Have you ever seen a piece of a driveway or sidewalk that had a decorative piece of stone? If so, you were looking at what they call exposed aggregate concrete. Exposed aggregate concrete is a style of decorative concrete. It is created after removing the upper layer of the cement paste. This type of concrete is extremely durable, slip-resistant, and lasts a long time. If you are looking to save cost, then one way is to add exposed aggregate concrete on your poolside areas. They are also a great choice for driveways, sidewalks, and patios. Since they are so durable and sturdy, exposed aggregate concrete are resistant from cracks and other kinds of physical damages. They also do not cost as much as stone so you can easily use them when improving your home.
Exposed aggregate concrete can just about be compared to a piece of granite or marble that is transformed by polishing. In other words, it is like an ordinary surface has been stripped away to show its true beauty underneath. When it comes to concrete, that beauty comes in the form of decorative aggregate, either natural or manufactured.
Benefits of Exposed Aggregate Concrete
Exposed aggregate concrete comes along with many benefits, including the following.
Easy to get decorative textures and effects at a decent price.
A simple procedure and anyone who deals with concrete can master the technique quite quickly. Exposed aggregate concrete can be installed in one or two days, and you can hire a professional to make sure the job is done right.
This type of concrete provides surfaces that are skid-resistant, strong, and able to survive severe weather and climatic conditions; therefore, they are not affected by moisture and they last a long time.
There are many different options for you to choose from when it comes to colors, designs, and textures.
Requires very little maintenance. All that needs to be done is to clean them occasionally with water.
Where Is It Used?
Due to the fact that it is durable and skid-resistant, exposed aggregate is perfect for most flatworks such as sidewalks, driveways, patios, pool decks, and plazas. Other possible places to use exposed aggregate finish are decorative retaining walls, sound barrier walls, and architectural building facades.
How to Choose Decorative Aggregate
The color palette that is used is mainly determined by the type of decorative stone that is used. The aggregate that you choose to use will have an impact on the total cost of the project. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to purchase expensive aggregate in order to achieve beautiful results.
When choosing aggregate, consider the following main factors:
- Size and gradation
- Method of exposure
- Cost and availability
The most common decorative aggregates include richly colored natural stones, such as basalts, granite, quartz, or limestone. However, manufactured materials, such as recycled colored glass, is another option, as well as other interesting objects including seashells.
The size and shape of decorative aggregate also vary. The size determines the depth of exposure and the shape can affect the surface patter and texture. Aggregates that are round offer the best coverage and a smoother surface, whereas angular aggregates provide more texture and dimension. Try not to use flat or sliver-shaped pieces because they do not hold well during the exposure process and can come out easily.
It is important to not use aggregates that contain substances that can stain the concrete, such as iron oxides and iron pyrites.
Decorative aggregate concrete can add beauty to your driveway, sidewalks, and patios, as well as add an interesting piece to your landscape. When it comes to installing aggregate concrete, it is important to leave it to the professionals. The experts at Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls have had a lot of experience incorporating decorative aggregate to a variety of landscape pieces. If you are thinking about adding decorative aggregate concrete, then call us today at (636) 861-1530 to discuss the different options we have to offer you.
Your landscape is one of the first things visitors and anyone driving by notice. Not only does your landscape provide peace and relaxation for you, but it can also increase your house value if you ever decided to sell. One of the best ways to improve your outdoor space is to add a retaining wall. Retaining walls enhance the look of a patio and provide protection for the outlying soil. There are many benefits to retaining walls besides providing a pleasing aesthetic addition to your yard. They also offer a correct structure element to protect any yard.
Retaining walls act as a perfect highlight to your yard. One great benefit of retaining walls is the fact that they protect against soil erosion by helping to stop soil shifting and moving, therefore keeping the structures around your backyard from possible damage.
Another reason retaining walls are a perfect addition to your landscape is that they are made from concrete and stone, which are extremely durable and long-lasting. They are designed and built to survive storms, flooding, and other major ground movements. Whatever possible damage that could come from this type of movement will be minimal to none. This means that less maintenance will be required to help keep your yard looking prosperous. Retaining walls not only protect what is in your yard, but it also protects the structures and buildings around it.
Sometimes concrete retaining walls are compared to barriers or dams. They serve as a barrier, protecting the yard, structures, and property from unusual soil movement and flooding, just like how a dam protects ground and structures from water. In fact, retaining walls are so strong they are able to endure storms, flooding, ground movement, and objects that are dropped or thrown into them reducing the maintenance that needs to be done to them.
Besides having structural benefits, retaining walls are important for leveling off your property. If you have a steep hillside, it can be difficult to plant shrubs and gardens doing down a grade. With the help of a retaining wall, you are able to have extra gardening space on your land. Retaining walls not only expand the leveling surfaces for gardening and provide built-in seating, but they also enhance the look of your landscape. They also provide a unique view when comparing your landscape to other properties that do not have retaining walls, which increases your property’s value.
It is often thought that not every house necessarily needs a retaining wall or could benefit from one. However, before deciding whether or not to build one, you should consider contacting a professional contractor who specializes in retaining wall to get more details. If a professional contractor believes your home could greatly benefit from a retaining wall, then you should think about adding one to your yard.
If you are considering integrating a retaining wall to your landscape or are simply interested in hearing more about retaining walls, contact Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls at (636) 861-1530. Our professional team members would be happy to talk to you more about the benefits and help figure out if a retaining wall is right for your yard. Call us today!
When the weather outside is no longer frightful, a contained outdoor fire would be delightful. The snow and cold are almost gone, and springtime is the best time to prepare your property for summer! Just like planting a garden and reaping the benefits in the summer, planting elegant stonework early means you get to use and appreciate it all summer long!
The number of improvements that can be accomplished through stonework is incredibly vast and limited only to your creativity. With a solid investment like stonework that will be there just as beautifully for years to come, it’s time to get ready to get outside for the summer, and there’s no better way to prepare for that than by making your outdoor space uniquely yours!
Fireplaces and Outdoor Kitchens
Kicking back by the fire on a warm summer evening is something that almost everyone loves to do- by installing a fireplace right in your backyard, you’ll be able to unwind and relax more easily! Fireplaces and fire pits are semi-permanent additions to your property meaning they will remain beautiful and functional for years to come. Installing an outdoor kitchen is another way to ring in the summertime. You can cook in the great outdoors with all the functionality of an indoor kitchen!
Patio and Poolside
Do you need a new patio or poolside space? It’s best to install these in the springtime so you can save all of that summer sun for jumping into the pool or reclining on your new patio. Your pool or patio can easily become the talk of the town for its elegant design and solid construction. Your neighbors will be anxiously awaiting the next invite to the pool or hang out on the patio!
Time for Sunshine!
Summertime is the best time of the year in our team’s opinion, and we would love to help you prepare your property for getting outside during the warm days that are just around the corner! Planning a beautiful stonework installation is easy with Fritz Stonework as we have experienced masons and designers that will help you out along the way to make sure everything is perfect.
We will help you make this summer the best one yet and leave a lasting impression on your property that will remain gorgeous for years! Stonework is a great investment in your home as it increases curb appeal for many years and adds an entirely new level of functionality to your home! With a newly designed outdoor space, there will be nothing stopping you from relaxing or playing outdoors, and you can have peace of mind because this is a rock-solid investment!
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is crucial in times like these, and there is no better way to experience nature than by bringing it closer to home! With a comfortable patio and a beautiful stone fireplace, fire pit, or kitchen, you will be able to relax outdoors in no time. All these summertime plans are possible with Fritz Stonework, the leading stonework provider in St. Louis! Call today to find out more information!
As you look out your back door, what do you see? Do you see space that has been cluttered with various items? Or do you see an empty yard that could benefit from some kind of landscape and décor? Whatever it may be, every backyard has great potential to be grand and a place you can be proud of. You can make your outdoor living space a place to entertain or simply a place for you to relax after a long day. The following examples are ways that you can improve your backyard to create your own outdoor oasis.
Adding lighting, such as candlelit scones, to your backyard can create a lovely glow to your peaceful nights or dinner parties. Another type of lighting you could add is solar lights around your garden, which requires little maintenance but offers maximum impact.
Design Different Living Areas
When you have separate areas to eat and relax, you are providing your guests with comfortability. Using outdoor rugs and lighting will make segments around your yard that invites your guests to sit and stay awhile. Another way to define these areas is to add outdoor furniture.
A fire pit can be useful all year round. It is ideal for those lazy summer nights where can roast hot dogs and make smores. During the winter, you can wrap up in a warm blanket, drink hot chocolate, and read a book without getting cold. No matter what the season, a fire pit will help you make memories and have fun.
Plotted Plants and Herbs
Plants and herbs can spruce up any yard very easily. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they can also provide a wonderful fragrance while you are enjoying the outdoors.
Install a Flagstone Patio
Flagstone patios allow you to have more living space. They provide a very natural, organic look because of their shape and earthy tones. Flagstone patios are also durable and last for years.
Install a Fountain
Fountains are always a beautiful sight to see and provide relaxation from the sound of the flowing water. They add to the ambiance of your oasis and come in a variety of shapes and styles to fit your needs and the theme of your patio.
Add Rugs and Pillows
Rugs and pillows provide a sense of comfort. They are an inexpensive way to dress up your patio furniture and outdoor space all the while adding color to increase the atmosphere.
Install Alternative Seating
Besides chairs and sofas, hammocks are another great seating option for you and your guests. It is a great place to spend time taking a nap or reading a great book. If you do not have a tree to hang it from, you can find hammock stands that work anywhere.
Adding décor to anything is a way to express who you are. It also helps your guests feel at home. Consider hanging something on the columns of your patio or on a wall. You could also add statues, sculptures, or trellises, as well as filled vases to sit on tables.
You don’t need to have acres of outdoor living space in order to have a place you can relax and enjoy your friends and family’s company. It’s all about what makes you feel at peace and having a place you are proud to call your own where you can build memories. Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls wants to help you achieve that goal. There are many other options you can add to your backyard in order to maximize it. Call us today at (636) 861-1530 so we can discuss those options and choose what best suits your needs.
Having a pool in your backyard can feel luxurious and relaxing. It allows you to enjoy time with your family and friends while making unforgettable memories. However, you need to focus more than just on the pool itself. The area around your pool gives you the opportunity to design an oasis, giving you a place where you can relax and make the most out of your summer. In-ground pools can also age gracefully and may begin to look outdated, but that does not mean you have to replace the entire setup. Whether you have a brand-new pool or one that you have been enjoying for years, there are landscape features that you can add to your backyard to make the most out of your pool area.
Cabana or Pool House
Having pool items spread out on your lawn can look displeasing and messy. It can be a sight for sore eyes, and no one appreciates that. You need a space to store your pool toys, chemicals, and other items. Building a pool house or cabana can provide you with the perfect storage to keep it close by. A pool house or cabana could also be used as a guest house or include a kitchen to keep snacks and drinks by the poolside.
Spending time by the pool can be relaxing, but sometimes you need a break from the hot sun. Adding a shade structure can provide you with a cool place to relax while you still enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Examples of shade structures include a covered patio area, strategically placed umbrellas, or pergolas, which can also be used to introduce some greenery to your backyard.
Adding water features can add fun and variety to your pool area. If you are wanting to go grandiose and add a luxury experience, installing a spa would be the way to go. If you are wanting something more low-key, consider installing a fountain that will add gentle sounds and make your summer evenings more relaxing.
Hosting pool parties is a great way to get to know your children’s friends and parents, along with making great memories with family. Installing an outdoor kitchen would be the ideal complement to your pool. It has most of the same features that the kitchen inside your house has, allowing you to do all of your meal prep and cooking, all while engaging with your guests.
Most people enjoy their privacy, especially when they are at home and enjoying their pool. There are a few ways of making sure you get the privacy you want. One of those ways is to add a fence, but you can also create a natural barrier that will enrich the oasis feel you want for your pool. Natural barriers, such as bushes and dense plants, add greenery to the area and gives you the privacy you are looking for. Make sure you hire a landscaper to guarantee that plants are positioned far enough away from the pool to decrease dead leaves and other debris from landing in the pool.
A pool in your backyard is the perfect way to relax and cool off during hot summer days. Adding landscape features can also allow you to enjoy your pool, as well as enhance the environment around it. At Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls, we can help create that special oasis that you will want to enjoy all summer long. Call us today at (636) 861-1530 so we can start making your vision come to life.
Whether you have paving around your garden or as a part of your backyard oasis, you want to keep it in great condition. After all, you probably spent your hard earned money to make sure your outdoor space was relaxing and inviting. Therefore, if you neglect your paving, it will start to deteriorate and your landscaping could become an eyesore. Here are a few ways to keep your paving looking beautiful.
Applying a sealer will protect not only your paving but also your patio from the damages that harsh weather can cause. The main focus of a sealer is to stop water from getting in and permeating throughout the stone or concrete. Make sure you read the labels of the sealer you are considering buying. There are many different types of sealers and choosing the wrong one could damage your stone instead of protect it.
Have a Good Cleaning Regimen
Even when you use a sealer you need to be committed to keeping your paving stones clean. When you brush regularly, you will clean away dirt, dust, and debris that would eventually build up. Keeping them clean will help your stones look new at all times. Pay close attention to the crevices between the stones. If you notice small weeds starting to peek through, hard brushing will break them keep them from growing and spreading. Also, if you stay up-to-date on cleaning, you will be able to see if the sealer is beginning to wear away. This will give you the opportunity to reseal it before the water starts seeping in.
If you did not live in your house when the paving was laid, then you may not know if a weed control membrane or landscape fabric was laid. The only way you will know is if weeds begin to appear all over the place. Consistently weeding and making sure the weeds are pulled out by the roots will help ensure that the weeds will not grow back.
You may come across some cases where the weeds are overtaken and you need to use weedkiller. Once the weeds have been completely eliminated, it might be worth looking into getting the gaps between the stones filled to stop this from happening again.
No one ever wants their landscape to be an eyesore, whether it’s pavers, retaining walls, or plants. These outdoor features help you and your family to feel relaxed after a long day at work and provide an inviting atmosphere for get togethers. When it comes to pavers, Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls are experts at making sure your stones are in tip top shape. Call us today if you have questions regarding how to clean your paving stones and to keep them looking new.