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Concrete’s Secret Ingredients

As you may already know, pouring concrete in cold weather can lead to bad news. Water expands when it turns into ice, so freezing temperatures can do some serious damage to your concrete if it hasn’t set yet. The success of many concrete projects relies on the temperature of the surrounding environment. You don’t want to risk weakening your concrete with fractures or spalling (the official term for rocklike material breaking into smaller pieces). Continue reading

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5 Surprisingly Fun and Romantic Ideas Using Concrete

Happy Valentine’s Day! Who knew concrete could be fun and romantic? Here are five surprising and inspirational ways to creatively express how you feel about your loved ones. Don’t forget, you can use these suggestions year round, not just for Valentine’s Day. For those of us in colder weather, it might be a little more practical to wait for the warmth!

Concrete Solutions - inscribed message concrete garden decoration.1. Set it in stone. Commission a concrete block, inscribed with your favorite poem, quote, or a simple “I love you” message.  The right design makes a great garden ornament or patio block, or you can also design pieces for the interior of your abode.

2. Give roses that never wilt. Did you know that concrete can be dyed to match almost any color? Let your artistic side shine and design a red rose floor for your garden patio.

Concrete Solutions - fun chess garden3. Build a giant board game in your backyard. Classic examples include life size chess and checkerboards, complete with lightweight game pieces. Invite your friends over for some live action gaming. You can always think outside the box for something more active, and build your own version of your favorite game. Who hasn’t dreamed of playing Chutes and Ladders in real life?

4. Adopt a fish pond. Concrete makes a great foundation for decorative ponds. You’ll need to test the waters with a pH test kit before you add any fish to make sure your water is safe for marine life. Some types of concrete can contaminate the water with toxic chemicals, and dead fish are never romantic.

5. Add functionality. Sundials are classy and useful additions to any garden, not to mention educational. Show your family and visitors how to tell time by the sun and become more in tune with nature.

Do you have any creative or romantic ideas using concrete? We’d love to hear your suggestions on our Facebook page! Have a more “concrete” plan? Contact us or request a quote to get started.

“Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete.” – Carter Heywood

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Stamped Concrete: Increase Value Economically

In this unstable economy, people are losing their homes to huge mortgages that they can no longer afford. Those who have managed to hold on to their homes are trying to update them, improve them and in effect increase the value of their home. This will help to make the home more desirable and easier to sell for a higher asking price in an attempt to make money on their initial investment. With the state of the nation, a house will have to possess some distinctive features in order to grab the eye and interested of the current home shopper.

A wonderful way to increase the value of a home is to add some cosmetic touches to the outside property.  However, when thinking of cosmetic improvements originality can bring scores of bills and the worry that the initial investment will not pay off in the end can weigh heavily. There are alternatives to spending a great deal of money. Do-it-yourself projects are helpful in saving money, but for large, specialty jobs it is without a doubt better to enlist the services of professionals like Concrete Solutions to make sure the job is completed properly. Continue reading

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Hardscape Design Tips

Hardscape is a term generally used to define any element of landscaping that is created using materials such as paving stones, bricks, concrete blocks, and other manufactured or natural materials. Typical hardscapes include patios, walkways, driveways, walls, and other hard, manmade features.

Hardscapes today benefit from a dazzling array of manufactured materials that come in a variety of compositions, colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. This makes designing beautiful, creative, and long-lasting hardscapes easier and more cost-effective than ever.

Manufactured blocks known as “pavers” are the foundation and creative element of most hardscapes, including patios, driveways, and walkways. In this article, we’ll offer tips for making the most out of pavers to create an attractive, creative, and functional hardscape. Continue reading

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Building a Retaining Wall

Retaining walls have rapidly gained popularity in the past few years as the variety and availability of building materials to build them has grown.  Retaining walls are the ideal solution for problematic areas that limit landscape usage, such as sloped backyards, uneven terrain, and unstable or unattractive hillsides. In many cases, retaining walls are the foundation and key to creating more complex projects, such as patios, walkways, and terraces.

Block systems are by far the most popular way to quickly and efficiently create a wide range of retaining walls for residential and commercial applications. Typically manufactured from concrete, retaining wall block systems come in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.

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Concrete Stamping: Adding Beauty and Style to Your Paving Project

Concrete stamping is an economical and stylish way to turn a drab driveway, sidewalk, or patio into an attractive, eye-catching design statement. With any number of colors, stamps, and rollers to choose from to add texture, color and patterns to your paving project, stamped concrete is a durable, low-maintenance alternative to natural paving stones and other materials. Continue reading