Our homes truly are our castles, protecting us from bad forces, sheltering us from the elements, and making us feel better at the end of some very long days. Last year we spent more time than ever before inside their walls as unprecedented happenings occurred around the world, and although we have not completely reached the light at the end of the tunnel, it is growing brighter by the second. Chances are all that time you spent at home, however, had you looking at your landscape with a new eye and today, with all the monsoon rains we have had in the valley lately, you may be turning toward the pathways that lead up to your front door, through your garden, or around your pool. The dirt does nothing to enhance the look of your home, and you have been putting off doing something about it for far too long; this guide to patio and walkway materials will give you the pros and the cons of some of the most popular choices, giving you a clearer idea as to what you can expect from your Arizona landscaping!
Desert landscapes often begin with a gravel base, and the stones can also be used to mark paths through the garden or to create an area on which your patio table can stand. Inexpensive, quick to install, and easy to lay, it can be the simplest way to give your landscape structure. The downside to gravel paths and patios, however, can having you look in another direction. It can be difficult to keep the gravel where it is supposed to be—such as in your pool—weeds can grow through it easily even if you start with the weed barrier that is supposed to prevent their growth, and the uneven surface can hurt your feet when you have to walk over the gravel, no matter how small the size of the pebbles.
Concrete is a popular and relatively inexpensive option, giving your landscape that finished look that we all crave. Easy to maintain after installation and able to be stained, stamped, or even painted, a concrete path, patio, or sidewalk can be the perfect way to express your creativity without costing a fortune. Unfortunately, as with many materials at this time, installation costs are on the rise, and unless you have construction skills and experience with concrete, you will definitely need to hire someone to do the work, driving up the installation costs even more. Also, it is best not to lay concrete in temperatures over 90 degrees or under 40 degrees, so this is a project that is best done in the winter, late fall, or early spring.
The natural beauty of flagstone makes everyone want to add it to their landscape, as it gives a feeling of warmth and welcoming to every yard it graces. A flagstone patio topped with pots of colorful flowers, a garden path leading to a secret bench under a mature evergreen elm, or even a deck that surrounds the pool—there are so many ways to use the material, and every one of those ways are beautiful. Costing more than concrete or gravel, you have to factor in the expense when you make your decision, and you need to know that the stone reflects the sun and can be slippery when wet, so it may be ok for a shaded area but it is not the best choice to lay near pools. In addition, the size of the flagstones can be difficult to handle and the natural irregularities in the stone can make it more difficult to level when first installing.
Travertine tiles and pavers are often used in Phoenix area landscapes and have been a natural building choice for centuries, adding an elegance to your at-home oasis that will be an envy of all your neighbors! Strong and able to withstand the elements, the surface stays relatively cool on the hottest of days, and if kept in its natural state, is perfect for areas with a lot of moisture (especially around pools) as it offers a natural non-slip surface. They cost more but can also add to the value of your home, so if you are thinking of selling in the near future, it is a great material to use. However, travertine can stain, it is heavy and more difficult to install, and as we mentioned, it can be expensive, prohibitively so in some cases. An amateur landscaper can do it themselves if they have a steady hand and a strong back, but it is best to hire someone to do the work, adding to the expense of installation.
Choose New Image Pools and Landscape for Your Arizona Landscaping Needs
You are busy and it is really hot outside; do you really want to use up all your free hours installing landscaping materials? Give us a call today and let us do what we do best while you rest and relax in the cool air conditioning!