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June 2017

Top Materials for Your Paver Walkway

Your paver walkway in Milton, MA, is not only necessary for getting from one point to another – it also provides opportunities to create points of attention in the yard while promoting good flow. The choice of material used plays an important role in this.

There are a variety of material choices to be used, with color and design combinations to complement any landscape. Design possibilities for outdoor walkways are virtually endless, and the material chosen is key to achieving the desired design. Paver walkways can be built with subtle materials that blend with the landscape or colorful materials that add visual interest and contrast. Here are a few favorites to consider when selecting a material for your walkway.

Clay Brick Pavers

Clay bricks often feature prominently in the yards of historical homes and districts, and can add a sense of age and elegance to a home. Bricks are moderately resistant to cracking, but offer flexibility to ensure durability. Individual bricks can be popped out for replacement with relative ease.

Traditional red bricks made of clay in red, brown, and orange variations complement green lawns producing warm and colorful landscaping. A rustic look can be obtained using tumbled or recycled brick. Clay bricks can be laid in interesting, lively patterns such as basket weave and herringbone, or more traditional styles such as running bond or stack bond.

Related: Some Stunning Alternatives to the Traditional Brick Walkway in Hingham

Natural Stone

Natural stone is the most nuanced and lavish of paving materials. It is long lasting and adaptable, offering a wide range of colors, sizes and different types of stone. There is a natural stone for every occasion, ranging from irregularly shaped flagstones for country-yard style walkways to precision cut geometric blocks for a formal yard. Some examples of natural stone used for walkways include flagstone, limestone, sandstone, granite and slate.

Slate possesses a distinctive color palette that creates high visual interest. Various colors available include pastel blue-grays, lavender, muted reds and deep charcoals. In areas with heavy rainfall or frost, slate may flake and chip.

Sandstone is an excellent all-round choice and is one of the most popular stones for yard paving. The greatest strength of sandstone is its toughness. It’s also easy to cut and work with. Sandstone is available in many colors and shapes and easy to come by in large quantities. Popular colors include blue-gray and lilac-gray, but tan, cream, soft gold, orange-brown, and light gray can be found as well. Expect some color difference in every batch of sandstone, along with momentary bands of contrasting color in individual pieces.

Related: Front Yard Landscaping to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Concrete Pavers

Concrete paver are an appealing option for walkways because of their high strength and durability. Concrete pavers are usually interlocking, giving them additional structural strength and reducing the tendency of pavers to shift over time.  Concrete pavers are perfect for creating curved and more decorative walkways with hundreds of different combinations of styles, sizes, colors, patterns, textures and thickness. Many concrete pavers are designed to capture the texture and color of natural stone and even brick. This makes concrete pavers an ideal substitute for natural stone if durability is a concern. Concrete pavers are often less expensive than natural stone sourced internationally and are not subject to lack of availability as are many varieties of natural stone.

Related: Natural Stone vs Concrete Paver Patio for Your MA Home

Landscaping Near Me: Finding the Best Contractor in your Area

Finding the best contractor for your landscaping needs in Milton, MA, is an exercise not to be taken lightly. Your landscape is a significant portion of your property, has a substantial effect on property value, and directly affects your enjoyment of the yard. Base your choice upon documented evidence of qualifications and experience, depending on a provided guarantee of work.

Word of Mouth

Employing word of mouth and value of reputation to find the best landscaping contractor near Milton, MA, is an age-old trick, but with the power of social media, it’s been turned on its head. You can easily reach out on a social media platform and receive dozens of opinions and suggestions within a few seconds. Restrain from immediately hiring someone suggested by your good friend, however, until you have verified the qualifications, value, and experience of the company.

Check References and Portfolio

Once you have a few suggestions from trusted friends and acquaintances, request references and portfolio access. Get to know the company and find out the quality of their work from past clients. Remember to ask questions about how well he or she stays true to schedule, financial estimates, and agreed upon designs. From the portfolio, you may be able to further narrow down your options based upon the artistic eye of the contractor and how well their style matches what you wish to achieve. At this point, you should also ask for verification of all licenses, bonds, and insurances needed. A reputable contractor will have no problem providing these documents.

Establish Creative Agreement

Second only to professional qualifications, agreement with your landscaping contractor regarding aesthetic design is a critical component of your decision. Function and style should always meet, and the design should always complement the existing architecture of the home. Focal points, flow of movement, and suitable materials require a comprehensive master design. Your landscape contractor should be able to assist you with its creation.

Related: 4 Design Tips for An Eye-Catching Outdoor Fireplace

Agree on Time, Money, and Guarantee

Finally, once you’ve established the reputation, abilities, and creative eye of the contractor, nail down contract specifics. The right landscape contractor will be able to provide an estimate of time required and budgetary needs that should serve as a fairly accurate framework over time. While weather and other obstacles aren’t always clearly foreseeable, an experienced professional will know the range of time and money required for your landscaping projects.

Ensure that all relevant items are agreed upon, and document these agreements in writing. The contract should include signatures from both parties and address all important issues. Keep in mind that once you have a formal contract, any changes must also be made in writing for the modifications to be legally accountable. For example, a Unilock Authorized contractor offers a lifetime guarantee on Unilock products. The company offers this promise because all contractors with this qualification have been tested and proven, with regular reassessment of the quality of their work ongoing. This level of confidence shouldn’t be overlooked as you make such an important decision.

Related: Have You Found a Commercial Snow Removal Company for Your Duxbury Property Yet?

Big Advantages of Using Trees and Plantings in your Front Yard Landscaping

Front yard plantings and trees in Milton, MA, can change the look and feel of homes for the better. Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses contributes to a healthy environment and brings a taste of the wilderness to urban, suburban, and corporate settings by attracting a variety of butterflies, birds and beneficial insects. Trees and plantings in your front yard also contributes greatly to curb appeal, as well as privacy and relaxing aesthetic.

Any front yard can benefit from trees and plantings. What would be most appropriate for your home? There is a wide range of options available—maybe a cedar split-rail fence would look nice knee-deep in daylilies and laced with rambling roses. Or a courtyard wall with alcoves featuring a water feature or an attractive arrangement of desert plants. Whatever the case, these are the advantages you can look forward to by incorporating greenery into your front yard:

Invites Guests to the Front Door

Plantings can help to frame the front door or lead the eye up towards it. Growing a vine over an archway at your front entrance, for example, highlights the front door and draws attention to it. The same can be said for plantings or small trees on either side of a walkway that leads up to the entrance of your home. The repeating pattern also provides a pleasing rhythm and symmetry.

Related: Interesting Laying Patterns for your Brick Walkway

Improves Air Quality

Landscaping with plants and trees helps improve air quality on both a local and global level. Ground level ozone and air toxins can be drastically reduced by plantings and trees. The moisture released gradually by plants also help to reduce the number of dust particles in the air.

Creates a Cozy Setting

A house sitting on a small corner can be the perfect setting for a cottage yard. It can include a patio bordered by flowers and a picket fence with focal points such as a bench from which one can enjoy the outdoors. A rose-covered arbor over the front gate or a herb garden that borders the walk to the front door can invite guests upon their arrival.

Keeps Historic Style

Plants can help keep the historic style of a house. Old woody trees and mature plantings hint at a home that has been standing for ages. For establishing a foundation of evergreens, boxwoods can be used to quickly and effectively achieve the look of a mature garden.

Increases Biodiversity

Having natural plants supports greater biodiversity. Natural plants provide a diverse diet and habitat for birds, insects and other animals that are beneficial to your yard. In heavily developed urban areas, even small patches of natural landscape are critical in maintaining populations of native fauna and flora.

Prevents Environmental Damage

Hardy plantings help keep soil in place, preventing soil erosion and damage to property. This can be especially handy if your front yard slopes. Plants also help to reduce stormwater runoff, and what water is not kept back by leaves and roots is filtered of debris.

Interesting Laying Patterns for your Brick Walkway

By choosing brick paving stones for your Walpole, Massachusetts walkway you can ensure a warm and cosy aesthetic for your landscape for many years to come. Once installed, brick pavers retain color and require little maintenance, with individual bricks easy to lift and replace if necessary. Although brick-style pavers are traditionally made from red clay, many color options are available to suit your aesthetic purposes, ranging from traditional red, to browns and even dark charcoal. Their timeless appearance and quality make them worth the investment and allow the use of some interesting laying patterns. Here are just a few potential laying patterns that you can incorporate into your brick walkway.

Related: Top Materials for Your Paver Walkway

Stack Bond

Stack bond is a simple paving pattern where the bricks are placed side-by-side and aligned in both directions. A stack bond pattern creates strong lines and a clean visual appearance. Like the running bond pattern, the strong lines of the stack bond pattern can be used to lengthen or widen the walkway depending on the direction they are laid. Movement can be introduced by laying this pattern at a 45-degree angle to the walkway border, creating a strong, diagonal emphasis.

Herringbone

Herringbone is one of strongest formations for brick-style pavers, creating a powerful interlock that can withstand heavy traffic. The bricks are laid at right angles to one another in a repeating V pattern. Besides strength, this pattern creates a vibrant look that attracts the eye, and creates a memorable first impression. Thick bordering for a herringbone design is perfect for creating wide, curved walkways with visual strength.

Related: Paver Patterns for Imaginative Patios

Flemish Bond

This pattern is a historical brick pattern that has been used for centuries, traditionally in the creation of sturdy walls. However, the Flemish Bond pattern translates well into a paved surface. This pattern consists of full and half bricks laid head to head. The half brick (or header) is centered between the stretchers that border it from above and below. The Flemish bond relies on half bricks being available in the pavers of your choice, or else requires cutting the pavers to achieve the half brick look. The Flemish Bond has a universal appeal that gives walkways an ‘old world’ look.

Running Bond and Its Variations

Running bond is one of the most common brick patterns. It is widely used in residential landscapes and is considered eco-friendly because it’s laid with minimum cutting, leaving almost no waste behind. If you want to bring out the curves of the walkway, this pattern is the right one to choose. Here the bricks are laid with the joint of one layer centered on the bricks on either side.

Running bond variations include circular or fan shaped patterns utilizing the same staggering. The variations can be mixed with the original layout or laid individually. Running bond is excellent for enhancing the appearance of the length or breadth of a walkway, following the walkway’s natural curves and creating a traditional appearance. The pavers can also be laid at a 45 degree angle to neutralize the elongating effect or to create variation.

Related: Front Yard Landscaping to Boost Your Curb Appeal