When you're ready to install a new sidewalk, repair an existing sidewalk, or need a sidewalk replacement, where your sidewalk begins can seem like a daunting undertaking. There are so many things to consider when choosing a sidewalk material - how your sidewalk's surface will impact your curb appeal, the amount of traffic your sidewalk will accommodate, and the cost to install it.
A professional sidewalk contractor can consult with you to discuss guidelines and specifications mandated by your governing authority, how your sidewalk or walkway will be used, and your budget. Here are a few of the more common sidewalk materials that are used in Queens, along with the pros and cons of using each.
Concrete has been in use since ancient Roman times for building structures, roads, and sidewalks. Concrete's longevity and durability can't be beat. Concrete is easy to install and maintain, although it should be sealed to prevent water intrusion, erosion, and cracking.
Concrete can take on a variety of applications. A concrete contractor can create designs in concrete using pre-formed molds, stamping tools, or by grinding areas to create artistic visions or faux grout-lines. Concrete can also be tinted with pigments.
Because of its resilience and versatility, concrete is generally the preferred choice for sidewalks in high-traffic areas. It is slip-resistant and can tolerate weather extremes, making it the wise choice for New York's environment. It is also one of the more cost-effective options for larger sidewalk installation and is a breeze to maintain when you call a sidewalk repair expert for regular repairs.
Granite is prevalent in the sidewalks of Soho and Tribecca and certainly makes an elegant statement. Granite is the hardest and least-porous of the natural stones - and it is also one of the most expensive. Usually installed in large sheets or tiles, granite is used in many of the landmark sidewalks throughout New York. It's a low-maintenance option that is tolerant of temperature extremes and resists damage, but it can present a slip hazard in icy or rainy conditions.
Brick is a classic with a traditional appeal and a variety of options. It comes in a multitude of colors (think about the magnificent red-brick streets of Queens!) and can be installed in differing patterns for a custom look. Recycled brick creates a unique aesthetic, and even new brick can be made to look like it is aged. Brick is a cost-effective and fun option for your sidewalk installation project.
Interlocking pavers come in a slew of colors, styles, and thicknesses and can really take your curb appeal to the next level. Pavers are pre-formed blocks, usually made from concrete, that simulate materials like stone and tile. Pavers are easy to install, budget-friendly, and make a beautiful statement. Repairs and additions are a snap, as damaged pavers are simple to remove and replace. Their durability and pleasing appearance make them a popular choice for updating your sidewalk.
A century ago, bluestone was the predominant material used for sidewalks throughout New York. Indigenous to neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights and Harlem, bluestone is used today for historic and landmark sidewalk repairs throughout New York, but its use for new sidewalk applications is making a marked comeback. While it may not be as budget-friendly as some of the other materials used here, the nostalgic attraction of bluestone makes it a popular choice for sidewalks in Queens.
When you need sidewalk repair or sidewalk replacement in Queens, a professional sidewalk contractor can help you choose the best path.
With so many options, the hardest thing about your sidewalk may be choosing which hard material you want to use. Take a look around your neighborhood and consult with a professional to ensure that your sidewalk project is heading in the right direction.