Concrete fire pits are a great choice when looking for an elegant and durable outdoor fire feature. And with a wide range of unique styles, molds, and finishes, a concrete fire pit makes an excellent addition to almost any patio! We offer both precast and cast in place fire features to suite your needs. Fire pits can either be wood burning, natural gas, or propane.
A Guide To Remodeling & Renovating Your Pool In New Jersey
Renovation jobs aren’t just for the inside of the home anymore. Renovating the backyard pool is fun, and it puts new excitement and function into the family swimming area. You might consider implementing pool renovations when it’s time for repairs, but it’s equally exciting to take the dive and plunge into swimming pool renovation and remodeling in NJ.
NJ POOL RENOVATIONS
As your swimming pool begins to age, its walls and floor will eventually need care and maintenance. Natural settling will cause structural cracks that you can’t ignore while plaster begins to peel and chip. Take advantage of that concrete resurfacing project, and turn it into a pool remodeling opportunity. Talk to your pool renovation contractor about the right conctrete materials for the project.
DECORATIVE POOL EDGING
Upgrading the coping and waterline tile improves the pool’s aesthetics, and enjoy making the upgrade without the need to wait to renovate your swimming pool. Tile options vary from faux stone for an informal atmosphere to the often desired look of multi-colored mosaic. Coping is the proper term for that edge around the pool that will ultimately fade, chip or crack. Stone tiles are a great option here too, but patterned concrete holds up better over time and provides unique design options for your pool renovation project. Stamped concrete may also be a better choice because its custom texturing makes your pool coping more resistant to slips.
POOL RENOVATION IDEAS
Easily turn your swimming pool into an inviting retreat for guests and company with special areas for laying in the sun and lounging. Different shaped perches in the shallowend make an ideal spot to swim-up to for summertime conversations. Include concrete funiture such as bench seating along the edge, and the result is an integrated party zone with seating that is semi-submerged. Tanning on a sun shelf is cooler, and all this renovation takes to complete is the addition of a concrete extension over your existing pool steps. Pool lighting is another upgrade that is affordable, along with modern LED systems that will offer an improved design and let you control your atmosphere with light ambiance.
POOL RENOVATION UPGRADES
You don’t necessarily have to be a child to enjoy the idea of a mini water park experience in the comfort of your backyard. Kids of all ages love sliding into the pool. From mountains to cliffs, designing something unique is only half the fun. Misting systems, dramatic fountains and deck jets will make the pool resemble your very own oasis. A decorative arrangement of stones over plumbing fixtures creates a beautiful waterfalls by your poolside. Include some landscaping to accent the edging, and your backyard will transform into a tropical paradise.
NJ POOL REMODELING PATTERNS
If you are looking for a pool renovation that is more decorative than plain concrete pool renovations, more structurally sound than paver pool renovations, and more realistic looking than traditional stamped concrete pool renovations, then Unique Concrete can provide you with a solution. We offer a top quality stamped concrete pool renovation services in New Jersey at a competitive price. We have 19 patterns to choose from and a wide selection of integral colors for both the concrete and grout. Browse photos from our pool renovation pattern gallery for NJ pool renovation ideas.
For more information on pool renovations in New Jersey, please call (973) 697-0659 or contact us online.
Stamped Concrete Patios vs. Stone Patios in New Jersey: The Concrete Facts
In this article, we will discuss:
- The differences between installing stone patios vs stamped concrete patios.
- The safety aspects, cost, maintenance and usability of both options.
- The costs associated with stone patios and stamped concrete patios.
Every part of your home should be viewed as an investment, even the outdoor area. Entryways, driveways and backyard patios all offer pathways that should be integrated to accent and improve the overall function and aesthetics of your home.
With that said, homeowners prefer these outdoor improvements also hold up against varying weather conditions, be easy to maintain and look and feel as good as it did when you first installed them.
Nowadays, there is a wide array of materials and styles used for different applications, let’s explore two types of patios: Stone Patios and Stamped Concrete Patios. As two attractive and affordable patio options for you outdoor area, we’ll discover how they compare against each other with respect to safety, aesthetic appeal, maintenance and cost.
At First Look
When building a stone patio, most of us search for unique texture and variations. Some contractors and homeowners argue that stamped concrete patios are generally more appealing than stone patios. It also has the unique ability to imitate other natural stones such as slate, flagstone or brick, giving stamped concrete even more appeal over stone patios.
There are some that will always prefer stone patios vs stamped concrete. Proponents of stone patios praise their natural beauty and widespread availability in a multitude of finishes, colors and shapes. Like stamped concrete, stone patios also provide flexibility for design because you can create patterns to best suit the needs of your home and surroundings.
Because beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, let’s unveil some of the other areas to discuss the differences.
Thinking about how foolish humans can be, is equally important as any other component when considering outdoor stone patio choices.
Let’s begin with stamped concrete patios. Due to its continuous slab construction, it has a likelihood to get slippery when wet and also create more daytime glare, which could have some downsides. Since New Jersey is frequented with rain in the spring and summer, for example, homeowners should safeguard it with some type of protectant.
Speaking of hazards of tripping, stone patios certainly aren’t off the hook either. With the settling and possible heaving of stone patios, paver stones can become uneven and cause a person to have a walking accident just as much, if not more, than a stamped concrete patio.
On a safer side of things, because the joints in the surface reach a higher level, stone patios aide in the drainage from snow and rain allowing some improved resistance against skidding while decreasing glare. Lastly, stone patios may have less absorption of heat since they are can laid over a concrete slab or base with sand swept joints separating them, which can be a bonus to people who like to walk barefooted.
Upkeep & Maintenance
A few other important components to consider before making a decision for a stone patio s: “When can I use my patio?” and “How much care does my patio require?”
Stamped concrete patios may take a little while longer after installation before you can begin utilizing it. Why is this? Since stamped concrete patios need to cure first, this option may takes about 3-5 days before you’re allowed to start walking on it.
After installing stamped concrete patios, it usually doesn’t stop there as far as maintenance goes. Whether it’s within a few days or several years, stamped concrete patios may be prone to crack.
Factors like heavy traffic, settlement issues and the simple fact that concrete tends to contract over time plays a huge role in the maintenance and upkeep of a stamped concrete patio. But before you become worried over the long-term care and maintenance of your patio, you might want to consider a couple of ideas.
Most homeowners who install stamped concrete patios prefer textured patterns to better conceal hairline cracks if they occur. Also bear in mind that stamped concrete patios tend to have a harder finish resulting in more wear and tear over the years. With that said, it can be a challenge to match to the exact color and pattern of the original concrete material every time a repair is needed.
Speaking of concrete repairs, it can be a fairly involved operation. Most maintenance work requires heavy machinery like a jackhammer to replace the area in need.
On the other hand, stone patios are ready to go immediately after proper installation and have a tendency to be more forgiving than stamped concrete and easier to repair. Why is that? Stone patios are built with individual paver stones that interlock with each other providing a more flexible environment with pressure, expansion and contraction. Stone patio stones are also cast under extreme pressure and are a lot stronger and more durable. Thus, they are less prone to cracking. Stone patio pavers can even increase their structural capacity over time. Overall, they perform well during extreme climate changes.
If your stone patio ever does require maintenance or repairs, paver stones are manufactured to be seamless and can easily be replaced with the same aesthetic appeal and quality as when first installed. It’s as simple as taking out your patio stone and replacing it, which can be an attractive option for those who are handy. Also, if the stone patio is properly installed with a solid base, there shouldn’t be significant issues with heaving or setting.
Like stamped concrete, stone patios do have their downsides as well. You may need to fill in the spaces between individual pavers with sand from time to time. This is an maintenance aspect that a stamped concrete patio wouldn’t experience.
Cost is Crucial
Maintenance and cost essentially go hand in hand. So, it’s hard to discuss one and not the other. Sometimes, maintenance and cost are the deciding factors when installing a stamped concrete or stone patio in New Jersey.
In general, most contractors suggest that the initial cost of stamped concrete patios are a the less expensive option compared to stone patios. The long-term cost efficiency between the two is relative some important components such as: proper installation, climate / environment and periodic maintenance. Therefore, some patio contractors would contest that it may be more cost effective over an extended period of time with a stone patio while others would maintain that a stamped concrete patio is more cost efficient in the long run.
The Hardscape Verdict
Improving your outdoor space with an attractive and affordable way certainly requires some careful consideration. When deciding whether to go with a stamped concrete patio or a stone patio in New Jersey, it’s pertinent to keep the above mentioned factors in mind when making your decision as both patio options should last for a lifetime of enjoyment.
Stamped Concrete Patio Design Gallery
Browse photos from our stamped concrete patio patterns for NJ patio ideas.
For more information about stamped concrete vs stone patios in New Jersey, please call (973) 697-0659 or contact us online.
Things to Consider When Constructing A Patio
Patio construction and installation is a daunting task, but most homeowners love having a patio in New Jersey. There are different ways of constructing a patio and if you want to obtain the best results, you should obtain the services of a patio expert. In some cases, the construction process is very simple in such a way that some homeowners can build a patio without much difficulty.
The first thing to consider in constructing a NJ patio is the condition of the area you are living in. Laying stone, brick and pavers is a common way of constructing patio – but stamped concrete patios are becoming the preferred choice among many homeowners. If you are planning on laying paver stones for a patio, first you need to consider how to properly level the ground so that the stones will sit firmly on the place. This is ideal for natural, rustic settings while allowing runoff water to drain.
On the other hand, if you do not have any idea about NJ patio construction the best thing to do is to hire the services of professionals who can do the job for you. The good thing about hiring a professional patio company is that you have nothing to worry about regarding the materials and tools needed to build a patio. As soon as you request their services and discuss with them what you want, they will bring everything during the agreed time of constructing the patio.
Likewise, our experts utilize a unique process of constructing the patio in New Jersey and they can do it step-by-step that is why you can expect for the best results. There is no need for you to supervise while they are doing the job because they know exactly what they are doing. Another thing to consider in hiring professional patio installation services is for the maintenance of the patio. Obviously, cracking and fissures can occur overtime – thus the need for maintenance. This can be distracting, especially if you do not have time to maintain a patio yourself.
Getting patio maintenance services can be a great help in maintaining the cleanliness of the patio so that the appearance will be preserved for years to come. Aside from repairing patio cracks, removing stains is another task in maintaining a patio in New Jersey. Otherwise, it will make the patio look untidy and dull. That is why as much as possible the stain should be removed while it is still fresh as it can be eliminated by scrubbing off with water and soap. However, if the stains are difficult to remove, then an expert’s patio maintenance service may be the best option.
Patio repair is needed in case the brick pavers sink, become loose or crack over time. If the homeowner is not handy, calling a NJ patio contractor ensures that the repair will be done properly. Repairing the concrete, bricks or the stone overlay involves a process that only patio experts can do without any hassle. Otherwise, if someone performs the patio repair who has no idea or skills of doing it, most likely the problem will not be resolved correctly.
Seeking professional patio installation services to construct a patio and resolving any other concerns is a good idea that every homeowner should consider. That is why if you are living in nearby areas of New Jersey you have nothing to worry about because you can easily find NJ patio contractor who can do the job well.
Unique Concrete can create a handcrafted tile or stone that can be used over existing exterior or interior concrete surfaces. Through our method of resurfacing existing concrete we can create the look of a brand new patio or pool deck without the expensive demolition costs associating with tearing out the concrete. If the concrete is in good shape, we can bond to that concrete surface and apply our product directly over top. However, if the existing concrete surface is cracked we can first apply and isolation memebrane, followed by a structural layer than is fortified with a synthetic fiber blend, then finished with our handcrafted tile or stone.
Our construction process is quite different than what has become accepted as “traditional stamped” or “patterned concrete”. We have developed this approach to create a product that is more durable, more realistic looking, and offers better quality control over the entire course of the job. Most other stamped concrete companies use large rubber mats to stamp their concrete. This process tries to mimic natural products, and in most cases it does this unsuccessfully. They rely heavily on stains and faux grout joints in order to look more like real stone, brick or tile. In order to preserve these faux grout joints, the concrete will require frequent resealing, which is often a hidden cost. Our new system utilizes a very environmentally friendly approach and does not require resealing. Should the customer chose to have their product resealed, we have designed a system that is homeowner or business owner friendly if they would like to maintain the product on their own.
In many cases, when a costumer desires a more natural looking product they will opt for concrete pavers for their pool patio or paver driveway. We have developed a process that combines concrete pavers with steel reinforced stamped concrete. We can create a natural looking product with real grout joints that is laid over a heavily reinforced structural slab, and we will guarantee that it will not delaminate. This is guarantee is something that you will usually not be offered with real stone since it relies on mortar to adhere it to the structural slab.
The end result is a very natural and durable concrete tile or paver. It presents the realistic look and beauty of traditional custom masonry with the durability of heavily reinforced concrete done cost effectively.
Concrete walkways or sidewalks are more than just a way to get wherever it is you’re going—they can provide much-needed curb appeal to homes and buildings, and they are fast becoming a point of artistic expression by way of a multitude of decorative concrete options.
While plain gray concrete is still the most often surface installed, as seen on most concrete sidewalks, there are numerous decorative concrete alternatives sure to dress it up, taking your sidewalk from boring to amazing.
The best part is that most of the options will work just as well on an existing walkway, because the concrete industry has rapidly developed many decorative products that can be applied to existing plain concrete walkways.
Concrete has become the new material of choice for designers across the U.S. Decorative concrete in all of its stained, colored, molded and personalized glory is popping up in retail stores, trendy restaurants, offices and homes everywhere. Now you can find out why!
Here is an article outlining a project in Livingston, NJ which is located in Essex County. This is from the ConcreteNetwork.com
The owners of this Livingston, New Jersey property were in search of something different for their terraced backyard. Unique Concrete, a company that sets themselves apart from other decorative contractors with an exclusive process, recently helped them complete the final phase of decorative concrete work around their pool deck. According to Todd Fisher, the company poured and finished more than 6,000 square feet of decorative concrete in three phases over the course of four years. Portions of the project were completed while the home was still under construction, while other parts were completed later.
The upper level of the yard nearest the home consists of a balcony with radiant heating, the middle level serves as a lounging space and has a distinct checkerboard pattern, while the third level down features a swimming pool with a 2,500 square foot deck and a pool house.
The decorative concrete paving was poured with Unique’s proprietary two-layer process. “First we pour a structural slab that is scarified and followed by a topping that is stamped, colored and grouted,” explains Fisher. He compares the process to laying stonework, only they are creating the stones from concrete right in place. “We like to call our product handcrafted stone decking,” he says.
For this project, a white-on-white color scheme was selected for a distinctive look and for its coolness factor. “The white concrete is comfortable to walk on even on a warm summer afternoon,” Fisher says. A textured surface also helps with the comfort level and visual interest. When Unique took temperature readings the concrete pool deck was 20 degrees cooler than the adjacent limestone coping. For budget reasons, the upper two levels were poured with an uncolored concrete mix and stained with a solid white stain, while the pool deck was poured with a white Portland mix with titanium dioxide. “Since the pool deck mix itself was white, we did not rely on stains to achieve the coloring.” After the topping was poured and stamped, the joints were filled with a white grout, creating the white-on-white effect.
Various challenges arose throughout the project on each level. For the upper balcony, Unique’s crews had to deal with access difficulties as well as ongoing construction on the rest of the property. On the checkerboard level detailed formwork was required. “Getting the corners to matchup was important for the end result since the pattern would be a focal point when viewed from above,” he recalls. Additionally, steel pilings were needed beneath each individual square to prevent uneven settling which was a concern becasue the concrete was poured on fill dirt. For the pool deck, the challenge was to stabilize the deck properly since this area was also poured entirely on fill dirt. “In order to prevent settlement of our handcrafted stone decking, we designed and placed footings in strategic places under the entire deck area before pouring the structural slab,” says Fisher.
Unique Concrete’s exclusive layered and grouted process was a success for this property. The white-on-white concrete contrasts nicely with the home’s brick and the surrounding greenery. It also helps keep the pool and lounge areas cool during the summer. Furthermore, it offers the look of realistic custom masonry or pavers without the intensive labor or chance of settling and the expansion joints are completely hidden within the grouted pattern. These homeowners got exactly what they wanted, a one-of-a kind surface to complete their backyard entertaining space.
Concrete is rapidly becoming a material that both homeowners and designers are incorporating into their homes, offices, and many other spaces. Perhaps by now most people have heard of the use of concrete for kitchen countertops. With the versatility of concrete, you can create a work of art in the smallest of spaces or have the option to go as large as you want. With different methods, you are not limited to the slabs at the stone yard like other materials. Every piece of concrete is designed and built for the customer that orders it, that makes it personal. Concrete is no longer thought of as just an option in the kitchen. Bathrooms are now filling up with concrete. Concrete floors have been used in bathrooms for years, but now concrete sinks and counters are common place. We can design and form any size counter or any shape sink, the possibilities are truely unlimited. With a wide range of color and casting options, concrete can fit any style or decor. Moving on from concrete countertops in the kitchen and concrete sinks in the bathroom, concrete has a place in many other places inside or outside in the home or out of the home. We have built and designed foyer tables, coffee tables, wall tiles, floor tiles, water features, and many other pieces with concrete. Concrete’s true beauty is its ability to do almost anything with.
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Phone: (973) 697-0659