Best Patio Surfaces in Charlotte, NC

What are the best patio surfaces if you are living in Charlotte, NC? It depends on what you will be using the patio for!

 

The most traditional surface is concrete. It is still the standard for track builders to provide a small “slab” outside the rear exit door of a home. The advantages are lower cost, low maintenance, and ease of installation. The disadvantages are primarily the propensity to crack and poor aesthetics. Stamped concrete improves the aesthetics, raises the cost, but does not address the cracking.

 

Flagstone is a popular surface for it’s aesthetics and is often found in high end neighborhoods. The advantages are the beauty and low maintenance, the disadvantages are the very high cost and will still crack over time.

 

Paver patios are the most popular surface in Charlotte. They combine the reasonable price point with good aesthetics. People believe that weeds can grow up in between the  pavers (which normally happens only when an amateur constructs the patio and does not add enough base or seeds fall from above and grow in the poly sand). They come in a variety of colors and sizes.

 

Finally, Travertine patios have been the fastest growing segment of the market here in Charlotte. They have tighter lines than traditional paves with less chance of weeds growing in between in the sand. In addition, the look resembles a tile and in fact can be purchased as a tile for applications directly over concrete on decks. The price point is slightly higher than pavers.

For more information on all outdoor living spaces, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?

Outdoor Kitchen is a term used for a wide variety of meanings. In Charlotte, NC, an outdoor kitchen is used generally to imply a built-in grill station that includes a counter top, a stone or brick cabinet, and a grill. The smallest outdoor kitchen is about 5 linear feet wide and 2’6″ deep.

The term outdoor kitchen can also imply not only a built-in grill, but a full range of appliances that people want to incorporate into their outdoor living space. It’s not uncommon for Archadeck of Charlotte to install a refrigerator, ice maker, warming drawer, side burner, and even keg orator into the cabinet. Of course each additional appliance requires the cabinet to be larger and therefore increasing the cost.

Over 80 percent of all of the outdoor kitchens we design and build every year are constructed with a stone veneer while the majority of the remaining 20% is a brick veneer to match the house walls. The counter tops range from Travertine to granite.

The smaller outdoor kitchens (excluding the appliances) will run around $3,000 and can go upwards of $10,000 driven by size, materials, and features!

To see wonderful design ideas, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

Building a patio myself

A patio seems like a fairly easy project to tackle for those that are handy.

Outdoor-Fireplace-with-pave

What are the pitfalls?

  1. Grading – knowing how to slope the patio and when you will need retaining wall block to keep the patio from falling or separating
  2. Materials – having the information on how much off the base to purchase and how to compact
  3. Design – to build a patio is just part of it, the proper design to accommodate what  you want to furnish or seat on the space is another part
  4. Finish – how to keep the weeds from growing up through the seams and to keep the patio from staining easily
  5. Warranty – when you build it yourself, you may end up doing it more than once which increases your costs!

Charlotte outdoor kitchen travertine patio

Advantages of Travertine versus paver patio?

The  two most common patio materials that are used by professionals today in the Charlotte, NC market are pavers and travertine. The question we are often asked is to compare the two?

 

 

Travertine:

  1. Larger tile like shapes
  2. Closer seams so limited room for dirt or weeds
  3. finished clean look
  4. slightly higher priced

 

Pavers:

  1. Multiple patterns and shapes
  2. tend to fade from sun
  3. slightly lower priced
  4. installed with sand in between where weeds can grow from the top

 

Both products are widely accepted in the market and hold up well over time. The key to any patio installation is the proper base and preparation with an eye towards drainage. For more information, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

I’m getting weeds up from my paver patio

There is a lot of misinformation around weeds and patios.

When a patio is constructed properly, weeds are not going to grow up from underneath and through the patio. There is typically a 4 – 6″ base of crushed stone and screening that is used and it is tamped down to make a solid base. A best practice would be to use a polymeric sand to spread in between the pavers and allow it to harden.

If the correct protocol is followed, weeds will not grow from underneath the patio. What can and will happen is weeds growing from seedlings that get blown onto the top of the patio either by wind, trees, or mowing. This is far different and much easier to maintain than weeds that are rooted below.

It is a common misconception and knock against pavers that weeds grow from below. When built properly, this is not the case! To find out more about patios and outdoor living spaces, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

Hardscape sitting walls, design and purpose

With the absurd growth of paver and stone patios, the public is taking notice of features that accompany them. Whether it be an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or sitting walls.

The sitting walls serve multiple purposes. They are custom designed to meet function and aesthetics.

 

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we typically design them to follow the soft curve or bay of a patio layout to add a “picture frame” or provide definition. They are commonly used as a space saver when we build a fire pit as shown above. We design them to be 18″ – 20″ tall, which matches the height of a typical chair you would sit in.

Other uses include the function of a barrier to water draining back onto the patio due to the grade of your land. In addition, they can be used as a combination of a retaining wall and a sitting wall. Go to archadeckofcharlotte.com to see a complete photo gallery of outdoor living space designs.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pave patio with paver steps and sitting walls

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pave patio with paver steps and sitting walls

How do I expand my patio?

Expanding your patio seems like a no-brainer, right? Here are a few small tips in this blog that you should consider prior to tackling this project:

What is the current slope of the patio? It is most likely sloped away from the house to allow for proper drainage. If you are expanding your patio further away from the house, you will have to grade appropriately so you do not create an area where water will sit due to a grade change.

How is the edge of your patio finished? Is there a border around it? Are there full pieces or cut edges. There needs to be some thought as to how to properly blend in the extension so it appears to built as part of the original design.

Archadeck of charlotte outdoor show place

Archadeck of Charlotte outdoor show place

How old is the existing patio? Has the color faded or is it stained? Perhaps consider combining a different substrate rather than trying to match! To get wonderful patio design ideas, visit our paver patio photo gallery or our stone patio photo gallery. Are you thinking about adding some amenities to your patio? Take a look at our fire features photo gallery.