Concrete Patios & Overlays

Concrete Patios & Concrete Overlay Products

Adding a concrete patio to your home can give you & your family years of outside enjoyment.  A way to enjoy the surrounding of your own yard even if the recent conditions of the climate has made the actual yard itself un useable. 

But your concrete patio doesn’t have to be the old boring concrete grey that everyone thinks of when the words concrete patio is used.  Today there are virtually endless colors, styles, & themes.  Any color you can imagine can now be used in your patio.   Just like an artist with his canvass, only you’re the artist and the canvass is your patio.  Before we start discussing colors & textures there are some things you need to be aware of before you go further with having a new patio installed, some things that will save you a lot of money & headaches during the project as well as in the future.

                Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before having a new concrete patio poured.

1.)  Are you ever planning to build a room on top of this new concrete patio, (a 3 or 4 seasons room perhaps)?

2.)  The area where I am considering the location of the patio is it virgin soil or fill dirt? ( virgin soil is soil that has been undisturbed by an type of excavating, fill dirt is dirt that has been used to bring a low lying area of the earth up to a new desired level)

3.)  How accessible is the location where I plan to have the concrete patio?  (Is there room between you & the neighbor if it’s in the back yard, to get equipment to the work site?)

4.)  How do you plan on using the patio in the near & distant future?

                If you ever plan to build any type of room on top of the concrete patio you will need to be sure that concrete footings are installed under the patio in order to support the weight of the room.  Also you will need to make sure that the final height of the top of the slab is at least 8” above the grade of the yard.  These are building code requirements that will have to be met if you plan to put a room on top of the concrete slab in the future.

                You may not know the answer to the next question but I can give you some tips to help you make an educated guess.  First let’s assume you are having the patio installed in the back yard.  If you have a walk out basement there’s a good chance some of the dirt around the house is fill dirt. Or if your yard drops off drastically, take a look at other houses around you if you live in a subdivision, if yours and other houses back up to a deep ravine & the front yards are all level to the street, chances are they are all built on fill.  If you still cannot tell on your own you may have your contractor tell you.  So if you have determined that the area where your new patio is being installed you will have to have 12” round piers down to a depth to get past the fill onto virgin soil, otherwise your patio stands the chance of sinking or dropping with the fill dirt, which would render your new patio virtually useless, an expensive mistake to make.

If you are planning a new concrete patio or the tear out & replacement of one, certain types of equipment will need to be able to access to the work area, in order to complete the project.  Some this equipment will likely do damage to yours and possibly your neighbors’ yard.  If you can access the work area from multiple points you should likely use the area that would do the least amount of damage or the area of the neighbors’ yard that would be the easiest to work with.

If there is a possibility you may turn this patio into an outside living area with either a bar,  bbq grill or outside fireplace you may want to consider where that might be & plan for footings to be poured in that area in order to carry the extra weight.

Now that you’ve addressed some important structural issues you’re ready to move forward.  There are virtually an endless amount of colors to choose from for your concrete patio.  You can choose from coloring the concrete itself while it’s still in the concrete truck (I don’t recommend this method it can be more expensive and colors are limited). There’s also acid staining which is the method I prefer to use.  Now do you want your patio to be the traditional smooth with broom finish or a mag swirl finish, or do you want one of many stamped designs.  There are many different stamps available that will give your patio the feel & look of various types of stones or brick & even wood!

If you have an existing patio, and it’s just plain ugly, due to weathering or some hairline cracks or you are just tired of boring grey or old brown concrete, then you could consider an overlay product.  An overlay product is a cement based product used to go over existing concrete products such as patios, driveways, sidewalks, basement floors etc.  A product that can be applied during wet conditions is one of the preferred methods for this type of application. This type of method can speed up the project because the substrate the product is being applied to, does not need to be dry, actually the product works best if it is a little damp. 

No matter which type of overlay system you decide to go with the substrate that it’s going over (your patio, driveway, etc.) needs to be in good sound structural condition.  Cracks any larger than 1/8” wide cannot be gone over, they can but will likely show through later.  Even hair line cracks need to be what is called crack chased (ground out with a wheel grinder & filled with an epoxy).  Cracks where the pad has lifted cannot be covered; they will have to be hammered out or cut out and replaced with a new concrete pad.  Pads where the top is popping off, also should not be covered you will be wasting your money.  The substrate has to be in good structural condition.  I don’t know of any products on the market that have a warranty if they are installed on a substandard substrate, or any type of warranty for that matter.

If you are considering one of these types of projects, & have any further questions, feel free to contact us & we will get back to you with in 24 hrs.

Concrete Patios & Concrete Overlays:

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My Remodeling Costs will soon be adding a complete detailed break down of your project. This will include an itemized hard costs of your project labor & materials generated by the answers of your online free quote. There will be two different breakdowns to choose from: 1.) A break down by phase or 2.) A complete itemization of each phase.(There will be a charge for this service).

Can’t wait for this new feature? Need a complete breakdown of your quote now? Follow the instructions below.


Now if you are ready for one of our design & estimating professionals to begin on your true cost quote just follow the instructions below & you will receive one of the most powerful tools you can have to ensure you will get the most cost effective & quality installations possible. In addition to receiving your true cost quote from us you will get the e-book “10 steps to negotiating a successful contract with your remodeler” free of charge with your purchase.

1.) With a digital camera take some pictures of the proposed work area (be sure to include pictures of the area that will be used to access the work area from in between your house & your neighbor’s house)

2.) Make a rough drawing of your patio & proposed work area & include measurements of the patio area as well as the distance from the top of the foundation to the ground & estimate the fall if any from the house out to the end of the patio & be sure to specify where the steps are to be located if any.

3.) Up load the pictures & the drawing in the areas provided on the form below. There are 7 areas available for upload if you need additional areas to up load items you may need to fill out form more than once.

4.) Please be sure to give a brief description of your project & any special details like what type of patio surface or design you may be considering. If you want a comparative cost, like the difference between a broom finish or mag swirl, or stained concrete or not or a stamp, etc., please be sure to mention this in your description of the project.

5.) Once you have submitted the contact form and your pictures continue to the store front & choose the packages you would like for us to put together for you. You will then be taken to a check out page where you can pay for the services via a secure PayPal portal.

Upload information of your project below, with the required information, submit & continue to the store in order to for us to get started on your quote. Please make sure your name will apear the same at the check out page for payment. In the description box you can give special instructions for your project as well as any upgrades or special features to be included.

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After uploading the information we need & submitting the above form click on the following link if you are ready for us to begin on your Patio or Overlay quote.