Weather-wise, we can say without a doubt that Quebec is full of ups and downs! From freezing winters to heat waves summer after summer, we have to deal with great variation in temperatures. These variations cause a phenomenon of freezing and thawing, which can be abrupt on outdoor installations. The bad weather that periodically descends on the province doesn’t help the sustainability of any landscapes. When it comes to the installation of a patio or a terrace, we must keep in mind that the chosen materials must overcome any weather. Have a hard time making sense of it all ? Avoid unpleasant surprises and consult our guide in order to help you choose the right materials that are appropriate for a landscaping project in Quebec.
Before the landscaping project begins
Before starting any work, there are several factors to consider in order to bring your project to completion. First of all, a decision must be made : should you go for a patio or a deck ? After you’ve made your decision, you’ll need to look at the various practical factors and municipal rules. Indeed, some municipalities have very specific construction regulations. To avoid unpleasant surprises, refer to the building and construction code of your municipality. In order to do so, it’s important to ask yourself these questions :
- How much money am I willing to invest in this project ?
- What style suits me the most ?
- Do I have the time and desire to take care of the maintenance ?
- What activities will I do in this space ?
Once you answer all these questions, it’ll be much easier to make an informed decision and start planning your landscaping project with the help of a designer or architect. Keep reading this blog post to discover all the various types of wood and stones that are available for your project, and learn more about their advantages and disadvantages !
Treated wood patio
One of the most popular patio is the one made from treated wood. Many people choose it due to the fact that it’s economical and versatile. This type of wood can be dyed or painted in various colors. However, you should opt for UV and water resistant paint or dye. Keep in mind that you’ll probably have to give it a fresh coat every few years, depending on its exposition to the sun and severe weather conditions. Horizontal surfaces could benefit from a new coat every year to give it a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Cedar has an excellent reputation regarding any outdoors projects. In fact, it is well known for its resistance to mildew and its longevity, which can last up to twenty years. The downside is that it can be a pretty expensive option, and it requires annual maintenance. You also have to be realistic about its appearance. Even if you apply a protective coating, cedar has a tendency to turn gray when exposed to the sun. It’s important to keep all the factors in mind if you choose to go with this type of wood.
Ipe is an exotic type of wood that comes from South America. It has become an increasingly popular product over the years in Quebec. It has several advantages that are similar to treated wood, in addition to offering better resistance. Generally speaking, Ipe wood has a life expectancy of more than forty years if well treated. That can make a big difference if you are looking for durability ! A nice advantage is that the maintenance is quite easy !
Note that It is recommended to clean the wood and apply a UV protector annually to prevent discoloration. The only real downside is that it can be quite expensive, so you must be aware that it’s an investment, but that will pay off in the long run.
Natural stone patio
Natural stone patios and decks have proven to be effective and resistant throughout any type of weather. When the execution is done by a professional, you are guaranteed to get that « wow-factor »! Natural stone paving not only creates a natural and refined look, but its durability is excellent. In fact, properly maintained natural stone will last a lifetime. However, you have to carefully choose the type of stone since, subject to cold, some can be the cause of problems. For instance, when the surface of slates is frozen, it becomes quite slippery and its edges sharp. Your landscape designer can guide you and offer you some advice while planning on using natural stone. Note that, despite some beliefs, it is also possible to have smooth finishes in natural stone.
Prefabricated concrete cobblestone pavement
Concrete cobblestone pavement is a very versatile option. There is a wide range available, which makes the price very variable from one arrangement to another. Concrete slabs are generally resistant to freezes and thaws, and its maintenance is done once a year. It gets easily cleaned with water, and touch ups can be done with polymeric sand, where imperfections show up. The use of polymeric sand can be of great benefit since it prevents grass from growing in the joints. Given the wide variety of pavers available, the durability will depend on the quality of the stones chosen. Thinner pieces will often be less resistant.Therefore, it’ll be necessary to make the right choice of material according to the anticipated covered spaces.
When creating plans for any landscaping project, you have to quickly asset which material will be used to design the deck or patio. This decision must be based on the aesthetic you want, the budget you have and the maintenance you are willing to do. With your landscape designer, you can choose carefully which option is the best for you !