Concrete driveway

A Concrete Decision

You’ve got it all just the way you want it; the perfect landscaping with an expanse of manicured lawn and precisely placed boulders, a spacious back deck with room for a seating area and dining. Everything about the exterior of your home is welcoming and inviting. Everything, that is, except your driveway. Your driveway is like Cinderella; it does all the hard work and everyone else gets dressed up for the ball. Your driveway deserves just as much attention as the rest of your house, doesn’t it?

When was the last time you cleaned the concrete on your property?  Have you power washed it? While there are several new things to do with concrete, one of the old methods works great – just clean it! Regular maintenance of the walks, patios and driveway to your home enhances the exterior of your home. All of the time and investment in landscaping can be lost if the driveway and walkways create a distraction.

Creative Concrete Decisions

But sometimes you might want more.  Here are some ideas to get your concrete properly attired:

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Stamped Concrete – This option is usually only slightly more expensive than asphalt, and offers unlimited possibilities. You can stamp out any design, pattern or color that you can think of for the look of high-end stone but with the price and durability of plain old concrete.

A stamped concrete patio is simply a concrete slab with a textured, embossed surface. The process involves:

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  • Pouring and smoothing the concrete.
  • Pressing a pattern into the surface while the concrete is still wet and soft.
  • Depending on your selection, adding color to the concrete as it’s mixed, or sprays it on after the surface has been stamped.

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And while we are focusing on the exterior of your home, stamped concrete can be done inside your home also.

Stained Concrete – Applying stain to existing concrete is another option. You can use this process to hide flaws and give it a fresh appearance. Concrete is extremely porous and takes the application of acid-based stains well. In fact, unlike paint, it does not sit on the surface. The stain soaks in as a permanent addition. It won’t flake off. Creative installers can give the illusion of stone or pavers with the use of various stains and by cutting shallow grooves in the concrete.

Here are some images of what can be done:

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Traditional Patio

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Flagstone Stamped Concrete

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Traditional Living Room

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Fancy Edging

You might be thinking that stamped or stained concrete is more than you want to take on. What if you have a driveway that is in good working condition? It doesn’t make sense to tear it out and waste all that money. Plus, that is a lot of square footage to cover, even with stamped concrete. Another option is to edge the driveway with a border in the high-end material of your choice, bricks, stones, stamped concrete. It looks great and no one will ever guess that you did it to save money.

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[one_half_last]Cobblestone – Everyone has at least seen most of the material choices, bricks pavers, stamped concrete, and natural stone. The newest (really, the oldest) kid on the block is cobblestone. In fact, cobblestone has been around for centuries. But, relax; you are not really buying centuries old cobblestone. The stones are actually cast-concrete, complete with rough edges to look old, weathered and amazing. They are laid just like any other paver, but have a classic look.
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Apron

If all of the above is too large of a financial investment, don’t worry.  The answer might be an apron. No, not that kind of apron. You can have just the front portion of your driveway, where it meets the street, paved with either brick or cobblestone. You still have a gorgeous entrance and a driveway befitting the rest of your home, just at a much reduced cost.

With just these few suggestions for dressing up your driveway, you can have an entrance to welcome guests into your home.

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