A concrete patio is the perfect foundation for adding a variety of structures. It’s an excellent base for a fire pit, outdoor bench seating, and even a swimming pool or water feature.
Unlike pavers, concrete patios are in one piece and don’t have spaces between units where grass or weeds can sprout. They are also incredibly customizable with color, stamping, stenciling, and engraving. For professional assistance, contact Level Ground Excavation.
Concrete is a durable patio material that can withstand the elements and regular use. It can also be molded to suit a wide variety of designs and accessorized with benches, tables, planters, fountains, fire pits, gazebos, pergolas, water walls, and fragrant plantings. A well-designed and constructed concrete patio can add a significant boost to the value of your home, especially if it includes seating areas, raised flower beds, an outdoor kitchen, or other features.
The design flexibility of a concrete patio allows you to integrate it with your existing garden space, creating destinations and pathways around the yard that draw guests into your living space. You can also use a concrete patio as the foundation for more permanent structures like pergolas or gazebos to provide shade from the summer sun and shelter from winter rains. Pergolas and gazebos can also be outfitted with screens to protect occupants from insects or curtains to block out the wind.
A concrete patio is more affordable than pavers but still a step above a traditional gravel or crushed stone backyard solution. It can be customized with staining, engraving, stamping, or etching techniques to mimic the look of more expensive natural stone or brick patios at a fraction of the cost.
The average installation cost of a concrete patio is $1 to $10 per square foot, depending on location, the availability of materials, and other factors. It is best to hire a professional to install a concrete patio, as they have the tools needed to pour and finish a high-quality slab. To save money, have the contractor mix concrete on-site rather than ordering it pre-mixed from a cement truck. To increase durability, ask the contractor to include reinforcing fibers in the concrete mix.
Depending on the design you choose, a concrete patio can be an integral part of your home’s living space or nothing short of a dazzling entertainment area. With its endless options for elaboration, the concrete patio has drawn the attention of savvy homeowners and elite outdoor designers in recent decades.
Concrete’s unique texture allows for design flexibility that other materials can’t match. With the right coloring techniques, it’s easy to achieve a look that fits any backyard aesthetic. For example, you can use concrete stamps that emulate the appearance of brick, stone slabs, or tile. You can also shape the concrete to create a more organic look.
Precast pavers can also create a visual rhythm on your paved patio. For instance, extra-long and thin pavers are ideal for creating an elegant linear pattern on a paved backyard patio. You can even combine pavers of different colors to add interest to your concrete patio.
If you’re planning a backyard barbecue party, a simple concrete patio offers a stable surface for grilling and dining. However, a more elaborate concrete patio can serve as the foundation for an impressive gourmet kitchen that lets you show off your culinary skills to guests.
When a concrete patio is integrated with your kitchen, you can open the back doors and enjoy seamless indoor-outdoor living. The patio can be designed to mimic the flooring inside your house or mirror it in its detailing to enhance flow between the spaces. The coordinating outdoor furniture you select can also reinforce the seamless feel. In addition, you can choose to add a fire pit or a pool for an added sense of fun and elegance.
Concrete patios are a cost-effective alternative to pavers and wood decking. It is also environmentally friendly, as it eliminates the need for lumber and frequent chemical treatment of wood stains. Additionally, unlike pavers that have to be replaced over time, a concrete patio will last longer as it is not prone to rot or termite infestation.
While traditional wooden patios may offer limited style choices, a concrete slab is a blank slate that allows homeowners to add visual interest by brushing, stenciling, or staining it. Decorative concrete can be sculpted, carved, or scored into patterns that mimic the appearance of other materials, such as tile, stone, and brick. The concrete is then stained a color that enhances the aesthetic. This process can add up to $10 per square foot to the overall cost of the project, depending on the technique and finishing techniques.
Unlike pavers, which are often stacked to create a unique visual appearance, a concrete slab is poured as one solid mass. This means that it can be easily formed to fit a curved outdoor space or shaped to include a fire pit or fountain. The concrete also does not have the gaps that can allow grass to grow between the stones, a common problem with pavers.
Hiring a professional contractor is essential to ensuring the job is done properly and on budget. A good concrete contractor can install a simple patio for around $10 per square foot, but you will need to add more to the total cost to include prepping the site, removing existing landscaping, and preparing the area for concrete. The price of hiring a contractor can vary based on your location and local labor rates, so it is worth getting quotes from several different contractors before making a decision.
Concrete surfaces require a simple maintenance schedule, unlike wood-surfaced patios that must be resealed on an annual basis. A basic concrete-surfaced patio only needs regular sweeping and occasional hose rinsing to keep it free of debris and grime.
If a concrete-surfaced patio does get stained, it can be easily cleaned with a strong degreaser. Acid cleaners should never be used on a concrete surface, however. Muriatic acid can disintegrate Portland cement, causing the white, dusty material known as efflorescence to form. Instead, cleaning chemicals should be diluted with water to prevent damage to the concrete.
Once a concrete patio has been scrubbed with a nylon-bristled brush (metal brushes can leave small bits of metal that can sink into the pores of the concrete and create rust stains) and thoroughly rinsed, it’s ready to be resealed. A quality sealer can prolong the life of a concrete patio and should be reapplied once every two to three years.
A resealed patio will also protect the concrete from cracking, chipping, and staining. Cracks in a concrete patio allow dirt and other contaminants to seep under the slab, corroding the underlying structures and creating an unsafe environment for outdoor dining and entertaining. Concrete can be repaired by a professional concrete contractor, or home owners can attempt to repair cracks themselves using a product like epoxy.
Concrete-surfaced patios are easy to maintain, but a concrete patio may require a professional cleaning and sealing company. A professional can help you determine the best maintenance schedule for your specific patio and make recommendations on how to care for your concrete patio based on the weather conditions in your area. A professional can also identify any areas that need to be resealed and help you choose the right type of concrete sealer for your patio.
Concrete is a versatile material that can be colored, stamped, stenciled, and etched to create a variety of different effects. It can even be sculpted to resemble other materials, such as stone or wood. These methods allow you to add a pop of color, pattern, or texture to your patio that sets it apart from a plain gray slab.
Stamped concrete is a popular way to change up your patio design. It uses polyurethane stamps that imitate the look of brick, stone, or other materials, and it can be colored to match your home or complement the surrounding landscape. Stenciled concrete works in the same way but allows you to create a pattern that is more intricate. Either option is a great way to add character and personality to your patio without breaking the bank.
A concrete patio can also be the perfect base for an outdoor kitchen, pool, or fire pit. These structures require extra plumbing and electrical work to ensure that they operate safely, and a concrete pad is a stable foundation that can support the weight of these additions.