mixed stones


One of the biggest decisions you will make about your landscape is which hardscape material to choose for your patio and other outdoor areas.  Unlike plantings and furniture, hardscape materials are not easy to change once they are installed, so it’s a big commitment. Many of our customers ask us, “What is the best hardscape material for my new landscape?”

It’s not an easy answer. It really depends on your style, vision and budget. And you have two very distinct choices when it comes to hardscape materials from Livingston Farm.

To help you decide which hardscape material is the best choice, we’re going to discuss concrete pavers vs. natural stone.

Your patio is where you’ll spend most of your time in your landscape, so you’ll want to pick a hardscape material that creates the right atmosphere for your landscape design.

What Style Are You Looking For?

As you think about your patio function and size, you’ll want to consider what each material offers and how that fits in your overall landscape design.

Do you want a symmetrical or more natural look? Do you want colors that blend with or contrast the colors of your home?

Hardscaping materials come in a variety of colors and textures. Some materials are more suited for traditional and historical homes while others are perfect for modern and contemporary designs. For installations in your community and the surrounding areas, you’ll need to be sure the materials you pick hold up in various weather conditions with installation.

And in some cases, you may want to blend pavers and natural stone pavers to create accents, patterns, borders or even combine a mixture of sizes and contrasting shapes.

Now that you’ve determined the look of your patio, here are the hardscaping materials you need to consider.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers offer a multitude of style choices — from modern to classic —they are beautifully suited to many patios, outdoor kitchens and pool areas and offer many choices for designs. Classic style pavers mimic the look of brick and are a popular choice for traditional and historic style homes because it is the ideal paving material if you want to create an established and authentic look. But the modern style — with irregular shapes and precision cuts — can be used in Vermont landscapes as they are adaptable for more contemporary designs.Patio-Hillside

Traditionally rectangular in shape, Concrete pavers can also be irregular or square shaped and laid in many patterns including herringbone, basket weave and even circular patterns. The biggest advantage to concrete pavers is the variation of colors — from white wash to grays and browns to reds — so you can choose to mix and match colors or alternate depending on your pattern.

Concrete pavers are ideal for Vermont climate because they can rise with the winter freeze and settle back into place during the summer thaw, allowing them to “flex” with the temperatures, whereas regular concrete would crack. If any damage does occur, pavers can also be pulled up in isolated sections and re-laid without tearing out the entire area.

Concrete pavers can start at $4.77 per square foot to purchase depending on the size of the project, access, slope, shape and other variables.

Natural Stone Pavers

It can be difficult to choose the best stone for patios — as you have a lot of options when it comes to natural stone pavers. You can choose flat-topped uniform stone or rough-edged irregular shapes. Natural stone pavers can be made of slate and flagstone— colors vary naturally and offer a rich, textured, earthy appearance. Vermont stone’s natural colors skew more towards greens, greys and blacks.

Natural Stone paversThe type of natural stone you choose depends on the look and feel of your patio and landscaping. Irregular flagstone can create a gorgeous, rugged look with a lot of detail, while uniform dimensional stone offers more linear and symmetrical patterns.

Natural stone pavers will start around $8.25 per square foot to purchase depending on the size of the project, access, slope, shape and other variables.

So, Concrete Pavers vs. Natural Stone?

Your patio will be where you will spend most of your time outdoors. Whether you are hosting outdoor parties or just enjoying a relaxing day around the pool, your choice in materials will most often reflect your home’s style and architecture. And there are many other factors to consider when you are comparing concrete pavers vs. natural stone— including price, design options and maintenance.

And your patio might not be the only hardscaped feature in your yard. Hardscape materials can also be used in these areas to create retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and fire pits — and even paths, walkways and driveways. If your landscape has several of these elements, you may want to consider materials that can easily blend all of these elements together to create an inviting and natural atmosphere — and increase curb appeal.

The best way to determine which hardscape material is right for you is to come into our office at 40 South Route 116 Bristol, Vermont or check out our stone catalog online. Livingston Farm would be happy to help you pick the right shapes and patterns to build the patio, walkway or driveway of your dreams!


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