Paving Material Considerations For Your Wheelchair Accessible Backyard Patio

When you are designing your backyard patio to accommodate a relative who is in a wheelchair, you will need to take many things into consideration. 

You have four options available for the paving materials.

Listed in order by cost, from low to high:

  • asphalt
  • preform pavers and bricks
  • stamped concrete
  • natural stone

Each option has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Asphalt Advantages and Disadvantages

Asphalt is an option if you have a large area which you will be paving. For a small patio, installing asphalt is not cost-effective.

The major advantages of asphalt patios are:

  • nice jet black color
  • flat surface that is easy for a wheelchair to travel across
  • low cost

The major disadvantages of asphalt patios are:

  • very labor intensive if you choose to remove it someday
  • requires yearly sealing
  • tends to break down in inclement weather

If you are building a very large patio in your yard, then you should consider asphalt or stamped concrete, due to their flat surface.

Preform Pavers and Bricks Advantages and Disadvantages

There are a multitude of preformed pavers and bricks on the market today. 

The major advantages of preform pavers and bricks are:

  • relatively inexpensive
  • variety of colors and shapes
  • long lasting

The major disadvantages of preform pavers and bricks are:

  • they require grouting with sand each year
  • bricks and pavers tend to shift and leave an uneven surface
  • grass and weeds will grow in the cracks between bricks

Pavers and bricks can make a very nice looking patio. However, due to all of the spaces between them, there is a tendency for the bricks to move around, and for weeds to sprout between them. Also, shifting bricks can make the surface hard to navigate for those in a wheelchair, or who are not stable on their feet. 

Stamped Concrete Advantages and Disadvantages

Stamped concrete is one of the most versatile, long lasting options for building a patio.

The major advantages of stamped concrete patios are:

  • unlimited variations of colors
  • ability to completely design your unique stamp
  • reinforced with mesh to last for decades, even in horrible weather

Honestly, there aren't really any disadvantages to stamped concrete. The patio will be flat and easy to move around on for your disabled relative in their wheelchair. And, thanks to all of the advances in stains and coloring, you can get a patio in nearly any color you choose. Talk to a professional like Shears Concrete to learn more about your design options with concrete.

Additionally, you can now design your own stamp for your concrete patio. This means that you can have a 100% unique patio!

Natural Stone Advantages and Disadvantages

Natural stone has been quarried and used for patios for many, many years. While natural stone tends to be pricey, it is also beautiful to look at.

The major advantages of natural stone patios are:

  • beautiful, natural earth look
  • lasts forever
  • wide array of colors from black slate to light flagstone

The major disadvantages of natural stone patios are:

  • very expensive 
  • uneven surface
  • grout areas can grow weeds

While natural stone patios are wonderful to look at, they do not make a good option for a disabled accessible patio due to their uneven surface. Additionally, natural stone patios will require work each year to re-grout and prevent weed and grass growth between the stones.

Conclusion

By taking the needs of your disabled relative into mind while designing your new backyard oasis, you can ensure that everyone in your family can enjoy your yard. The easiest surfaces for disabled travel are asphalt or stamped concrete.

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