Advice For Landscape Architects on Specifying Concrete Pavers
Look at Technical Specifications, Functionality, and Aesthetics When Choosing The Right Concrete Paver
Concrete pavers are the perfect material for many hardscape projects around the home. They're durable, flexible, affordable, and aesthetically beautiful. Choosing the right paver for the job at hand is important. The top manufacturers produce concrete pavers to meet strict ASTM standards to provide homeowners with the assurance that they are using materials that will last for decades and remain beautiful in the process.
Materials Used For Manufacturing Concrete Pavers
The ASTM has set standards for the materials used in the manufacture of interlocking concrete pavers. These standards are in effect for both permeable and non-permeable pavers.
• If constructed of concrete material used must be me ASTM C150 Portland Cement type 1
• If Aggregates are used the mix must consist of ASTM C33 washed graded sand and 100% natural aggregate
• Coloring agent used shall be color iron oxide pigment
• Manufacturing process shall take place on Hess Multi-Layer or Board Machines
Regarding the physical requirements for concrete pavers, these are covered under ASTM C-396. All interlocking concrete pavers must:
• Offer an average compression strength of not less than 8000 P.S.I.
• Provide resistance to the Freeze-Thaw cycle. Resistance is determined through repetitive testing. Dry weight loss shall not be greater than 1% of total weight when subjected to 50 cycles of freezing and thawing.
• The average absorption of test samples shall not exceed 5%
Make sure any professional hardscape contractor you choose obtains materials from top-quality manufacturers that adhere to the ASTM standards.
Matching Concrete Pavers To The Project
Professional installation of high-quality materials will result in an outdoor environment that will improve the homeowner's lifestyle and enjoyment, as well as increase curb appeal and add value to the home. When creating landscape designs for homeowners, it's important to take several factors into account.
The first consideration should be for the homeowners current and future needs. A residential project should be designed with both the present needs and also any future needs, like creating an outdoor environment in stages. The present and future bearing capacity of materials should be taken into consideration to help determine the proper paver choice.
For example, the load-bearing capacity of a garden walkway is minimal. In this instance, stepping stones and gravel is sufficient to both bear the load, and work aesthetically. However, if the project is an outdoor patio with the future intention of creating an outdoor kitchen, the load-bearing capacity will need to be sufficient for the future kitchen build.
In this case, the initial installation would have to be planned to accommodate the future needs of the space, for example, the proper preparation of the sub-base becomes critical. Pavers will also have to be thicker than those for the walkway to handle the additional weight load.
The second consideration of importance is the construction process. Besides the actual paver, the substructure and ground foundation must be appropriately designed to take into account any future uses of the hardscape. The foundation is the constructive element that determines the bearing capacity of the hardscape. Understanding your clients present and future needs will determine the design of the foundational layers.
Next in importance are the technical specifications of the material used. Most homeowners will pick out pavers based on color texture and style. To avoid future problems, understanding how the material corresponds to load, withstands chemicals and staining, and in the case of California, the permeability and environmental friendliness of the product.
Finally, you should never forget that one of the primary functions of any hardscape is aesthetics. While the technical specifications and practical aspects of paver choice are important, the visual effect is also key. Avoid the common mistakes of using too many diverse materials in one place, or creating design patterns that are too simple. Always consider function and design when choosing your concrete pavers.
Work with your clients to understand their stylistic, practical and functional needs. Choosing the right material, color, shape, texture, and patterns can make you shine like a beacon with your clients.
If you're planning a hardscape project for a Sonoma County home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-866-287-2837. We can help you design the perfect outdoor living area to meet your client's unique needs. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you've been dreaming about!
If you're in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.