outdoor patio, outdoor patio questions, outdoor patio FAQs

FAQs: Our Design Advisors Answer your Outdoor Patio Questions

Dec 21, 2022 John McGrann Project Planning Tips & Advice Uncategorized

At first, creating an outdoor patio may seem like a fairly straightforward home project. But as you conduct your initial research, we’re willing to bet you’ll end up with more questions than answers. And you’re not alone. There are a surprising number of considerations to make before you get started.

To help homeowners begin the journey to a beautiful new outdoor patio, our design advisors compiled the following list of frequently asked outdoor patio questions.

If you don’t find the answer to your question below, Schedule an Appointment with our design advisor. We’ll answer all your questions and help you get started.

What’s the difference between slate and flagstone?

The terminology around various hardscape materials can be confusing, so let’s break this down.

Slate is a type of flagstone and not necessarily the ideal material for an outdoor patio. Flagstone actually refers to all natural stone options, including travertine, marble, sandstone, limestone, and other varieties. In Lancaster, PA there is an abundance of Pennsylvania Bluestone, which is an excellent flagstone choice for patios in our area.

When you speak with an outdoor design advisor, start the conversation by asking to see their flagstone options. They should be able to explain the pros and cons of each and help you select the best flagstone for your particular patio.

My concrete paver patio looks hazy. Why is that, and what should I do?

First things first, don’t worry! Hazy pavers happen and are a natural occurrence. The haze is actually soluble salts that get trapped inside the concrete during the manufacturing process and become efflorescent.

If you’ve experienced this first-hand or are concerned about your future patio turning cloudy, we have good news. This hazy effect will go away over time. But don’t be surprised if it takes about a year for your pavers to regain their clarity.

If you don’t see improvement in one year, contact our design advisors, and we can help treat the pavers and improve their clarity. Treatment before that first year can actually cause more harm than good, so it pays to be patient.

Will my pavers or flagstone patio be slippery?

You shouldn’t have to tiptoe over and around your outdoor patio. If slip resistance tops your list of important features, then finding the best slip-resistant outdoor pavers or flagstone is an important place to begin your materials search. For instance, knowing that polished marble (a type of flagstone) becomes slick when wet, but several other varieties of flagstone are safe to walk on during inclement weather will help narrow your search.

In our showroom, you can see and feel various options, and our design advisors can walk you through the process of choosing the right product for your needs.

Is installing a patio a good DIY project?

With enough time and resources, just about any project can be completed by a homeowner. However, installing your own hardscaping is not for the DIY novice. Customers who start their own DIY outdoor patios often realize that it’s a more time-consuming and intense process than expected.

We recommend hiring a professional to give you the professional-level results you’re looking to achieve for your outdoor living space.

Why should I hire a contractor?

Hiring a professional, licensed contractor is how homeowners can ensure their patio is designed and installed properly. Not only will that professional do the job right the first time, but you’ll receive guidance about material selection, design, lighting, and everything else needed to make your outdoor space beautiful.

In Lancaster County, we’re fortunate to have access to many qualified contractors. If you’re not already working with one, visit our design advisor, and we’ll provide you with a list of several trusted outdoor living contractors to help begin your search.

Why is some outdoor furniture so expensive?

The adage “you get what you pay for” is a wise reminder when shopping for outdoor furniture. Sure, you can find outdoor furniture to fit every budget, but don’t expect those less expensive and lesser quality models to last for years, let alone for generations.

That’s primarily because patio furniture is exposed to harsh sunlight and other natural elements that can damage the fabrics, in particular. Outdoor furniture also sees its fair share of wear and tear, which can slowly erode metals, plastics, and other structural materials.

Consider the quality of the furniture’s materials and assembly before deciding. And if you’re not sure, ask your outdoor furniture showroom’s design advisor for a recommendation.

Do I have to cover my outdoor furniture?

Good news: you do not need to cover all of your patio furniture. In fact, some pieces are intended to be left uncovered.  As a rule, most furniture, especially cushioned pieces, should be covered and winterized. To know the right way to care for your new outdoor furniture, speak with our Penn Stone design advisors.

For answers to all your outdoor patio questions, visit our showroom at 190 West Ross Street in Lancaster, PA.  Or Schedule an Appointment with our design advisor to learn more and begin creating the outdoor patio of your dreams.

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