by Andrew Cosgrove - Creative Director


Creating paved living areas and pathways requires careful planning

Whether it’s a stable platform for outdoor living, an area for lounging by the pool or an all-weather route to the compost bin, hard surfaces are essential in the modern garden. The options are numerous so how do you decide what’s right for your place? Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your outdoor floor.

Make a plan

A paving plan is essential for all but the tiniest gardens. Get Scaped Landscaping and Design, New Plymouth will provide you with an accurate scaled plan of your site. This will help you visually see exactly how much paving is required for each element: terrace, footpaths, driveway and so forth. If budget constraints mean we need to develop the garden in stages, a paving plan will help you decide where and when the money is best spent.

Spread the budget

It makes sense to allocate most of your paving budget to areas of high use such as outdoor living areas, swimming pool surrounds and front paths. Here you might opt for sandstone, bluestone or custom-made concrete pavers.

Fit for purpose

As paving is one of the most expensive items in landscaping, a little planning will help avoid costly mistakes. Get Scaped Landscaping and Design, New Plymouth will provide you with useful information so that you are clear on the functional requirements of your paving as some products will be a better fit than others. For instance, if your small courtyard also has to provide space for parking, look at permeable pavers or pavers that are designed to cope with heavy loads. However, if there’s a tree planted close to the proposed paving, its roots may cause cracks or lifting. An area of decorative stones for a point of difference around the root zone might be the answer. Decorative stones can also be placed between each paver.

Hidden Costs

As is true for many types of building or renovation, a significant proportion of your budget will likely be spent on areas that won’t be seen when the project is complete. This includes soil excavation, drainage, compacting and laying a base course (usually paving sand and mortar). Pavers can also be laid on sand which makes the pavers less permanent and easier to lift in the future.

Go Green

With stormwater run-off now a major issue in our towns and cities, pavers are often a better environmental option than poured concrete as they allow water to trickle into the ground. Growing low plants such as mondo grass, pratia and ajuga around pavers increases their green credentials. Better still, consider paving products that are specially designed for permeability: some hold water in the base layer below, slowing down the flow rate. Others can filter pollutants, too.

In Style

Aesthetics are just as important as practicalities with paving, especially over large areas. The materials you choose will have a major impact on the overall look of your garden, whether it has an existing style or one you’re keen to create. For an informal look, try sandstone crazy paving with groundcovers in between, or bluestone slabs. Crushed gravel, limestone chip, pebbles or shell are perfect for paving around formal gardens with box hedging. Custom-made concrete pavers flush with the lawn work well in contemporary gardens, as does sandstone, slate, honed concrete and terrazzo paving. Recycled bricks are best in traditional gardens; stone slabs are ideal for Japanese-style gardens.


A professional paving contractor/landscaper designer are essential for large areas of poured concrete and high-end stone paving.


Generally, the more pricey the paving, the greater its durability, stain resistance and colour fastness. Top-of-the-range porcelain and stone pavers usually require little maintenance, whereas porous materials such as concrete and sandstone may need to be sealed to protect against staining (barbecue grease, berries, birds, etc). This is often cheaper to do when they’re being laid. As well as making them easier to clean, sealing also helps to retain the colour in concrete pavers, but it can also make them more slippery and will need to be reapplied at regular intervals. If your paved area will be in shade, mould and moss could be a problem. Use an anti-mould cleaner like 30 Seconds on concrete or a water blaster for natural stone paving.

If you are looking for an experienced and creative New Plymouth landscaper, don't hesitate to give Andrew at Get Scaped Landscaping and Design, New Plymouth a call.


Paving New Plymouth

Paving New Plymouth