Spring Fever

84 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, March 3rd, 2011

We visited our neighbors this weekend and as we were leaving they said something along the lines of “well pretty soon we can hang out outside and grill!” Mike and I looked at each other, realizing that not only do we have no outdoor “hang out” space, but we don’t even have a grill. The back of our house still looks like this….

We put zero effort into thinking about this space. Well, realistically thinking for the near future. I have high hopes of a pool with a waterfall and slide, but I know that’s not likely to happen. I am not a good landscape/hardscape envisioner… I am still new at this part of homeownership. I can think of the “feel” and “mood” I’d like our outdoor space to have but as far as actual materials, layout, size.. I am clueless.

After our neighbor’s reminder and the long and cold winter we’ve had, we started to think that this may be our big project of 2011. I love being outside when it’s nice out and sitting on the porch by myself got old quick last year. We originally thought we’d do a deck, but a) it’s expensive to do composite b) there’s maintenance involved with real wood with a dark stain and c) not sure if it would be the best place for my firepit dreams. So then we thought (in our dreamland) that we’d do a deck with an eating space with stairs down to a patio with a firepit/loungey area. Then we decided that we didn’t want to eat up too much of our yard and want to keep our future options open. So we started to think about just going with the patio.

Once again, not only I don’t know much about this, but most patios don’t really do anything for me. We don’t want pavers and figured we’d go with stamped concrete. I just wanted to get a base down that we can work with over the next few years. I’ve seen some different things done with planters and whatnot that peaked my interest in outdoor space a liiiitle, but for now I was settling for just a start. So we were thinking we’d go with a fieldstone or cobblestone pattern to compliment our house, though neither option really overwhelmed me with excitement. Then Mike discovered this stamp pattern…

No that is not hardwood, it is stamped concrete! Mike found this idea on a local contractor’s website. We contacted him immediately to get an estimate. I have a love for wood that is dark and rustic, so to be able to have the warmth of a deck combined with the ease of concrete? Heavenly! I’ve never seen anything like this before and it definitely had that little extra we were looking for! Here are some more pics I found while googling…

(via)

(via)

I love the added texture in that last picture! Now, Mike and I can almost guarantee that this pattern and color will be the most expensive stamped concrete option in the history of the world… we just have that sort of luck. But we figure it can’t hurt to ask around. The next question we had to tackle? What size do we want.

Mike asked me what I wanted out of the space and since he often responds to me with “I’m not following you” or “can you put that in terms I understand”, I had to do one of my awful Paint sketches that are not meant for the general public…

I’m hoping we find a creative contractor that can do better than my pathetically planned out rectangle. We would like all of these elements, just in a well thought out and planned space. So we started throwing some ideas back and forth after thinking for it a bit, so I revised my sketch to push back the grill to save some room for growth…

Mike then elaborated on this and came up with the best sketch ever…

Wait, do you need a close up of the best part?

I married such an artist.

But I think we just came up with a patio the size of our backyard. So I came back with this one, cropping the patio at the edge of the bar and table and adding a lower level for the loungey/firepit…

I think this will still be too big, considering the mass amount of dead space in the center, but hopefully this is just a jumping off point. We’re hoping to actually go outside to the backyard (what a novel concept!) to get an idea of how large we want this thing. We had an appointment with the concrete man for Saturday, but we had to cancel it because we forgot we had other plans. So hopefully, concrete man will come soon with tons of ideas, thoughts on maximizing our space and a cheap price!

Until then, our Paint wars will continue…

 Update! For those of you just finding this post, we did go forward with the wood plank stamped concrete! You can read all about it in this post and here are some of our very own after pictures :)

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84 Responses to “Spring Fever”

  1. Cait @ Hernando House says:

    Robert knows (or knew) someone who does that kind if concrete coating down here. Love it! I don’t remember if he told me they did wood-look, it it that is incredibly awesome.

    Also? I LOVE the paint wars and the “firepit (obviously)”. Can’t wait to see what direction you go in!

  2. Cait @ Hernando House says:

    Whoops, I meant “kind of” not if.

  3. Mel says:

    Just an FYI- we did our composite deck for <2000 I believe and it is a decent size for eating/grilling. It helped that Brian did all the labor, but we found composite through a contractor warehouse place for half the price Home Depot/Lowes wanted.

  4. Robin says:

    love the wood patterned concrete. love your paint drawings.

  5. Kerry says:

    That concrete is AWESOME! :)

    We (and by we… I mean I) have spring fever as well and I am dying to tackle our ugly, embarrassing backyard. B is less worried… and we still have a pile of rubble in the yard from when we ripped down the front entry. Apparently he took some away today to throw into his work dumpster, but I could hardly tell the difference. I’m dying to have a beautiful backyard to hang out in this summer with the babe (and friends too I guess haha)

  6. michelle says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that stamped concrete. I did not know something like this even existed!!

    Just found your blog! It’s nice to read about someone else transforming their new house….althought we did pick out everything in ours…I just had bad taste at the time. :P

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks Michelle!

      I swear my style has changed in just a year! There are probably a couple of little things we would have done differently if we had to do it all again!

  7. ahhhhh designing the backyard! fuuuun!!!!! I want a david bromstad-esque deck and patio… omggg have you seen the ones he’s done on colorsplash? faaaaabulous!

    happy designing/planning love! can’t wait to see more!

  8. i am loving that stamped concrete. i’ve never see that patter before! i’m going to have to show my fiance. our yard is still completely mud so we are trying to decide what we are going to do before they lay our sod next month. good luck with your ideas! love the drawings by the way. :) haha!

  9. nancy ziller says:

    Love the stamped concrete made to look like wood! 20 years ago we built our home and had stamped concrete in the kitchen (mexican tile look) and the living room (black slate). Everyone thought we were nuts, turned out great and never regretted it!

  10. Kristy says:

    I’m going to go with – I don’t know about the stamped concrete.

    It’s one thing to look at pictures of it on the internet, but I imagine in reality it will never feel like wood underfoot therefore would appear fake.

    If you like concrete, why not go for a polished concrete made with aggregate that polishes up as beautiful speckles?

    Personally I would do an outdoor tile or paver over stamped concrete any day.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Kristy, we actually went through with the wood plank concrete and love the way it turned out! Some of our family members have stamped concrete, so we knew it would never feel like real wood. But by the looks of it, it has fooled quite a few people in person. I added a link and some pictures at the end of this post :)

  11. Deborah says:

    I love the stamped concrete! Where would I get the stamp to do that?
    Please email me the information….I want to do that on the floor of my new log cabin! Awesome.

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Deborah,

      I sent you an email, but I figured I’d respond here too just incase anyone else has a similar question. Our patio is about 700 sq feet so we did not pour all of that concrete on our own! Once we knew we wanted the wood plank, we googled for a local concrete company that had that stamp. Thankfully we found someone very local who was excellent. But if you’re looking for just the stamp, I’d say try google since I did spot it when I was just wondering what the heck it looked like.

      Thanks for reading :)
      Rebecca

    • Linda says:

      Where can I get the stamp to do my deck!

      • Rebecca says:

        We contacted a contractor who had the stamp and he did all of the work. I literally just searched for “wood plank stamped concrete near (zip code)” and loved who we found!

  12. Jan Hall says:

    This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I soooooooo want to do this one day!!!

  13. Erika says:

    Just found your blog through Pinterest. I have never seen the wood pattern stamped concrete…I LOVE IT! Hope you share your final outcome!

  14. Jenny B. says:

    I came to your blog via a picture on pinterest (a couple, actually). It looks AMAZING! Makes me want to grind up our patio and start over. :) Thanks for sharing!

  15. Niki says:

    I am thinking about using this in my kitchen. i love dark wood but concrete is easier with three dogs and future kids. do you think it could work indoors?

  16. These floors look great! I wonder if you can put underfloor heating under them and use them inside the house.

    • Paula says:

      We have stained concrete floors in our house and we love them. I have heard of putting heating under them but we did not go that route. We love them and will never have carpet or anything else in a home again.

    • Paula Harris says:

      Yes, my son just built a house with heat contrete floors and they love it. Had line cut in the concrete to make it look like tile and then have them stains and grouted the groves looks great and the heat feels good on the feet.

  17. Susan says:

    Just wondered how expensive this is – thinking about doing it in a firepit area? Thanks!

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Susan, it’s usually less expensive than pavers, though a small area may cost you more as contractors generally mix the concrete in large quantities. When we priced everything out, we googled and saw that estimates could range from $8-$16 sq/ft.

  18. I’m not a big fan of stamped concrete or concrete at all, for that matter. I prefer pavers. That’s what we mainly install. But I have to say that’s one of the most unique and creative varieties of stamped concrete I’ve ever seen.

    One thing that concerns me is the control joints, or lack of. I did see one photo where I could make out an obvious control joint. And they hid it well – going along the grain of the wood. But in a patio that size, you’d typically have control joints going both directions. So with fewer control joints, that’s a potential problem. I suppose if you spend more time on base prep. and use a lot of rebar or a rebar grid and float your rebar half-way up into the concrete, then maybe you could get away without doing as many control joints. But that’s always my concern with concrete – cracking. And control joints is what helps mitigate that. So without as many, that’s a little risky.

  19. lynds says:

    Hi….I have found several different posts of this stamping and would love to find someone to do our unfinished cement basement floor. I am in Utah and am wondering if this is where ur too…..if so can u give me a recommendation of the contractor u used? Thanks!

    • Rebecca says:

      Unfortunately we’re in NJ :( we just googled around and LOVED our contractor!

      • Bobbie Breslove says:

        Hi! I also live in New Jersey and just fell in love with that wood stamped concrete! It looks fabulous! Can you please give me the name of your contractor as I would LOVE to call him and have it priced out. Thank you so much! Bobbie

  20. Wow, it’s amazing how far concrete has come. It’s like everything that was once utilitarian became artisan. I’m with Jim I really worry about concrete but we have some heavy winter action here in Rochester NY. I wish you the best with this it looks great.

    Greg Curcio – Arlington Landscape – A Rochester NY Landscaper

  21. Lisa Sewell says:

    I love this idea…thanks for sharing it.

  22. Tiffany says:

    Would love to know if you know of a contractor in Houston! Or…maybe your contractor knows of one. Too awesome!

  23. Shawn says:

    I live in NJ too. Can you give me the name of your contractor? He did a great job.

  24. Melanie says:

    I absolutely love it! I would love to do this for the inside. I was wondering if this is done when you poured the cement or later? Bc our cement is already poured. Thanks!

  25. Natalie says:

    Anyone know contractors in the Philly area that can do this?

    • Rebecca says:

      I just answered above since I’m behind on responding to comments on this post, but our contractor is based in South NJ outside of Philly if that’s where you are!

  26. lynn Coleman says:

    Can this be done over concert already down??

  27. Loretta says:

    Can this be accomplished on old concrete?

  28. SuAnne says:

    I live in a house that is 90 years old just a little north of Detroit. I had my front porch and walkway done in poured patterned concrete 15 years ago. It looks like limestone and the contractor matched the color to the limestone on the front of the house. They did an amazing job and I love it. My advise is to find a contractor who has been doing it for quite a while and has been in the concrete business for a long time. I think you will find it to be amazing, easy to care for and just about perfect in every way.

    My friends did their kitchen counters in concrete probably ten years ago, they still look great and they still love them!

  29. April says:

    How much did this project cost you? I’m look at building a deck and would love to do this instead!

  30. Christina says:

    My mistake! I have a concreter at my house right now and he has just confirmed that ‘stamping’ can only be done on fresh, wet concrete. Stencilling can be done on old concrete. So, back to looking at designs for me:(!

  31. Dayna says:

    Stamped concrete can be done over existing concrete it is done as a overlay. We own a concrete company in Florida and products come out all the time. Concrete will crack there is nothing that can stop it the same as stucco. With pavers they tend to sink over time unless you pour a concrete slab under it. Your job turned out great and it sounds like you had a great contractor. Thanks for sharing the pictues

  32. Fiona says:

    Wow!! So awesome. Just curious – since it is darker in color does it get really hot?? I am in CA and the large amount of grey aggregate around our pool is already hard to walk on in the heat but I love this idea (i jut think it may look funny in a “light” color. Congrats on finding such a great idea!!

    • Rebecca says:

      We did ours lighter for that reason. Our contractor told us it would get ridiculously hot. At first I wasn’t happy with the lighter color but once we put our dark wood furniture on it, it looked great!

  33. TLGS says:

    I have been doing a Google search for quite some time now looking for ideas of how to fabricate molds (forms) to make patterns like this for our charitable organization. We are located in South East Asia so many things Americans take for granted is just not available to us. Any help my friends here can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    This wood pattern fits right in with the design of our traditional one room schoolhouse that goes back hundreds years in the US. We are attempting to bring a little American history and tradition to the Philippines and maybe one day on into other parts of South East Asia.

  34. Liz says:

    Would love to have my garge floor done this way. Thanks. For the idea. Just need the painter

  35. Becky says:

    Hi,

    I just saw this on Pintrest and I think it looks amazing!!!! We have almost all tile on our lower level of our house and were thinking about paving over it and doing some sort of concrete technique. You have given me hope that I don’t have to live with this white tile the rest of my life:) With 2 sets of twins 4 and under this white tile will be the death of me, ha!!!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration,

    Becky

  36. Linda says:

    Rebecca I just now saw your post. Very interested in this. What area of the country do u live in? Curious about who u hired to do it actually to see if they are anywhere near me.
    Thanks Linda

  37. [...] thelilhousethatcould.com via Andrea on [...]

  38. Joe says:

    Do you know the name of the color they used?

  39. Jamie says:

    Rebecca- I am in nj too (red bank area) are you close? If so would like your guys contact info! Love it!!

  40. nivia olland says:

    This is perfect for Puerto Rico or for that matter any of the islands inside or outside of the home because of termites etc… Is it a diy you think?

  41. Dottie Goodman says:

    Love the dark color! Please share the color!

  42. I So Love this! I wish I had known about it when we built or house. We have a wrap around concrete porch.. To me it is ugly. I Love the porch…. the concrete just makes my house look unfinished! I wonder …. can mine still be done like that or am I stuck with the ugly Unfinished Look?

  43. Kimberly says:

    If you could see the sketches I give my husband when I need him to help me build something, you’d be MUCH prouder of your “awful” paint sketches. My favorite part of Mike’s patio plan is the custom table seating he designed to accommodate guests of varying sizes. Very thoughtful, Mike. ;)

  44. melanie avjean says:

    I saw a photo of this style last year and got an estimate but went with an indoor project instead. I thought about it ALL YEAR and now am just waiting for it to warm up enough to pour! I live in Denver, CO. I have a great landscape company. I will let you know how it turns out! Nicely done!

  45. Sue says:

    Beautiful job. Makes you want to hang out outside all the time:). We have a log cabin that has a heated cement floor with just the bare concrete look. Looking to do something to make it look like wood floor. Guess stencilling is only thing I can do now with it.

  46. Ina Blümers says:

    Hallo!

    The pictures i have seen of the woodplank stamped concrete are great!

    I hope my douther in Great Falls (Montana) wil use this techniek too.
    really love it!

    Here in the Netherlants (Holland) Europ is this techniek onnown, sad to say! Wisch some wane did this overhere!

    Thank you for sharing your pictures!

  47. Mary G. says:

    My husband helped his friend who is a concrete contractor do this when we added on a large covered patio out back of our historic red brick home. It was awesome, and I love it! We had the cement dyed, where the dye is mixed in with the concrete and then used a mixture of brown and a little black stamping powder. It looks beautiful, and once you seal it, you can just spray everything off of it, (BBQ sauce). Our Outdoor kitchen with a 20 foot raised bar over the counter, sink, and grill makes it perfect for parties. We have great times with our neighbors and friends!

  48. Joni K. says:

    Thank you for sharing this great idea! I love it!

    This next message is for Niki…or anyone else who likes this idea for indoors. There are several tile companies who now sell a wood plank tile. I helped a client with a remodel. She used a darker wood plank tile, and still loves it a few years later. My husband and I are now building a Cape Cod home in Utah. We are going to use the wood plank tile on most of the main level of our home. Due to the snow, and the lovely white color that remains after the snow dries, I have chosen a lighter color. It will show less dust and dirt.

  49. Donna Perdue says:

    Wow! That looks fantastic. We have “cobblestone” stamped porch and patio floors. This would be amazing for a garage or basement floor. Amazing!

  50. [...] The Lil House That Could: Spring Fever (Concrete Staining) [...]

  51. Gianna says:

    I love this patterened concrete. My backyard is an emabarassment and my husband and I can’t agree about a hardscape (wood or stone). This is like the best of both worlds! I have to find someone in my town who can do this. Good Luck with your project.

  52. Nancy Sullenberger says:

    I am also disgusted 7 embarrassed about my back yard! I need to do this this summer, please tell me where I could find stamped concrete like this!

  53. Wow Rebecca!

    Found you via Pinterest and the wood stamp on the concrete looks amazing!

    I especially liked your drawings! Very artistic! :)

    Can’t wait to see the finished project!

  54. […] The Lil House That Could: Spring Fever (Concrete Staining) […]

  55. […] Here’s the link to help get your wheels turning…The Lil House That Could: Spring Fever (Concrete Staining) […]

  56. Abby says:

    Does anyone know what the actual colors that are used in the wood plank on the first, second or third picture above?

  57. Donna B. says:

    sorry if it was mentioned, what is the approx cost per sq ft.?
    looks great!

  58. Live4Earn says:

    Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  59. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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