Decorative Concrete Patios

A couple of months ago I posted an example of a concrete driveway enhanced by a decorative stamped edge. Alongside that photo was an example of a regular concrete driveway. The decorative driveway was more appealing than the plain concrete driveway and the same can be done with a back patio as well.
Rodrigo from Nevada sent in these photos of some work he had completed using the TTI Screedright Pro concrete screed.

This concrete patio was first formed up using a flexible forming system. Either an outside curb was formed first or Rodrigo simply leveled off the concrete in one flat pour. The crew used concrete stamps to obtain a cool texture to the concrete patio. Control joints were cut into the slabs to prevent undue cracking along the concrete slab. After the concrete had time to dry, the crew used concrete stain to place color on the patio. The rounder patio has a darker brown edging that helps the star in the middle to pop.

The rectangular patio was first formed up using wood forms. The concrete was screeded off and then allowed to settle some before stamps and color were added to it as well. I am a bit stumped as to how they obtained the “marbling” design in this example. Anyone out there in concrete world, please pipe in if you know how Rodrigo obtained that look!
And as always, happy screeding!

Sealed Stamped Concrete

Here is an update to my previous post on stamped concrete. The concrete contractor added a colored seal to the edging of the new concrete driveway for a new construction home. The contractor also included a little landscaping in the new home package.

The first thing to consider when looking for a concrete sealer is to examine weather the sealer will be applied indoors or outdoors.  For this project, the contractor was looking for a product specific for outdoor use.  Your product should have good UV resistance and also be waterproof.    Usually an area like this gets a lot of foot and vehicle traffic and the new homeowner should consider applying a new coating every couple of years or so.

New Construction: To Stamp or Not to Stamp?

I try and take a walk pretty much everyday. I have noticed a couple of new homes going up in our neighborhood. These are fairly similar homes, although one is a bit more high end then the other. Both driveways were poured about the same time. On one house, the contractor decided to stamp the edges and accompanying sidewalk. The other house has a traditional non-stamped drive. The stamped driveway does take a little more time and money to complete. On a new construction, it shouldn’t take that much extra effort though.

The first few steps are basically the same.  Forming the slab and sidewalk with wooden or plastic forms.  The concrete is poured, screeded off and floated in the same manner as well.  If a concrete contractor is looking to add extra decorative design, he or she will allow the concrete to dry just enough to be able to apply the concrete stamp.  At this point, the contractor can apply color if desired.  The stamp is usually a small rubber  form that lays over the concrete and is moved around to form a pattern.

More and more homeowners are adding a stamped design to their new construction as a way to spruce up the look of their landscaping.  What do you think?  Do you like the stamped look or a more traditional concrete flat work?

You May Never Own a Lamborghini…

Lamborghini. The ultimate name in luxury and success. The company began in the 1960’s by Ferruccio Lamborghini, a profitable tractor company owner. He debuted his first car in 1963 at the Turin Auto Show. Legend indicates that Lamborghini had a “falling out” with his friend Enzo Farrari and vowed never to drive a Ferrari again. The rest, as they say, is history.
While the company has ebbed and flowed throughout the past 40 sum years, they have survived because they turn out cars individually and with great care. A few websites I visited noted that just a hair over 2,000 Lamborghini’s were sold in 2006. That’s world wide. One site said that 2007 numbers looked like they may reach 2400. That’s world wide. And those are “record-breaking” numbers.
Each car means something. Each car is carefully and meticulously, built, detailed, delivered, and presented to it’s new owner. Each car will require a six figure check! Doing another simple “google” of “Lamborghini prices” leaves ones mouth open. For the price of a house… you too can own a Lamborghini… did I mention they were “sold out” for ’08?
If you are the type who really would rather not LIVE in your car… (although, we are talking about a Lamborghini here)… maybe you ought to consider your options.
Trade Tool Innovations would like to think of its self as “The Lamborghini of the Concrete Screed World.” While we didn’t get into the business due to a dispute with anyone… let alone swear off Ferrari’s… we had in mind the same business model as Lamborghini when we rolled out our first prototype concrete screed in 2004. It was blue, and was demoed right here in our hometown. The first one we sold went to New Jersey!
Since then, we continue to manufacture, box and ship each one from our shop. If you want one then you’ll have to call us. While we probably didn’t sell as many concrete tools as the “big guys” last year (just a note… we had our own “record breaking year as well) each one we sell has a name and location associated with it.
We only make so many per year. That’s the way it is. Concrete season is just around the corner. I suppose you could either look into buying a car you’d have to live in… or buying a tool you could make a living with.
Consider it your personal “Lamborghini” of sorts.