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Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

Nicolock Stone Ridge Paver Patio Installation Hanover, Pa - Ryan's Landscaping

When deciding between the choice of stamped concrete or pavers cost is often a determining factor. Although, the two may be very similar in price depending on materials and pattern. The most important part you will want to consider is the life of the structure.

 

Patio with Fire Pit & Seating Wall Outdoor Living Hardscape by Ryan's Landscaping in Littlestown, PA

Paving stones define beauty, elegance and durability for driveways, pool decks, walkways and patios. Properly installed paving stones won’t crack, sag, shift or separate. It will look fantastic for generations, and if it ever becomes stained or marred by paint or oil it can be repaired quickly, easily and invisibly. Individual stones can be replaced with matching ones so that the surface looks exactly as it did before the accident occurred. This is impossible with any other type of pavement.

PAVERS aka PAVING STONES

  • They won’t crack – when installed correctly.
  • Paver patterns and colors can be mixed and matched to create unique designs with accent borders and bandings.
  • Endless colors, textures, and shapes, so there is no limit on what materials you can use.
  • Lifetime of color and enjoyment. Most of our pavers are enhanced with a paver-shield technology making the paving stones fade resistant.
  • Very low maintenance, the joints may need to be retouched with sand every few years with polymeric sand that binds and hardens the sand grains to each other and the pavers too.

As with pavers, the costs of repair, if necessary can be far more beneficial than that those for repairing stamped concrete.

STAMPED CONCRETE

Cracked Concrete Hanover, PA Stamped Concrete Hanover, Pa Decorative Concrete Hanover, PA

Although there are some advantages to decorative or stamped concrete, it is almost inevitable that the concrete will crack at some point in time.  Common causes of cracking are when the base moves due to load baring or settlement, and the fact that concrete tends to shrink over time.  Concrete may also crack as a result of the expansion and contraction caused by freezing, thawing, and other changes in the weather. The reason contractors place joints in concrete.

  • The sealer needs to be reapplied every 2-3 years.
  • Colors may fade over time.
  • There is the possibility for deterioration from de-icing salts. 

Cracking of stamped concrete patios or walkways can be very expensive to repair. To repair the concrete correctly you would have the area destroyed and removed and then installed again. The other options are to leave the area as is, which will look very unattractive and can become a tripping hazard over a period of time. There is a filling agent that can be applied to the damaged area, but it is still visible and won’t correct an area that rises up.

Even though stamped concrete can be very attractive and maybe more affordable in some cases compared to pavers, it is clear that pavers outweighs the option of concrete when considering the life of the structure.

Did you know pavers can be applied over concrete?

Contact Us for a free consultation @ (717)632-4074

What is an interlocking concrete paver?

What is an interlocking concrete paver?

An interlocking concrete paver is a special type of paver. This special type of paver, also known as a segmental paver, has emerged over the last couple of decades.

 

 

When one thinks of interlocking paving stones one often gets the idea of dog bone shape stones that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. That is not the case at all. The interlocking comes from the fact that each stone cannot move independently from its neighbor. In fact there are two important aspects of an interlocking paving stone job that keeps the pavers interlocked.

Ryan's Landscaping Hanover Paver Patio Nicolock Oyster Blend

We pride ourselves on making sure your paver patio installation is properly done the first time. We have over 25 years of combined experience on our team. Everything from excavating the area, to adding the proper base underneath your pavers. We will see to it that it’s done right the first time. Contact us for your next paver patio project @ 717-632-4074.

Brick & Paver Patio Installations

Brick & Paver Patio Installations

Whether you’re looking to add some old world charm to your patio, or contemporary flare to your walkway, Ryan’s Landscaping offers a variety of paver options, including brick pavers, interlocking concrete pavers and more. We can help you create an eye-catching walkway, patio, or driveway. Our interlocking paver options come in a number of styles, shapes and tones to help you add the right personality and charm to transform your outdoor living spaces. In addition to style, Ryan’s Landscaping provides brick pavers that are design to be strong, durable and environmentally friendly, ensuring your driveway or patio will stand the test of time.

 

 

We pride ourselves on making sure your paver patio installation is properly done the first time. We have over 25 years of combined experience on our team. Everything from excavating the area, to adding the proper base underneath your pavers. We will see to it that it’s done right the first time. Contact us for your next paver patio project @ 717-632-4074.

Watch our Paver Patio Playlist here on YouTube

Hanover Outdoor Kitchen Island & Patio Bar Installation


Our outdoor kitchens offer function, beauty, and are built to last. We have been providing the Hanover & Gettysburg area’s with quality and well built outdoor kitchens for nearly 10 years. Contact us for your next outdoor kitchen project @ 717-632-4074.

Interview with Ryan – August 2013

Interview By K. Schipper of Hardscape Today

HANOVER, Pa. – Ryan Jacobs is finding that hardscapes bring business success … and concerns.

200 2Clilck photo to enlargeAs with many others in the industry, Jacobs began his landscaping career before he finished high school. Experience with two landscape contractors, a stint as a tender for a mason and many, many side jobs led him to launch his own company, Ryan’s Landscaping, in 2007.

The hardscapes – mainly patios and retaining walls with a few water features – allowed him to keep busier longer in the year .

Still in his 20s, the hardscapes have also provided much of the impetus for a growth spurt this year. Now, he’s weighing the advisability of adding a second crew.

The big question: How to maintain the high quality of his work?

 

LEARNING CURVE

Jacobs began working in the landscape business at 17, and his first employer taught him a lot of things he probably would rather not know.

“He wasn’t too good of a guy,” Jacobs explains. “He’d lay out everything and then go off and do his own thing and I’d be there completing the job.”

One homeowner was impressed enough to ask Jacobs if he’d like to finish the job after firing the contractor, but Jacobs – then 18 – felt he didn’t have the experience, or the transportation, to take on the project himself.

“I probably should have gotten into it then,” he adds. “That was when the market was really good.”

Instead, he continued to pick up experience, working for a while with a friend who was a mason, hiring on with another landscaping contractor, and doing other landscape work on the side while spending winters employed in a warehouse.

200 kitchen photo 1Click photo to enlargeThen, six years ago, he made his move.

“It started to get nice out and spring rolled around and I decided to pursue this thing,” Jacobs says. “I put an ad in a small paper that goes out around here, and that’s how I got started.”

Initially, he found himself doing a lot of design-and-install of softscape jobs. However, clients kept asking for more, and so Ryan’s Landscaping moved into doing a few hardscape jobs.

“At first, we weren’t the best at them,” he admits. “I learned as we went along; I did research and took classes where I got hands-on training. After that, I really started advertising them more.”

Jacobs says it’s been the last two years where the hardscapes really started taking off – carrying the season with them.

“Last year we were pretty much able to work clear through the year, almost to the end of January,” he says. “We had about a month or so off before we started up again, and it seems like that’s what the demand is for. We’re doing a lot of design-and-install of hardscapes, and not so much the landscapes.”

DUAL TRACK

In a typical year, Jacobs says he starts doing design work for clients in March. He adds there are some distinct differences between those wanting hardscapes and those wanting softscapes.

“For the most part our hardscape customers know what they want,” he says. “We may suggest ideas or some different things. With the landscaping a lot of people just say, ‘We figure you’re the professional; just go for it.’”


Ryan hedshot“I don’t want to go back and fix little things. I want them to keep on referring us.”

 

Ryan Jacobs
Ryan’s Landscaping


And, even within the hardscape category, there are differences. For a client who wants something more elaborate, Jacobs will use a computer design program – he says he’s really stressing contours, borders and features such as seating walls right now – while simpler jobs get an estimate by measure.

“We’ll go in and do an estimate, to tell them pretty much what they’re looking at,” he explains. “I also give them the catalogs of materials we’re quoting and let them know if they want different materials the price will be different. I try to give them three different options and let them decide which route to take.”

Currently, Jacobs says the area where money seems to have the most impact with his clients is when it comes to water features. His observation is that it’s often brought up during the discussion, with one spouse or the other taking a negative viewpoint.

From there, it often becomes a back-burner item, left out of the final design due to concerns about cost or maintenance. Consequently, he says he doesn’t push them as much as some of his competitors.

800 employee photo 1Click photo for gallery“A lot of people think they want them, but they also know there’s some kind of maintenance involved,” Jacobs says. “I try to push pond-less water features, like pond-less waterfalls or fountains. You can get the sound, and it’s not as much maintenance.”

Some of the things that have been big for Ryan’s Landscaping this year include paver patios, retaining walls and fire pits, often with a pop-up grill attached. While he’s seeing more outdoor kitchen work, Jacobs says it’s an amenity that in his area people often find too expensive.

“We give the homeowner the option of purchasing the grill themselves as opposed to buying one that’s customized,” he says. “That can be thousands more, and even if they buy the grill we can build around it.”

Jacobs tries to get his estimate out in about a week. He says he finds estimating hardscape jobs to be easier than for his softscape ones because of the necessity of assembling the plants. Scheduling them can also be easier, for a couple reasons.

“A lot of times, when it comes to the landscaping, when people want it they want it,” Jacobs says. “They often have an event coming up and they want to get spruced up. If they can’t get the job in two or three weeks, they go on to the next guy.”

And, he says particularly in the fall, plants take priority just because they have to get into the ground, “then our patio work can continue after that.”

He’s also pleased that his hardscape clients are willing to wait for him and his crew.

“A lot of times we’re three weeks or a month back from the time someone makes a decision to when we can go out and do the install,” he says. “A lot of them say it just means that we’re good at what we do.”

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

200 patio photo 3Click photo to enlargeWith a budding reputation, Jacobs also says print ads are a thing he’s easing away from. Word-of-mouth definitely helps keep the business going, but he also utilizes everything from social media to yard signs to keep the work coming in.

He says his website not only helps bring jobs in, but makes it easier for his clients.

“They find us online and then they go through our media and search different photos from our social networks,” he says. “They’ll tell me that they like one thing or another or maybe a combination from jobs we’ve done that they see online. They get their ideas and then we come up with a master plan.”

The other key component of his marketing is yard signs, although that probably adds more to the softscape side of the business.

“With landscape build-and-install, you’re often doing something in the front yard that draws people instantly,” Jacobs says. “With hardscape, it’s a patio off the porch or something in the back yard. Fortunately, a lot of the neighbors figure out the hardscape is in the back.”

By comparison, the print ads generate calls from people new to the area. His greatest disappointment has been in his phone-book advertising.

“I’ve had a couple people say they couldn’t find us in the phone book, but they got our name and number somehow,” he says. “It’s pretty much word-of-mouth.”

For now, Ryan’s Landscaping is also focused heavily on remodels of existing homes. Not only is there a dearth of new home construction, but Jacobs says the market for commercial work just isn’t there.

“I usually do two or three jobs a year that are commercial landscape design-and-install,” he says. “However, I don’t recall doing any commercial hardscapes. I’m signed up with a few companies who will contact me when they have a commercial project, but it’s softscape design-and-install.”

On a positive note, he says a great number of his residential customers are moving out from Maryland, although they still work in that neighboring state. The result is more financial stability for the area – and a possible area for expansion later.

200 kitchen photo 3Click photo to enlarge“At different times, people ask me if I want to go down there to do job,” Jacobs says. “I get calls and inquiries, but I haven’t crossed that bridge yet; I don’t have that Maryland contractor’s license yet.”

As it is, Jacobs prefers to work within about a 45-minute drive of Hanover. And, he says having his Pennsylvania contractor’s license and being insured are important aspects of his business – for both him and his clients.

“It’s good to know our company is 100-percent legitimate,” he says. “I think it looks better, and also to know that if something happens, it’s completely covered. It should also make the homeowner feel comfortable knowing they’re going with a licensed professional contractor.”

And, while he admits to frustration at unlicensed contractors who underbid him, Jacobs says Ryan’s also gets a fair number of jobs where a job installed by someone unlicensed fails and he has to go in and pick up the pieces.

While getting that Maryland license is one possibility for the future, Jacobs isn’t sure where he’s going to go from here. He says 2013 has been one of growth for Ryan’s in a couple different ways. One has been with some important additions to the company’s website.

“I was getting different questions from customers about things like shoveling their patios or using salt, so over the winter I did some research and put up a Q-and-A area so they can come to the website and get some education,” he explains.

The other area has been in the acquisition of some capital assets, including another truck, mainly related to the hardscape side of the business.

Jacobs would like to add more people – possibly a second crew – but an experience last year has made him a bit nervous about the prospect. He had hired an individual to do strictly lawn maintenance through the company, and it didn’t work out.

“It’s extremely hard to find somebody who’s reliable and responsible enough to take that on,” he says. “And, it’s hard knowing they’re out there, driving your company vehicle and representing your company.”

For now, he says he’s focusing more on developing good processes for the company, training his crew to the quality of work he wants done, and continuing to take advice from others in the industry whom he trusts.

“We’re definitely focused on quality,” Jacobs concludes. “Too often I hear somebody describe a company as focused on quantity over quality. Don’t get me wrong; I have a family to feed, too, but I like people to be happy 100 percent of the time. I don’t want to have to go back and fix little things. I want them to keep on referring us.

I’m extremely big on customer satisfaction.”

Interlocking Pavers Installations

Pavingstones (concrete pavers or brick) are ideal for patios, walkways, driveways, & poolscapes. When installed properly pavingstones won’t crack, sag, shift or separate. It will look beautiful for decades. Even if they ever become stained by food, drinks, oil, or paint, they can easily be repaired quickly with no obvious color difference. This is impossible with any other type of pavement system.

With a huge range of styles, colors, mosaic patterns, and textures available, custom design is possible for any type of patio, walkway, driveway, poolscape, or even your existing deck! Custom paver design is an art we have perfected. Ryan’s Landscaping will work with you to create a unique custom design for your project. We specialize and take great pride in our unique custom mosiac paver designs tailored for each project.

Contact us @ 717-632-4074  to start your next paver project.

Block Retaining Walls Construction Hanover, Pa

A retaining wall is constructed to alleviate the erosion of soil, due to hills or slopes. In addition it will create a flat area to poorly sloped piece of land, adding more useable space. Our retaining walls are built with function and beauty, and are constructed of the highest quality material, so they’re built to last.  Contact Us today to set up a free consultation at (717) 632-4074.

Patio, Fire Pit, Seating Wall, Columns, & Walk Hardscape

Ryan’s Landscaping can transform your outdoors to living space. Specializing in patios, retaining walls, artistic walkways, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and more… Contact Us today. Consultations are always free or call 717-632-4074, we will be happy to assist you.

Linda & John from Hanover say…

Ryan:
“We want you to know how pleased we are with the paver/landscaping project you did for us. The finished results are everything we imagined. In addition, we were very impressed with the gentlemen that made up your crew — always polite, friendly, and courteous. We certainly wouldn’t hesitate to call you with any other landscaping needs or to recommend your company to friends and family.” Thanks again:

LINDA & JOHN

Hanover, PA

Walkway ideas with pavers in Hanover, PA - Ryan's LandscapingWalkway Hardscape Installation in Hanover, PA Ryan's Landscaping

 

 

Chris & Tom from Fairfield say…

 

Dear Ryan and Crew:

 “Just wanted to thank you all for doing a fabulous job with the landscaping around our home. We really appreciate all of your suggestions and input. You were able to listen to what we wanted and add your professional ideas to create picture perfect atmosphere. Thank you for continuing to add onto the job when we asked you to do more! We absolutely love the steps curving around to the backyard and your suggestion of filling the entire back from the deck to the walkway with the beautiful river pebbles was great. We will not hesitate to call on you again for any future landscaping projects. Thank you all for your hard work, dedication to professionalism and completing the job in a timely manner”

Chris & Tom

Fairfield, PA

Hanover Hardscape Professionals Pa 17331 - RYAN'S LANDSCAPINGInterlocking Pavers for Patios, Walks & Steps Hanover, PA - Ryan's Landscaping