With families spending more time outdoors and curb appeal an essential element in selling your home, patios and walkways have become the focus of
This concrete walkway was stamped to look like Roman slate. Photo courtesy of Progressive Concrete in Escondido, Calif.
many home improvement projects. If your concrete has seen better days, there's no reason to spend another summer in an ugly backyard, according to Khara Dizmon, spokesperson for ConcreteNetwork.com, who says springtime and warmer weather encourage homeowners to get out and dress up their patios for entertaining.
The patio, for instance, has become so essential to backyard retreats that it was among the top 10 features ranked "very important" by home buyers in the 2007 Profile of Buyers' Home Feature Preferences, published by the National Association of Realtors. There are several ways to spruce up its appearance quickly and without the expense of pouring a brand-new surface. “If you have a concrete patio that needs work, the traditional option has been to remove and replace it with new concrete,” said Paul Koury, president of Westcoat, a San Diego-based concrete restoration company. “While that’s still an option, a lot of people are using newer methods of staining, painting or changing the texture of the concrete to improve the appearance.”
A New Color Concrete that is in excellent shape can often be stained or painted in a fresh
Concrete is stamped and stained to mimic the look of terracotta tile. The same design was used indoors and out to tie together the two spaces. Photo courtesy of Life Deck Specialty Coatings in San Diego.
hue. In fact, staining is one of the most popular makeovers of concrete slabs. Concrete is very porous, which allows stains to penetrate deeply into the surface, acting almost as a blank slate for artistic expression. Contractors often use acid-based chemical stains to achieve the look of natural stone and marble on walkways and pool decks. The acid in the stains lightly etches the surface, which allows the color to penetrate deeply. The more layers that are applied, the deeper the color you will achieve.
A New Texture Resurfacing your concrete is a great way to make a worn patio look new again. Homeowners can match the stone façade of their house by placing a concrete overlay on to their existing patio surface. Using this method, you can get the look of flagstone, brick, cobblestone, slate, terracotta tiles and many other patterns by pressing stamps into a layer of freshly poured concrete. Stamping can also help create the look of a stone border or alternating pattern along the edges of the surface.