Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Go Green By Using Natural Materials for Your Patio

What could be greener than a custom-designed patio that allows you to reconnect with nature by spending more time outside? If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, long-lasting, environmentally friendly outdoor living space, the best place to start is with a natural patio. Working with one of your local landscape contractors and natural landscaping materials, you’ll be able to beautify your environment and protect it at the same time.

The Value of Natural Materials in Landscaping

Utilizing green design philosophies, environmentally friendly building practices and natural landscaping materials, your patio can be more enjoyable and affordable than going the more traditional route. That’s because they require less maintenance, last longer, are healthier for your family and are better for the environment as a whole. To get started using natural materials for your patio, search “landscapers near me” online and find one of your local landscape contractors to partner with. Here are some things to consider.

Building a Green Patio

Many patios are made from cement, concrete or asphalt, with chemically treated lumber for borders and steps. The production practices used to create these landscaping materials are environmentally destructive. Hard, nonporous cement and asphalt may provide durability, but they also add toxins to your environment during installation. Building a patio with natural materials is a much greener alternative.

Instead of building a deck or porch, design a patio using landscaping stones, brick or ceramic tile. Besides being beautiful and locally obtainable in most areas, they’re durable and re-usable. Patios are not only greener than decks and porches, but landscaping stones, brick and ceramic tile patios last longer and require less maintenance than wood porches and decks. Here are some natural materials to consider:

  • Aggregates (gravel, crushed rock, pebbles) are best for covering a medium to large space, provide good drainage, are easy to install and are low-maintenance landscaping materials.

  • Landscaping stones are great for pathways, terraces, borders and steps between patio levels. They’re nontoxic, natural materials   available in a wide selection of earth-toned colors and are reusable.

  • Brick is best for pathways, surface areas and steps between patio levels. It’s nontoxic, durable, reusable and come in several color options.

  • Recycled-content pavers, bricks, timbers are good for edgings, borders, paths and flat areas. They’re natural materials that are long lasting, nontoxic, easy to install for landscape contractors and splinter-free.

It’s important to ensure the grade slopes away from your home when your patio is finished being installed. Water will run away from your foundation instead of toward it, which can result in moisture issues in your basement and foundation problems and failure in the long run.

While committing to the use of natural materials in the scope of your remodeling project can feel overwhelming, don't let that scare you away. Many of the landscape contractors you find in your “landscapers near me” search specialize in architectural salvage, giving you an easy, one-stop option for using recycled bricks, landscaping stones or paving materials. And the truth is that any step toward environmentally friendly landscape design is a step in the right direction for you and your family, your new outdoor space and the environment as a whole.

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