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Old 04-28-2005, 09:56 AM
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questn

My husband and I are trying to decide between having a textured concrete patio or a paver block patio installed. Each friend we talk to strongly suggests one or the other. The reasons for concrete are easy maintenance, relatively smooth surface (we have kids 1 yr - 12 years), long lasting, will not shift like paver block. With the textured surface, we can get a nice looking patio and not a boring slab. The reasons for paver blocks are durability, will not crack like concrete, aesthetically pleasing. We are starting to get estimates for both for about 600 sq. ft. patio and find them to be relatively in the same price range, so the price is not really a deciding factor.
We are located in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, just about 30 miles south of the Wisconsin border, so we do have extremely warm and extremely cold weather. We would like to use the patio for recreational purposes (patio set, entertaining, kids playing). We are casual, laid-back people, so it doesn't have to be a "showcase" patio, but I would like it to look nice. I like things basic and functional.

I am leaning towards concrete and my husband is leaning towards pavers, but we have no real argument to choose one over the other at this point.

HELP! Is there anyone that can suggest one strongly over the other? For what reasons?

Thanks/Jen
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:04 AM
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GLAN will become famous soon enough
Flip a coin....


Both are nice and are eye appealing.

The tectured concrete should not crack provided expansion joints or cuts are provided......also if it ever should it may follow the tecture and may not be so noticeable.

Paver done properly realy should not shift. Not saying it can't, just that it shouldn't. However though........in the event of movement of paver it is repairable without having to redo the whole thing or a large section.


Those are just my views on either concrete or paver.


Members far more qualified than I, can elaborate further.
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:01 AM
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GLAN, LOL, thanks. We may just end up flipping a coin!

I appreciate any and all comments and comparisons on both concrete and paver.

Jen
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:52 PM
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Jen:

We used to work in your area, and we install both concrete as well as paver brick, so let me tell you from a contractors perspective what I would choose, as well as the most frequently asked questions and complaints from both products.

First brick. Glan hit it on the head, PROPERLY done, pavers should not move, which brings some concern. Stamped, colored concrete should have about a $2-$3 per square foot cost difference on the same 600 square foot job. If both are close in price, I would ask how much base is going under the pavers, how much rebar is going into the concrete, i.e. infrastructure of each job.

Pavers whitout a doubt are the long haul choice. they cost more, take more labor to install and are versatile and expandable. The product is guaranteed for life and contractors typically place an installation warrantee on the job. When you select a color, you get that color and not have to hope a pray that when the mud hardens after it is finished that it will look like what you chose. Weeds can be somewhata problem, but only as large of a problem as you lack in caring for your home. Typically, when done, pavers can be sealed with Surebond products, which are a latex based polyereuthane (sp) and this will prevent much of the weed issues from occuring. The people who ask about weeds have seen that one patio a house in the neighborhood has had done which has been neglected for years.

Concrete. As said before, concrete has two inherent problems. It all cracks, and if it does not within 3 years, I offer to take my clients to dinner at their choice of 5 star dining establishments. I have not yet had to buy anyone dinner. Second, coloring. All coloring is inconsistent. It will form efflouressence (a white milky chaulk kind of power on top) and have to be cleaned off.

Back to cracking. When concrete cracks, even if a concrete finisher places well engineered control joints, the concrete has it's own mind if you will. It will crack where ever it chooses, and here is the kicker. Colored and stamped concrete has a powder that the finishers dump on top and stamp into the pattern. When it cracks, that color is on the surface, not through the concrete. Often you can see the base color right through the top coat color, making it UG---LEEEE!

I try to talk to clients about what concrete does, and hope they choose pavers. Inevitably, even after explaining, and presenting a written explaination of inherent problems, we still get calls regarding the same questions we handled before we poured.

Pavers will cause more initial mess to install, and require some export and import of soil/gravel and sand. Concrete typically will make somehwat of a mess, as the powder used to stamp with can get airborne and stick to siding.

One last thing. In Illinois, a big selling point for pavers for me was this. Concrete is an amenity that taxing bodies considered an item to justify and increase because it is called a permanant improvement. Pavers are not considered permament. And, when they fly over and do those block by block assessments, don't be surprized if you get dinged when the auditor sees the added concrete. Now, if you buy into this, in theory, the government is saying that when you sell, you can take your pavers with you....I have a hand painted picture of that occuring upon a sale during negotiations...LOL

So, pavers. Pavers all the way. Check out Unliock Olde Grenwich Cobble. Good luck!
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In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

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Last edited by Bill Schwab; 04-28-2005 at 03:56 PM..
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:17 PM
Acorn
 
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Bill, thank you so much! This is the most educational, useful information I have gotten on the subject, and I appreciate your tie to my area. I have asked the same question of installers that deal in both concrete and pavers and have not gotten a reply as well thought-out as yours. This forum is the best!
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:17 PM
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GLAN will become famous soon enough
Just one more thing I would like to add........Concrete...with wire or rebar.......expansion joints can pose a problem a few years later.....that tar board material used in expansion joints can and will erode...What may happen is that during a winter water can get underneath a slab......freeze and lift the slab a little bit. This usualy never settles completely....

Sorry I didn't mention this before.......I am saying this cause this is exactly what happened to my concrete driveway near the sidewalk. It's not that noticeable, but to me it is cause I remember what it was like when it was done. My driveway was poured I think about 8 years ago......Though it never cracked
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:47 PM
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Anytime Jen. What town are you in anyway? I miss many of the diverse types of food, Itallian Beef sandwiches, and the pizza. It's almost non existant here.
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 04-29-2005, 02:50 PM
Acorn
 
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Bill, we're near Lake Zurich. Too many food choices (for me, anyway, LOL).

By the way, thanks also for the recommendation of the Olde Greenwich Cobble. I love the look of it.
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:04 PM
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We used to picnic at Lake Zurich. I hate the way the chain of lakes is so crowed and regulated anymore. We spent many a Thursday nights at Blarneys island racing the boat.

Then there w Papa Joes. He made real pizza burgers with italian sausage....Mmmmmm!

Hey glad you like OGC. I wish they made a similar paver product out here.

Good luck!
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 05-01-2005, 12:06 PM
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Portillo's (sp?) is awesome!

So is OGC
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Old 05-01-2005, 03:19 PM
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Ever been to Johnny's in Elmwood Park?
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 05-01-2005, 04:12 PM
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Bill you got to stop!!!!!!! Italian beef or better yet a combo.... Ok I'm having lunch there tomorrow!!!


As for Portillo's he was our next door neighbor in Addison all he had at the time was a little converted camper for a store. Who would have thought he now has over 16 stores .................
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:02 PM
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16 stores? He has one in Tokyo Japan as well. He also has a big mail order business, ships on dry ice all over the US! I remember his trailer well over there in Villa Park off North ave right?

You're going to Johnnies Paul? I HATE YOU!!!! LOL

The closest we have here is Chicago on a Bun, a little beef joint that a retired Chicago Cop made in La Jolla, Ca. He air lifts Gonnella bread in and makes his moms recipies. Good stuff, but plan on $8.00 for a beef. There are no real hot dogs out here either. COB has Vienna, and plan on $3.50 a dog...Last I had was from Maxwell street grille, .85 for a dog and fries!
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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Old 05-01-2005, 11:19 PM
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I've been to the Portillo's in Crystal Lake and Naperville. Always like the Chicago celeb pics. Never have gotten to the dogs, but that Italian Beef with sweet peppers is a little piece of heaven. Where is Johnies? Might have to look that up on the next trip in.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:37 AM
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Johnnies is on North Avenue, (Rt. 64) on the north side, about 3-4 blocks west of Harlem. There is a Sears on the corner of Harlem and North Avenue. It is a place about the size of an outhouse that has had a room addition put on, with a 5 person standing counter inside so you can set your food down and face the traffic. The line usually wraps around the building once or twice, even when it is 30 below zero. And the amazing part, he gets you in and out of there in no time!
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Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

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