From Plat to Place
The Step By Step Home Construction Site
Step 67 - Access To Home
Stairs Are Laid. Drain Cleanout.
After the sidewalk has had adequate time to dry, the front stairs are put in place. Our stairs are simply brick that matches the front porch of our house. The stairs can be made from a multitude of matching materials like stone, wood or simply concrete.
Things We Learned Along The Way
Assessing the Pros & Cons of Brick Versus Concrete Walkways
If you're a homeowner who wants to make sure there's a grand entrance leading to your house, you need to choose exactly what materials to use, like whether you'll use brick versus concrete walkways, what sort of lights will be installed, and so on. When it comes to residential walkways, two of the natural choices homeowners gravitate to are concrete (and asphalt) and brick. Concrete easily comes across as a cost-efficient option, but when thinking about the long-term expenses that will be incurred, the homeowner may end up shelling more money for it. This is because one of the features of concrete is its tendency to crack.
When concrete used for driveways and walkways creates an even, flat surface, but if a strong earthquake or rain storm occurs, cracks may appear. Unusually heavy loads may also cause cracking. Also basic weather in cold areas can cause a great deal of problems since ice expands when frozen. We live in a cold area and have scene 3 concrete driveways. All 3 have been warped, cracked, and broken within 4 years of living here.
A type of concrete that's also widely used is stamped concrete (a design, like cobblestone, is pressed in the top before the concrete dries, thereby creating a look that resembles pavers (another material that conforms to abrasion resistance tests). When comparing concrete to brick, it's the latter that will emerge as more durable since it can accommodate loads or movement without cracking. When it comes to installation, though, a brick sidewalk may be more costly than one made of gravel and sand (another upside of a brick walkway, though, is that it's low-maintenance).
In terms of what's more eco-friendly between the two, brick comes out as being kinder to the environment since it can allow a certain amount of rainwater to enter the ground and its materials are all-natural. The same cannot be said for concrete. Apart from offering the advantage of strength and flexibility vis-à-vis poured concrete (or the ability to withstand structural damage), brick is also recyclable. On top of that, brick - in many instances -- also ends up more visually pleasing. In further assessing the advantages of brick versus concrete walkways, people building homes will note that when construction people make mistakes installing brick on a walkway, they're easy to correct.
For homeowners who like decorative elements their home, including outdoor areas like the walkway, the benefits of a brick walkway as against stamped concrete may come to mind. Discussing both options with designers or building experts, or a quick online browse of home improvement tips, will reveal that stamped concrete is not without its shortcomings. Stamped concrete's color may weather and many years down the line when repair becomes necessary, stamped concrete may entail a huge cost. Concrete can stabilize soft paving materials for driveways and walkways that are not exactly high-traffic. If you foresee wheeled vehicles wending their way to your driveway/pathway, certain materials -- like cobble, flagstone and exposed aggregate concrete - may not be ideal, and opt for pavers that are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye but are more functional.
Brick comes out as a runaway winner, particularly for design-conscious homeowners who want an attractive walkway but don't want costly repairs later on. Whatever the architectural style of your home, clay brick in deep red, brown and orange, or some other color the homeowner may desire, can dazzle. Brick materials in the marketplace may have a rustic look, or have a herringbone or cobbled design, or other pattern that can lend a formal or informal style. Homeowners can coordinate the material they use for their walkway with their patio or deck. When building a walkway, the help of a contractor may be sought to determine the most appropriate materials, whether you're considering brick versus concrete walkways or other hard paving materials that will look appealing and can withstand abuse.