We decided to add our own patio to the exterior of our home. We really like the look of the stamped patios and our builder would just be putting in a basic concrete slab patio, which was still pretty costly. The builder’s expertise is not worrying about the exterior of your home, and I think most builders would prefer to not offer patios at all, but some people still have their builder put their patio in before they close. The only downside to not having the builder do the patio is the wood barricade that must be added 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 before we even closed on our home). We had two different companies come out and give us bids and we selected one of the companies.
Before the installation began, we went to the company and looked at a huge variety of colors and designs. It’s a bit difficult to determine a color when we didn’t have an exterior siding sample, or anything. In fact, if at all possible before selecting something like this, try to get a sample of the siding being used on your home. 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 ended up with 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 chipped or anything it will be the same color all the way through. Some companies apply the color to the surface and then if the concrete does in fact show some wear, the color underneath will not match. Be sure to 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 will make our patio visible from many parts of the inside of our house. We definitely wanted to be sure that we got the color and pattern 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 to them as opposed to just straight stairs. It turned out great. After all was 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 had chosen. Then, they apply a powder over this surface, which is the “release” that will create the various color variations in the texture of the surface. The “release” looked a bit pink in hue to me and I was a little worried that it wasn’t the right color. But, that sits on the surface and then it is rinsed from the surface to create the true color. The next day, they crew came out again and scored to the concrete, which will help protect it if settling occurs. And, then they applied a glaze, which really made the entire patio shine, and enhanced 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 that we can relax, entertain and enjoy all year long. Now, I can’t wait to get it decorated!