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Affordable Patio Materials Options

Answered by Brett ~ April 6, 2010 ~ Comments

I would like to replace my boring concrete patio with something more aesthetic and natural looking but don't want to spend a lot of money. What would you suggest for a home in the dry, hot, Phoenix climate?

Isaac F. ~ Phoenix, Arizona

Brett Kulina

I can think of a couple of materials that you should consider when opting to replace your concrete patio. The most natural looking material to use would be real stone. Unfortunately, cut stone pavers, or natural flagstone pieces are expensive. A more affordable option would be to use crushed stone or washed gravel compacted in a patio border made from steel, wood, or PVC. Crushed sandstone is a good material for the Phoenix area because it blends well with the surrounding desert environment, it is water permeable (for those unexpected gully-washing rains), and it will not absorb solar heat as much as solid concrete does.

Another affordable option would be to use concrete pavers or bricks. Costing around $8-$12 per square foot(installed), these materials are available in many different textures and colors and can be laid in creative patterns that would be a welcome change from a boring patio slab of gray concrete. The advantage of using a paver, as opposed to compacted crushed rock, is that pavers are more solid underfoot and will hold up better over time.

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