Natural Stone Patios and Driveways: Thoughts on Design and Installation for Homeowners

As a design and installation company, Genesis sees a lot of driveways. We recently just hit our 10,000th job! Most of those hardscape projects incorporate manufactured concrete pavers, but every once in a while we meet a customer who wants something different, natural stone paving.

Man-made concrete paving stones offer thousands of color combinations, 8000 psi pressure ratings, and nearly a dozen local manufacturers. However, natural stone can offer a different aesthetic than man-made stone, to dramatically change the feel of a property.

Here are several factors to consider when choosing natural stone for outdoor use:

Load Strength

Depending on the type of traffic in the paved area, different kinds of base must be used to protect the stone from cracking in the future. High load areas, such as a front driveway where cars are frequently parked, should be installed with a concrete slab under the natural stone. This slab protects the brittle natural stone from pressure by vehicle tires. Light load areas like a back walkway can be sand-set. The time saved in sand-setting shows up in the final cost of the project. Continue reading “Natural Stone Patios and Driveways: Thoughts on Design and Installation for Homeowners”

Driveway Pavers Installation

The difference between a professional construction team, and an amateur ‘weekend warrior’ is obvious. Detail.

Consider the photo depicted in figure 1. When there’s limited access to install a back patio or walkway, sometimes the only solution is a straight line. The straight line can lead right through the front and rear exits of the home.

When Genesis consults on a project, access represents a key concern. Pricing and the time-table of the project depend heavily on the distance between crew vehicles and supplies and the paved area. Our goal is to get your home back to 110% as soon as possible, and sometimes this means unconventional measures.

Special Access Project
[Figure 1] This project required special access through the home to reach a back patio.

In figure 1 left, the crew’s only access leads right through the home. To protect against damage and dirt, Genesis developed a specific technique for through-the-home access. In figure 1, notice the tarp covering the floor, nearby cabinets, and furniture. This ensures not dirt, dust, or pebbles touch the residence. Temporary plywood flooring above the tarp further protects from grime and scratches.

Upon project completion, the crew rolls up the tarp and reveals the spotless condition of the pathway. It’s like Genesis was never even there, except for the beautiful new outdoor feature that neighbors will envy for years to come. This writer recommends inviting the neighbors over to gloat, I mean dinner.

For all your outdoor remodeling visions, contact Genesis today. Many members of our design team have been with us for 15 years or more, so we have the experience needed to raise your expectations of your property. Allow us to surprise you. For a free estimate, call toll free 888.389.5533 or visit our free estimate page.

Showcase: Bishop’s Hat Paving Pattern

Bishop's Hat Paving Stone
[Figure 1] Bishop’s Hat Paving Stone
In today’s product showcase, we focus on Bishop’s hat stone. A unique block with five sides, the angular stones create striking patterns and brilliant contrasts. This versatile stone posses an integral part of the designer’s handbook. The asymmetrical stone opens design possibilities, is readily available from most major manufacturers, and offers a long history of design and installation use. This article outlines why bishop’s hat pavers will be around for years to come.

In Figure 2 below, we see several alternate patterns for bishop’s hat stone. Often combined with an 8″x8″ square block, the¬†asymmetrical¬†symmetry of this stone stands apart from other rectangular bricks. The running bond pattern on the far right doesn’t utilize 8×8 stones to complete the pattern, but the two patterns on the left are only 2 of the options available when subsidizing with differently shaped stones.

Bishop's Hat Patterns Graphic
[Figure 2] Bishop’s Hat Pattern samples

Each manufacturer offers alternate installations specs and patterns for bishop’s hat stone. For designers and home owners, this opens a wide range of highly unique patterns. Rather than reinvent the wheel, designers can pick a pattern which meets their guidelines and client taste. There’s a reason why manufacturers offer pattern schematics, because they work.

[Figure 3] Bishop’s Hat Stone on Pool Deck

The many pattern combinations of bishop’s stone exceed the options provided in Figure 2 above. Unique color combinations further extend the options of this diverse product. When designing with 8×8 squares, consider accenting with alternate high contrast colors for the squares. Figure 3 below demonstrates one possible combination for a beautifully designed pool deck. Many manufacturers offer unique color blends and finishes for bishop’s hat stone, just another benefit of high competition in the concrete block manufacturing game.

Bishop’s hat pavers prove time and again a crux for hardscape designers everywhere. With wide support from the manufacturing community, replacement stones will be readily available in the unlikely event of cracking or stains. Give us a call and see how we can use bishop’s hat to beautify your property. Remodeling outdoor spaces since 1993, Genesis excels in bringing visions to life. Call 888.389.5533 for a free in-home consultation, or visit our free estimate page.