When you are planning any new home improvement project you should do some research before contacting contractors. You should start by researching what materials and styles best suite your needs. There are so many options available when it comes to interlocking stones, so take your time to see what you like best to not overwhelm yourself once the quoting process begins. You can look on websites like instagram, pintrest, houzz or even just searching keywords into google images. Once you have an idea of what colours or designs you would like to use, then you can start to plan the project.
The size of the patio you select will have a major impact on pricing. You should look into a few key factors when picking the size of your interlock patio so you don’t go over budget. Decide if you would like to have a small space for a table and chairs, a multi section patio that can accommodate different living areas, or if you would like to cover your entire backyard. If you plan on just having a small table and a barbecue, a 12′ x 12′ patio is suitable. If you plan on having a dining and a seating area, you typically want to have at least a 20′ wide patio. We recommend a minimum of 11′ of usable space with regards to the depth of the patio. You will want to increase the depth of the patio if you have steps or objects protruding into your usable space. Another factor that will help you decide the required size of the patio is the shape of the patio.
The shape of the patio is one of the factors that build your patio’s character. The shape will impact the size requirements of the patio as well as the placement of your furniture. Some popular styles would be; building it in the shape of a kidney or circular shape, completely random or free forming, modern with straight lines and corners, or a combination of modern and round.
Modern Backyard Patios: In recent years the industry has leaned heavily on more modern shaped interlocking patios. Modern patios typically consist of all straight lines, simple patterns, and neutral colours. Straight lines allow furniture to fit more efficiently than curved patios and offer the most usable space maximizing your projects budget.
Round Backyard Patios: Round interlocking patios were very popular in the early 2000’s. They allow the interlocking contractors to bring their artistic visions to life and offer wild design options. The curves create a soothing flow can be very relaxing. There are many downsides when it comes to curved interlocking patios. There is extra cutting that is required which drives up the material and labour cost. The cut stones also present many imperfections that would not be noticeable on a manufactured stone laid straight. They also create a lot of unusable space as most patio furniture and features sold these days are square or rectangular in shape. You may need to go 10% to 20% larger on a curved patio than a rectangle patio to fit the same furniture.
Large: Larger interlocking slab options have recently increased in popularity and are best suited for modern interlocking patios with straight lines. These usually come in one size and are laid in a simple pattern. The larger the interlocking slab, the harder it is to cut curved and imperfections will be quite noticeable. These products are usually on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Random: Multi size interlock slabs are sold in medium to large sizes making these slightly more versatile. These options are still typically used on straight patios but can be used on curved patios as well. Because they are available in many sizes and shapes, you have access to a different pattern options. These are usually the mid-range priced products and fall as the most popular options.
Small: While small interlocking stones have been phased out in recent years, there is still a market for these products. Areas that will be curved are usually a great fit for smaller stones. They are easier to cut and, in some cases, can free form to the curves without any cuts. These products are usually on the lower end of the price spectrum.
Inlay: Interlocking stones are available in hundreds of different colours. Each manufacturer has their own colour blends, so even though you may see similar colours, they’re will be some noticeable differences. We find that colour is usually the driving factor for why a customer chooses a certain manufacturer. In recent years grey has taken over pushing the reds and pinks out. Brown still has a favourable place in the market although they are a distant second to grey.
Borders: Once the colour of the inlay is selected, you can further the design on your patio by adding darker or lighter border stones around the edges. In many cases, you can choose one colour for the patio and then two different colours to trim the perimeter. This creates a finished look to the edges of the patio with an artistic approach. Other preferences include no border or same coloured borders. This would be used on modern patios to present an open concept effect.
Design: You can also use different colour stones to create designs within the patio. Simple in patio designs include squares, rectangles and diamonds. This is a great way to differentiate your patio from the others. You can use different colour stones to separate areas or trim around sections like a gazebo or pergola.
There are so many different interlocking stone options to choose from. We always recommend visiting a local garden center to see their show room. We work directly with Toemar Garden Centre in Mississauga and Van Beeks in Oakville, which both have great showrooms where you can see a variety of different products. What you see in a catalogue or on the internet may be digitally altered not presenting you with a true representation.
Once you have a general idea of what you like or what you are looking to do, it’s time to contact an interlocking contractor. There is only so far you can get without seeking professional help . By consulting with the correct interlocking company, they will take your vision and bring it to life. If you would like to talk to one of our landscape design consultants, please click here.