You need a patio in the yard, a place to lounge, pull out the BBQ and generally enjoy the summertime. Want to have a one of a kind patio that is impressive and sustainable at the same time? Look to your neighbors, skulk around building and demolition sites and generally keep your eyes open for salvaged stone, brick and pavers.
It’s easier than you think. Spring is the time when many homeowners and businesses are tackling backyard reno projects and a good portion of those are replacement designs. Watch for homes being rebricked, patios being ripped up and redone or entire landscapes getting an overhaul. These are prime locations for your supplies.
When you offer to haul away the old materials, you’re actually doing them a favor. But don’t forget to say please.
Be picky about what you use. Broken pieces can add to the design and create a mosaic look, but you’ll want the material to be of a similar thickness for easier installation. Flagstone is perfect for a reclaimed patio – it naturally has an irregular shape and will last for ages (you may need some muscle for the hauling stage though).
Bricks are excellent too. You can mortar them right onto an existing base and create an old world charm that’s hard to beat. If you can’t find enough of one color, mix and match to create patterns or a random look.
You’ll need the same base as you would with a new patio, level and with adequate drainage and strength. Other than that, reclaimed patios are a cinch. Most of the work is in the transporting.
Three ways reclaimed materials make incredible patios? (1) Environmentally friendly by rescuing usable materials from the landfill. (2) Usually low, low cost – often only for the base material and a few friendly bribes for the hauling. (3) Unique look that cannot be duplicated.
If you’re not comfortable with the DIY aspect, ask contractors if they’ll install the salvaged stone for you. It will still be cheaper than a new patio and you can leave the worries to the pros.
Either way, you’ll end up with a sustainable, spectacular patio to laze away the summer on.
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