for cheap paving and patio materials often means you sacrifice on quality. And as the saying goes – buy cheap, buy twice. Perhaps you’re wondering, what could possibly go wrong? After all, paving stones are meant to be strong and durable.
Well wonder no more. Here’s a 5 reasons why cheap paving can be a big mistake in the long-run.
1. Wear and tear
Over the years, you should expect some minimal wear and tear to your paving. A few scratches and stains are to be expected, no matter what kind of paving material you choose. However, the last thing you want to see is breakages and cracks.
Concrete is a popular choice because it’s budget friendly, for example. The problem is, concrete is a man-made material that doesn’t last as long as others. After a few years, you’re likely to notice concrete beginning to crack, especially if the ground shifts throughout those years.
Unfortunately, when a concrete patio does crack or shift, it needs to be completely removed and replaced, costing you twice as much.
2. Poor drainage
If you’re thinking about trying to install your paving yourself, you may want to think again. Although doing the manual labour yourself can save you some money, getting it wrong can cost you dearly.
Poured concrete is notoriously difficult to get right without the right expertise or help from a professional. If it’s not installed correctly, it can lead to poor drainage. Over time, that can cause an insurmountable number of problems, like flooding, cracks and stains. If you like to entertain on your patio, poor drainage is certainly unbecoming for any garden area where people gather.
3. Staying clean
Buying a patio is more of an investment than a purchase. You’ll want your paving area to last throughout the years and look great for as long as possible. In order to achieve that, you’ll need to clean it. However, some materials are far easier to keep clean than others.
Take brick, for example. You might save some cash using brick for your paving area and if any cracks occur, bricks can be replaced individually. But bricks grow moss during the wetter months, and it can be difficult to remove. If your bricks do grow moss, it can also be dangerous and slippery to walk on.
You would need to regularly clean your bricks with bleach, diluted in water, and a tough scrubbing brush. Although brick patios can last for decades when properly cared for, you may not want to be outside scrubbing the floors as often as five times a year.
4. Stains easily
When you purchase new paving, you’ll obviously want it to look great. The last thing you need is stains, especially when you haven’t got time to constantly remove them.
Some paving materials will stain more easily than others. Light coloured concrete is often quick to stain over the years, for instance, and too much cleaning can damage your patio. When concrete stains, it needs to be cleaned with a hard-bristled brush, which can cause imperfections the more you clean.
5. Slippery surfaces
If you have a lot of footfall on your paving, you’ll need to buy with other people in mind. There are certain materials that can become slippery when wet or extremely hot in the heat. So, it’s worth thinking about the type of material that would suit your home – especially if you have children around, a large family or lots of guests.
Although stone looks magnificent in most settings, some varieties can get slippery and hot depending on the weather, so you should be cautious at certain times.
Paving that won’t let you down
Just because buying cheap can mean you’re let down by your paving, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to find something suitable. Natural stone options are often affordable and have tons of benefits. For example, Indian Sandstone is strong, durable and – in the unlikely event it does crack – you won’t have to take up the whole patio to replace damaged stones.
Natural stone looks elegant in any setting for the pure fact that it’s natural. The colours are natural, the cuts look natural. As a result, natural stone patio will look like they’re made to be there – and not an unnatural material invading your garden. It may mean spending more money than you initially planned but the outcome is always exquisite.
In addition, you won’t need to worry about maintaining your stone patio as much. Natural stone very rarely stains and is impervious to scratches. Although you’ll need to weed and sweep the stone, you won’t have to regularly deep clean it like cheaper versions.
Ensure your installation is spot-on
Lots of people attempt to install their paving themselves, which is a great way to save money. If you have the experience and skills to achieve such a feat, that’s fantastic. You can pocket the cash saved or upgrade your paving.
However, if you’re not 100% confident, this can end in disaster. When any kind of patio is installed in the wrong way, it can lead to poor drainage and uneven surfaces. Even if you have high quality paving, correct installation is vital. For example, you need to be aware of the spacing to leave to accommodate for any potential shifting of the land.
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