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Smart, sustainable paving for an eco-friendly yard

From functionality to cost, design and materials, choose the best sustainable paving options for your home.

If you’re renovating your outdoor home area,  you’ve definitely got options when it comes to paving. Whether you’re updating your patio, pergola or your driveway, factors like functionality, sustainability, cost, and design, can play a big part in making the most of your outdoor space. Let’s take a look at how to choose the right pavers for your home that will do well for your lifestyle – and for the planet.

How pavers can make your outdoor space more sustainably-friendly 

Simply making the choice to use pavers over grass is the first step towards a more eco-friendly yard. That’s because you’ll save water (and money on water bills) as you won’t need to water the lawn. As a bonus, you can keep that mower in the garage too, so you’ll spend more time enjoying your new outdoor space than maintaining it.

Before you begin…
Before you get to paving, here are some key decisions to make to choose the best pavers for your outdoor space.

  • Usage and durability: If you have children running around, or a lot of foot or car traffic, consider materials that are more durable, so they won’t need to be replaced as often. Plus, if the pavers are likely to be slippery when wet, you can choose non-slip materials to make these safer for your family. finance options
  • Aesthetics: There are endless paving materials to choose from. So when you’re getting creative, think about your home’s period and style, your colour scheme, the size of the paved area, and how natural light will play a part in making your paving pop. 
  • Cost: Affordability is a big factor, so when you’re considering which pavers are best for your budget, you can also look at (with easy repayments) to get your home outdoor updates secured sooner

Choose your materials 
From clay to concrete, let’s take a look at how different paver materials weigh up from a sustainability standpoint. 

  • Exposed aggregate pavers: have the top layer removed, so you can see the beautiful aggregate texture on top. The sustainability-factor with these pavers comes from their versatility – they can be made from thousands of different materials such as stones,pebbles, sand, glass, cement, and gravel. Opt for more recycled materials such as glass or natural stones and pebbles when you design yours. Exposed aggregate pavers are tough and their texture is slip-resistant, meaning they’re great for high-rainfall or slippery areas.
  • Concrete pavers: are a sustainable paving material because they can be recycled. They’re affordable, strong and durable – making them a great option for driveways. One downside with concrete is that it may crack over time, but ensuring the concrete pavers are sealed properly by a professional will give them a great finish and reduce the need for too much maintenance.
  • Stone pavers: When selecting stone pavers, try to use natural, second-hand stone that has been sourced locally, rather than imported. Natural stone pavers are beautiful, and of all the paver options, they’re also the longest-lasting, with exceptional durability.
  • Clay pavers: Clay pavers are a sustainable solution as they’re made from natural materials and can be upcycled too. They’re affordable and come in lots of different colours and shapes – but they can be less durable than their concrete counterparts, so keep in mind that they may chip over time. Clay pavers will look best if you wash them once or twice a year. 

Top tips before you buy

Once you’ve got an idea of the types of pavers you’d like for your project, there are a few extra steps you can take to make sure you’re making the best decision for your home. 

  • Firstly, shop around! There are a multitude of suppliers, so you should be able to find a quality paver supplier, that’s cost-effective too. You can also try to find a local supplier, to reduce harmful CO2s emissions that can come from importing and transporting goods.
  • Show and tell. See if your supplier can walk you through some samples of the paver you're after. Also, ask them to share some aged samples of your preferred paver – so you can see exactly how they might change over time. 
  • Take one home. Ask to take a sample of your preferred paver home with you, so you can see if it works well in your space. 

Laying your pavers 
Once you’ve chosen the right pavers for your property and project, it’s time to lay them. Consider employing trusted tradesmen to install your pavers. An eco-tradie will use sustainable practices and ensure they dispose of waste in an environmentally-friendly manner – even reusing materials on other jobs. The right tradie will also ensure your pavers are installed correctly. This will help them stand the test of time, so you and your family can enjoy them in the years to come. 

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.