Is your driveway boring or cracked and unsightly? Have you been looking at options to improve the aesthetics of your home and give it more curb appeal? You might want to consider stamped concrete as a viable option. For one, its quite a bit cheaper than installing pavers bricks or natural stone. The installation process is similar to that of pouring regular concrete except that special coloring techniques are used as well as a variety of rubber stamps depending on your preferences. Some of the designs range from tile to wood to cobblestone and more giving the surface a real custom look at an affordable price.
Stamped concrete is a craft and not one easily accomplished by the average homeowner. A well designed and executed project takes some expertise and lots of patience, one that is determined by good timing and quick efficient work as the concrete must dry enough to step on but not be too wet or fully cured.
Weather plays a major role in stamping concrete. You may begin a project under sunny skies and a storm pulls in that could easily ruin the stamping detail. Even the most skilled contractors agree that stamped concrete is by nature an imperfect process and homeowners should expect some minor cracking over time due to weather and settling. There are also occasions when the concrete might shift during drying to due wind and other factors causing a slight difference in pitch, color and texture.
So How Do You Choose The Right Concrete Contractor?
First you will have to find a local contractor that has the experience you need for your project and that services your area. One way to do this would be to search on line in your local area by typing in concrete in “your city or state”.
Next and once you have a list of potential candidates, ask your friends for referrals on facebook or other social media outlets. This will help you get real reviews from people you trust not just the ones found on the site which can be bought by outside agencies.
Ask some local handymen or contractors that may have some experience with some of these companies. Be careful here though as they may have connections with some of these companies and might receive referral fees for sending clients. Look at this method as some extra metrics but don’t base your decision on their recommendation unless they’re a close relative or very good friend.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to 4 or 5 companies look up their licenses online and see if they are insured and bonded. This is very important!
To see whether the contractors have licenses in their respective states ask them for proof of both and make sure the information is accurate and up to date. Don’t just take their word for it.
Next don’t be afraid to share ideas with potential contractors to see if they can accomplish your design plan. As you can see in the following picture there is a nice flow between the stamped tile look and the cobblestone runner which makes is seem more natural. It also adds a lot of appeal as well.
Finally most good concrete contractors have pictures of their previous projects that they can share with you. Feel free to ask them for their portfolio to see if their style is in line with yours.
Now you are ready. Go out there and find the right contractor to get the job done!
Visit some of these projects at Fall River Concrete and see some designs that might suit your needs.