The Official Origin Story of the Paver Savers

How one man’s vision changed the game…
Jim Scocozza

Jim Scocozza, CEO & Founder

The roots of our paver restoration company…

Back in the 70s I was a bell-bottom wearing, concert going kid with an entrepreneurial spirit. I had a passion and more importantly, a mission. My passion was outdoor landscape design and my mission was to build a landscape firm unlike any other in the area. A business where I could express myself by designing and creating beautiful landscapes and watch as our clients fell in love with their new outdoor space.

Our design/build team at Chestnut Hill Nursery had been constructing these beautiful landscapes for over 30 years. But in time, I grew frustrated with how the well-crafted hardscapes we built began to look after several years. All the beautifully designed paver patios, walks and walls we constructed started to look old, tired and faded. Weeds appeared in the joints and moss began to grow in all the wrong places.

Like many of you, I love to spend time outside. And it’s important to have a space in my yard where I can simply relax, listen to music, enjoy a meal or just sit around the fire pit. I have so many great memories entertaining in our backyard with family and friends over the years.

That’s why it upset me to see the beautiful spaces we had transformed no longer being enjoyed. The hardscapes had become neglected and our clients just didn’t want to spend time on their patios anymore. The artfully designed spaces we crafted had lost their shine and appeal. I was sad to see so many of these projects go from awesome to awful!

There had to be a solution…

Anyone who has worked with/for me knows that its always important for me to make a connection with my clients. This allows me to understand their needs and desires. When I visit a client’s home for the first time, I always try and picture myself as the homeowner and design a space that is special for them. Because of these relationships, I was inspired to build a company that would offer a solution to restoring these hardscapes. I already had an emotional stake in many of these projects.

As I continued visiting with our landscape clients, I was determined to find an effective solution that would restore and maintain the original beauty of these paver projects. I wanted these families to enjoy their outdoor space again and get excited about entertaining in their yard just like when these projects were new. I needed to find a way to bring their spaces back to life.

There was never much discussion about sealing pavers when these projects were first installed. As contractors, we relied on information provided by paver manufacturers who rarely, if ever, spoke about the need to seal and protect pavers.

Most homeowners were under the assumption that these projects would last forever and continue to look great without any maintenance at all. But we learned that any surface constantly exposed to the elements, particularly the acid rain we experience here in the northeast, will require attention at some point.

There is no such thing as a maintenance free landscape… and pavers are not maintenance free!

Weeds before Cleaning and Sealing

This client called the growth on his patio “smurf turf”!

I kept searching for solutions, but I was getting more and more frustrated. There was a lack of information available from suppliers and very few examples of existing contractors that were having success cleaning and sealing. It was a new concept that presented extremely challenging problems to overcome.

But I wasn’t ready to give up. My team and I began to experiment with various procedures and equipment. We tested multiple cleaning and sealing products. We also discovered that there are many variables such as paver type, site conditions and weather that will affect the outcome of a restoration project.

Okay, let’s get to work…

Several of our landscape clients allowed us to experiment on their pavers. We searched for the right process that would restore the beauty of the pavers and keep them looking great with minimal maintenance. We tried various cleaning techniques to clean the pavers and remove the joint sand. We also tested several brands of polymeric sand and many different sealers to find a solution that would provide the high-quality long-lasting results we were looking for.

Finding a solution proved difficult. In the beginning, we struggled to pin down an efficient system that would give great results within a reasonable timeframe and was also affordable. We made plenty of mistakes and learned valuable lessons from our failures. Job after job we found ourselves going back having to fix issues costing us time and money. Failing to pay attention to details such as weather, proper application techniques, the right products and the right tools can be catastrophic. Sealing your patio may sound easy to those DIYers out there but take it from us… YOU DO NOT WANT TO MESS THIS UP.

In our trials we encountered pavers that turned white, sealer peeling off, failing joint sand…the list goes on. In some cases the solution meant stripping the sealer off and starting the job over. We struggled at times but in this fairly new industry, there was no better way to perfect our business then by trial and error.

Finally, a win for team Paver Savers!

I remained confident that our experiences would lead us to a breakthrough development to clean, seal and restore pavers. Eventually our determination paid off and it all came together. We compiled our tremendous knowledge base and created a first-class training program to educate our team of technicians. At that point, everything changed!

We had the system! We finally had the right products, tools and training procedures we needed to be successful. This allowed us to consistently exceed expectations. We also discovered that the demand for paver restoration services stretched well beyond the projects installed by Chestnut Hill Nursery. There were thousands of paver projects installed by other contractors that needed our help. And in 2010 The Paver Savers was born.

I had finally figured out how to:

  1.  Get homeowners feeling excited about their paver projects. They could entertain again or just enjoy being out in their yard.
  2.  Create a proven system, working with the right equipment and the right products that our teams could replicate on every project.
  3.  Insure years of enjoyment and beauty that our restoration process provides with simple maintenance on the homeowner’s part.

But the BEST part was that I was able to:

  1.  Get my clients back outside in their yards again with their families, using their paver platforms the way they were designed.
  2.  Confidently grow our company so that we could satisfy a growing number of homeowners in our service area.
  3.  Create long-term trusting relationships. Our clients know they can count on The Paver Savers to keep their pavers looking great.

During our learning process we stayed committed to the homeowners and our mission. We never left a job until it was perfect. Those homeowners became our loyal clients (who we now call our “raving fans”) With their support we were able to find an identity as a truly unique and well-respected company in this industry.

And that’s why I’m so passionate about The Paver Savers. Our clients no longer need drag out the power washer to “clean up” the patio every season or before a big party. No more tripping over loose pavers or edging, no more scraping weeds and moss from between the joints or dragging loose sand into the house. Now they can spend their time enjoying the space instead of cleaning and fixing it.

Our mission is to have you enjoying more time in your yard. It’s been a long journey but the lessons we’ve learned, the team we’ve built and the relationships we’ve formed have made the effort well worth the ride.

I still wear jeans and attend as many concerts as I can. I still design and build beautiful landscapes. But my greatest source of satisfaction is simply seeing our clients back outside enjoying their outdoor spaces.

The Big Reveal: Good-Bye Smurf Turf!

Cort Pavers - Before & After