The material you choose for your porch will determine its aesthetics, durability, and overall lifespan, so it’s important to take your time and research your options.
Most residential porches are constructed from either concrete or brick pavers. Both material options have their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll cover these pros and cons in this blog and considerations to help you choose the best material for your project.
Concrete can last for many decades when properly installed, although the exact lifespan will vary based on climate and other environmental conditions. Concrete stands up to most weather conditions and is strong and long-lasting. However, over time, concrete can chip, crack, and break, especially if it hasn’t been sealed or properly maintained.
Some of the advantages of a concrete porch surface relative to a brick paver surface include:
- It can be aesthetically versatile, especially when stained and/or stamped.
- Concrete is faster and easier to install.
- It can be less costly to install, although that will vary based on the type of concrete used, how much is being installed, and if there are other aesthetic considerations (stamping, coloring, etc.)
While it’s possible for pavers to crack and break, concrete slabs are more prone to deep cracking, sometimes causing extensive effects and necessitating replacement or expensive repair.
Additionally disadvantages of using concrete to build porches include:
- Due to greater expansion and contraction, it doesn’t stand up as well as pavers to extreme climatic conditions.
- Concrete is generally more difficult and costly to repair or replace than pavers.
- Concrete requires sealing on an annual or bi-annual basis.
- Poured concrete is more prone to developing appearance flaws than pavers, especially if it isn’t properly installed.
Is It the Best Option for You?
Concrete is a good option if you don’t live in an area prone to extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations. Although concrete does exhibit weather resistance, it is generally more sensitive to weather changes than bricks. So, if you live in an area prone to these temperature and humidity fluctuations, brick pavers might be the better choice.
Additionally, bad weather can cause cracking in concrete, and the cracks can span long distances, even causing large sections of the pad to buckle and twist. This deep cracking means that repairing concrete is typically a larger, more involved process than fixing paver problems. In some cases, the entire concrete pad may need to be replaced—you can often replace a small number of bricks that have cracked or crumbled.
Brick Paver Porches
When used to construct porches, brick pavers have several advantages over concrete:
- Brick can shift slightly without disrupting the overall layout.
- It’s ready to use immediately after installation, unlike concrete, which has a cure time.
- It can be installed over an existing concrete slab if it is still structurally sound.
- Brick requires very little maintenance.
- It does not need to be sealed.
- Brick is available in numerous sizes, shapes, and styles, giving you more design options for your existing home and landscape.
The primary disadvantage of brick pavers is related to improper installation. If the subsurface isn’t prepared correctly, you’ll likely experience significant shifting, progressive unevenness, and repetitive weed growth. This is why hiring a professional to install your brick porch is critical.
Is It the Best Option for You?
A brick paver porch is a good choice if you want more design options and enhanced aesthetics relative to a concrete porch. It’s also difficult to beat the durability of properly paved surfaces. Indeed, some Colonial-era roads and sidewalks are still in excellent shape today, even after well over a century of constant, heavy use.
When selecting materials, be sure you consider:
- How much maintenance you are willing to do.
- How much material you need.
- How much you’re willing to spend on an installation.
- How quickly you need to use the porch after it’s been installed.
- Your environmental and climatic conditions.
- How often will the porch be used.
- What other elements or structures are being added to the porch.
- How quickly you need the porch installed.
Install Your New Porch With Help From All Brick
Hiring a professional to handle a concrete or brick paver porch installation project is always worth it when you consider the long-term value of the finished product. While doing it yourself might seem feasible, many people lack the tools, knowledge, or time needed to produce professional-grade results.
If you’re considering installing a brick paver porch, let our team at All Brick help you. We specialize in all types of brick paver installation and repair projects. You can view some of our past patio/porch projects here.
Please contact us today if you have questions about brick porches or to schedule a project consultation. We look forward to serving you!