Creating the ideal outdoor areas around your home requires considerable thought. You’ll need to consider many different factors, including what paving method and materials you want to use for your patio, driveway, walkways, pool deck and other paved surfaces. You have quite a few choices available, including natural stone, brick and pavers, but stamped concrete overlays might be the better choice. Why is this? Let’s consider a few elements here and you’ll see why.
Natural Stone, Bricks and Pavers
There are few things that can match the beauty and character of natural stone. Brick offers a classy, elegant look. Pavers add intricate detail and can be patterned in a variety of ways. Using any of these materials can help you achieve a beautiful, stylish, unique look. However, there are problems. First, you’ll find that they’re all pretty expensive, particularly when compared to stamped concrete overlays. Of course, there are other issues here, as well.
Installing natural stone, bricks or pavers is going to require a considerable amount of time and effort. If you have existing concrete (driveways, walkways, etc.), you’ll need to demolish and remove all the existing cement before you can start. Moreover, you’ll have considerable preparation work to do, including leveling, putting down sand and ensuring that your brick, pavers or stone has a level, stable bed on which to rest. That’s not the case with stamped concrete overlays.
With overlays, there’s very little prep work needed. Now, that’s not to say there is none required. If you’ll be installing an overlay over existing concrete, you’ll need to take care of crack and chip repair first, but that’s usually a pretty simple process and the overlay itself can go a long way towards achieving the results you want.
When it comes to cost, overlays are far more affordable. You can spend a small fortune with pavers, and brick and natural stone can be even more expensive. Stamped concrete overlays are not “cheap”, but they’re definitely easier on the wallet than other options on the market.
Of course, you’re likely concerned that overlays aren’t going to give you the same aesthetic as other materials. That’s wrong, though. You’ll find that stamped concrete can be made to look like virtually any other material, from natural stone to brick, pavers, wood and even earth if you want it. It only requires the right pattern and the right color combination, and you’ll have a surface that’s virtually indistinguishable from the “real” thing.
Making Your Choice
From the information above, it should be clear that the best choice for most people is going to be investing in stamped concrete overlays. This solution is faster, simpler and far more affordable than using natural stone, bricks or pavers. In addition, you’ll find that you can do more with the money you save. Make sure you’re working with a reputable, experienced local stamped concrete contractor, though, and that they provide you with all the information you need upfront.