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 it comes to landscaping, what comes to mind? Do you think of a beautiful garden full of bushes, flowers, concrete statues, and a small coy pond? All of those are great ideas to make your home look appealing. However, did you ever think about retaining walls? That’s probably the last thing you would ever think about, but they are a very important part of your garden. Retaining walls help keep your garden looking gorgeous by providing strength, preventing erosion, controlling rainwater runoff, and creating terraced levels for your garden beds.
Retaining walls can also make your property look effortlessly stylish no matter what style you choose. Therefore, it is a good thing there are so many options to choose from that can fit your budget and taste!
Concrete Retaining Walls
- White concrete creates a classic look and can make your green grass stand out. It is a simple choice but it is also elegant and would look great with a color scheme of neutrals, blues, and greens.
- Smooth concrete is a more modern choice and will give your home the edge you are looking for. It also creates a blank canvas so you can add as much greenery or flowers that you would like to, making your own garden sanctuary.
- Shotcrete rock face is simply used to describe sprayed concrete. Shotcrete rock face come in a multitude of colors ranging from standard grey to warm sandstone or clay colors that create a natural rock look.
- Concrete blocks is a bold choice when you need a strong solution. Concrete blocks prevent erosion on large properties; however, this can look unsightly so include levels and greenery to prevent this from happening.
Stone Retaining Walls
- Cut stone provides you with the opportunity to incorporate different types of stones to suit your taste. They are also last a long time so you do not have to worry about updating often.
- Round rocks add texture and shapes to your garden or backyard. They provide support to your steps, garden beds, and other features around your house.
- Sandstone is a good choice if you are wanting a more formal retaining wall. This is a classic choice that is not only practical but also serves as a feature piece wherever you use it.
- Grey blocks are a practical solution and can make a lasting impression. Use grey stone blocks to create steps leading up to your front door and you’ll create an impressive sight.
- Large blocks create a bold statement by using large, rough unstructured rocks. This natural look will easily blend in with your outdoor environment.
- Stone veneer is a great choice when you are on a budget and looking to create something more luxurious. This type of retaining wall uses stone placed over the top of other foundational materials such as brick.
Timber Retaining Walls
- Timber gives a nice, sleek look; however, if you’re looking for longevity then it might not be the choice for you. Naturally durable types of hardwood timber include tallow wood, ironbark, grey gum and forest red gum. These types of hardwood timber are naturally resistant to termites and can last up to 25 years.
- Timber sleepers are a rustic type of retaining wall. You will want to use older pieces of timber that has been treated or timber that has been stained or sanded to add character. It is a great choice for any home but especially for a country-style home.
Brick Retaining Walls
- White brick allows for you to add a little detail but still keep your color palette simple yet tasteful.
- Red brick is a classic choice and when adding white grout, you really make the bricks stand out. This will look great in any area of your home and can easily be complimented with greenery for a remarkable look.
Retaining walls play an important part in the landscape of your yard. There are many options to choose from and it can become overwhelming. Let the experts at Fritz Stonework & Retaining Walls help you decide which option is best for you and which one suits your style. Call us today to learn more about our retaining wall services and how we can help you.
Once you have a beautiful patio built to your specifications, you want to be able to enjoy it all year round. Or if you are thinking of having a patio or outdoor living space built, then you might want to think about some items to include for the winter time to help you stay warm. Here are a few ideas that could help you enjoy your time outside all year round.
Invest in a Fire Pit
Fire pits are a very common way of staying warm and toasty as the temperatures drop. They create a practical, warm atmosphere that you can enjoy with friends and family. Fire pits now offer a smoke-free gas flame and different structures, shapes and designs to match any patio. Masonry and stonework projects can also provide a nice decorative addition to your fire pit.
Put Out Blankets
Adding blankets to an outdoor space is not only simple, but also inexpensive. They can create a warm, comfortable outdoor retreat that will make you want to sit on your patio with a warm drink in your hand. Invest in warm blankets that will have you enjoying some quiet time or time with friends and family.
Create a Cover
Creating a cover for your patio can offer some much-needed refuge from the cold weather. Covers for your patio make cold temperatures more tolerable and help keep out the rain, snow, and wind. Covers can enhance your outdoor living experience and increase the amount of time you spend outside.
Soak It All Up
What’s more relaxing than a nice warm soak outside while you star gaze? Adding a hot tub to your patio can make spending time in the cooler temperature more enjoyable. If you’re not a fan of the water, try adding a sauna. Saunas also provide shelter and make an attractive addition to your outdoor space.
Patio Heaters and Fireplaces
If you are unsure about a fire pit, an alternative option would be a patio heater or built-in fireplace. Even though a fireplace is a bigger investment than a fire pit, they do produce a large amount of heat. A fireplace is the most expensive option; however, they are very attractive and available in gas or wood-burning. Patio heaters can be mounted or stand-alone and are offered in electrical or propane. Electrical patio heaters are expensive to run but easy to use.
It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or the sun is out, you want to be able to use your patio and outdoor living space as much as possible. The winter months make it difficult to do so; however, by adding things to make it a more warm, comfortable, and welcoming environment, you will want to spend time all of your spare time outside. Here at Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls we take pride in what we do and have provided quality service for over 31 years. Contact us today at (636) 861-1530 so our expert staff can help you design a beautiful outdoor living space that meets your needs.
In this hectic world that we live in stress has become a number one problem. To reduce stress you need to have a place where you can relax and take time to rejuvenate yourself. You need this relaxing space to be close to home so you can visit it often. Just imagine having your own Puerta Vallarta or Turks and Caicos and it be just mere steps away. You need an at-home oasis that you can kick your shoes off, grab a beer, take a deep breath, and let out the deepest sigh imaginable.
To establish a relaxing space that is close enough to visit often you only need to look as far as your backyard. On your own property you can create a unique and inviting spot to relax and enjoy. The majority of the time when we think about creating outdoor spaces on our property we think about creating spaces where the children can play or where we can entertain. It is time to forget the kid’s desires and forget entertaining guests; you need to concentrate on an outdoor spot that is designed for you.
Waterfalls are Relaxing
Have you ever listened to a waterfall cascading over rocks? The sound is calming and makes you feel at peace with nature and with yourself. While listening to the water gently flowing over the rocks you can push the stresses of work, family and life aside and allow yourself to relax.
Waterfalls are great features to add to the landscape of your property. The size of the waterfall will depend on your personal preferences, and the size of the space you are creating. The waterfall can be used as a water feature that brings water to plants and shrubs, or it can be made to deliver water to your pool.
Certain aromas can put the most stress-induced person into a calmer state. For instance, the smell of lavender can easily relax you and your partner after a long day at work. To help create a space where you can relax and leave the cares of the world behind you can plant lavender, and other aromatic plants close to your space.
Aloe Vera plants improve the quality of the air you breathe. Gerbera daisies also help improve the air by removing some of the toxins. Rosemary is an herb that helps reduce stress and improve your memory.
When you picture your relaxing spot in your back yard picture the sounds of a waterfall and the aromas of stress reducing plants.
A Living Space
You need a comfortable place to sit and enjoy these sounds and aromas. Creating a small patio space with pavers will allow you to have a spot to place a comfortable furniture set, or just a couple of chairs. You need some tables beside those chairs so you can set your iced tea glass down, and a fire-pit or outdoor fireplace will allow you to enjoy your space even when autumn starts to bring a chill to the air.
Establishing an area that has pavers as a foundation will keep you from having to move the furniture so you can mow. It keeps the furniture cleaner, and allows everything to sit level.
If you want to know more about how to establish an outdoor space that is perfectly relaxing call the experts at Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls, (636-861-1530). You can also visit their website to get inspiration for your personal oasis. https://fritzstonework.com/
It is that time of the year! Where coats are put back into the closets, and the outdoors begin calling. Patio furniture does not go out of fashion as fast as other home items. Nonetheless, the aspect of your patio can be drastically modified with simple touches or radical additions. New year, new patio! Here are this year’s patio trends:
- Lighting. A significant player in any courtyard, your lighting can set the mood for a friendly gathering or a romantic encounter. LED technology has brought a new option in custom LEDs: with the appropriate design, LED lights can highlight certain features of your outdoor space. The best part? You can control shade and intensity with just a few clicks on your phone. And speaking of light, shade umbrellas are a great facet on outdoor patios. Look for those that will maximize your outdoor space to give it that extra pop!
- Mixed Materials. Mixing different materials would have been a no-no in the past. Nonetheless, this trend continues to gain popularity in the last several years. Are you looking to make your patio shine with a bit of sparkle? Then unleash the creativity! Forget about one color, one material patios and step out of the comfort zone to impress your guests. Some of the most refreshing combinations are copper and birch, wicker and aluminum, concrete, and oak. This will also make it easier for you to find outdoor furniture that matches.
- Fire pits. Outdoor fireplaces have a dual purpose: first, it allows you to enjoy your patio despite cold weather. Just imagine yourself on a chilly afternoon, enjoying a family gathering around comforting flames. Even on warm summer nights, fireplaces make the thought of spending some time outside feel like a great idea. The second purpose is decorative. No doubt, a beautiful fire pit is a focal point in an outdoor space; our decoration experts assure that firepits make any patio look larger. The idea of an outdoor fireplace can be intimidating, but at Fritz Stone Works, we have the best techniques to install and maintain a fire pit. All you have to do is enjoy it!
- Darker, bolder colors. Having a colorful patio makes it unique and also trendy. Don’t be afraid to go darker, or even charcoal grey. Bold colors make a patio look modern and sleek. Stripes are also a big trend for 2020 and should not be limited to furniture as stripes can be mixed in your materials as well!
- Sustainable areas. Patios are such a versatile space in one’s home as they are not only a decorative section of the house, but they become a place for memories. This space will be the area your kids will learn to care for plants or the site you’ll host a memorable party or the setting for a romantic moment. But remember, beneath those moments lie a host of tiny ecosystems existing under your feet. So be sure to build your patio with sustainability in mind for the flora and fauna residing under and around your patio. The trend for this year is to make your outdoor areas as sustainable and functional as possible.
If you are looking for inspiration or an expert’s advice on how to make the most of your patio, then call Fritz Stone Works at 636-861-1530 or visit our website at https://fritzstonework.com/ for more information about our services.
Many people are reluctant to build on properties that are going to require a retaining wall. People often view retaining walls as structures that are less than attractive. They try doing things like planting shrubbery in front of the wall to hide its existence.
Instead of not building because you need a retainer wall or building a wall that you feel the need to hide, why not build a retaining wall that is so attractive that you want to showcase it. Make your retaining wall an aesthetically pleasing addition to your property décor.
Review your options. A retaining wall can be constructed from many different brick and stone options. You can use the look of the material that you choose to enhance the look and feel of your property. This is your Shangri-La and it should be the mystical, harmonious space that you envision.
Make it curvy. A retaining wall can be shaped so that it does its duty and adds a unique and flagrant touch to your architectural design. These walls can be curved, or straight. They can be tall and majestic or shorter and low profile. The possibilities are endless, and only your imagination can hold you back from creating a wall that is alluring and inviting.
Use patterns. Consider building a basic retaining wall and then at the top of the wall create patterns out of the rock or stone that will be unique. You can install bricks and leave open spaces, you can create a look that resembles the top of a castle wall, how about installing glass bricks or colored mirror balls to create a fantasy area?
Add some color. Your wall can bring an old world feel to your property with the right material and design choices. You can also showcase a beautiful rose garden, or flowering display, behind a short wall of natural stone.
Make it shine. Strategically placed lighting can enhance the beauty of the wall at night, and it can create a softer image. The lighting can also help safe guard your home from uninvited guests.
Make some steps. Build your steps out of the same material as the wall, or build steps out of a contrasting material to create an eye-catching entrance. You can use pavers to create an artistic design on the area behind, or in front of the wall. You can use pavers to create a walkway that matches, or contrasts the wall you have designed.
You can choose materials that fit into the natural landscape so the wall is less noticeable. By using stone that is similar to the natural stones of the area your retaining wall can blend into the natural surroundings and become a part of the landscape.
A properly designed retaining wall can actually increase the value of your property. When you build a beautiful structure you increase the curb appeal of the property, and property that is nicer to look at, and more functional, is worth more money if you ever decide to sell.
The team of professionals at Fritz Stonework & Retaining Walls can help you to create a wall that will be functional, beautiful, and unique. Give them a call today and let them show you what they can do with your ideas.