When clients ask for ways to improve their backyards or curb appeal, you probably have a list ready. It might include everything from windows and a paint job to better caring for the lawn and garden. But it can also include the patio, driveway, entryway, and other solid surfaces. Yes, these are functional. But they can be beautiful too!
If you’re making recommendations to someone who’s in the “long game” and planning a move in down the road, upgrading these areas can be a great investment. It’ll increase their enjoyment of their home now and pay off when they decide to sell.
There are many choices when it comes to materials for these surfaces. A variety of types of stone are available. You might also like brick. Wood is a good look, although it takes special care for outdoor use. Plain concrete and asphalt are dependable, but they do lack when it comes to luck.
Stamped concrete is a great option but one that many homeowners may not be familiar with. That’s because it can look just like some of these other surfaces. It’s not the same-old boring grey concrete. It offers all the positives of concrete, including long-term durability and an affordable price. At the same time, it provides an incredible appearance that will make your front and back yards look great.
Let’s look at some examples of styles of stamped concrete and how it can be used to increase the beauty and value of a home.
For a style that hearkens back to colonial America or the Old World, cobblestone is a great option. But it’s expensive. It’s also hard to care for since the individual stones tend to work loose over time. That can create a tripping hazard as well as looking unsightly.
But stamped concrete can create all the great looks of the 18th century without breaking the bank or breaking an ankle. There will be no need to reset individual pieces. But only a close inspection will reveal that it’s not the “real thing.”
If your client is near a historic area like Valley Forge, PA or Williamsburg, Virginia, this is a great way to connect your home to the local story.
Modern-looking Path To The Front Door
More modern architecture has its own style. It’s more reflective of a culture that often focuses on the pragmatic and direct. It often avoids the frills of centuries gone by. That’s reflected in straighter lines and crisper angles.
To pick up on that theme, small squares arranged in straight lines blend well. This running bond pattern uses small blocks arranged precisely to create that modern vibe. It works especially well for narrower areas like a walkway or entryway where the small tiles fit well with the available space.
Hewn Stone Garden Path
Straight lines are great but sometimes it’s best to go with something more relaxed. Hewn stone looks like it was hand-carved and delivered straight from the quarry. The irregular edges create a natural feel and a sense of relaxation.
For a cottage or country house, this is a great look. It’s a great way to stress that there’s no hurry and that there’s time to enjoy life. It looks great as a pathway around the garden.
Of course, that type of stone doesn’t come cheaply. But with stamped concrete, it’s easy to emulate.
Stone Tile Patio
It’s great to be able to pass the afternoon or evening sitting outside on the patio. And the space should look great, too!
Bricks of various sizes can create great designs with their sizes and lines. They help to make the patio seem like a more relaxing place.
The stamps used to imprint the concrete will repeat after a while. But they can be arranged in such a variety of ways that the repetition is only on a small scale
Wood Plank Pool Deck
Stamped concrete can even look like wood planks! This may be surprising to many, but it’s a great look. It can create a forest feel for around the pool. Or the kids may enjoy pretending they’re on a pirate ship sailing the high seas!
Even though this is concrete, the colors and texture appear to be real wood planks. But there’s no concern about rotting, splinters, or nails poking out.
Many shades can be dyed into the cement, making it look like anything from fresh pine to aged timber.
If your clients are concerned about how tough stamped concrete might be to maintain, you can assure them that it’s quite simple. Like any concrete surface, it simply needs to be resealed every two to three years.
It can be cleaned with a broom or power washer, and most stains come up with a mild detergent. Of course, it helps to take common precautions, too, like not using salt to remove snow and ice. Plastic snow shovels are also preferred since metal edges could scratch through the sealer. As with any surface, overweight vehicles shouldn’t be parked on a space not designed for them.
That’s about all that’s involved in the upkeep of stamped concrete. With this basic care, it should hold up and preserve its color and design for decades to come.
When a homeowner is looking for a great way to spruce up the outside of their home, stamped concrete surfaces can be a great tip to give them. This aspect of hardscaping adds beauty at a reasonable price and will hold up for the long term with little need for maintenance. It’ll soon be generating positive comments from visitors and neighbors, too!
About the Author
Bill Michaels works for Patterned Concrete in Ontario, Canada. Since 1972, they’ve been a leader in the stamped concrete industry. There are now franchises throughout Canada and the USA. If you’re a contractor interested in becoming part of our family, get in touch through our website!