Concrete Patios Add Flair to a Landscape
Many landscapes benefit from the introduction of well-placed concrete patios that are aesthetically pleasing. Patios built of concrete can also be economical and be laid in many different colors, shapes, and configurations. They will withstand extreme weather conditions and can last for decades. They do not require much maintenance and are relatively easy to clean.
Concrete is a material that is highly versatile and very suitable for work in patios and other outdoor areas. The material is easy to mold into any required shape and this also allows it to be finished in many different ways that can add personality to a patio. You can have a smooth finish, score or mark the concrete while it is still fresh, stain it, or even imprint it to give any form of stamped design. Smooth finishes can be further etched with acid or sandblasted to give it further varied looks. Imprinting gives a customized look to a patio, and this can be further enhanced by adding colors to the concrete when it is being poured. Concrete in the patio can even be stained like wood and this can add to the protection of the concrete. Scoring the concrete while it has not yet set can create any number of designs, and if you combine them with different colors, you can have a concrete patio of an unusual design.
Concrete patios are easy to install and do not require any great degree of planning or engineering expertise. All that you have to do is start with leveling the ground on which you want to form the patio to the desired level. The thickness of patios is rarely more than 4 inches and you need to take this thickness into consideration before you decide the ground level. The final level of the patio must be such that it is easy to step on to without creating an unsafe condition, and also allow the patio to drain off any rainwater that falls on it. It can help if the ground is leveled and compacted with a light roller or tamper.
Decide the look and design of your patio before you start any concrete work, as you may require to make arrangements for colors, imprints, picks or any other design arrangement that you have in mind. While a professional contractor will always do a better job of laying a patio of concrete, you can also undertake the job yourself if you are reasonably sure of your DIY skills.
You will need formwork to form the sides of your patio before you pour the concrete. Patios of long lengths may need to have joints at distances of not more than 10 or 15 feet, as concrete expansion otherwise can lead to cracks in the patio surface.
Once you have laid the patio with colors and formed any designs over it that you want, you will need to allow the concrete to cure for a few days, at least a week if not more, before you throw it open for traffic. You can then stain it or paint it if you desire. Sealing the surface with proper sealers can extend its life and help in its maintenance.