There are dozens of decisions to make when adding a patio to your home. The most important is whether to use a concrete slab or pavers as the floor. Each option has its pros and cons, and where you live in the country should factor greatly into the decision. Consider all of the issues fully before making the final call.

Concrete Slab vs. Pavers Appearance

The most basic concrete patio is a simple gray slab, but you need not give up design completely with this type of floor. Stamped concrete involves pressing a design into the top before it dries to mimic the look of pavers. Colors also can be mixed into the concrete. Acid staining of concrete patios is popular, as well.

Pavers have the most color flexibility, and the depth of texture surpasses the mere appearance of it offered by stamped concrete.

Concrete Slab vs. Pavers Maintenance

In some ways, concrete is low maintenance, but in other ways not. Regular cleaning requires only a hose and ample water pressure, perhaps a pressure washer from time to time. You should reseal it every two years or so. Since it is one continuous surface, there are no weeds to pull as there often are with pavers.

Pavers settle individually, eliminating the risk of cracking. You can break a paver if you drop a heavy enough item on it, but when that happens it simply gets replaced with a new one. A patio with pavers will require replenishing the sand between as needed. And while weeds can grow between the pavers, some homeowners use the gaps as an opportunity to grow moss or groundcover greenery, adding a touch of landscaping charm to the surface.

Concrete Slab vs. Pavers Longevity

A concrete slab and pavers are both long-lasting surfaces. With pavers, though, you can make changes to the shape of a patio more easily. Simply pick up and move individual stones to create a different shape or remove or add them to shrink or expand the square footage, respectively. A concrete slab requires demolition to remove and repouring to add.

Concrete Slab vs. Pavers Cost

When comparing the costs of these two options, you must consider both installation and maintenance. A concrete slab, even one with stamping or acid staining, typically costs less to install than pavers. Pavers cost more up front when properly installed, but can require less maintenance down the road.

It helps to get a professional opinion early in your decision-making process. Where you live, the specific property and how you plan to use a patio all factor into which surface proves best for your home. Areas with weather extremes are a better option in terms of appearance and cost because of the climate's effect on concrete, for example. Also, in areas with significant rainfall, pavers may offer a better option in terms of drainage. If you have members of the family with mobility issues, though, the more level surface of concrete may be the safer way to go.

Your professional handyman will steer you toward the right surface for your home and family and can provide the highest level of quality in terms of installation and materials. No matter which you choose, concrete slab or pavers, each requires an expert to ensure the best-looking, longest-lasting patio floor.

Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. All Mr. Handyman franchises are Fully Insured with General Liability and Workers Compensation. Some services are subject to state and local licensing and may not be available in all locations. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service in your area.