Interlocking concrete pavements offer beauty and long-term performance to the home landscape. Their pattern, colours, and texture will enhance the character and value of your home. To get the most from your paver project, consider the following aspects before you start. Patios, pool decks, walkways, and driveways should be wide enough to fit people, lawn furniture, or in the case of driveways, cars and people. Walks should be at least 3 ft (1 m) wide and a wider walk lends more grace to an entrance. People enjoy walking on paths with gentle curves, and pavers can define and enlarge space for planting beds. Layout of patios and pool decks is like planning a new room. What part of the day will it be in the sun and shade? Is it going to be blocked from the wind? Where will plants be around it? A fountain or pool? How easy is access to the house? Are steps needed? Consider all the furniture that will be on the patios such as chairs, lounges, tables, umbrellas, and grilles. Patio furniture requires room around it in order to be used comfortably. A minimum of a few hundred square feet is needed for a table and chairs. Allow for a generous area because you're likely to rearrange the furniture occasionally or add a few more pieces. Driveways should be at least 10 to 12 ft (3 to 4 m) wide when straight and at least 14 ft (4.2 m) wide at curves. Consider providing a space in front of the garage to turn around or to fit an extra car for guest parking. A turn-around space needs to be at least 12 by 18 ft (4 x 6 m). The driveway should join a walkway to the house. Be sure to plan where water will flow. All pavements should slope away from the house to drain rainfall. The driveway center should be a bit higher than the sides in order to shed water into the grass or drainage channels. If possible, keep the slope of the driveway less than 15 ft per 100 ft (5 m per 30 m) to minimize the possibility of slipping. The surface you choose for the driveway should resist oil and antifreeze that leak from cars, and, depending on where you live, damage from snowplows and deicing salts. Interlocking concrete pavers offers superior durability under these conditions. Lighting Lighting defines patios, walkways, and driveways at night, increasing safety and adding a bit of mystique to your home. Lighting can be from overhead, such as from spotlights, or regularly spaced fixtures placed above the ground for lighting the edges of the pavement. Interlocking concrete pavements can accommodate lighting fixtures that fit right into the paver pattern. These systems include wiring and a transformer that plug into a standard 110-volt outdoor receptacle. Snow Melt Systems Interlocking concrete pavements can accommodate snow melting systems. These consist of hot water filled tubing or radiant wires placed right in the pavement. They turn on automatically when a snowstorm starts, eliminating plowing, ice hazards, and the need for de-icing salts Further information can be found online at www.icpi.org.