We decided to add a patio to the exterior of our home. We like the look of a stamped patio and our builder only installs a basic concrete slab patio and it is pretty costly. The builder’s expertise is not worrying about the exterior of your home, and I think most builders prefer not to offer patios at all, but some people still have their builder install their patio before they close. The only downside to not having the builder do the patio is the wood barricade across your patio doors in order to close. That pretty much makes our backyard inaccessible from the breakfast room. Not the best situation when you have dogs. So, right away we contacted a concrete company (actually I suggest you do before you close). We had two different companies come out and give us bids and we selected one of the companies.
Before installation began, visit the company and look at the huge variety of colors and designs. It’s a bit difficult to determine a color without an exterior siding sample. In fact, if at all possible before selecting something like this, get a sample of your siding. It will take the guesswork out of choosing a color. I did however, have our ranch house design photos, so at least I could refer to those, but you can’t be certain if the color in the photo represents the true color. After debating quite a bit about color and pattern, we chose a light tan/brown combination in a pattern called Arizona Flagstone.
One of the reasons why we chose the company that we did is that they will mix the color into the concrete, so if the concrete ever chips it will be the same color all the way through. Some companies apply color only to the surface and if the concrete shows some wear, the color underneath will not match. Find out how the color is applied when you request a bid, so you can be sure you’re comparing the same type of work.
Open ranch house plans like ours with several windows makes our patio visible from many areas inside our house. We definitely want to be sure the color and pattern are just right, since it will be a prominent thing in our backyard, (and permanent too)!
The first day there was a large crew getting the patio poured to the size we wanted and the first thing they do is put the steps in. Luckily, we were able to ask the crew to make the steps something they call, “Wedding Cake” style stairs. They have a tiered effect as opposed to just straight stairs. They look great! After poured and smoothed, there was a bit of downtime, and then they began pressing a huge stamp very carefully into the surface of the concrete to get the flagstone pattern we chose. Then, they apply a powder over this surface, which is the “release” that creates the various color variations in the texture on the surface. The “release” looks a bit pink in hue to me and I was a little worried that it wasn’t the right color. But, after it sits on the surface, it is rinsed and creates the true color. The next day, they crew came out again and scored the concrete, which protects it if settling occurs. And, then they apply a glaze, which makes the entire patio shine, and enhances the color tremendously.
Although the project was an expensive one for being right after our move, it was entirely worth it, since it now gave us a backyard! And, this is something that will be permanent and create our outdoor living space where we can relax, entertain and enjoy all year long. Now, I can’t wait to enjoy it!