Choosing a Deck for Your New Pool

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As summer begins, many people have time at the pool on their minds. In some places, pools are already open and ready for swimmers and sunbathers. If you’re a homeowner and love fun in the sun, you might be ready to invest in an inground pool, or in the midst of planning one. Among the decisions you’ll have to make is what material to use for your pool deck and surrounding area.

You want the area around your pool to be both functional and attractive; it should suit your personal style preferences, be durable, and safe. So, as you plan, consider concrete. Concrete has the potential to be beautiful, with enough color and style options to fit anyone’s needs. It is also durable and capable of lasting through years in the sun and water, handling regular foot traffic, and managing slippage.

Decorative concrete, like stamped concrete, can be shaped in creative ways for interesting and beautiful patterns all around your pool. You have a variety of colors, as well as textures and patterns. If you want the benefits of concrete, but the appearance of a more expensive stone, concrete can do it. You can have the look of natural stone, brick, and more. If you want to mix and match, you can do that, too; you can have one color and style framing the larger area, which may be a completely different style.

Of course, reliability and safety are key components, too. Concrete is tough; it can withstand years of water and sun. When made according to your design preferences, it can be sealed with extra protection, including anti-slip defense.

Build the pool of your dreams for this summer and the summers to come. Contact us at Stamped Artistry and ask us more about just how perfect concrete could be for your new pool’s deck.

Solutions for Interlocking Concrete Pavers Problems

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Interlocking concrete pavers add some creativity and classic appeal to any ground. They work on streets, patios, near pools, driveways, and beyond. They are resilient and attractive, all at once. As with any material, they are not without the small potential for occasional problems. Those problems have solutions, however.

Shifting Pavers

Pavers are laid on a sandy bed that is over a more compacted base. This is done to allow for expansion and contraction. Though it may seem like soil is generally stable, it changes. Temperature and moisture alter the soil regularly. Pavers are made and installed to allow for these changes, while remaining smooth and firm.

Of course, even if the pavers are laid well, the soil can expand more than is normal with moisture and freezing temperatures. Then, when the soil contracts again, the pavers may not be able to settle in the same position as before. In other instances, the soil is washed away at the edges by rain or excess water, and the pavers settle in an uneven way, or sink at the edges of the structure.

In most cases, your pavers do not need to be replaced; interlocking pavers are very resilient and should not crack. They may need to lifted, however, and the soil beneath changed. These changes will depend upon the nature of the problem. The layer over the base may need to be of a different substance, such as processed gravel. This makes for a more compact layer that is less easily shifted.

For cases in which only the edges have shifted or sunk, it may be possible to address only the edges. This can often be prevented by using a fabric beneath the base layer to filter and maintain the sides of the area. If you have the problem later, adding the fabric is a solution.

Are you having trouble with interlocking pavers? Do you want them installed? Call us at Stamped Artistry.

Prepare for Summer with Slip-Resistant Pool Decks

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Pools all over the U.S. will open soon, if they haven’t already. That means fun in the sun and the water. It also means people will be on the deck, including running children, and that means concern for pool owners and parents. If you own a pool and you are ready to open it for the summer, you may want to consider making sure the deck is slip-resistant.

Slip-resistant pool decks are often standard. Whether you have stamped concrete, tile, stone, or wood, your deck is made to resist high levels of water damage over long periods of time, and slipping. This does not mean, however, that pool decks never get damaged or slippery. Where there is water, there will be some loss of friction.

So, evaluate the deck area. How long has it been since you last treated the deck? If you have never done so since the pool or deck was installed, then it is most certainly time to have it done. Sometimes, you can buy materials and do this yourself. If you do this, it’s essential to make sure you get the right solution for your deck.

There is never any harm in calling a professional, too. You can have them look at your deck and evaluate it, and offer you options. If your pool deck is particularly old, you might consider having it completely re-done. You can choose from a wide variety of materials to suit your home and your tastes, and your deck will be sealed with slip-resistant solution as part of the process.

If your swimming pool area is too slippery, you want to revitalize your old deck, or you want an entirely new one built, call us at Stamped Artistry now. Don’t wait until summer is already upon you. Choose from stained or stamped concrete, and more, and have the slip-resistant pool of your dreams this summer.

Fireplace Renovation, Even in Spring and Summer

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For many of us, winter is over. We still have come relatively cool spring days ahead of us, but the fires and heavy comforters are no longer necessities. So, you might ask why anyone would suggest revitalizing the fireplace just as spring and summer are blooming?

It’s a great way to spruce up your home’s interior.

The fireplace is a viewpoint in your home. Yes, it’s there to be functional, but even homes in locations that don’t see strong winters can have fireplaces. That’s because they’re also considered aesthetic pieces; they add to the appearance of your home. So, when is the last time yours was renovated? If you’ve been wanting to change a little something in your home but don’t know what, consider the fireplace. Or, add the fireplace to your list of renovations. You don’t have to gut and replace everything. You can have new stone put in, tile, fixtures, or you can have some staining and painting done. There are lots of possibilities and even the smaller ones can make a big difference.

Have it ready when you might need it.

Sure, there may not be many calls for a fire in the house. But, summer time makes us wants s’mores. It makes us want to sit around a fire. If you can’t do that outside, you can still do that inside without making things too hot to bear—thanks, in large part, to air conditioning. Get that fireplace ready for family and friends.

You can do it outdoors, too.

Do you want to have those nights around a fire cooking, eating, talking, drinking, camping? You don’t have to go to a campground and you don’t have to ruin your backyard. You can have a nice fire pit, or outdoor fireplace—chimney and all—in your backyard. You can have it on the patio, on stones in the middle of the yard, wherever is appropriate. It’s not just a fun piece; when you have it designed and installed by a professional, it’s made to look like a lovely, decorative extension of your home.

Do you want this sort of fireplace renovation? Contact us at Stamped Artistry.

The Stained Concrete Driveway

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Feaux-falg4Driveways are highly functional. We don’t consider them much when it comes to renovation for aesthetics. If they’re cracked, we have them fixed because our tires bump every time we drive over them, and because they are unsightly that way. However, how often do you really notice a driveway because it is so very nice-looking?

A driveway like that is possible to have. Stained concrete is a way to make it happen. You can have the best-looking driveway in the neighborhood with stained, and even stamped concrete. Plus, it offers more than just great look.

It’s durable. If you’re worried about something that nice being out in the weather, don’t be. Stained and stamped concrete is sealed and meant to last. Its surface is tough and it’s even stain resistant. It is even made to resist chipping and fading.

It’s not too expensive. Despite how nice it looks, stained concrete can be very affordable. It is even less costly than some more common materials.

It’s better for your tires. It’s not good for our tires to roll on rough surfaces all of the time. Sure, standard concrete will do, but it’s boring and cracks over the years. Stained concrete is finished to a shine in any color mixture you like. It is laid smooth with good traction. You’ll never have a problem with your tires on this driveway.

It’s nice enough to be extra hosting space. If you don’t have a patio, or you just need some extra space for entertaining, a driveway this nice is a great place to do it. Suddenly, your driveway seems far more functional, as it’s nice enough to use for more than driving and parking your car.

Get the nicest driveway in your neighborhood. Call Stamped Artistry today and ask about stained and stamped concrete driveways.

Rain Damaged Concrete

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IMG_20120516_111622Concrete is a very durable thing. It lasts for years and, if it gets good care, it can last a lifetime. Your average sidewalk may crack over a few years, but sturdy, stylish, stained and stamped concrete at your home can remain attractive as long as you want, if you maintain it. Because, when concrete is exposed to the weather, it will be affected. Rain and water damage are real risks.

Defense is the beginning of concrete rain damage care. It prevents the damage from ever happening, or significantly reduces the likelihood. When the concrete is laid, it should be treated with protection and sealed. This is included in the installation of most stains and stamped concrete.

However, should the damage occur anyway, don’t leave it to get worse. As long as you pay a little attention to the state of your concrete, any damage you may notice will probably be mild, or not go far past the surface. This is a good thing because fixing it will not be so difficult. For major issues, resurfacing might be necessary.

The type of repair will depend on the amount of damage and the type of concrete. Mild damage on a brushed finish might just need a professional scrub. This could hurt smoother, shinier concrete, however, and resurfacing entirely might be required in that case. If your concrete is stained and stamped, this might be a lengthier, more involved process that includes re-staining and applying overlays. A professional will have to perform this.

If your current drive way or patio has been for a very long time, you may want to consider getting something completely new, rather than revitalizing the old. For example, if your patio is as it was when you first moved in, water damage could be the perfect excuse to get something new that you like better.

Don’t let rain damaged concrete ruin your day. Call us at Stamped Artistry. We’ll protect your concrete, revitalize it, or construct new stained and stamped concrete for you.

Customization and Concrete Countertops

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countertopsThe kitchen is meant to be a comforting space. It is where people go to nourish and feed themselves, and to get creative with ingredients for their own culinary masterpieces. So, it’s understandable that people become tired of cheap, laminated countertops that wear within short periods of time and are easily scratched. Among the alternate choices is concrete. Concrete countertops are not sidewalks in the kitchen. They are popular choices that have the ability to be stylized according to almost any décor. More importantly, they are durable and perfect for the busy, messy work in the kitchen. Renters have no choice, but many homeowners are discovering that concrete is the ultimate medium with which they can create the perfect countertops for their kitchens.

The demand for concrete countertops has risen recently. This is, in large part, due to design options that suit all styles. Yes, a customer can select from pre-made versions that are cast in molds and sold as-is. However, the more discerning homeowner can have their countertops designed, created, and finished to their specifications. Some prefer to have the job done in the kitchen; the mold is set directly on the cabinets and filled with concrete. Whatever the choice, the results are always one-of-a-kind.

Creating concrete kitchen countertops is like an art form.

Professionals can design their own, unique style by using select ingredients in the mix. Most work with homeowners to create the best look for a home that matches the interior. Some work with interior designers who are having a home renovated for sale.

The end result is a custom, durable countertop. Colors, sheens, metallic and other particles, cuts, and much, much more can all be customized. These countertops don’t have to be in the kitchen, either. If you love them, you can put them almost anywhere you have countertops, including outdoors.

Call us at Stamped Artistry. We can give you your custom concrete countertops that match your style and your life.

Maintain Your Stained Concrete

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Stained DrivewayStained concrete can be a beautiful addition to almost any home. The ability to get creative with style and color means many possibilities to make it match with décor. It is also a durable type of flooring, capable of lasting for years. It looks particularly good outdoors as patio and pool area flooring. Of course, like any other flooring, it requires care to keep it looking its best. If you’ve noticed that your floors have lost their sheen, here are some tips to help you maintain your stained concrete.

Start with a good clean.

First, if you clean your floors regularly, do so with professionally recommended materials. Not all cleaners are made equal, and some may dull the shine on your stained concrete faster. Ask a professional what you should use.

Reseal your floors.

Stained concrete is sealed during installation for protection. It’s made to withstand time, weather, UV rays, stains, moisture, and much more. That is also what gives the floor its shine. It is far better than standard concrete. To maintain this protection, you should have your floors resealed from time to time—every few years, ideally. This is particularly important for stained concrete that sits directly in the sun every day. You may be able to go longer between resealing projects if your floor is protected by shade and cover.

For some, resealing may be a DIY project. It is possible if you have some experience with similar work. However, there are some things you could consider before attempting it. If there are stains, chips, or cracks, those will have to be addressed before resealing. In some cases, those are things that professionals should handle. You want to make sure to get the right sort of cleansers to remove stains, as well as the proper sealant.

Generally, it’s better to let a professional come in and help you maintain your stained concrete floors. Call us at Stamped Artistry. We’re happy to help you find the floor of your dreams, get it installed, and keep it looking its best.

Add an Outdoor Fire Pit

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FIREPITSWith a beautiful outdoor space to complement your home, you may find yourself playing host to friends and family more often. There’s an understandable pride many people feel when their home is at its best. Imagine if you could add s’mores, roasts, and the general lovely glow of a warm fire to the list of fun activities you could do with people in your backyard. If you have never considered adding a fire pit to your yard, think about having one built now for more backyard fun throughout this year.

You can have all the warmth and fun of a campfire right in your backyard. A well-designed outdoor fire pit adds a modern, aesthetic appearance to the rustic look of the standard fire. Fire pits have become popular, and their designs are more creative and multifaceted as a result. Your contractor can construct a permanent one in your yard and you can choose from a variety of materials, such as stamped concrete.

Wood and gas burning pits are the most common choices. Some people find that gas fire pits are more convenient, but, for some, the sounds and smell of a wood fire cannot be replaced. No matter what sort of fire you have, you need fire-resistant materials. Stamped concrete, stones, bricks, and similar substances are all possibilities.

The pit must be set on a fire-resistant surface, such as a stone or concrete patio, or other similar outdoor area. The pit itself can be designed to suit your overall outdoor décor, or be a new, elegant piece to enhance your home. Stamped concrete may be particularly helpful because it is less expensive than some materials, such as real stone, but it can also be made just as attractive in appearance.

Make your outdoors space even more enjoyable and give yourself a place to host campfire fun. Add an outdoor fire pit to your yard. Call us at Stamped Artistry and let us help you design a great fire space.

Pool Renovation with Stamped Concrete

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Pool-deckSwimming pools add touches of extra fun and beauty to homes. You and your children find hours of fun together, or you may enjoy relaxing in the water, or out of it. Yet, over time even the nicest pool could use a renovation.

You don’t have to have a pool like every other in the neighborhood. There are many possibilities for its appearance. Pool renovation with stamped concrete is just one example. Colorful stamped concrete has the potential to be a beautiful addition to your pool area. In addition to being decorative, it is lasting and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

Stamped concrete can handle the outdoor elements and time, as well as chlorinated pool water. Of course, slipping is always a concern around the pool, particularly for parents. You can easily get some traction by having nonskid elements added to mixes and sealants.

You also have many options for design, which isn’t always so with other materials. Stamped concrete can come in many colors and textures. With some help, you can design patterns and shapes, choose from stains and pigments, and get creative. A contrasting pool border adds some originality to a design. You can have light colors that help prevent the area from becoming too hot in the sun, or darker shades to match your aesthetic preferences. Extend the stamped concrete by adding some steps, or a path to a nearby small seating area so that the adults can sit out near the pool and enjoy the sun while the kids play in the water.

Have you been considering updating your pool area? It’s still early in the year, but summer will be here before you know it. Try pool renovation with stamped concrete. Call us at Stamped Artistry and tell us about your dream swimming pool, and let us help you make it come true.