Concrete & Asphalt Patios
There is a growing trend in concrete and concrete pavers as the material of choice when homeowners look to replace or build a new patio or porch. What’s driving the popularity of concrete patios? For one thing, concrete patios aren’t just plain gray squares anymore: A concrete patio can be stained, stamped with an interesting pattern, or textured -- so it’s easy to customize it to your taste. And since a concrete or asphalt patio is easy to care for, this trend should continue for years to come.
The advantages of concrete patios
Anyone who immediately envisions a big, drab square or rectangular slab of concrete as what a concrete porch or patio is all about can immediately dismiss that now as more or less an obsolete notion. The design versatility that has gone into stamping tools and coloring techniques in recent years have made many options in differing forms and appearances, and the ability to accommodate spatial restrictions makes concrete patios easier and more affordable than they've ever been.
Concrete patio designs
Homeowners can elect to design a concrete patio that goes with their existing outdoor landscape, or perhaps one that may match the indoor decor, creating a consistent theme that brings your interior and exterior design together seamlessly. With a number of different concrete patio layouts and designs to choose from, homeowners can select a patio style that is certain to be unique in their neighborhood. And with a bit of creativity now being used in this construction, concrete can be made to resemble other popular materials used in patios such as natural stone, brick, and even wood.
The durability of concrete patios
One great advantage of using concrete is the high durability of the material. In more northern climates, where there are much more common periods of freezing weather, stamped concrete can be made with added elements, such as additional steel and rebar in a grid's construction to further control cracking. A higher-strength concrete mix that includes reinforcing fibers is also often used, and additional coats of sealer add further durability and complete the construction process. As an experienced contractor that handles all kinds of jobs both large and small, we can help fit your concrete patio construction to the environment and weather so it lasts longer.
Concrete patio maintenance
In terms of maintenance, the solid surface foundation of a concrete patio surface means that very little must be done at all once the patio is in. Unlike paving stones, which can settle unevenly, creating tripping hazards, as well as problems occurring in the sand-filled joints, concrete won't have this problem. And unlike wood patios, concrete isn't susceptible to rotting, warping or splintering, and won't have to be stained and re-sealed year after year until it ultimately needs to be replaced.
The process for putting in a concrete patio
The process for pouring a concrete patio is rather simple. The first step is to clear and clean the area of grass, rocks, roots, vegetation, and other detritus, exposing raw earth. A proper sub base is needed to be prepared so that the concrete cures properly and reduces chances of expansive soil heaving and frost heaving. This is done by placing a minimum of 4 inches of granular fill or road base (most commonly) over the area, then compacted.
Forming comes next, after the sub base is prepared. Concrete forms, usually wood for residential applications, are then set. These forms have special screws or nails attached to the stakes allowing for easy removal of the forms once the concrete has cured.
Now it's time for the concrete pour. Our expert patio installers will pour the appropriate concrete mix, pre-determined based on environmental variables. While the wet concrete is poured up to the form's edge, contractors will use tools to move the concrete around, eliminating voids or air pockets.
Now that the heavier work is done, the surface is screed, or smoothed and leveled. This also helps to compact and consolidate the concrete. The concrete is then floated, even further compacting the concrete and eliminating high spots and depressions.
Depending on the desired surface, troweling may take place once the surface begins to firm up. And after any troweling, a complete and final finish can be applied, which can include a broom finish, textured, stamped, or smooth, among others. Curing (the hardening) then takes place, typically lasting 28 days, a little longer in colder weather.
Your best choice for concrete and asphalt patios
As a contractor that has served the Southeast for over 25 years, Wright Construction is the ideal choice for your new asphalt or concrete patio or porch. Our experience has not only made us one of the best construction companies in the South -- serving Memphis, Nashville, Huntsville, Birmingham and Chattanooga -- but also helps us get construction projects of all sizes done on time and on budget. Contact us today for a quote.