There are two main aspects to designing patios and walkways. The first is to determine the forms of these features. This is accomplished through plan view drawings to develop a cohesive design. Once that is accomplished, it is time to choose the materials. If the budget can accommodate natural stone, the end product will have a beauty and quality unmatched by manufactured paving products.
Bluestone is the most common natural stone paving material in the northeast. It is generally associated with the blue-grey color, but is available in a range of colors from a green hue to lilac hue. It is cut with a natural cleft irregular surface, but it can be flamed to create a smooth, more formal finish. Bluestone can get very hot in the sun so it may not be appropriate around your pool. Travertine is a readily available natural paving stone. It is generally from Turkey or South America and the cost is slightly more than bluestone. It is durable in the northeast when installed correctly. The travertine colors tend to be in the tan and beige range and have a much cleaner appearance than bluestone. Granite paving offers some of the beautiful colors of travertine with extreme durability at a slightly higher cost. When used for paving, granite has a course texture on top so it is not slippery. And it won’t get as hot as bluestone depending on the color choice. Limestone paving is less common and significantly more expensive. It is generally reserved for very formal projects with high budgets. Finally, there is a wide range of sandstone paving from regions around the world. Sandstone is not as durable as the other stones discussed, but it has a far wider range of colors to choose from. Natural stone paving can be set with mortar onto a concrete base, or it can be dry set on a compacted stone base.
All of the paving material choices have costs and benefits. Balance those out with your own personal preferences and your budget realities while working to pick materials that coordinate with the materials of the home.