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.
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!
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.
Light has always perplexed and inspired humankind from the days of only starlight and campfires to modern electrical marvels. The beauty of light is unparalleled, and before electricity it was quite difficult to sustain lighting in homes or outdoors without a significant risk of fire. However, electricity creates a safe way to make your landscape beautiful in the dark without bringing the heat.
Your landscape is incredibly elegant in the daytime, so why not bring out the suave and glowing beauty of nighttime lighting to your masterfully designed soft and hardscapes? Lighting can turn your nighttime landscape into something from a dream- you may even have dreams about lighting after seeing the results!
Outdoor lighting is far better for your wallet than it used to be, and far better for the planet too! With waterproof, motion-sensing, solar-powered, and LED options in all styles and colors, there’s no stopping you from achieving the nightscape of your dreams! Installing outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be hard, and there are even options that don’t require wiring or battery changes but rather rely on the sun!
Outdoor lighting lets you stay outside for longer in the Summer and soak in the fresh night air without being drowned in darkness, and while you’re probably not likely to go outside at night much during the winter, you can still appreciate the beauty of your winter landscape and watch the lights dance on the glittering frost and snow of the colder months.
When it comes to looking for outdoor lighting for your home, the options are limitless, and the possibilities are only limited to your creativity. This flexibility can come in handy especially if you are a fan of decorating for the holiday season! Many LED lights (the most energy efficient) come in a wide array of colors, and some can even change colors at the push of a button! Holiday decorations have never been so easy!
Come to the Bright Side
Curb appeal is something that many home and business owners are constantly trying to improve. Simply put, curb appeal is how aesthetic your property is at first glance, this is especially important for selling or appraising your home or encouraging customers to visit your business as well as giving you the reputation as the neighbors with the nice house. You can build curb appeal by improving your home and property through a number of ways including landscaping and lighting.
Most homes and businesses do not have much in the way of nighttime curb appeal, but by installing outdoor lighting in a well-planned way, your property can look great at any time of the day making it the talk of the town in the best of ways! You love your property, let that shine by installing outdoor lighting!
Outdoor lighting is elegant and beautiful when planned and installed responsibly! The installation of outdoor lighting can show everyone how much you value your property, and this is a very important aspect of building curb appeal! If you need help creating a beautiful landscape or planning energy-efficient and beautiful outdoor lighting, contact Fritz Stonework & Retaining Walls today!
Whether you enjoy entertaining friends and family during the summer or winter months, or both, having an outdoor kitchen is a great feature to have. It provides a relaxing space to read a book, have conversations with the ones you love, or to just enjoy Mother Nature. However, as winter approaches, you need to make sure your outdoor kitchen is prepared for the colder temperatures. If you do not winterize your outdoor kitchen, expensive repairs might be in your future. The following guidelines will help make sure your outdoor kitchen and appliances will be ready to use when warmer temperatures return.
Take Care of Your Plumbing
Make sure you remove any water that is in the pipes and plumbing system. This can result in major problems, for when it begins to freeze outside, the water can also freeze which can cause the pipes to burst. If the pipes burst, you could end up with huge plumbing bills and flooding, making it unable for you to use your outdoor kitchen.
In order to clear your pipes, you will need to shut off all water supply lines going to the kitchen from the indoor plumbing system. Be sure to shut it off using a valve that is inside your house. This way the water does not rest in outdoor pipes.
When you have shut off the water, start draining the lines. Be sure you do not forget about water supply lines that are connected to refrigerators, ice makers, and sinks. The best way to clear water from lines is by using compressed carbon dioxide.
The last step is to make sure all of the drain valves are left open during winter. This will ensure that water does not remain in the pipes, which will also save you from expensive repairs.
Prepare Your Grill
Even if you plan on using your grill during the winter, it is a good idea to do a deep cleaning to make sure it is in good working condition for the summer. The following steps are a good guideline to follow when cleaning your grill.
- Use a degreaser to get rid of the grease that has built up
- Use a stainless steel polish to polish the grill
- Scrub areas that are still dirty with a metal grill brush
- Remove the grates and clean underneath the grill
- Season the cooking surfaces using vegetable oil to the grates. Heat the grill to 500F for 20 minutes
- If you are not using your grill during the winter, be sure to turn off the gas line
Depending on the quality of your grill and the materials it is made out of, you may not have to use a cover. However, if you do use a cover, make sure you use one that is made for your type of grill that allows moisture to get out.
Cover or Seal if Needed
If you want to prevent wear, cracks, and stains due to cold temperatures and wet weather, then you might want to think about covering your appliances. However, keep in mind that covering surfaces and appliances allows for moisture to get confined under the cover and can cause more damage than if they were not covered. One tip is to call the manufacturer of the appliances to see how to best protect them.
Another way to protect surfaces from wear is to apply sealers and finishers. Make sure you have also taken everything out of cabinets and they are clear of dirt and debris. Use oil on wood cabinets and surfaces and a coat of stainless steel finish on stainless steel appliances. If you have stone countertops, be aware that weather can wear them down over time. You should buy sealers that are made specifically for stone to prevent any damage.
Winterize the Refrigerator and Ice Maker
The first thing you should do is turn the power off to both the refrigerator and ice maker. The water should already be shut off and the water lines running to the machines should be drained. Once you have done these, either unplug the refrigerator and ice maker or turn off their circuits in your home’s electrical panel. Afterwards, clean each one by following these steps:
- Clean out the ice maker’s storage bin and close the drain valve
- Take everything out of the refrigerator and clean it with soap and water
- Remove the front grill of each one and vacuum them out. When done, put the grills back on each one
- Do not cover either one, as this can contribute to a buildup of moisture which can damage the unit
Prepare Your Fire Pit
The first step to get your fire pit ready is to get rid of any debris, ash, and wood that may have gathered in the fire pit during the summer months. If your fire pit is ran by gas, be sure to turn off the supply. You may want to consider covering it with a cover that is weather resistant to keep out snow, leaves, and animals.
By taking the right precautions, you can be sure that your outdoor kitchen will be ready to go when summer comes back around. If you are in the beginning stages of thinking about designing an outdoor kitchen and have questions, please contact Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls so we can help answer those questions and discuss the many options you can choose from.