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Patio - worth paying more for real stone (instead of fake slabs)?

(8 Posts)
TheElementsSong Thu 15-Jan-15 14:16:10

We've had a couple of companies to quote for relaying our patio and extending into the side return. Current patio is mixed size concrete slabs (that are supposed to look like stone) and actually not too unattractive. Side return is permanently in shade and is half soil in which no plants can survive and half cracked poured concrete. We want the whole thing to look like one coherent surface.

Both guys who came to quote said that it was up to us whether we go for stone-a-like concrete slabs again or real stone this time, materials being separate to labour in the quotes. I think it will make a rather significant difference to the price because it's almost 40sqm (sorry haven't worked out the actual difference as supposed to be working not MNetting wink) but in principle is it worth paying more for real stone?

Rhubarbgarden Thu 15-Jan-15 15:50:53

Well I would say yes, personally, but it depends on your budget. Natural materials are always more attractive. It can also be a selling point for the house should you ever decide to sell.

TheElementsSong Thu 15-Jan-15 17:00:01

Yes, I see your point! In general we would also prefer natural materials. Budget is a bit tight right now unfortunately, as the patio is just part of some more essential maintenance we are getting these guys to work on at the same time. And it looks like sandstone could be up to 50% more expensive (says Google) sad DH and I will discuss further tonight.

aircooled Thu 15-Jan-15 18:38:40

If there's any chance you can go for real stone now, do it. We chose 'fake' slabs (for quite a large area) after spending ££££s on house renovation but it was false economy - we were never happy and after a few years they looked awful. We finally had them ripped up and some stone ones laid - no regret at the outlay, they look lovely and so much classier. Just sorry we 'paid twice'. Wait until you can splash out on the real thing.

Anomaly Sat 17-Jan-15 08:55:40

I would go and look at what you can get. There are some awful concrete slabs out there but the good fakes look fine. When we priced it up the difference was significant. We're in a new house now and the patio was already down. I have no idea if its 'real' or 'fake' but its been down 12 years and still looks good.

DoItTooJulia Sat 17-Jan-15 09:10:43

Dh is a landscaper.

A lot of it depends on the finish and therefore the quality of the workmanship. Dh loves working with natural stone, and some of the results have been stunning. But the customers paid a lot of money for the stone.

I would say that you ought to get samples, and not just one slab: natural stone can have a lot of colour variation which can be a surprise for some people.

You also need to think about the 'grout' colour. The right man made slab, with the right grout, laid properly can also look stunning. Go and see some examples in the flesh too: landscaing centres will have some.

Also consider the ethical implications: some stone is ethically better than others.

You'll be spending a lot of money either way, so do look into it. A decent landscaper will help you do this.

gardeningdan70 Sat 17-Jan-15 22:05:17

Cheap natural stone is often worse than a well constructed fabricated slab, real stone can flake, either through frost action or from being shaken through transport. all natural materials have faults and though should be given to which is right for your garden.

Slate - slippy in wet, cracks in heavy frost
Limestone - goes green, flakes and cracks
block paving - always fill with weeds

as a gardener for decades it is the quality of the slab and materials used especially the drainage under the patio area that counts. P.s keep away from red slabs (Iron oxide reacts badly to light and turns pink after 10 years)

TheElementsSong Sun 18-Jan-15 07:17:20

OK, we looked at the samples yesterday and to my surprise, we preferred one of the fake slabs! We want the new patio to complement the flooring inside the kitchen which is real stone, but sort of smooth-looking with only a subtle texture if that makes any sense. The real stone slabs we saw were of the natural, riven type - absolutely gorgeous but not the look we wanted (except for a couple of really expensive ones which there was no way we could afford). One of the textured fake slabs almost perfectly matched the colour we had in mind. DH now convinced we will go for that!

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