Paving the Way
Remodeling with pavers can increase the enjoyment of your home—and the value.
Pavers can create more than dramatic driveways and appealing walkways; they can also be used to expand outdoor entertaining spaces with pool decks, patios, benches, fire pits and grilling stations. “The cool thing about pavers is they really invigorate your enjoyment of being outside,” says Tom Lohman of Booth’s Cobblestones in Winter Park. “When someone does a remodel with pavers, it brings them back outside—cooking, entertaining, just enjoying the outdoors,” he says. “It reconnects them with their home and often times reconnects them with friends and family.”
Cost can vary widely, but Jim Boedeker, Tremron’s director of sales, says to expect to pay $4 to $5 a square foot installed for basic pavers; installation prices above that cost will vary based on the terrain, demolition required and other factors. Because of those variables, Lohman puts the range a bit higher, at up to $9 per square foot, and advises clients to set a budget first. “I’ll work with clients to install the best and largest patio to fit their budget,” he says.
Other types of pavers, such as those made from travertine and other stone, and pervious pavers, which allow water to run directly through them (instead of around, which is how permeable pavers drain), can cost significantly more. Thanks to the rock substructure, pervious pavers are so effective at draining water that up to 30 percent more land can be paved when using them, compared to traditional pavers. “It’s all about the substructure; that’s the key [to proper drainage],” says Lohman. Being able to pave a larger percentage of the land is a boon to developers and homeowners looking to maximize land usage, he adds.
Another innovation in this area is pavers that consist of up to 95 percent recycled content; one company, AZEK Building Products, has introduced pavers made from scrap tires, plastic food containers and DVD cases diverted from landfills. The resulting product comes in five different colors and three sizes, including one that is lighter and thinner than traditional pavers and can be installed directly on top of existing slabs, flat roofs and decks. And not only are these recycled pavers keeping trash out of landfills, they use significantly less energy to produce than the traditional product—an environmental win-win.
Pervious or permeable, recycled or new, brick-style pavers remain a classic choice for walkways, conversation areas and patios, but larger-scale pavers are especially on trend for driveways and pool decks. Creamy tones, grays and other neutrals are currently eclipsing terracotta and brick red. But the mark of a successful paver installation, says Lohman, is how seamlessly it complements the home’s exterior. “When homeowners do their driveway and it’s the right color, people pull in and say, ‘I really like your house,’ not ‘I really like your driveway,’ ” he says. “That’s the goal.”