Upgrading to Decorative Concrete for the Ultimate Curb Appeal
When you stand across the street from your house and give it a critical once-over, how does it strike you? Boring? Plain? Lack of interesting things to look at? You take pride in your home and want it to look amazing, but right now its curb appeal is lacking something special. What can you do to make your house look valuable and well-cared for?
Some would suggest adding a fresh coat of paint or planting some flowers. And it’s true that these tips are essential for curb appeal. If you have a little more budget in your home renovation, consider using decorative concrete to boost your curb appeal.
Not Your Grandfather’s Concrete
Decorative Concrete is incredibly versatile. There are two primary ways in which it can be customized: coloring and stamping.
Colored concrete is created by adding a powdered colorant to a batch of concrete. Because the color is infused in the concrete itself, it is permanent and can’t wash away. The drab, gray concrete that springs to mind any time you think of this durable material is no longer your only choice. Earth tones like terra cotta, Havana brown and sage are common, but brighter colors like blue and purple can also be achieved.
The second way in which plain concrete is transformed into decorative concrete is through stamping. When the concrete is still wet and pliable, a template is pressed onto the surface in order to give the appearance of any number of materials. Tile, stone, and brick are three common choices of patterns. Concrete is more affordable and easier to install than any of these building materials, allowing you to give your home a touch of class without breaking the bank.
Additional powdered colorants are broadcast across the top of the concrete before the stamping process to reinforce the textured look, adding shadows and highlights to the concrete and fooling all casual observers into thinking real bricks or stones were used.
Where to Put Decorative Concrete
Decorative concrete can be used on the exterior of your home and throughout your landscape to enhance your property’s overall curb appeal. Some ideas include:
- Resurfacing your driveway, sidewalk, and patio to look like cobblestone or any other unique pattern.
- Applying a layer of colored and/or patterned concrete over the visible foundation to make your home look more upscale.
- Using decorative concrete to make custom borders around gardens, walkways, mailboxes and lamp posts.
- Creating visual interest over the side of the home, replacing vinyl siding with concrete stamped to look like bricks or stones.
A Good DIY Weekend Project
The best thing about decorative concrete is that it is DIY-friendly, just like regular concrete. Avoid the top mistakes when installing concrete, such as forgetting to give it enough time to cure, for durable and beautiful results. Always work with a small team of people and gather up your supplies before you begin, because concrete is unforgiving once it hardens. Fortunately, there is no need to tear up existing concrete; simply add a thin layer of fresh concrete over the top in a process called resurfacing.
A fresh coat of paint and well-placed shrubs and flowers are important aspects of curb appeal, but too many homeowners overlook the importance of concrete in the overall appearance of a house. Large areas are composed of concrete (just imagine how much space a simple driveway takes up), and upgrading these areas to decorative concrete can give a fresh look to the overall space. Decide what color and pattern or texture will look best on your home, choose the areas that need a concrete makeover, and set aside a weekend to get the job done, and your home will look classier than ever before!
Contributor's bio: Cathy is a professional freelancer who loves writing informative and interesting articles on interior design and home renovation. She is a content developer for Dirtwirx.com, writing pieces of interest for both construction crews and homeowners alike.