Although concrete may sound drab as a building material, it is actually a smart material to use for your backyard patio. Not only will your concrete hold up to harsh weather and hard impacts more than other popular building materials like wood, it can also be stamped and stained to look like other materials or just to add flair. You also won’t have to worry about rotting or warping, or weeds and grasses growing in the cracks. However, off-setting concrete with greenery can create a more welcoming space. Concrete is also easily molded into different shapes, and can be colored, which makes your options for personalization practically endless. There are many possible uses for your backyard patio: entertaining, a kitchen for cooking, and relaxing. Ahead, are some features that can make your concrete patio special.
Stamping Your Concrete Patio
If you are looking to change the look of your concrete patio or make your concrete patio resemble a stone or wood patio, stamping your concrete can be a moderately affordable way. Stamping is a challenging process — hiring a contractor is advised. Some designs for concrete stamps include: wood-deck stamping, some stone designs (slate, natural stone) in a variety of patterns, seamless, cobblestones, and brick designs in various patterns. These designs can be created using concrete stains or dyes.
Concrete accents such as borders, walls, paths, fire pits and fire places can also be stamped for a beautiful effect. Even just stamping the borders can be a lovely way to enhance the beauty of your concrete patio. If you need an Austin, TX concrete contractor that can advise you on new concrete patios or repairs, CCA Concrete is a reliable choice.
Once your concrete has been stamped, de-icing salts and freeze-thaw cycles can damage it. Cracks can develop over time. It is good practice to get it sealed, and clean and reseal it periodically. If you are worried about slipping, slip-resistance can be applied to the concrete.
Staining Your Concrete Patio
Concrete can be colored in the stamping process, but it can also be colored with a stain. Staining is a less expensive way to color your concrete. The available types of stains are acid stains and water-based stains. Acid stains are often used for getting earth tones. Water-based stains have more color options. Stains are semi-transparent, so patios with cracks and blemishes should be cleaned or repaired before staining.
Some looks that can be achieved with stains are: tile patterns (created by saw-cuts), stained borders, figures and graphics, marble, and natural stone. For making figures or making the concrete look more natural, multiple colors can be used. If you want, you could stain your concrete with shapes, floral accents, the star of Texas, you name it!
Concrete staining can be a complicated process, so hiring a contractor may be the best way to get a beautiful look. Staining can be cost effective and affordable depending on how many colors you use and how much preparation is required. To maintain your concrete stain, wash and reseal periodically.
Add Cover with a Pergola or Arbor
Pergolas and arbors are attractive features to add to your concrete patio that make time spent on your patio a little nicer.
Pergolas are larger than arbors and can support lighting and fans. They usually stand on four or more pillars and can be enclosed with lattice on the sides to act as a room. Like a living room, you could place seats under the pergola for entertaining.
If you still want to add some shade, but a pergola seems too large or too expensive, an arbor might be a better choice. They can be composed of vinyl, wood, or metal. Metal can be used to make more interesting designs, but will not last as long as wood or vinyl.
You can buy a kit, make one from scratch, or hire a contractor to build one. To make an arbor more special or beautiful, plants and vines can be added. Just be careful not to add too many, because their weight can add stress to the structure. Like pergolas, benches or seats can be placed under arbors.
Add Protection by Screening-in Your Concrete Patio
If your patio has a porch above it, screening it in is a way to make the patio more useful year-round. Screens protect the patio from weather and bugs, which can make the space perfect for relaxing or entertaining. Screens can be heavy. To be safe, have the strength and condition of your foundation checked. Thinking about the size, any appliances or lighting, and where the screens will be placed will also save you time and money.
If you plan on adding any electrical elements to your screened-in porch, your porch must be up to code, and hiring an electrician would be the best course of action.
Create an Atmosphere with a Fire Pit or Chiminea
Your patio is where you can enjoy the outdoors at home. A fire pit or chiminea can bring your patio to life. They can be used for cooking, socializing, warming up, and enjoying your view of the outdoors. A professional can install a fire pit with your choice of fuel and materials. If you don’t want a fire pit, chimineas are much more affordable, and sit above the ground. Your fire pit or chiminea should be placed where the wind is not too strong and there is little foot traffic.
Both fire pits and chimineas need to be covered and kept dry when not in use. If you are having a fire pit built, make sure there is space underneath for water to drain out. Stay safe by keeping a fire extinguisher nearby.
When it comes to designing your patio, there are options for all tastes and budgets. Pops of color, cool designs, protective screens, and stylish arbors and pergolas are all at your disposal. Whether you are trying to build your own patio sanctuary, or hiring professionals, remember to keep safety and comfort in mind!