How to Level a Gravel Driveway: Everything You Need to Know

Gravel is the perfect solution for any homeowner that is looking for a beautiful, unique and affordable means of constructing a driveway. Many homeowners miss out on the opportunity to work with this versatile material, though, because they mistakenly believe that gravel driveways require too much maintenance.

In reality, taking the proper steps necessary to level a gravel driveway – both at the time of construction and throughout the driveway’s lifetime – will make caring for a gravel driveway very easy and will give you the highest return on your initial investment. To help you out, our experts have offered up some gravel driveway suggestions on how to level driveway.

Leveling a Gravel Driveway During Construction

When building a new gravel driveway, it’s imperative that you take the time to ensure that your driveway is leveled properly. Leveling a driveway during this phase of development involves several steps and processes:

Excavation – Before you can begin introducing crushed stone and gravel to your driveway, you need to properly excavate the area. In order to be successful, you need to dig to the depths recommended by experts and completely clear the space of any obstructions or debris that could create problems for you in the future.

This means that you will need to dig out and physically remove any large boulders or stones, root systems, sticks or other fragments that may present themselves. Leaving items like these at the base of your gravel driveway will prevent the drive from being leveled properly and can create further issues with shifting and settling in the years ahead.

Landscaping Fabric – No matter how well you clear away debris from the base of your new gravel driveway, you will still encounter problems if you don’t take measures to prevent weeds and other vegetation from growing underneath the stone and gravel.

The simplest and most effective solution to this potential dilemma is to lay down a layer of landscaping fabric between the earth and the crushed stone base layer.

Grading – You don’t want your gravel driveway’s base to be completely flat, as this can eventually lead to problems with pooling water and flooding. When constructing your gravel driveway, you need to grade it so that the driveway slopes slightly away from your home and/or garage. This will prevent water from accumulating near your home and causing damages.

Compaction – After each layer of gravel has been poured into the driveway, you’ll need to use a tamping tool, a roller or some other type of tool to compact the stone thoroughly. This step is essential because it ensures that the layers will remain in place as you intended and will minimize the effect of settling and shifting over time, meaning less driveway maintenance work for you over time.

Raking – After everything else has been completed, you should go over the surface of your driveway and rake the gravel to a slight peak down the center line. This final phase of leveling will help to ensure that the surface has equal gravel coverage while also creating a path for water to follow in the event of rain.

In this way, water will flow away from your driveway instead of accumulating there, thus reducing the chance of stone displacement and leveling issues.

Leveling a Gravel Driveway Throughout the Years

As the owner of a gravel driveway, you’ll likely notice that, throughout years of regular usage, your gravel surface may become somewhat bumpy or uneven. This can happen for a number of reasons.

First, small bits of gravel can be scattered and displaced when vehicles drive across the surface. Secondly, the weight of vehicles and the force of gravity may cause some gravel to sink or settle, resulting in recessed areas of the driveway.

Crushed stone may also be displaced due to equipment used for wintertime maintenance. Finally, some gravel can be washed away and moved after periods of heavy rain or exposure to large volumes of water.

Although all of these causes are relatively unavoidable, they don’t have to create major headaches in your life. The process of leveling an uneven gravel driveway is simpler than you might imagine and can quickly restore your driveway to its former glory, both in terms of appearance and functionality.

The end result is a significant extension to your driveway’s lifespan without breaking the bank.

Initially, you may be tempted to simply rake gravel from one area of your driveway into another in order to fill in low spots. This will only create bigger troubles for you in the end, though, as it will simply create more weak spots throughout the driveway as a whole.

A better course of action is to “chop up” and intermix all of the driveway’s existing stones by making use of a box blade and tractor or a 3-point angle blade, re-compact or tamp it down and then apply a fresh 3” layer of gravel to the top of the driveway.

This process helps to bring all of the driveway’s gravel down to the level of the lowest recessions, ensuring that all low spots and voids are properly filled in. The fresh layer of gravel adds structural integrity to the surface of the drive.

If you’re not someone who likes to wait until the first signs of a problem to take action, you don’t necessarily have to bide your time until settling and shifting occurs. The process of leveling your gravel driveway with a box blade or other tool can be completed on an annual or bi-annual basis as a means of preventing issues from arising before they have the opportunity to do so.

Regardless of how frequently you choose to re-level and compact your gravel drive, it’s important to regularly rake over the surface of the gravel in order to remove debris and obstructions and to maintain a slight peak that runs down the center of the drive.

Constructing and Leveling a Gravel Driveway in NJ

When you’re ready to start constructing and/or leveling your gravel driveway, Braen Supply is here to help you through the process. As the leading landscaping supplier in NJ, we’re proud to offer a wide range of stone, masonry and landscaping supplies that will transform the look and vibe of your outdoor living space.

We are knowledgeable about the gravel we sell and can provide you with insider tips on how best to level out and compact your driveway with ease. We’re happy to answer any gravel driveway questions you may have about the process and can even point you in the right direction of a professional contractor who can handle the work on your behalf.

Feel free to visit us at one of our convenient NJ locations to talk about your upcoming project or give us a call to learn more about having gravel bulk delivered to your location today. Our crushed stone can be picked up at our location or bulk delivered throughout parts of NJ & NY and limited parts of PA & CT.

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How Much Do Patio Pavers Cost?

Throughout the years, patio pavers have continued to grow in popularity throughout NJ and the northeast, and the trend will continue to grow in 2018. As property owners continue to take advantage of improved economic conditions in order to upgrade the exterior of their homes and places of business, we expect to see a boom in the purchase and installation of patio pavers in the new year and beyond.

So, how much can an average person expect to spend on a project involving patio pavers? Consider the following information to dive deeper into this trend, explore what patio pavers cost and the many factors that influence cost to ensure that you get the best deal on pavers in 2018.

What Do Patio Pavers Cost?

Before you can start diving in and making plans to upgrade your landscape with patio pavers, you first need to have a working understanding of how much those patio pavers cost, and how to start creating an accurate budget.

While there are no “one-size-fits-all” answers to this question, you’ll find that there are some general rules and considerations that will help you to estimate how much you’ll need to plan on investing in patio pavers. In order to help you budget more accurately, here’s a closer look at some of the most important factors which impact patio paver pricing:


Patio pavers cost different amounts based on the materials that they are manufactured from. Patio pavers that were produced from 100% natural stone, for example, will tend to be more expensive than materials that were generated from concrete or brick. You may also find pavers that were manufactured from porcelain, and again, the costs may differ.


The overall price tag on your patio pavers will also vary depending on the manufacturer. There are a number of fantastic manufacturers of natural stone pavers, concrete pavers, brick pavers, and porcelain pavers throughout the United States. Each individual manufacturer may have its own processes for designing and engineering its pavers, and these processes can impact your final cost.


The manufacturer isn’t the only one that plays a role in how much your patio pavers will cost; it’s also very important to take the time to find the right paver supplier.

While some larger chain retailers have a tendency to inflate prices in order to maximize profits, other individual sellers may try to vend a sub-par or knockoff product for an extremely cheap price.

In order to avoid getting ripped off, it’s important to find suppliers that are authorized dealers for the patio paver brands they sell, or that manufacture their own natural stone products on-site. Be sure to shop around and get estimates from local suppliers in order to ensure that you get the best price possible.

Project Size & Scope

Obviously, the size and scope of your project will play a significant role in patio paver expenses. A very large, paved patio or front courtyard, for instance, will require much more material and labor than a small garden path or walkway.

This, in turn, results in an increased initial cost to you. Taking the time to carefully plan out your project needs and what works for your property will help you to ensure that your project size and scope doesn’t exceed your budget.


Different types of styles of patio pavers may come with a different price tag than others. Generally speaking, the more detail that goes into the design of pavers, the more expensive it will tend to be. This is because more extensive manufacturing processes are used to add texture and color to the pavers.


When considering how much patio pavers cost, it’s also smart to consider where the materials where manufactured and where they are coming from. Purchasing from a local supplier will mean that you won’t have to worry about paying for hidden transportation, shipping, and delivery fees.

In addition to saving you money, this also cuts back on your carbon footprint, as fewer emissions are used in the transpiration of your materials.

Fuel Prices

As fuel and oil prices fluctuate, so can the costs of patio pavers. This is because these costs can impact how much expense is required in the manufacture of pavers, as well as in their transportation from manufacturer locations to supplier stores. Fortunately, the outlook for fuel prices in 2018 is quite good at this time.


Once you’ve purchased your patio pavers, you’ll need to have a way of getting them from the supplier to your project site. If you have ordered bulk quantities of pavers, this will likely result in the need to have a professional delivery service transport your materials on your behalf.

In order to keep your patio paver costs at a minimum, it’s wise to choose a supplier that offers quality, affordable bulk paver delivery in your area.

Getting the Best Patio Paver Prices

Now that we’ve explored some of the factors that impact patio paver prices, you may find yourself wondering how you can get the very best deals. Here are a few tips for doing just that:

Stay Local

Avoid the extra hassle and costs associated with attempting to buy patio pavers online or from remote locations. It’s far more affordable to find a local supplier that will provide you with access to high-quality materials at reasonable rates.

Insist on Authorized Dealers

Never waste your time buying name brand patio paver products from suppliers that haven’t been authorized to sell them. The leading patio paver manufacturers require dealers to go through a specific process in order to ensure they have the knowledge required to properly sell their products.

Authorized dealers are the only suppliers who will have access to the latest manufacturer product offerings and who will be able to offer the lowest and most competitive prices.

Check Reviews

It’s always in your best interest to check out reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers before working with a prospective supplier. The best suppliers will have no problem providing you with references to happy clients.

Start Early

Patio pavers cost the most during “peak” construction season – generally late spring and summer. To keep your expenses at a minimum, it’s smart to start buying materials for your construction project early in 2018.

In addition to finding great deals, you’ll also be able to get a head start on finding the best contractor at the lowest rates, and you’ll be able to enjoy the completed project faster.

Buying Patio Pavers in NJ

If you’re looking for the best patio paver prices in NJ, you’ll find them at Braen Supply. As a leading manufacturer and supplier of tons of patio pavers from a range of different leading manufacturers, we are proud to connect customers like you with high-quality materials at affordable prices.

The Braen Supply team is always happy to work closely with you in order to provide valuable advice and to answer any questions you may have about choosing materials, the installation process, pricing, etc.

Our patio pavers are always available at the lowest and most competitive rates and can be picked up at your convenience or bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ & NY and limited parts of PA & CT.

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The 5 Patio Designs that Will Never Go Out of Style

If you love spending time in the outdoors, you’ve probably given some serious thought to installing a paver patio. A well-constructed paver patio can help you maximize your outdoor living space while adding to the curb appeal and dollar value of your property. In order for a patio to continue satisfying your needs and wants into the future, though, you have to get the style just right.

After all, you don’t want to spend your time and energy building a patio that will only be considered fashionable and attractive until the next big trend sweeps the nation.

Instead, you want to settle on a style that transcends the tests of time and will continue to look fabulous, come what may. So which paver patio styles will never go out of style? Here’s a look at five of our favorites:

1. Bluestone

NJ homeowners absolutely love the look of natural stone and bluestone is one of the most popular varieties of natural stone available for paver patios. Bluestone is available in either “all blue” (strictly in shades of blue and blue-gray) or in “full color”, where shades of green, tan or beige may be present.

Regardless of the color chosen, the smooth, sleek and classically elegant look of bluestone creates a sense of timeless beauty that will make you fall in love with your patio time and again.

Bluestone can be used for a patio in one of two ways. First, the bluestone can be purchased with an irregular flagstone cut. This way the stone is naturally split into irregular shapes that can be fit together like a puzzle.

The other option is to purchases bluestone with a dimensional cut. Natural cleft bluestone, for example, can be arranged into geometrical patterns.

2. Tennessee Buff

Tennessee Buff stone is another great option for those who are interested in working with natural flagstone for their paver patio. This particular type of paving material is composed of struggling and durable sandstone. As a result, you’ll notice numerous shades of warm browns, tans, beiges, and buffs.

These warm hues generate a feeling of warmth and comfort throughout the patio area. This makes the pavers perfect for establishing outdoor living rooms and dining rooms that will look incredible throughout the generations.

Another interesting aspect of Tennessee Buff flagstone is that its rich, sandstone texture creates more visual interest and extra traction. Tennessee Buff, like Bluestone, is available in either an irregular and naturalistic cut or in a dimension cut. This “honed” version of Tennessee Buff allows for a smoother and more consistent finish.

3. Clay Brick

Perhaps natural stone isn’t what you’re looking for. Whether you feel that natural stone is a little too pricey or it just doesn’t fit with the style that you’re trying to achieve, you’ll find that you can still have a sense of classic and timeless beauty by working with clay brick pavers. Brick pavers have been used throughout the centuries to pave roads, paths and courtyards.

Today, a growing number of NJ homeowners are bringing this Old World look to their own backyards by establishing stunning patios with clay brick pavers. Brick pavers offer a subtle elegance to any space and because the pavers are available in a wide range of different colors, it’s easy to find a style that will meet your needs in the many years ahead.

In addition to looking great, clay brick pavers are also extremely practical for the present and the long-term. This is because brick pavers are able to adapt when the ground beneath it shifts. This means that your paver patio will continue to look and function perfectly for a long time.

4. Concrete Pavers

If you love the look of natural stone but don’t feel like it’s the most practical or affordable option for your paver patio, we suggest that you consider working with well-crafted concrete pavers.

Manufactured and designed concrete pavers, actually look just like natural stone. Because the pavers are available in a number of different shapes, sizes, styles, and colors, it’s simple to find a style that speaks to your unique tastes and that you feel that you’ll love both now and in the future.

5. Porcelain Pavers

Finally, porcelain is a fine option for constructing a paver patio that will never go out of style. Like concrete pavers, porcelain is manufactured to look and feel just like natural stone.

Because it is designed and engineered professionally, each paver is uniform and consistent, allowing you to achieve absolute perfection with your paver patio design. Outdoor porcelain pavers don’t always look like natural stone, though.

In addition to emulating beautiful stone flagging, porcelain pavers can be manufactured to look like natural hardwood. Hardwood design is a style that has endured throughout centuries of interior and exterior design and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

The beauty of working with porcelain pavers over actual hardwood is that you won’t have to worry about the “wood” becoming weathered or warped after being exposed to the elements. Instead, porcelain is extremely tough and durable and will continue to meet your needs for as long as you live in your home – and beyond.

Choosing the Right Materials for Your Paver Patio

Each of the materials listed above would make an excellent choice for a long-lasting and beautiful paver patio that would boost your property value both now and in the future. Making the right decision for your home will depend on your unique needs and style preferences.

In order to determine if a certain material would look amazing within the scope of your landscape, we suggest requesting samples from your manufacturer or supplier, as well as taking advantage of online design software programs and tools.

Be sure to also spend some time talking to your supplier about the materials you’re considering. The more you know about the paver patio products, the better a decision you will be able to make for your own project.

Buying Paver Patio Materials in NJ

Braen Supply is a top supplier of patio materials in NJ and its surrounding areas. We produce high-quality, natural stone flagging from our locally owned and operated quarries and we are also authorized to act as dealers for some of the biggest brand names in concrete and porcelain pavers.

As such, we are able to offer a massive inventory of materials to suit your every need and whim. Feel free to visit our local showroom for inspiration for your project and feel free to ask questions and obtain advice from our team of experts.

Our paver patio materials are available for pickup or they can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ and NY and limited parts of PA and CT.
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How To Clean Pavers Around a Pool

If your backyard has a pool, chances are that your house is the local hot spot for swimming and getting together during the summer months. Before you can allow your friends, neighbors and family to make use of your swimming pool, you need to feel confident that the deck pavers are in tip-top condition.

Pavers that have been properly cleaned, sealed and maintained are much safer and more inviting than concrete or brick paving stones that are dirty or covered in mold. So, how do you take steps to ensure that your pool deck will impress all of your invited guests?

Consider all the basics of proper pool deck maintenance, so that you know exactly how to clean pavers and keep them looking fabulous from year to year.

Benefits to Learning How to Clean Pavers

Before you can start learning how to clean pavers, you have to determine that this is something that you actually need to do. After all, who wants to spend time cleaning their pool deck just for fun? If you feel as though your pavers are lacking color or structurally unsound, then learning how to clean pavers might be the best solution for you. Fortunately, the process of cleaning pavers is not very labor-intensive or time-consuming. Even more fortunate, learning how to properly clean pavers can yield significant results. Some key benefits include:

  • Lasting Color – The pavers that you choose for your swimming pool deck were likely carefully selected for their rich and attractive color palette. Pavers that have been designed for use around swimming areas feature an array of hues that contrast majestically against the glittering blue waters of the pool. It’s only natural, then, that you would desire to keep these colors as vibrant and vital as possible – even when exposed to the sun, wind, rain and snow. Careful maintenance and cleaning will help to ensure that the colors continue to “pop” and look spectacular for the long haul.
  • Pristine Appearance – A well-loved pool is one that is used frequently. Whether you and your family are choosing to lounge poolside in luxurious chairs or your kids are constantly padding their feet back and forth across the deck as they practice their best cannonball jumps and dives, your pavers are sure to be subject to some wear and tear after time. The overall appearance of the stone can become marred, faded, scuffed and stained after being exposed to heavy volumes of foot traffic, chemicals from the pool, spilled food and drink, sliding patio furniture and more. By choosing to regularly clean your pavers you can address any problems as they arise and keep your pool deck in pristine condition without having to spend a lot of money on a professional overhaul.
  • Improved Safety – Although a good sealant can help to discourage major problems from occurring, your pavers may still be prone to the growth of mold, mildew and algae. It’s only natural for materials that are exposed to damp conditions on a regular basis to develop issues like these. Left untreated, mold, mildew and algae can create health hazards and can cause slips and falls. Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent these types of growth by simply sticking to a regular cleaning schedule.
  • Protected Investment – Despite the fact that both concrete and brick pavers are quite affordable, making the decision to install a paved pool deck still requires an investment of your money and your time. The last thing you want is for your project to become deteriorated in a matter of just a few years. When properly cared for, pavers can last for a very long time, thus giving you the best return on your initial investment. It’s in your best interest, then, to set aside a little time to keep your pavers in peak condition so that they will continue to serve your needs throughout the years. Proper cleaning and maintenance can also help to protect any warranties that you have on the pavers.

Necessary Materials

In order to clean and care for your pool deck pavers, you’ll need to have the following materials on hand:

  • Push broom or brush
  • Garden hose with nozzle setting
  • Power/pressure washer
  • Mild detergent or cleaner
  • Rotary surface cleaner (optional)

How to Clean Pavers Around Your Pool

Learning how to clean pavers around your swimming pool is quite simple and once you get into the routine of doing so, you’ll find that it doesn’t take much time at all. The main reason for regularly cleaning your pavers is to prevent dirt, dust, salt, chemicals and other debris from having the time and ability to build up and create difficult stains and problems for your pool deck.

Usually, you can address these issues by sweeping the deck or spraying it down with a garden hose. Sometimes, though, a little more power is needed to discourage those stubborn patches of dirt from sticking around. In this case, you might consider using a pressure washer.

If you opt to go this route, be sure to use the fan setting in order to prevent high pressured streams of water from causing damage to the sand between paver joints.

In the event that food or drink are spilled on the pavers, be sure to treat the area immediately. Often these stains can be addressed with a simple solution of a mild detergent or cleaner, like dish soap and water. Scrub the solution over the affected area with a push broom and rinse thoroughly once the stain has been lifted.

We suggest that you cover your pool before cleaning and make sure all debris has been filtered out or skimmed prior to swimming.

Other Tips and Suggestions

Knowing how to clean pavers around your pool deck is very important, but your cleaning efforts will be much simpler and more effective if you also make sure to seal the pavers after they have been installed.

A good sealant that’s compatible with your specific pavers will help to lock in the color of the stones, prevent fading and discoloration, add strength and structural integrity, make it more difficult for stains to become absorbed and set in the brick or concrete and will stop water from being able to get into any tiny fissures and freezing and cracking during the winter months. After the initial sealing, we suggest that you re-seal the pavers at least every 2-3 years.

Make sure that you also know how to care for your pavers during the winter months. Some materials react badly to rock salt and other ice melting chemicals which can cause discoloration and staining. Be sure to consult with a trusted professional and review manufacturer instructions prior to using any ice melt.

If you still have questions about how to clean pavers around your pool or other areas throughout your property, the experts at Braen Supply can help. We work with the leading manufacturers of concrete and brick pavers, providing us with valuable insights into working with these high-quality materials. We’re happy to walk you through the process and take the time to ensure that you understand what needs to be done in order to keep your pavers looking and functioning great. We sell the materials that you need to clean and reseal your pavers at the most competitive prices on the market. Give us a call or visit us to get started today.

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Pavers at Lowes & Home Depot

Pavers Buying Guide: Lowes & Home DepotWhen it comes to pavers and other home construction materials, many consumers are tempted to shop at big-box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

While these stores do offer a wide range of materials at relatively low prices, they aren’t the best place to shop for concrete and clay paver products. What you might save in price, you’ll lose in variety, experience, and expertise. If you need a wide variety of options or trustworthy advice from an experienced professional, chances are you won’t find those resources at either of these stores.

The main problem with buying pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot is that the store associates don’t have specialized knowledge of most of the products they’re selling. Typically, you’ll find that the people working in these stores have only a generalized understanding of the items in the store. In most cases, they lack a detailed and comprehensive outlook on the relative merits of various pavers, and won’t be able to offer the same kind of thorough advice as a specialist.

Consider these three main problems with these big-box stores before you purchase your pavers from them.

Problems with Buying Pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot: Limited Stock

One of the first problems you’ll encounter when buying pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot is a relatively limited stock. Because these superstores sell hundreds or even thousands of individual products, they don’t have the floor space or the warehouse space to store a diverse range of pavers and other bulk supplies. As a result, you’ll be limited to only a few different types of pavers, none of which may be ideal.

If you limit yourself to what’s on the shelf at Lowe’s or Home Depot, you may have to compromise your vision or work with materials that are below your standards. Because you’re making a significant investment in your home, you should always insist on getting the best possible quality for the lowest possible price. That’s how you’re going to generate the most advantageous possible return on the money you’re paying for the project.

Problems with Buying Pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot: Limited Experience

As mentioned, the staff members at stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot probably won’t have a great deal of detailed information or knowledge about pavers. Because these store associates need to help customers with a very wide range of home improvement needs, they tend to be “jacks of all trades and masters of none.” Because you are investing a lot of time and resources into redesigning your landscaping, you want to be sure that you get advice from someone who is truly well-versed in this type of project.

Working with a company that specializes in stone products is a far better way to take advantage of professional advice. Businesses that deal only in stone will be able to offer far more in terms of guidance; that kind of customer service excellence can make all the difference.

Problems with Buying Pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot: Limited Understanding of What’s Involved in Installation

It’s worth considering whether or not anyone you’ll deal with at Lowe’s or Home Depot has actually performed an installation job involving pavers. If you’re planning to complete the installation on your own, you’ll need advice from someone who’s actually been there.

Specialty suppliers that work only with stone can provide very helpful installation tips that you just won’t find from a faceless big box retailer.

Stop Buying Pavers at Lowe’s and Home Depot! Choose Braen Supply Instead

Braen Supply is one of New Jersey’s most trusted suppliers of premium-quality concrete and clay paver products. Stone is all we do, so we have an advanced and highly developed understanding of the various products on the market. If you have questions about performance characteristics, durability or the suitability of a particular type of stone for a specific application, we can offer far more help than you’re likely to get at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

We also offer a much wider range of options, all at prices that are highly competitive. Thanks to our superior customer service, we also provide a far more reliable and confidence-inspiring shopping experience. To learn more, or to arrange a detailed project consultation, please contact us at Braen Supply.

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The Truth about Paver Patio Cost & Outdoor Living

If you’re ready to install the paver patio of your dreams, you’ll need to know exactly what goes into planning, installing and completing the project.

Yes, paver patios are a fabulous, low-cost investment that are easy to budget for, but you’ll only be fully prepared to get started when you understand everything involved with your outdoor living space.

So what, exactly, does a paver patio cost and how can you make sure that you’ve allocated the right amount of money for your upcoming project? Here’s everything you need to know.

Paver Patio Cost #1: The Planning Phase

Daydreaming about what your perfect paver patio would look like isn’t enough to get the ball rolling on your project. To ensure that you can move forward with your plans, you should have your property assessed by a professional and have them create an outdoor living plan for you.

They will be able to help you best utilize the space you have. You should also contact your local Building Department to inquire about the proper permits and requirements for large backyard projects.

The costs of these types of services may vary based on your specific city or township, you’ll need to make a few calls in order to work these costs into your patio design budget.

Paver Patio Cost #2: Tools, Machinery and Equipment

Because patio paver installations are relatively simple, many NJ homeowners make the decision to handle the construction process on their own. If you have experience with hardscaping or you’d like to try DIY, this might sound like an appealing option.

We always recommend leaving it to the professionals, but if you insist on doing it yourself, you will need special tools, machinery and equipment on hand. Since most people don’t have the right tools at their disposal, you’ll need to either buy or rent the necessary tools to get the job done right.

Rentals make more sense financially, but you should do your due diligence and research the costs of each option. Consider the benefits of buying vs. renting in order to get the most bang for your buck.

Be sure to look into the installation processes recommended by the manufacturer of your patio pavers in order to get the best idea about the type of equipment you’ll need to have on hand. For many paver patio projects, equipment such as backhoes, tamping tools, rollers and vibrating plates may be necessary.

Patio Paver Cost #3: Contractor Fees

Not everyone feels confident in their ability to handle a paver patio project on their own. Unless you have experience in handling home construction or landscaping projects, we generally recommend that you seek out the professional help of a local contractor.

This, of course, will mean that you’ll need to set aside some funds for skilled labor. In order to get the best deal possible, it’s in your best interest to look for a contractor that has a good amount of experience working with the materials that you have selected for your paver patio project.

This will ensure that the job is done correctly so that you are able to take advantage of manufacturer warranties and won’t have to worry about re-doing the work later on. When in doubt, it’s smart to ask your paver manufacturer or supplier for their recommendations and always take the time to research customer reviews online.

Paver Patio Cost #4: Base Materials

To be structurally sound, every paver patio needs to start off with a  solid base layer of aggregate materials like crushed stone. As a general rule, you’ll want your base to be at least 4″ deep. T

he costs associated with your base aggregate material will depend on the type of aggregate you choose to work with, your supplier and the size of your project area. For best results, choose a local supplier that also manufactures its own patio materials.

iThis will allow you to take advantage of the lowest wholesale rates. You’ll also be able to get more accurate information on the best type of aggregate for your project.

You should also use a materials calculator to figure out exactly how much aggregate you’ll need to fill in the base so that you can keep to your budget and avoid ordering too much or not enough of the material.

Paver Patio Cost #5: Paver Sand

The use of paver sand is the best way to make sure that your pavers don’t slip, slide and move out of place after time or prolonged usage.

Between 1/2-1″ of sand should be applied between the base layer of aggregate and your pavers and sand will also need to be poured between the joints of your pavers in order to lock them in place and prevent weeds from growing up and through them.

Polymeric sand is one of the best materials for paver installations, but it may cost a little bit more than regular sand. Just remember that the better quality the sand, the longer lasting and better off your completed paver patio will be.

Paver Patio Cost #6: The Pavers Themselves

It’s only at step 6 that we finally start to look at the cost of the actual pavers that will be acting as the surface of your new outdoor living space. Pavers can be made from a variety of materials, including natural stone, brick, concrete and porcelain.

The type of material you select for your paver patio will play a significant role in its final cost. Natural stone is a popular choice because it is sophisticated, timelessly elegant and long-lasting.

It can be a bit pricey, but the investment will pay you back tenfold throughout the years. If the initial cost of natural stone is too much, you can enjoy the same look by purchasing manufactured concrete and porcelain pavers that have been designed to look just like the real thing. You can talk to an expert about the right fit for your budget and style needs.

Paver Patio Cost #7: Delivery

Have you thought about how you’re going to get your pavers to your job site? Many NJ homeowners find themselves in need of an affordable bulk delivery service. If you don’t have a large truck capable of transporting your materials, make sure that you account for this extra cost in your paver patio budget.

Paver Patio Cost #8: Maintenance

One of the great things about paver patios is that they don’t require a whole lot of maintenance. Even so, you should talk to your supplier about whether or not the pavers will need to be seal coated, and if so, how often they will need to be re-sealed.

This will give you the most accurate understanding of what you’ll need to spend on your patio pavers now and in the future.

Paver Patios in NJ

Keep your paver patio cost as low as possible by working with Braen Supply. As the leading supplier of pavers and other patio materials in NJ, we have everything you need at the most competitive wholesale rates in the Tri-State area.

Our team is happy to help with your plans and our materials can be bulk delivered throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and PA.New Call-to-action

Thin Brick Veneer vs. Thin Stone Veneer

thin-veneerStone and thin brick veneers allow home and business owners to enjoy the look of stone or brick building accents, without the significant expense of materials and labor.

In addition to providing a beautiful look, the pocket of air created between the veneer layer and the surface of the building provide an extra layer of insulation, increasing your building’s energy efficiency.

In times past, skilled masonry workers would laboriously set each brick or stone in place, and seal them together using perfectly mixed mortar. While this type of construction was beautiful, it also required a lifetime of upkeep and maintenance to remain functional.

In addition to the skill required to install the stones and bricks, the materials themselves were responsible for supporting the entire building. Thus, if you removed them, or they were damaged, the integrity of the entire building was compromised. Stone and brick veneers are applied after the structure is complete, so if they are removed, the building will remain intact.

Here is a little information about how thin stone and thin brick veneer are used.

Thin Stone Veneer Guide: Benefits

While stone was originally used out of necessity, it has become an aesthetic building preference for many. Thin stone veneer can be used to cover the entire building facade, or it can be used as a decorative feature, covering the base or a particular portion of your home or business.

Thin stone veneer is comprised of man-made stones using Portland cement, pumice and other lightweight aggregates and pigments. The result is a facade that looks 100 percent natural, without the weight of natural stones, in colors and textures that meet the clients’ aesthetic preferences.

Thin stone veneer is flexible so it can be used on rounded surfaces in addition to traditional flat-surfaced facades. It requires traditional woodworking tools for installation, so no special installation skills are required. Because it often weighs just a fraction of the weight of natural stones, shipping costs are significantly cheaper.

Thin Brick Veneer Guide: Benefits

Unlike thin stone veneer, which is engineered, most thin brick veneer is made from the same kiln-fired clay brick as traditional building bricks. Similar to stone veneer, it does not require the time-consuming labor of a masonry expert in order to lay the bricks by hand.

Thin brick veneers come in sheets that are cut to size and are applied to the exterior of the house. Traditional brick homes and businesses are dependent on the brick work for structural integrity, however this isn’t possible in many building zones where regulations require strict standards for earthquake, wind and water safety. As such, brick veneers can be applied after your code-compliant building is complete, allowing you the look you want with the safety features you need.

Brick veneer is available in a wide range of colors and sizes and can be incorporated into every type of architectural style.

Thin Stone Veneer or Thin Brick Veneer: Which is Better?

Great question! Which do you prefer? At Braen Supply, we offer a wide range of both stone and brick veneer options. Both products are high-quality options that will provide an elegant exterior for decades to come. They are low-maintenance and come with generous warranties. Give us a call or come in and visit our showroom and view samples of thin stone and thin brick veneer facades to determine which look is best for your use. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can address all of your questions and concerns.

The Thin Stone Veneer Styles NJ Homeowners Are Raving About

Thin stone veneers are trending right now in New Jersey and its surrounding areas. Natural stone has long been a staple in the construction of New England home exteriors and interiors, so it’s only natural that you would be passionate about incorporating this look into your home’s design.

Unfortunately, natural stone and even full stone veneers are not always practical, affordable and in some cases, aren’t even possible.

In these cases, thin stone veneers make it possible for homeowners to bring the look and feel of natural stone to their properties. Consider whether thin stone veneers are the right fit for your NJ home and what style of thin stone veneer you should work with.

Thin Stone Veneers At-A-Glance

In order to make a smart decision about thin stone veneers, you need to have a solid understanding of what they are and what types of benefits they have to offer. Stone veneers are a form of stylish masonry that allows you to cover a surface (such as an interior or exterior wall) with a thin layer of natural or manufactured stone.

While full stone veneers do exist and are quite popular throughout our region, they may be too heavy or too bulky for some applications. For this reason, thin stone veneers were developed.

This popular alternative to full veneering removes all weight constraints and makes it much simpler to apply veneers to smaller, narrower spaces.

Although the production of thin stone veneers is more labor intensive and thus demands higher, upfront costs per-square-foot, you’ll quickly learn that the light weight of thin veneers makes it possible for labor and transportation costs to be cut in half and that your project can be completed in a much smaller window of time. The end result is a gorgeous veneer on a budget that you can afford.

Types of Thin Stone Veneers

All veneers are not created equally and homeowners are often delighted to learn that they have a number of options in terms of applying an attractive thin stone veneer to the interior or exterior of their homes.

Several popular methods of thin stone veneering exist, all of which come with their own merits. Here’s a look at the styles of thin stone veneers that are the most popular throughout NJ and the northeastern United States:


Homeowners have fallen in love with the look and vibe offered by thin stone veneers that are available in a square or rectangular pattern.

This particular styling is a great way to introduce the completely natural look of different types of stone to the interior or exterior of your home while still being able to maintain a sense of geometric balance and control.

In this type of arrangement, the thin stone veneer pieces are cut into square and/or rectangular shapes in order to create a visually familiar and pleasing pattern.

At the same time, the rectangles are not perfectly smooth and even, nor do they feature sharp, hard angles. This keeps the look of the veneer soft and natural, which New Jersey residents love.

natural thin stone veneer
Sam Braen Stone ® Thin Stone Veneer


Mosaic patterns are also trending. While a square or rectangular thin stone veneer pattern generally seeks to use veneers that have been cut into similar sizes and shapes, the Mosaic pattern shakes things up a bit by integrating large cut thin stone veneers with smaller units in a randomized pattern.

You’ll notice big squares, long rectangles and short, small or squat squares and rectangles. The similar geometric shapes add cohesion to the style, but the fact that the sizes and shapes are all intermixed creates a visually interesting facade that will continue to stimulate your senses throughout the years.

natural thin stone veneer
Sam Braen Stone ® Thin Stone Veneer

River Rounds

River rounds have long been a popular option in terms of home construction and decor. The soft, smooth, rounded appearance of river rock is very appealing to NJ homeowners and many people love the idea of introducing this look to the interior or exterior of their home.

With thin stone veneers, it’s possible to get the look without the weight or cost constraints presented by natural river rock or full stone veneers. River round thin stone veneers are arranged into a randomized pattern with equal spacing.

Often, the pattern features a wide range of river rounds in various sizes, shapes and even colors. This results in an effortless mosaic that is both sophisticated and whimsical at the same time.

natural thin stone veneer
Sam Braen Stone ® Thin Stone Veneer


NJ homeowners are crazy about the look of ledge stone. This natural veneer is designed to stack and be packed closely together.

The thin stone veneer is made of natural New England stone and is generally cut into long, thin, rectangular shapes and then layered in a style not too dissimilar from that of brick. In some cases, however, the ledge stone veneers are cut into smaller square shapes for layering and stacking.

Finally, ledge stone veneers may also be available in styles and patterns that allow homeowners to create a mosaic of both square and rectangular cuts of varying sizes in order to add more texture and variation.

natural thin stone veneer
Sam Braen Stone ® Thin Stone Veneer

Choosing the Right Thin Stone Veneers

When it comes to selecting the thin stone veneer style that is best for your home, it’s largely a matter of personal taste. All of the types of thin stone veneers that we have discussed in this post are well-loved by NJ homeowners and have a lot to offer in terms of aesthetics and longevity.

Consider the overall theme or style that you’re attempting to create within your space and imagine how each particular type of veneer would look within the scope of that theme. Listen to what your gut instinct is telling you about which style would best reflect your personality and align with your vision.

When in doubt, feel free to reach out to an expert for their opinion or to learn more about working with design software tools that might help you to better envision your completed project.

Working with Thin Stone Veneers in NJ

Braen Supply is the leading supplier of thin stone veneers in NJ and the Tri-State area. We work with a number of excellent stone veneering manufacturers and offer a massive inventory of beautiful thin stone veneers for you to choose from.

Our team is passionate about the products we sell and is more than happy to answer your questions about thin stone veneers or to provide you with advice on selecting and working with the right veneer for your home.

You’ll find that our thin stone veneers are always competitively priced at low, wholesale rates. Our materials can be picked up at your convenience or can be bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and PA.

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The 5 Best Patio Materials to Use for Your Outdoor Living Space

NJ homeowners make outdoor living a top priority and that means constructing a functional, beautiful and versatile patio. So how can you build an incredible patio that will meet the needs of you and your loved ones in the many years ahead?

Consider taking a closer look at some of the very best patio materials on the market today so that you can make smart decisions about crafting your dream outdoor living space.

Patio Floor

Of your different outdoor living and patio materials, the items you select to construct your patio floor are arguably the most important. Depending on your unique needs and preferences, you’ll have the freedom to choose from a variety of different material types. Three of our favorites include:

1. Natural Stone Flagging

Natural stone flagging has long been a popular option for those looking to construct a long-lasting and beautiful patio in their backyard. Natural stone is considered to be sophisticated and highly valuable, offering timeless elegance to any landscape or hardscape.

Materials like bluestone are available in numerous different color families and shades and can be cut into geometrical shapes or can feature irregular cuts for an even more natural appearance. It’s easy to create unique and interesting layouts that speak to your individual sense of style.

Natural stone holds up excellently against the changing seasons and elements and it is very easy to care for. This makes it easy to protect your investment in the long run and get the most value for your dollar spent on patio materials.

2. Concrete or Porcelain Pavers

Because natural stone can be a bit pricey, some NJ homeowners make the decision to work with a more affordable alternative: concrete or porcelain pavers. Although these materials are not comprised of natural stone, they are designed, engineered and manufactured to look exactly like the real thing.

Because they are manufactured, they can also offer a sense of uniformity and consistency that natural patio materials just can’t. Although the majority of concrete and porcelain pavers are designed to emulate natural stone, newer products are being designed to look exactly like natural hardwood. This allows for even more style versatility.

Regardless of the color or style of manufactured pavers that you choose to work with, you’ll find that you have countless options when it comes to layouts and configurations and that the patio materials are extremely tough, durable, weather-resistant, long-lasting and low maintenance.

3. Gravel

In recent years, a growing number of NJ homeowners have discovered that gravel can be a great alternative to pavers when constructing a beautiful outdoor living space. There are several different types of gravel, including standard crushed aggregate, pea gravel, and white marble chips that can be used to establish a stunning, loose fill patio.

Gravel is extremely affordable and easy to work with and no material makes it simpler to establish outdoor living areas with irregular design layouts. The materials also promote excellent drainage and are not impacted by the extreme weather fluctuations that occur in NJ and the northeast.


Many NJ homeowners like to take their patios to the next level by surrounding the floor area with an attractive edging material. These types of patio materials can help to improve the overall aesthetic of your backyard while improving the value of your home. You might consider working with:

4. Natural Stone

Because natural stone is so beautiful and romantic, there are numerous homeowners that turn to these types of materials for establishing a perimeter around their other patio materials.

Whether the patio materials are fixed in-place pavers or loose fill, they can benefit from an attractive edging material like large river rocks, small boulders or similar natural stone products.

They will highlight the beauty of your patio as a whole and create clean lines that will improve the curb appeal of your home.

5. Brick

Brick is another great masonry material that can be used as an edging material for your patio and other outdoor living spaces.

We love the look of the deep red and brown hues of brick as it creates a border around loose fill materials like pea gravel or even as it acts as a simple perimeter around color-rich flagstone materials.

Brick is extremely affordable and versatile, can be arranged into numerous different shapes, is weather tolerant and requires very little maintenance.


If you want to make your patio more than just a patio, we suggest incorporating exciting elements that will make you and your guests feel relaxed and at home. Some of the most popular patio materials used as extras or “luxury add ons” include:

6. Fire Features

Fire features are the crowning jewel of any modern outdoor living space. Your patio can become a welcoming and cozy environment for you, your family, your friends and your neighbors by simply incorporating a stunning outdoor fireplace or a charming yet sophisticated fire pit.

Outdoor fireplaces can be constructed of natural stone, veneers, brick or even manufactured “stone” kits that are designed to blend with and accentuate the beauty of your patio floor, patio edging and other patio materials. Fire pits, too, can add a stunning focal point to your outdoor living space that will allow the celebration to linger even longer into the night.

Regardless of the type of fire feature you choose for your patio, you’ll find that you’ll extend the amount of time in which you can enjoy your outdoor living space, as the warmth and light of the fire will allow you to spend time on your patio even late into the autumn months.

7. Cooking Features

Make your patio the place to be for a weekend barbecue or a big celebration by incorporating cooking and kitchen features. The patio materials we sell are designed to look excellent when paired up with features like outdoor pizza ovens and complete outdoor cooking islands that feature stainless steel appliances and everything you need to whip up an incredible meal.

Whether you’re working with natural stone or manufactured materials, you’ll find that your outdoor kitchen and patio will look cohesive and beautiful and that your outdoor kitchen will only add to the value of your home. Outdoor kitchen and cooking features are weather-resistant, heat-resistant and easy to take care of – even after a big spill.

Buying Patio Materials in NJ

Are you ready to start building the patio of your dreams? If so, Braen Supply is ready to help you make those dreams come true. As the largest manufacturer and supplier of patio materials in NJ and the Tri-State area, we offer a massive inventory of products to meet your every need.

Our team of experts is more than qualified to answer all of your patio construction-related questions and we can even point you in the right direction of a reputable local contractor to help you complete the work.

Our patio materials are available at wholesale prices and can be picked up or bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC and PA.New Call-to-action

How To Clean Pavers With Water Pressure

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about making good use of your outdoor living space and doing a little spring cleaning on your landscape. For many NJ homeowners, this means taking some time to learn how to clean, re-sand and re-seal concrete and brick pavers.

When done correctly, pressure washing pavers can help your property look as pristine and sophisticated as it did when the stones were first installed – even after exposure to the sun, rain, wind and snow! Even though pressure washing pavers is a relatively simple process, we find that many of our customers have some reservations about doing so. They’re concerned that they’ll displace the pavers, make a mess or create bigger problems. In order to put your mind at ease and help you to care for your property with confidence, consider these tips on how to clean pavers properly.

The Importance of Knowing How to Clean Pavers

Concrete and brick pavers make a huge difference in the overall look of your landscape and home. Because they play such a significant role in the curb appeal and value of the property, it’s extremely important that you take steps to ensure that your pavers continue to look and function as you intended.

Despite the fact that pavers are extremely durable, reliable and long-lasting, they can still start to look a little scruffy after numerous barbecues, exposure to lots of foot traffic and the extreme weather conditions we’re so familiar with here in NJ. Left unattended, you’ll quickly notice that oil, scuff marks from shoes, scrapes and scratches from patio furniture, food and drink, charcoal, chemicals and other materials will tend to leave their mark on your paving stones.

Beyond maintaining the look of your beautiful pavers, there are multiple benefits to learning how to clean pavers properly. After your pavers have been pressure washed, you’ll see an improvement in the durability, as well as an increase in safety. These benefits are important to consider, especially if you plan on hosting your friends and family in your outdoor living space during the summer months. Understanding how to clean pavers through a weekly regimen and an annual pressure washing will help to protect your investment and keep the pavers looking as lovely as ever.

How to Clean Pavers: Suggested Materials

When cleaning your pavers, we suggest that you have the following materials on hand:

  • Stiff deck broom
  • Pressure Washer (or high-pressure nozzle setting on your hose)
  • Dish Detergent
  • Water
  • Polymeric Sand
  • Sealant
  • Roller Brush

How to Clean Pavers: Overview

The process of cleaning pavers is actually quite simple. The more regularly that you put forth the effort to maintain the pavers, the less time-consuming and challenging you will find it to be. This process will also help you to save money as you won’t need to invest in chemicals and materials for an intensive restoration project. You’ll find that a weekly regimen will take only a short investment of your time and will go a long way in preserving the beauty of your hardscape. In addition to this, you should consider power washing your pavers on an annual basis, or as-needed, depending on the severity of dirt and grime build-up.

If you’re sticking to your weekly plan, though, you shouldn’t need to pressure wash more than once a year. In the event that pressure washing the patio was not sufficient for eliminating severe staining or discoloration, you may need to purchase and use a basic cleaning solution designed for use on concrete and/or brick pavers.

As a general rule of thumb, you should first test the solution on a small area of your pavers to ensure that it won’t become discolored or faded after exposure. Always stick to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that could cause permanent damage to the pavers. The following paragraphs will cover how to implement both an annual and weekly cleaning plan.

How to Clean Pavers: Pressure Washing

Washing your pavers with a high pressure stream of water can help to break down and remove any tough stains that have developed as the result of a buildup of dust, dirt, grass, leaves and debris, as well as spills that may have occurred.

Some homeowners prefer to buy or rent a pressure or power washer, but if the nozzle of your hose has a high pressure setting, this will suffice. Extremely difficult stains may be addressed by using a rotary surface cleaner in your pressure washer, but water will usually suffice. Spray over the surface thoroughly, putting focus on addressing the areas which are most discolored and problematic.

It’s best to make an effort to confine the stream of water or cleaner to the pavers themselves and avoid hitting the joints directly as this can cause your pavers to become dislodged. Some of the sand between the joints is likely to be displaced, so after the pressure washing is complete, you’ll need to brush the sand back into the joints.

This is also a great time to apply a fresh layer of polymeric sand. Be sure to mist over the new sand with water in order to activate the polymers and allow it to harden. Finally, be sure to apply a sealant as this will keep your pavers looking shiny and new all year long.

How to Clean Pavers: Weekly Cleaning

Your weekly paver cleaning routine should be fairly cut and dry. We recommend that you take the time to sweep the pavers once a week in order to prevent dust, dirt, leaves and grass from building up and leading to stains or discoloration.

This will also stop pests from making a home on your pavers. You might also consider using a leaf blower to remove any buildup. Spraying the area down with a hose will further help to protect your pavers against any staining or problems that would be tough to clean if left untreated for too long.

Should you ever encounter a stain that seems difficult to get rid of, you might consider spreading some kitty litter over it. Leave the stain overnight to be absorbed by the litter and then sweep it away. Voila – they’ll be good as new!

Paver Maintenance Tips

In the event that a spill occurs, it’s wise to address the problem right away. This will prevent the stain from having time to soak in and create permanent discoloration or blemishes. You’ll simply use the same diluted solution of detergent and water to address the problem area. Scrub the stain with a brush or broom until it is removed.

When wintertime rolls around, you’ll need to be smart about the care of your pavers. You should never use a metal shovel to scrape snow and ice away from the pavers as this can lead to cracking and chipping. You will also need to check the manufacturer’s specifications in order to determine whether or not its safe to use rock salt or other ice melting chemicals on the pavers.

Braen Supply is the leading supplier of concrete and brick pavers throughout NJ and its neighboring areas. As such, we’re familiar with all of the proper cleaning and maintenance processes for these stones. Our team of experts is happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with useful tips and advice.

We’ll also point you in the right direction of the correct sealant for your pavers. Give us a call to learn more about our pavers and how to clean pavers today! We serve homeowners throughout NJ, NY, PA and CT.
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