We were one of the first Chester County concrete - masonry contractors certified in brick paver installations in 1993. Brick paving systems were popular in Europe for many years before coming to the US. Pavers were tried and tested in some pretty harsh northern European climates and withstood the test of time before becoming popular here in the US. Since 1993 we have installed hundreds of paver walkways and patios throughout Chester County.
People who are generally unfamiliar with brick pavers generally want to know if pavers ( hardscaping ) are a good choice when compared to poured concrete. Are they durable? Do they last? Do they cost more than poured concrete? The complete answer, as with many things, is a bit complicated, but the short answer is that hardscaping with paver walkways and patios is extremely durable if properly installed and generally costs more. When we provide estimates we generally provide cost estimates for both options so that you can quickly see the cost difference on your specific project. As a very rough idea, a walkway that costs $2000 to do in concrete costs about $3000 for pavers. A concrete patio that costs $2000 might cost about $2700 in pavers. Every job is different but this should at least give you some sense; pavers do not generally cost double or triple. Stamped concrete (which we do not do) costs about the same as hardscaping with pavers.
Concete and pavers are similar in the sense that a poorly done job will be problematic, sometimes in very short order. Concrete work that is poorly done may develop haphazard cracks but will generally stay in tact and serviceable - though not looking very good. The same cannot be said of pavers. Improperly installed brick pavers will separate and sink, and the job can easily become a maintenance headache quickly. It's really essential that an experienced, qualified contractor perform the work. Just as preparation for painting is key to a durable painting job, the stone base installation and compaction under brick pavers is the key to quality and durability in hardscaping. When a brick paver patio or walkway is completed, all you will see is the surface, but the key to long-term quality is unseen. What are really needed to install durable paver patios and walkways are thoughtful and conscientious workers who focus on details like professionals, and who spend more time to do a quality job simply because they are professionals. It's an ethic. I personally supervise all our work, which is to say that I am always on the job. Although I have been in business for more than 30 years, I consider myself to be foremost a craftsman, and not someone primarily engaged in hiring people and sending them to complete contracts.
When we began installing pavers in 1993, there were only three brick shapes available and there was a small color selection. Today, there is an astonishing array of styles, colors, and designs available from a wide range of manufacturers. Many people ask me if all manufacturers/pavers are of equal quality. The answer is, in my opinion, yes. We have installed pavers from many different manufacturers over the years and I have not noticed a quality difference, not during installation, nor years later in terms of long-term performance.
The typical process for receiving an estimate for a brick paver installation, whether a walkway, patio, or retaining wall system, works like this:
You get in touch by phone, email or text.
We arrange a convenient time to meet.
I come out to see your project, and after understanding your goals, I can explain the pros and cons of one approach or another as well as all the options available. I'll provide a paver catalogue (normally EP HENRY) and also tell you where you can see paver samples and installations locally. I'll also offer to meet you personally at one of the local suppliers if you like.
I send you a proposal. Normally at this point since you have not yet decided on a particular brick paver style, I will base my estimate on a cost of $3.20 per sq. ft. for pavers. (A typical paver cost) You may eventually decide to select a more expensive paver. If so, the only additional cost would be the material cost. Otherwise the job cost as written in the proposal, including labor, is the same.
In this way I can provide you with a very close cost estimate even while you have not yet decided which paver you'd like to use.
Once you've selected an exact paver style and color, I will re-write the proposal to reflect the exact cost.
If you're like most people, you'll likely have quite a few questions about the actual process of the work, how long it will take, when we could schedule the work, and generally what to expect. I would naturally be happy to answer any questions you have. Whether now or in the future, I am usually reachable on my cell phone at 610-761-2084.
Thanks for reading and it would be my pleasure to speak with you more about your project!
PA Registration # - PA044324