Bricks in Shape of Circle on Patio | Bricks Norwalk | Patio Supplies Westport

Concrete vs. Brick Pavers for Your Backyard Patio

Are you interested in adding some flare to your home’s backyard patio? Well, the most important aspect of any patio is the material that lies right beneath your feet. When choosing which pavers to use, consider concrete or brick — but which one is the better choice?

Concrete Pavers

Advantages of Concrete Pavers

  • Cost – The cost of raw materials for concrete pavers are less expensive than that of brick. Cost-effective materials like concrete are needed for those with large outdoor spaces.
  • Choices – Concrete pavers can be colored and designed in any shape or color. Advancements are always being made to this material, which is why it’s constantly moving up as one of the most used paving materials available.
  • Installation – Since concrete is relatively easy to cut, this is the material of choice for DIYers. Concrete pavers can be cut and laid out in a precise format for a smooth and seamless look.

Disadvantages of Concrete Pavers

  • Color – The reason there are so many choices of concrete is because it can be dyed with color pigments. Unfortunately, these colors do not last as long as other materials like natural clay brick.
  • Quality – The surface of concrete will erode gradually over time, leaving behind its smooth and glamorous finish. Concrete won’t look as good over time compared to brick (if it’s not maintained).
  • Life Span – Concrete does hold up under heavy foot traffic, however, it does have a lesser life span than that of clay brick.


Brick Pavers

Advantages of Brick Pavers

  • Color – While there might not be as many color choices for clay brick pavers, the color is natural and can be altered by mixing in different colors of clay. Since the color is natural, it will last longer than concrete.
  • Quality – Yes, it is true that brick pavers can chip as time goes on, but this material will hold up more so than concrete. Concrete will erode over time, while brick will only become damaged by stress (due to ice and moisture).
  • Life Span – Brick pavers will stand the test of time. Compared to concrete, clay brick can last decades on end as long as they are properly taken care of.

Disadvantages of Brick Pavers

  • Cost – Brick pavers can be up to 20 percent more expensive than concrete pavers.
  • Choices – Since the color of bricks is natural, there are only so many you can choose from. And not only are colors limited, but they also come in only a few sizes (which are oftentimes altered during the kiln firing process).
  • Installation – Brick pavers are difficult to cut, therefore, a DIY project might not be feasible. Since a skilled installation crew will be needed to complete this job, labor can cost more.

If you’re deciding on a material for your backyard patio, concrete and brick pavers are solid choices — but make sure you choose wisely! We are here to help you with all of your landscaping and masonry needs. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

Close Up of HVAC Unit | HVAC Repair Norwalk | AC Repair New Canaan

6 Ways to Improve the Efficiency of Your Air Conditioning Unit

Air conditioning is essential on hot summer days, but as any homeowner knows, blasting the A/C to stay cool often also means a high energy bill at the end of the month. Fortunately, there are ways to cool your home for less. Here are a few ways to make your air conditioning system work more efficiently for you

Tips to Improve A/C Efficiency:

  1. Change your air filters. Over time, your air conditioning filters will become clogged with dirt and dust. Make sure that you are cleaning/changing these filters regularly, as when they are clogged, your air conditioning system will have to work harder to keep your home cool.
  2. Install a smart thermostat. Upgrade your current thermostat to a smart thermostat! This home thermostat makes it possible for you to adjust your home’s temperature no matter where you are. It learns your habits so that even if you forget to turn down the temperature at night, your thermostat will do it for you!
  3. Keep blinds closed during the day. Keep the blinds closed when you leave for work. This will help keep the hot sun from heating up your home when you aren’t there.
  4. Turn your thermostat up a few degrees. A few degrees can make a big difference in long term energy savings.
  5. Have a BBQ. Your kitchen oven gives off a lot of heat. BBQ outside on hot days to save on your energy bill and keep your home cool.
  6. Clean around your outdoor unit. Make sure that there are no overgrown bushes around your outdoor condenser. These can block airflow and keep your air conditioning system from working as efficiently.


Having trouble with your air conditioning system? We are here to help you with all of your A/C mechanical needs. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

Well Landscaped Patio in Backyard Near Inground Pool | Masonry Supplies Norwalk | Stones Westport

DIY Masonry Tips: Fire Pit Edition

We love spending time outdoors — and on cool nights, there are few things better than spending time with friends and family next to the warmth of a fire pit. Whether you’re sharing a few laughs or roasting some marshmallows, a fire pit can be a wonderful and beautiful addition to your home. If you are thinking of embracing your creative side and building your own fire pit, here are a few DIY masonry tips to keep in mind.

DIY Masonry Tips:

  • Find a flat, level area. You want to make sure that you plan to have your firepit on a flat, level area. It should be at least 25 feet from your home and any trees.
  • Purchase the stone and cement. Measure the area that you want your fire pit to be — and then decide on the type of stone that you would like to use. Get creative with the type of bricks or stones that you want to use in your fire pit design. Then, schedule to have these products picked up or delivered to your home (pro tip: we offer both).
  • Build the foundation. You will want to build a strong foundation for your stones to sit upon. Create a marked out area in your yard. Then, create a separate marketed out area inside of this circle. You will want to fill the outer section of the circle with concrete — the inner section will remain free of concrete for drainage purposes.
  • Lay your brick. After your foundation is built, it is time to lay down your stone work. Mix mortar and then shovel two inches of it for a base. Work in small section and lay your stones on the mortar.
  • Build an inner fire brick wall. You will want to build a fire brick wall inside of the stone. Lay each brick and fill the gaps with wet mortar. Scrape away any excess.
  • Add the finishing touches. Now that the structure is complete, brush away any loose debris and spray it down with a hose — and then spray the interior of the fire brick with black stove paint. Lastly, fill the base with a layer of river rocks.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. with all of your masonry and landscaping supply needs. We carry everything that you need to create a beautiful fire pit — and all products are available for pick up or delivery. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

Front Garden Area with Fresh Mulch | Mulch Westport | Landscape Supplies New Canaan

Why You Should Use Mulch in Your Garden

Tending to your garden can be time-consuming — but did you know that mulch can make it a little bit easier?

Mulch is made up of nutrient rich material that is spread throughout your garden to help enrich the soil. But there are so many other great reasons to utilize it in your garden.


  1. Organic Matter: Using mulch adds a significant amount of organic matter to your soil. This is important because it helps keep your garden healthy and makes it more resistant to disease and pests.
  2. Nutrients: Keep your garden all natural. Mulch provides it with valuable nutrients that release slowly into the soil. It also helps prevent vitamin loss in your plants.
  3. Hydration: Mulched soil retains 70-percent more water than unmulched soil. It will keep your soil hydrated longer and prevent evaporation from the sun.
  4. Insulation: Mulch insulates soil all year round. It will keep plants roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  5. Weeds: By blocking the sunlight, mulch actually minimizes the growth of weeds. Therefore they won’t be competing for nutrients with your plants. The few weeds that do make it to the surface will be much easier to remove.
  6. Convenience: For more reasons than one, mulched gardens are much more convenient. You’ll spend less time having to water them and you won’t have to spend money on pest control or fertilizers.

Could your garden and lawn could use some “Devine” intervention? If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, look no further than Devine Bros. for all of your landscaping needs. We have Fairfield County’s largest selection of landscaping supplies, all available for pickup or delivery. From mulch to brick to flagstone and concrete, we truly have it all! Contact us today at 203-866-4421.

Concrete Mix Being Poured | Concrete Supplies Norwalk | Cement Fairfield County

6 Types of Concrete Mix

Walking the aisles of the hardware store can be overwhelming. There are countless products, all with multiple uses — and the workers aren’t always the most helpful. When choosing concrete, it’s important to know what type of products work and won’t work for the job you’re trying to do.



A simple regular concrete mix is ideal for most general concrete work.

Common Uses:

Applications include: setting posts, as well as building sidewalks, steps, patios, floors, downspout troughs, and more.



Lightweight concrete mix will actually provide you with more cubic footage than regular concrete.

Common Uses:

This type of concrete is ideal for pouring slabs, walkways, steps, and more.

Sand Mix


Sand mix concrete is a mixture of Portland cement and graded sand.

Common Uses:

Sand mix concrete can be used when less than 2 inches of thickness is required. It’s ideal for patching chipped concrete surfaces and can be used for laying flagstone and paving bricks. It may also be used as grout.

Fiber Reinforced


Fiber reinforced concrete mix is designed to reduce the cracking, chipping, and flaking that can occur in concrete. This type of concrete actually contains much more cement and hundreds of small fibers, which gives it more strength and resistance than some of the alternatives. In many cases, you won’t need to utilize wire mesh when using Fiber Reinforced concrete mix.

Common Uses:

Fiber reinforced concrete mix is commonly used for patios, driveways, and sidewalks.

Gravel Mix Fiber-Reinforced


Gravel mix fiber-reinforced concrete is stronger than sand mixes.

Common Uses:

This type of concrete is commonly used when you need to create more than two inches of thickness.



Anchoring concrete mix is two and a half times stronger than typical concrete. It contains epoxy, so it can actually adhere to other concrete.

Common Uses:

Many homeowners choose anchoring concrete mix to attach railings, gates, chains, and more to existing concrete or blocks.

Here at Devine Bros., we manufacture all types of concrete. So rather than spending hours in the hardware store trying to decide on what you need, let us design and mix a custom aggregate in order to meet your exact specifications.

There’s a reason Devine Bros. concrete mixes are preferred. To learn more contact us today at 203-866-4421.


Sign Reading Summer Heat with Sun in Background | AC Repair Norwalk | AC Installation Westport

How to Save on Cooling Costs this Summer

No, the heat isn’t on — it’s the ozone layer. Summer is here and continues to make its presence known daily. Although you may be tempted to leave your air conditioner running, you certainly won’t be thrilled to see your electric bill next month. While it may seem impossible to stay cool on 90-degree+ days, the goal IS attainable. Shut the A/C off, and try out these cost-effective cooling tips:

Change Your Routine

When the temperature changes, so should your routine. This doesn’t mean taking off from work, but to simply modify your daily choices.It’s all about the cool compromise.

  • If it’s too warm in your home, cook dinner outside on the barbecue.
  • If it’s too hot outside, save yardwork for evenings or for a cooler day.

Clean the Filter

Although you’re trying to keep your air conditioning usage to a minimum, eventually you will need to use it. Before turning the unit on, be sure to clean/replace the filter. Most air conditioners work overtime because a dirty/old filter creates blockages within the air passages. By giving a little TLC, your A/C won’t use as much energy. Pro Tip: After you initially clean your filters, be sure to maintain them regularly.

Block the View

Are you a morning person? Keep your blinds and curtains closed. It may be tough to block your awesome view, but it will help maintain a cool temperature within your home throughout the day.

Your Biggest Fan

Despite what you may think, using a standard blade fan will make a huge difference. Although fans don’t have cooling regulators like A/C units, they’ll circulate the air throughout a room. If you give a fan about 10 minutes, you’ll notice a much cooler temperature inside your space.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. to keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape this summer. We offer air conditioner repairs, installations, and tune ups, and have one of the largest inventories of landscaping supplies in southern Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

Couple Looking at HVAC Unit | HVAC Tune-Up Fairfield County | AC Repair Westport

Air Conditioning Tips to Live By

With temperatures rising every day, were in the beginning stages of a hot, hot summer! That means cranking your air conditioner to beat the heat, but with comfort comes a hefty price tag. Here are a few air conditioning tips to live by this summer so you’re not drowning in electric bills — or sweat.

Check Your Air Filters

When you run your air conditioner, dust and allergens can clog your filter. This makes it harder for your HVAC system to cool a room. During the summer months, be sure to check your air filters regularly. We recommend once per month and replace them as needed.

Shade Your Unit

If the air around your air conditioning unit is hot, it will have to work harder to cool it. That’s  why it’s important to properly shade your cooling system. Cooler air requires less energy to bring it to your desired temperature.

Make Sure Your Thermostat Isn’t Receiving Excess Heat

Your thermostat reads the temperature of the air surrounding it — so if it’s in an area that receives direct sunlight or additional heat, it will think your house is warmer than it is. Make sure to remove any excess heat sources and if necessary change the location of your thermostat.

Strategically Set the Temperature

The optimal temperature for energy savings is actually 78-degrees. When the thermostat is set more closely to the temperature outside your air conditioner consumes less energy. To slash your energy bill, set your thermostat according to the weather forecast.

Purchase a Programmable Thermostat

By investing in a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to schedule when you want your A/C to power on and off. We recommend the Nest Learning Thermostat — it learns your temperature habits in about a week and you can adjust it from your smartphone or tablet.

Schedule a Tune-Up

Remember, to ensure the longevity of your HVAC unit be sure to schedule a professional tune-up once a year. Our 16-point air conditioning tune-up is $161 for the first unit and $111 for each additional unit.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. to keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape this summer. We offer air conditioner repairs, installations, and tune ups, and have one of the largest inventories of landscaping supplies in southern Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

Woman Watering Plants | Fuel Oil Fairfield County | Heating Oil Westport

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality This Summer

Your home should be a tranquil domain that promotes health and relaxation. That’s why you need to take action to rid it of airborne contaminants that can negatively impact your family. Devine Bros. is here with some helpful tips on how you can improve indoor air quality this summer.

Ditch the Scented Candles

Who doesn’t love burning a good scented candle? The truth is with each use they actually release very harmful carcinogens into the air. For a relaxing fresh scent, opt for essential oils. Diffusing a mixture of lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils not only smells amazing, but will begin to remove airborne fungi from the air in less than one hour.

Dust and Vacuum Regularly

Cleanliness is happiness. We know it’s easy to let dusting and vacuuming fall to the wayside, but by neglecting these simple household chores you’re opening yourself up to indoor allergens. Try using a microfiber cloth when dusting. They trap particles while you clean so you won’t have to deal with flying dust particles.

Cultivate Houseplants

Whip out your green thumb! Houseplants naturally purify the air, help balance out humidity, and add more oxygen in your home. We recommend potting some Boston ferns, cactus plants, English ivy, lilies, reed palms, and/or tillandsias.

Regulate Moisture Levels

Humidity can be a tricky thing to regulate — but it must be done. Too much of it can have a negative impact on your home and family. Invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from your home during those muggy summer days.

Need help assessing the indoor air quality in your home? If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding Fairfield County area, the experts at Devine Bros. have you covered! Contact us today for your FREE consultation: 203-866-4421.

Brown Ceiling Fan | AC Repair Norwalk | AC Repair Fairfield County

Ceiling Fan Fundamentals for Saving Energy

It’s no secret that running your heating and cooling system can cost you big bucks, but did you know that you can supplement this through the use of ceiling fans all year round? Cut your energy costs by adopting these ceiling fan fundamentals.

Adjust your ceiling fan in the summer so that the air blows downward. The majority of ceiling fans have both clockwise and counterclockwise settings. Your summer setting depends on the angle of your fan blades. The easiest way to figure out which setting to utilize is to stand directly beneath the fan and turn it on. If you immediately feel a breeze, you’ve found your summer setting. Typically this is the counterclockwise direction. Fans cost pennies per day to operate, so by circulating your air downward in the summer, you’ll be able to run your air conditioning system less, saving yourself money.

Set your thermostat higher in the summer. When you’re using the correct setting, ceiling fans will make warm rooms feel cooler by circulating the air. This means you can set your thermostat to a warmer temperature and still feel comfortable. Instead of running your A/C on 69 degrees, try setting it to 72 degrees and run a fan on high to stay cool for less.

Remember to turn your fans off when you leave the house. While ceiling fans may be cheap to operate, it’s important to turn them off when you don’t need them running. This will only add to your power savings as time goes on. Try using a Hunter Fan Company SimpleConnect Programmable Control box. This device works with most pull chain ceiling fans and connects to bluetooth so you can program your fan from your smartphone. — Pro Tip: It’s available on available on Amazon and also allows you to control your fans light!

Don’t forget to adjust your fan setting in the winter. It must seem counter productive to run a ceiling fan in the winter. However, switching the setting so that air blows upwards in the winter will actually circulate warm air throughout your room. This means your furnace won’t have to work as hard, thus cutting energy costs.

Ceiling fans not cutting it when it comes to keeping you cool? Your air conditioner may not be working efficiently. If live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or any of the surrounding areas we’d love to come take a look.

The air conditioning experts at Devine Bros. have been keeping Fairfield County, Connecticut residents cool for years. Our home cooling services include professional A/C installations, repairs, replacements, tune-ups, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians: 203-866-4421.

Bricks in Shape of Circle on Patio | Bricks Norwalk | Patio Supplies Westport

DIY Masonry Tips | Pavers

Planning a DIY masonry job this summer? You can give an area or room a unique look by installing brick pavers! These stones are similar to construction bricks but thinner. The job is similar to installing tile. However, there are a few things you should know before laying those pavers yourself.

First things first, you’ll need to pick up a few supplies. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Spacers
  • Rubber Grout Float
  • Notched Trowel
  • Short-Nap Roller
  • Level
  • Chalk Line
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Wet Saw
  • Thin-Set Mortar
  • Grout
  • Brick Pavers
  • Brick Sealer

Cut the Brick

When cutting your bricks, you’ll need to use a wet saw to achieve smooth edges. This tool utilizes a diamond-impregnated blade that’s cooled by water. — Pro Tip: For cutting precise square notches to accommodate irregular spaces, raise the brick as you push it towards the corner cut.

Prepare the Thin-Set Mortar

Up next it’s time to prepare the thin-set mortar. You’ll want the consistency to be that of toothpaste. Make sure to only mix what can be applied in 20 minutes time. This material can be quite dusty so mix it outside or in an area with good ventilation.

Apply the Thin-Set Mortar

Grab your notched trowel to begin spreading the mortar. To create a level bed, hold it at a 45-degree angle and create grooves to help hold the brick in place.

Lay the Brick

Start from the center and work your way out by pressing firmly on each brick and gently twisting them in each direction to ensure they are set securely in the mortar.

Apply Sealer

Sealer is important to make sure your pavers don’t absorb too much moisture from the grout. You can use a short-nap roller, a paint brush, or a sprayer. Once you’ve applied a coat, allow it to cure for at least 24 hours.

Apply Grout

Once the sealer has dried completely, use the same method to apply the grout as you would for a tile floor. Using a rubber grout float, force as much grout as possible into the brick joints. Be sure to hold the float at a 45-degree angle to the grout lines.

Clean Up

After allowing the grout to cure, wipe away the excess material using a clean sponge. Rinse the sponge and repeat this until the all of the residue is gone.

If you live in Norwalk, Connecticut or the surrounding area and are looking for high-quality masonry supplies at a reasonable price, look no further than Devine Bros. We have a wide variety of masonry and landscaping products available for pickup or delivery — contact us today to learn more about our inventory: 203-866-4421.