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Old 09-12-2013, 12:18 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Anyone here know concrete?

Disclaimer: This is not about the Chiefs, but nonetheless it is quite interesting. To me, anyway.

My house sits pretty high off the street, so if you're standing on the street, here's what you encounter as you walk toward the front door.

Zone 1. Curb
Zone 2. Small Median of dirt/plants and a couple of large trees (6 feet deep)
Zone 3. Sidewalk
Zone 4. About 8 concrete steps up through a sloped area of plants.
Zone 5. Little flat concrete walkway area through plants and a couple of ornamental trees (4 feet deep)
Zone 6. Concrete open area that goes three directions - left side of house to reach side door, straight ahead to Zone 7, and right side of house to apartment door (10 feet deep)
Zone 7. About 8 more concrete steps up.
Zone 8. Front porch.

Note that I really don't have a classic lawn or "front yard". It's an older home so the house is only about 30 feet from the sidewalk, and it's up a steep slope that's mostly plants and a few decorative rocks that are too small.


Zones 4, 6, and 7 add up to a lot of concrete, and it's pretty utilitarian. While I like the "no maintenance" nature of the concrete, and it's easy to shovel snow, I'd like to increase the curb appeal.

So I talked to a guy today who does landscape construction. He gave me a couple of options:

1. Tear all of the concrete out and replace it with a new concrete that has nice patterns and trim and stuff.

2. "Clad" the existing concrete by putting stone over it and mortaring it in (or something like that).

Option 1 seems nice, but my guess is that it's also expensive. Option 2 seems like it would be more cost-effective, and the existing concrete is in good shape. However, I always worry about creating layers on outdoor stuff. I have this nightmare scenario of water seeping in between the concrete and stone and ending up with a bunch of mold or mosquito breeding ground, or just having the stuff rot and collapse. I don't think concrete really rots, but you know what I mean.

What do you think? What's the better option?
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:08 PM   #31
AustinChief AustinChief is offline
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You should go with option #1 and get stamped/stained concrete.

AND the most important added feature I would get if I were you... radiant heat built in! Never ever shovel snow again!

http://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/pro...diant-outdoors
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #32
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I'd be very wary of cladding not because of mold, but freeze/thaw.

Acid staining is an option, but definitely get references and see in person. it is an art, and too unqualified people are doing it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:27 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
You should go with option #1 and get stamped/stained concrete.

AND the most important added feature I would get if I were you... radiant heat built in! Never ever shovel snow again!

http://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/pro...diant-outdoors
My biggest regret in my kitchen remodel was not doing radiant heating in the floor.

But outdoors? I envision my yard being full of small animals and raccoons luxuriating in the warmth, and having to nudge them out of the way with my foot to get the mail.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
My biggest regret in my kitchen remodel was not doing radiant heating in the floor.

But outdoors? I envision my yard being full of small animals and raccoons luxuriating in the warmth, and having to nudge them out of the way with my foot to get the mail.
OR... you could supercharge the system and when that happens... crank it up for free BBQ!

Seriously though, how cool would it be to have a system where you can flip a switch and melt the snow/ice instead of shoveling.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #35
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Concrete. Then acid stain it like marble. Seal it. Profit.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:51 PM   #36
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http://rustoleumrestore.com/

We use this on our concrete porch. It looks nice and it was reasonable in price.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
Y'know, that's kind of what I'm thinking. I plan to live in this house until the sun explodes, so I'm big on doing things in the best long-term manner and with the least maintenance. The guy today was telling me that cladding would be no problem, but I generally am suspect of anything that requires sealing.

How do I vet a concrete guy?
Call area concrete providers to make sure their credit is good. I hired a concrete sub once because he lived a few blocks from me. He couldn't even get concrete. Ended up firing him and losing $1000.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:12 PM   #38
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:14 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
My biggest regret in my kitchen remodel was not doing radiant heating in the floor.

But outdoors? I envision my yard being full of small animals and raccoons luxuriating in the warmth, and having to nudge them out of the way with my foot to get the mail.
Yes, yes, yes. It's expensive but get a good warranty and never shovel the walk again.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:14 PM   #40
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Easiest thing to do would be to acid stain the concrete and then using chalk, draw irregular lines on the concrete in the shape of flagstone. Take a hand grinder and grind along the lines. They will com out looking like grout lines. The big expense is your labor then.
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