Patio - stamped concrete vs. pavers - Conflicting Info
I've been doing research here and at BHG online, as well as talking w/ local contractors. I'm getting conflicting info on the benefits of stamped concrete vs. pavers such as Belgrade Cobble or Dublin tumbled pavers. So far, the consensus is pavers, and I would agree aesthetically and structurally. Low maintenance is also important.
I prefer the look of the pavers or stamped concrete to a deck. Plus, the cost of composite decking was considerably more. For this job, about $3500 more but that may be because we liked the teak looking composite decking w/ black vinyl rails and caps so as to "disappear" as much as possible and let the backyard view be the focus.
We are talking about a patio area of ~420 square feet off the back of the house. Nothing but grass there now. The quotes are for a free form patio of ~30x12 at its narrowest point to ~30x16ft at the exit from the slider. Price is coming in about $23 sf which seems about right according to the posts I've seen on this forum.
Specific paver recommendations are also welcome. We were told that pavers run ~$16 sf, but haven't yet researched the cost of the pavers alone.
I'm all for DIY, but I think both the labor and time involved w/ a project of this size means we will have to pay the $7sf labor charge to get this done. If you want to encourage us otherwise, please do! :) We have 7 children and 4 of them playing more than 1 sport, so time is a big factor.
I welcome your input specifically about the stamped/colored concrete vs. pavers - the structural integrity, maintenance, aesthetic, etc. And also input about patio material. I think that flagstone or other natural stone would be more expensive and labor intensive?
Oh, we want this done by next May to host two graduation parties - college and high school.
Thanks so much!