My husband and I want to install a patio in our backyard that is approximately 17' wide by 14' long. We live in Northern Virginia - Zone 7a. We want it to look nice, be durable but also keep cost down as much as possible.
We are currently weighing the options of using 1) a paver patio with Brock paver base panels or 2) Quikrete with molds (the kind you see for walkways) and I have some questions...
With Option 1) a paver patio with Brock paver base panels... I have seen a mix of instructions on the web for using these panels. Some people use only the 1" of sand with the panels over top, while others use 1" of crushed stone coupled with the sand and panels. Either way, it's still less work and money than the 4" of crushed stone. Does anyone have any experience with the panels? Being in Zone 7a, do I need the 1" of crushed stone with the panels? Do I potentially need more than just 1"? Can I get away with just the sand like some people are doing? I worry about the freeze/thaw and drainage issues I could encounter down the road...
With Option 2) Quickrete with molds... Most resources I am seeing online show people using the molds to make walkways and paths, and just a few show them used for patios. The majority, whether for patios or walkways, show setting the concrete straight onto ground without any base. Is this normal? What concerns me here is why there is the need for a base with a paver patio and not for this option?
Any help would be so greatly appreciated!!!
Purely my opinion, but I'd go with pavers. I don't know anything specifically about the Brock paver system, so, hopefully someone else can chime in on that.
My house has a concrete patio (around 12' x 12') and it has a big, ugly, crack right down the middle, perpendicular to the two expansion joints.
I'm reminded of a demonstration I went to on installing pavers. One of the presenters made the statement; "There are only two kinds of concrete. Concrete that is cracked and concrete that is going to crack".
Even if you are going to do the work yourself, I'd get a few pros in to provide estimates. Depending on who you get, you may be able to pick their brains about what they would do and why. And, if you have an opportunity to attend a demonstration or seminar on installing pavers, that could also be quite helpful. That's a good context for asking questions.
Good luck with your project. Post some before and after pictures. I know I'd like to see them.
If it is a choice between pavers and Quickrete, I would definitely go with the pavers. Even if you are successful in mixing each batch of Quickrete exactly the same, you will have some deterioration over time. Either way, the base is critical. The degree of freeze-thaw is what determines how deep of a base you need and what materials you should use. Most paver installers I know of use at least an inch of compacted pea gravel for a base and then use and inch or two of sand over that.
Thank you both! I am leaning towards pavers myself as I have heard the same thing about concrete - it WILL crack over time. My husband is leaning towards concrete simply for the cheaper option. Neither of us realized how expensive the base materials for pavers were going to be, specifically the 4" gravel base - which is what led us to find these Brock Paver Panels.
I will keep you posted.