Increase the aesthetic appeal and market value of your home with concrete

Increase the aesthetic appeal and market value of your home with concrete

 

According to HGTV, adding a walkway and driveway can add to the market value of your home as well as increase its curb appeal. A concrete paved driveway gives your home a clean, finished look and will make it stand out in your neighborhood. Nothing says class quite like a concrete driveway!

Bridges and roadways are made of concrete due to its superior strength, structural integrity and durability. Concrete driveways are built to last and are a good, solid investment for the life of your home. Concrete driveways and walkways are practically maintenance-free, unlike asphalt that requires regular maintenance, costing you more money over time.  Concrete is also more environmentally friendly. So remember to keep this in mind, because initially concrete may be slightly more expensive, yet over time is more economical to maintain.

There are also practical matters to consider.  A concrete paved driveway will protect your car from gravel dust, dirt, and mud. Concrete will cut down or eliminate the dirt being tracked into your house from outdoors, especially after the rain has turned your unpaved driveway to mud.

Aside from being functional, your cement driveway will be a place for your family to enjoy roller-skating, riding bikes, skateboarding, and playing basketball. Nothing says home in suburbia quite like a basketball hoop in a paved driveway! To double the fun, you can even add an outdoor sitting area nearby. The possibilities are endless.

 

You should begin by looking through magazines, books, and online for designs that appeal to you.  There are an unlimited number of ways to design the outdoor living space that you want.  You may want to begin by considering safety when designing a plan. If your driveway is on a busy street for example, you may want a circle driveway, so that you don’t have to back your car out onto a busy street.

 

 

Concrete is versatile and you have the option of adding colors for a truly unique look. With a palette of colors to choose from, your project can be individualized to suit you.  Contact us today with your project, big or small, and we’ll help you achieve your outdoor goals!

 

 

Concrete Contractor South Jersey

Stained Concrete

Acid staining can make a common concrete floor into look like expensive natural stone flooring. Not only is it a fraction of the price, but for people allergic to carpeting materials it’s a godsend. Another great application is in houses with radiant floor heating. Radiant heating is at its most efficient when insulating floor coverings like tile or carpet are minimized.

The process of staining a concrete floor, while not overly complex, can be tough to get the results you want from. Most folks are probably better off hiring a professional contractor. It’s a risky project for the do-it-yourselfer.

If you’re not familiar with it, concrete stain isn’t a paint or finish coat. It involves a chemical reaction on cement materials. Typically a water-based solution of hydrochloric acid and inorganic salts, the stain reacts with minerals and lime in the concrete aggregate, and the result of the reaction is coloring. It works on new or old concrete, and is fairly durable if you maintain it with sealer or wax, since it won’t stain or chip. It can also be applied to both interiors and exterior floors. Walkways, bathrooms, entrances, driveways, living rooms and patios are all fair game.

When it’s finished, stained concrete looks a little like marble, but more dappled and less uniform. The concrete will mostly be earthy brown tones, with hints of red and green. It’s possible to make your own tint stain by mixing colors, or applying at dissimilar rates. When you stain a concrete floor, though, don’t expect the stain to be uniform or have an even tone. Plan your room decor and color scheme accordingly, because you’ll get dissimilar reactions from different areas of the concrete, and even a seasoned pro will be hard pressed to predict what the final result will be.

Surface prep for acid staining concrete depends on what condition your slab is in. Newly poured concrete only needs is be allowed time for curing- three weeks after pouring- then some rinsing and scrubbing. Older concrete is a different story. Thorough cleaning is required because any dirt, grease, paint, sealer or even curing agent will keep the stain from penetrating and reacting as it should. Do a little test area to make sure itÆs ready.

Newer poured concrete will require less stain than older floors, but in general, a gallon of water added to one gallon of stain will cover around 400 square feet. Apply the stain with a non-metallic brush or broom, working in the cooler morning or evening hours, rather than in the heat of the day. Be careful to protect yourself from spillage, drips and fumes from the acid stain, and follow the manufacturer’s precautions.

After application, you need to cleanup by sweeping away any leftover stain and residue with a broom. When the floor is thoroughly dry, it is a good idea to apply a sealer agent and then wax it.

If you are in the market for natural stone flooring, a new look for your basement or patio, or just looking for new remodeling ideas, stained concrete is something you should look into.

5 Tips for Proper Care of Travertine Hardscapes

 

No matter where you live, the weather can damage travertine hardscapes, particularly if you do not take the time to properly care for them. Following a few easy strategies to protect your pavers can add years to their longevity while maintaining their appeal. Here are five tips you can use to safeguard the integrity of your pavers.

 

  1. Seal Your Pavers

While you might be handy enough to seal your own pavers, it is usually wiser to hire a professional concrete contractor to do it. Even though this style of paver resists moisture well, it is always a good idea to waterproof them so you have full protection against the elements. This is particularly a good idea if you live in harsher climates that are more inclined to excessive water or snowfall – or if your pavers are next to a pool. The splashing and excessive moisture can slowly damage your pavers over the years. Make sure you follow the manufactures instructions regarding the frequency of using a sealer for your pavers – or just ask an expert!

 

  1. Clean Regularly

Cleaning your patio, driveway, or walkway on a regular basis is essential to any landscape care, but it also keeps your pavers looking attractive while also protecting their structural integrity. Be sure to use a broom with soft bristles to sweep the pavers free of debris about once a week, you can also wash them with a gentle cleaner made specifically for natural stone. This keeps their color as vibrant as the day they were installed. It is also a good idea to clean your pavers after storms, this is also for safety reasons to keep the areas around your home clear of hazards.

 

  1. Remove Grass, Moss, and Weeds

The growth of grass, moss, and weeds are inevitable but you must take steps to clear them regularly as part of a healthy landscape routine. If you do not maintain these items between the pavers it can destroy the integrity of the patio, walkway, or driveway. It is very important not to allow roots of any kind to grow between pavers, it is a good idea to check them periodically for this type of growth. While minor growth won’t do too much harm, it does indicate the presence of dirt and grime between your pavers. Eventually, as the weeds and other items grow it causes the pavers to shift and could possibly form cracks – which you do not want. So remove signs of growth immediately to prevent this from happening.

 

  1. Remove Early Signs of Mildew and Mold

Mold and mildew aren’t very likely to damage your pavers, but if allowed to flourish mildew and mold will make it much more difficult to clean your pavers. If you remove these items while they are still in their early stages it simplifies the cleaning process, and reduces the risk of harming the pavers.

 

  1. Choose Patio Furniture Carefully

Although pavers are extremely durable, be sure to choose patio furniture that does not have sharp edges or bottoms. Moving this type of furniture regularly across the stone surface of the paver will cause scratching and stress on the block. Instead opt for furniture that is easy to lift and move about.

 

Whether you have a driveway constructed with pavers or a beautifully designed paver patio, using a few simple strategies can maintain their vibrant color throughout the year. If you need help, do not hesitate to reach out and contact us with any questions or concerns regarding your paver installation. By doing this, not only will you be able to enjoy the beauty of your pavers for a long time, but it will also enhance your property’s curb appeal.

Protect Your Home with Outdoor Lighting

 

Purchasing a home is the single largest investment most people will make in their lifetimes. Choosing the most efficient and economical ways to protect and enhance that investment is not always easy. However, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to accomplish both tasks is with the use of outside lighting. Here are a few examples that may help in your decision.

 

Theft and Vandalism Deterrent

 

Estimations indicate that if you are the victim of a burglary, it could cost you more than $2,000 in property loss. With the installation of outside security lighting, you will possibly avoid that loss. When motion-detection light comes on when you are home, it affords you the opportunity to see what is going on outside your home from the comfort and safety of being inside. The cover of darkness encourages would-be thieves and vandals; outside lighting might be the deterrent they need to move on to another target.

 

Safety

 

Exterior lighting can light your way after the sun sets. The use of motion-activated lighting assures that you never have to enter your home in darkness. Also, evening guests will feel more confident visiting when the pathway is lighted.

 

Insurance Costs

 

Insurance companies like when homeowners are proactive in protecting their property. By potentially saving the insurance company expenses in the form of claim payouts, they are more likely to pass some of that savings on to you in the form of reduced premiums.

 

Nuisance Animals

 

Lighting is a significant deterrent to nuisance animals like rabbits, raccoons, and the occasional stray dog, keeping out of your garden or flower beds. Most of these animals are often scared off by any change in scenery, and lighting up your area constitutes a change in scenery. You have put much hard work into your landscaping; don’t let these pests ruin that effort.

 

Cost Efficiency

 

Motion-activated lighting as your outside light source can result in energy and bulb-replacement savings. These lights are not continuously illuminated, only coming on when there is detectable motion.

 

Curb Appeal

 

Your home becomes more inviting with the addition of outdoor lighting. Showcase the areas that you are proudest of by illuminating them with some well-placed lighting. A well-lit home raises the aesthetic value by displaying its best characteristics.

 

Extension of Living Area

 

Exterior lighting added to most any part of your home extends the living area and usage of your entire home and property. Darkness should not force you inside. If you have outside areas such as porches or patios, outside lighting allows use them no matter the time of day or night.

 

Sometimes the simplest solutions to problems turn out to be the best ones. When choosing ways to protect and beautify your home, outside lighting is a clear choice. There are more reasons to add light to the exterior of the home, but these few should get you started on the road to making the best decision for your situation.