Whether you are looking to create a welcoming front porch, a winding walkway around to your swimming pool or a large patio for big neighborhood cookouts, getting the right design to compliment your house and landscaping is a big decision.  You will want the design to blend in with the surrounding trees and ground cover while giving just the right pop to enhance the value of your home.

Paver stone patios, porches and walkways have been the most popular solution for quite a few years.  They can be a big design enhancement over plan concrete, but they can present some maintenance and drainage issues.  Stamped concrete is booming and is a nice combination of simplicity and durability of concrete with some of the design features of paver stones.  In the end, it is up to you to make the selection that is right for your particular setting as well as your budget.

Although the focus is only on the surface of the patio or walkway when it is complete, the below grade preparation for both solutions is the most important aspect of the process.  No matter how great it may look when its done, if the base wasn’t prepared properly, you’ll be spending time and money fixing the issue and trying to not trip over cracks or loose steps.  When you interview a contractor, make sure they explain how they will dig down below grade and prepare the base material.  If they don’t make your feel comfortable about their explanation, find another contractor.

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Adam's Helpful Hint:

Stamped concrete and paver stones are both very popular patio material selections. In addition to making sure you love the look, make sure you ask about how much maintenance is required. Also ask about drainage on and around your patio – different materials handle the movement of water differently and there is not one perfect solution.

Adam Helfman

· Home Improvement Expert
· TV and Radio Host