Nothing quite enhances your home’s curb appeal quite like concrete resurfacing! With the winter months nipping at our heals it is a great time to consider resurfacing the concrete walkways, driveways, and patios surrounding your house. Resurfacing not only makes your concrete surfaces look new and beautiful again but it also adds texture for better traction which makes your concrete surfaces safer, especially in wet, wintery weather!
What is Stamped Concrete?
A stamped concrete surface is one that has been pressed and embossed with a special mold. The end result makes the concrete resemble other materials like rock, flagstone, wood or even brick. In addition to stamps, base color and accent colors can also be added to the freshly poured concrete to further enhance the look of a selected material. The good news is that stamped concrete can also be applied on the top of an existing concrete surface, this process is not just for newly poured surfaces. Stamped concrete patios are especially popular among homeowners because they can be created to match any outside landscape and can be made to resemble a variety of stone materials. Homeowners have lots of unique design options to choose from when it comes to stamped concrete.
Why Stamped Concrete?
The beauty of stamped concrete is that it is much more cost effective than using real stone or concrete pavers to create patios, driveways or sidewalks. Stamped concrete can be quickly and easily installed by a concrete contractor and requires very little maintenance in the future. Durability is also another reason that many homeowners decide on stamped concrete. Concrete has long been know for it’s durability and long life.
Since there are so many concrete color options available now, the design options are virtually endless for stamped concrete surfaces. The most popular stamped concrete patterns tend to be natural stone. Base colors and accent colors can be added to the concrete mix to create unique color palettes to mimic the look of natural stone. Also popular are brick and wood stamped concrete patterns that homeowners choose for indoor areas like sunrooms as well as outdoor areas like patios and walkways.
How About DIY Stamped Concrete?
Many ‘weekend warriors’ have tried to tackle a stamped concrete project but just as many have usually come to regret that decision. While the process of pouring concrete and stamping it with a pattern seems relatively simple, it really is best left to professional concrete contractors who understands how to properly install concrete to prevent cracking and breaks. Investing in using a concrete contractor will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to replace or repair the concrete surface sooner than expected. In addition to installation expertise, professional concrete contractors also have access to all of the costly tools and materials required to properly install a stamped concrete surface.
If you are ready to start on a stamped concrete patio, driveway, sidewalk or walkway at your home or business give our experts at Boise Concrete a call today to discuss your needs and wants. We have successfully installed thousands of stamped concrete surfaces and look forward to making your vision a reality!
What is Decorative Concrete and how do I get it?
Looking for a fun way to add an additional element of character and fresh style to your home or business? Perhaps you’ve tried everything under the sun in regards to interior and exterior design. You’ve painted the walls that perfect shade of green, thrown down every rug you could get your hands on, but somethings still missing. Have no fear Boise concrete contractor is here! And what exactly is a Boise concrete contractor? Boise Concrete and Construction is a premier provider of a wide arrangement of concrete and construction services. Stamped concrete, elaborate concrete sidewalks, and artistic concrete patios are just a few of the various construction services offered by concrete contractor Boise. Located in Treasure Valley, concrete contractor Boise takes pride in delivering world-class products and customer service unique to any customer's design and needs. If you're looking to add an element of wow to your home, consider utilizing one of the various elaborate concrete designs listed below.
Stamped concrete is a tried and true decorating method of concrete design that is meant to display either a patterned or differently textured or even embossed flooring that can appear as a number of various forms of brick, stone or other materials found out in the natural world. This form of decorative concrete is often utilized in a patio, on sidewalks, in driveways, on pool decks, and interior flooring. In order to achieve this sought after style, a unique base color is carefully added to a selected concrete mixture, followed by the addition of an accent color, and then finished off by stamping your pattern of choice into the concrete.
Concrete sidewalks may seem like nothing new under the sun, but with a bit of inspiration, you can really create a truly unique sidewalk design for any location. Try utilizing a varying arrangement of materials, shapes, stones, and colors for your sidewalks. Contractors have used a number of different stains, old or new world intricate paving techniques, imprints of various patterns, and more to achieve the expert design and flare desired by many to amp up their walkways.
Engraving concrete is a really cool style that can be achieved by carefully applying lines and cutting grooves into your concrete surface. Try engraving names, logos, or important text material to add a personal charm to any flooring. You can also create a wide range of shapes, stylish patterns, straight or curvy lines, and a number of other custom made designs. After creating your perfect design be sure to apply a coat of Epoxy which will help to seal and protect your concretes surface.
All in all decorative concrete serves not only as a viable structure for walkway, patio, driveway, and flooring construction but also as a well sought after stylistic enhancement to any home or business. Which method of design are you most interested in? Call our team of experts today to discuss your ideas and get a free quote!
Before beginning to repair cracks on your driveway or sidewalks you will need to completely clean the surface and get rid of any loose dirt or debris. Using a pressure washer is ideal but a garden hose
can also be used for smaller cracks. Begin by washing the entire concrete surface or if the cracks are limited to a small area, you can just get away with cleaning that one area. You will want to thoroughly clean out each crack, removing all built up dirt and debris. You will need to make sure nothing is left in the crack in order for the filler to properly bond and repair the crack. Once you have all of the debris blown out of the crack you may need to also use a screwdriver and hammer to chip out any additional loose material that doesn’t dislodge using the water. In addition to clearing out dirt and debris you will need to make sure that all vegetation is removed from the crack as well. Larger and more stubborn plants make need to be sprayed with roundup or burned with a propane torch.
Typically, concrete surfaces like driveways and sidewalks are about 4 inches deep however it is only
necessary to clean about ½ inch deep for the purposes of filling a crack. Many filler products will
advise the user to fill in cracks more than ¼ inch deep with sand. If you are filling in with sand before
the filler is applied you will want to make sure the sand is damp and tamped in as firmly as possible
with the goal of providing a firm foundation for the filler to rest on.
Once all of the debris and vegetation is cleared out of the cracks you will need to wash the surface
once more with a pressure washer or garden hose. Let the concrete sit and dry and then you are
ready to begin repair those cracks!
Filling and Repairing Concrete Cracks
Now that your concrete surface is cleaned and prepared it time to fill in those cracks and restore it to
its former glory. If you are using a cement caulk filler you can simply squeeze it into the crack slightly
higher than the surrounding concrete and then smoothed down with a trowel to make level with the
If you are using a cement based filler product you will need to first mix the material. Mix and use this
type of filler quickly as it will harden and dry very rapidly. Most manufactures of these products
recommend that you only mix enough for about 20-30 minutes of work in order to avoid wasting the filler. I recommend using a small pail to mix the filler in and then wash the pail and tools in between batches in order to prevent hard chunks of cement building up. The cement filler compound should be mixed a little thinner than cookie dough, not thin enough to pour but still thin enough to fit into smaller cracks that you may be filling. A rule of thumb is that if you can form a ball with the compound it is still too thick. Once you get the filler to the right consistency you can use a trowel corner or small kitchen spatula to force the filler into the cracks. You will want to make sure the filler actually gets down into the cracks and not simply cover the surface. Unless you have plans to resurface your driveway or sidewalk in the near future you will want to make sure you smooth out the filler overflows to create a level surface. Your newly repaired concrete surface will be ready for foot traffic in just a few hours, however vehicles will need to be kept off the repaired surfaces for about 3 days.
Concrete Driveway Cost Overview
Your basic, plain, grey concrete driveway will cost between $3 to $7 per square foot. Prices typically range by geographical area and project type. A more decorative concrete driveway will typically cost between $8 to $18 per square foot. Cost for decorative driveways vary greatly and are dependent upon design features and coloring effects. Many home owners choose a decorative concrete driveway because they tend to be long-lasting and low-maintenance which makes the heavier investment worth it in the long run. Decorative concrete driveways come in a variety of design options so creating a custom and unique look are very easy to do. Many customers want their driveway to mimic the look of natural stone, or they may want a patterned design with concrete pavers.
Whether choosing a basic concrete driveway or going with a more decorative driveway, concrete materials offer a stable and sturdy, long-lasting surface that is durable and wear and weather resistant. Homeowners have nearly endless options to create a one-of-a-kind driveway that will add value to any property and greatly increase curb appeal.
Basic Decorative Concrete Driveway: $8 to $12 per square foot
When looking at a basic decorative driveway to upgrade an existing plain grey concrete driveway you can enhance your concrete driveway for a reasonable cost.
Basic decorative concrete driveway installations usually include:
· One coloring method (integral or surface-applied)
· Textured concrete finish
· Exposed aggregate
· Basic stencil
· Basic border
Mid-Range Decorative Concrete Driveway: $12 to $18 per square foot
Adding more elaborate driveway effects allow homeowners to incorporate color and patterns while creating texture and contrasts for a more customized and unique look.
Mid-range enhancements typically include:
· Use of two or more colors or patterns
· Use of two or three colors and contrasting border
· Scored and stained concrete
High-End Decorative Concrete Driveways - $18+ per square foot
For the ultimate upgrade to your new or existing home adding a high-end decorative concrete driveway will not only add instant equity and value to your home but also amazing curb appeal and uniqueness. Get creative with driveway design to include:
· Borders, saw cut designs, and hand-applied chemical stain accents
· Multiple scoring patterns and stain colors
· Advanced stenciling with hand-applied accents
The key to getting the most value in home improvement projects is knowing where to spend your money. Not every improvement or repair you make will increase the value. For example, if you replace you old worn out roof, this would be a positive investment but may not drive up the selling price of your home as home buyers expect a sturdy roof to cover their heads.
Your home's first impression starts with it driveway as it is what connects visitors from the street to your front door. Upgrading the curb appeal of your home general benefits is marketability. It's important to view your home in perspective of the entire neighborhood. Upgrades should be proportional to the home and neighborhood, so that it's not odd or stands out in a negative way. The most expensive house on the block if often dismissed by potential buyers.
In addition to increasing curb appeal, a new concrete driveway may increase your home value by preventing storm runoff and driveway erosion. Remember, a driveway is only as good as it's foundation, so a professional installer should be hired to complete the project.
A concrete driveway does have some additional benefits for home owners. The upkeep for a well installed driveway will require less regular maintenance. They do not require regular resealing like that of asphalt or addition of gravel for gravel drives. These driveways typically last longer, 30 plus years, as opposed to it's asphalt counterpart. There are also multiple colors of concrete that can be used in the installation to better coordinate with your home.
Home value can be a bit arbitrary, as appraisals can depend on recent comps and the current housing market environment. Do you research and make proper upgrades and maintenance to ensure your home retains the money you are putting in to it.