Schedule a Free Consultation

Would you like a FREE estimate? Let us hear from you.

What is the difference between a patio cover and a pergola?

What is the difference between a patio cover and a pergola?

 

If you are like many of our clients they love being outside but want a place to relax in the shade.  Two of the most common shade structures are known as pergolas and covered patios.  Patio Covers typically provide you with 100% shade protection while pergolas have an open top that provides you with partial shade.  Both are great additions to enhance any outdoor living space and our project consultants can help guide you to fit your specific needs and how we can make them best fit your space.

 

Similarities for Pergolas and Covered Patios:

 

  • Provide shade (partial or full)
  • Can include electrical packaging with recessed LED lights, scones, flood lights,  fans, and additional outlets. 
  • Posts or columns are typically 6×6 or 8×8 and we use a material ranging from cedar, alumawood, treated pine, steel or hardie board.  In addition, each post or column can be fully or partially wrapped with stone or brick.
  • Most need concrete piers prior to construction of the structure
  • Attached or detached to the residence
  • Allow for variations of roof designs, layouts, and pitches

 

Differences for Pergolas and Covered Patios:

 

  • A patio cover can be waterproofed with roofing and shingles to match the design of your home. 
  • A pergola is commonly open to the elements, but we can provide you with a polycarbonate top or tin top depending on your objectives and design.
  • Patio cover roofs are installed with asphalt, tile, metal or cement shingles to match your residence.  
  • Patio Cover ceilings have options including painted hardi-panels, stucco, cedar tongue and groove, and bead-board paneling.
  • Patio covers allow dedicated circuit / attic runs for electrical wiring to be hidden. Where it is commonly seen in pergolas to see exposed conduit running to electrical components (fans, switches, etc.), because of lack of ceiling enclosure to hide those electrical lines.
  • If you’ve opted to stain or seal your pergola, the frequency of re-staining and re-sealing your pergola depends on your climate and the type of stain or sealant you choose. Timeframes range from every year to every 2-3 years.

 

In working with Allied Outdoor Solutions, there’s a great peace of mind knowing your contractor has constructed thousands of shade structures for home owners all over Arizona and Texas.  We look forward to using our experience to build your structure so that you can enjoy the shade just how you want it for years to come.   Give us a call to set up a free in-home consultation with one of our project consultants.

Contact Form

Main Contact Form

 

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas

How Should I Pick My Outdoor Living Concrete Contractor?

How Should I Pick My Outdoor Living Concrete Contractor?

Prior to the start of any outdoor living space project, it is important to do research on your contractor. There are numerous companies that have a specific focus.  Some contractors focus on certain materials or types of projects which can lead you to a less than desirable outcome for your project and home.

 

Beyond being physically able to complete a project, there are many other items you should have on your checklist. How does this person make you feel? Do you feel heard? Has someone you know worked with them before? Does this person have credentials and understand permitting and HOA approval processes? What are the reviews online saying about this person or their company? Are they listed on the Better Business Bureau?

 

Contractor Checklist:

  • Reviews (do they have more than 5)?
  • Are they easy to schedule an appointment?
  • Did they show up at the time you scheduled?
  • Do they have an office or do they work out of a garage?
  • Do they have insurance and can they show you proof?
  • Do they have workers comp?
  • Did they get you pricing when you met or do you have to wait?
    • Why do you have to wait?
  • Professional?
  • Have they completed enough projects to make you feel comfortable
  • Do they listen to your ideas?
  • Do they offer flexible payment options (credit card, financing)
  • Do they offer creative payment solutions or do they need draws?
  • Do they have schedulers to keep your project moving?
  • Do they project managers to ensure quality?

 

Honesty in key. Truthfulness is priority. Accountability is essential. Those three characteristics create not only a successful project, but an even better working relationship. We want our project consultants and project managers to take the same level of pride in your project as they would in a project in their own backyard.

 

Print off our checklist and use it on your next project.   And when you are ready, schedule a free consultation and experience the difference when we check every box.

 

Contact Form

Main Contact Form

How is Carvestone different from a paver solution?

How is Carvestone different from a paver solution?

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions installs all hardscape options in order to deliver the best option for our clients needs .  Two hardscape options that our project consultants get asked to differentiate between are Carvestone and pavers.   It makes sense that we are asked to clarify the difference because both Carvestone and pavers can be used for driveways, walkways, pool decks and patios. Both Carvestone and pavers are wonderful solutions for a new space or updating an existing space that may be out-of-style, too small or damaged. Both options come in a variety of different shapes, patterns, colors and textures. Most importantly, they are both long term solutions that deliver results our clients love.  We have outlined the major differences as you navigate the best hardscape option for you:

 

Visual design differences:

  • Pavers have pre-set patterns and color options made by a manufacturer in advance
  • Carvestone patterns and color options are 100% customizable with endless options made on-site

 

Installation Similaries:

  • In certain circumstances, and with the guidance of your Allied Outdoor Solutions project consultant, you may not require demolition of your existing surface. In many cases we can overlay existing concrete with pavers or Carvestone.  This includes but is not limited to patios, walkways, driveways, and pool decks.
  • In addition, your project consultant can show you how we can overlay most coping with either pavers or carvestone and make it look original.  

 

Possible Installation Differences:

 

(picture of our process – this is in the brochure)

  • Allied Outdoor Solutions is ICPI certified which means we are held to the highest standards on our paver installations and we work hard to keep this certification each year.  The way pavers are installed this way is based on the following: First, we remove the existing hardscape (if needed) and then excavate down another 4”-6”. The depth is built back up using stabilizing sand and crushed concrete. We then will spread a layer of bedding sand for the pavers to nestle down into and level. There will be concrete edge around the perimeter of the project to ensure longevity. Once the pavers are laid and toe poured a broadcast of polymeric sand will be used to fill the joints. The entire paver system is roughly 8”-10” from stabilized base to top of your new pavers.
  • Carvestone is only applied on top of a structurally sound concrete substrate which means we need to pour new concrete or we can go on top of your existing pool deck, patio or driveway.  

 

Maintenance differences:

  • Pavers: do not require to be re-sealed, but are also subject to the elements and absorption of its surroundings.  Your polymeric sand will need to be replaced which is found in the joints of your pavers.
  • Carvestone:  we suggest that every two to three years you re-seal to ensure the beauty of your project . A dedicated re-seal team member from Allied Outdoor Solutions will contact you to remind you every 2 years and assist you in the process of resealing.

Warranty differences:

  • Concrete pavers provide a lifetime warranty on the materials and 2 year workmanship warranty on concrete pavers and travertine.
  • Carvestone provides a seven-year warranty on the chipping and delamination of the surface covered.

 

 

Your dedicated project consultant will listen to your vision and then assist you in designing a solution to fit your needs and budget with the products that fit your space best.  Then our dedicated production team that consists of schedulers, a dedicated project manager to your project will bring your project to life for you to make memories that you have been dreaming of for years.  Take the first step and schedule a free consultation.

 

 

Contact Form

Main Contact Form

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas

How is Carvestone different from stamped concrete?

How is Carvestone different from stamped concrete?

As you can see from the above photo, both Carvestone and stamped concrete are solutions that can beautify any area around your home. When we visit your residence for a free consultation we can offer professional advice to ensure your needs and wants are filled ensuring we fit you with the right solution. A common misconception between these two hardscapes is that stamped concrete and Carvestone are one in the same. While they have some similarities, they are unique as you can see from the photo we shared with you above. The good news is that we offer both solutions.

Here are common ways that they are different:
Their name says it all, stamped concrete is concrete with a decorative design installed by highly experienced crews. Carvestone is a proprietary product that only Allied Outdoor Solutions offers that is a decorative limestone and quartz overlay that takes our specialized crews to install.

About Carvestone: Carvestone is a proprietary mixture of limestone and quartz. The limestone gives Carvestone the natural stone texture and allows it to be cooler, depending on the colors chosen, than stamped concrete. The quartz provides strength. In fact, a standard concrete pour is typically rated at 3,000 PSI while Carvestone is rated at 5,800 PSI.
Carvestone is hand-troweled at 3/8 inch – 1/4 inch thickness. Unlike traditional concrete or other overlay solutions, Carvestone is sealed which helps reject tough stains, two of which being red wine and grease.

Allied Outdoor Solutions installs all hardscape options but only recommends the one that best fits your needs. You can rely on your project consultant to guide you to the right solution and your dedicated project manager to bring to life a space you can enjoy for years to come.

Contact us for more great tips to set up an outdoor living area which will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.

 

Contact Form

Main Contact Form

 

 

Get Your Pool More Use with a Few New Backyard Additions

Get Your Pool More Use with a Few New Backyard Additions

 

While raising a family and living in a rental, you may have learned about all the home features that your household wants and needs. If a pool showed up on the list of wants for everyone in your family, you may have made sure to buy a house that came with a pool already installed.

Although your family may enjoy using the pool often, you may also know that the surrounding area is lacking, which can make your pool the only desirable feature in the backyard. This is when you should consider investing in a few new backyard additions to act as outdoor living areas.

Pool Deck Extension

When you have a small pool deck, you may only be comfortable with using the space to get in and out of the water. But, you should consider a pool deck extension in which you expand the paved area so that you can set up a patio furniture set and lounge chairs around the space.

Patio Space

While the pool deck extension will give you a place for your family to sit, relax, eat, and socialize, you may not want all backyard activity to happen around the pool. An easy solution is to build a patio with a solid cover so that you can provide guaranteed shade for your family to enjoy.

To make the pool and patio feel connected, you will have several options such as connecting them with a walkway or building the patio close enough that it blends in with the pool deck.

Fire Pit

To top off the string of backyard additions, you can add a fire pit around the patio or pool. If you want to warm up after leaving the pool, all you will need to do is head to the fire pit. You can add paving throughout the fire pit area to make the space easy to furnish and to reduce fire risk.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about adding these features to your yard.

 

 

Old Pool Patio Falling Short? Allied Outdoor Solutions has the Answer

Old Pool Patio Falling Short? Allied Outdoor Solutions has the Answer

 

The summer season is here. Family and friends are seeking out your outdoor pool and living space as the perfect escape to beat the heat of summer days. The pool is pristine and ready for the season. The furniture is stylish and functional. Unfortunately, it is impossible to ignore the tired look that old and weathered pool patio gives an outdoor space. But how to fix it? Tearing it out and starting from scratch isn’t the only option; it may not even be the best option. It is time to consider an overlay.

With an overlay, it is not necessary to demolish an existing patio to get the refresh it deserves. Allied Outdoor Solutions specializes in a carvestone overlay that will provide the perfect solution to any outdoor living space in need of an upgrade. When installing our carvestone overlay, we use the current patio surface to create the new look and style, as opposed to a time-consuming demolition and replacement. As long as there is a solid foundation, there are multiple types of patio surfaces on which an overlay is an option. These include concrete, pea gravel, cool deck, and brick pool copings.

From the beginning, our consultants are diligent in ensuring compatibility with existing patio surfaces, thus successful application. In the design process, we work to ensure the finished product perfectly complements your outdoor style. Once the project is complete, you can expect a quality patio surface that will last for seasons to come. More than that, our carvestone overlay is more durable and safer than standard concrete patio surfaces. Carvestone surfaces are twice as strong as concrete, with strengths of up to 6,000 PSI. We also take extra measures to ensure our surfaces are more slip resistant. We consider the texture, and also utilize a non-skid agent in our sealer.

It’s time to celebrate the beginning of long, lazy summer days in the perfect outdoor space. We are equipped with the solution for your worn pool patio, and are ready to give it the update it deserves. Contact the professionals at Allied Outdoor Solutions, and get started today!

 

Why concrete overlay is the right choice?

Why concrete overlay is the right choice?

 

While a concrete overlay may not always be the correct application, there are many scenarios where it is the perfect choice. A few quick checkpoints which could rule out an overlay.

  • Is your concrete severely cracked? A concrete overlay can often work around some minor cracking but if your concrete has experienced significant movement, it is unlikely to be the right application for you.
  • Does the area you’d like to improve has existing concrete? Because a concrete overlay requires a solid concrete base, it generally makes the most sense when the great majority of the area is already in place. Small areas can be added but if the project requires too much new concrete, an overlay will likely lose its efficiency.
  • Is drainage an issue you are trying to solve? Because an overlay is approximately ¼”, it is not capable of correcting poor drainage.

Now that I have briefly described some of the limitations, let me dig into the benefits:

  • There is no messy tear out. An overlay is like the icing on the cake. If you currently have a high-quality concrete slab, an overlay can generally be applied to the surface in just a few short days. And without the need for heavy equipment, it is often far less invasive to your lawn and landscape.
  • An overlay can often be used without creating trip hazards. In areas where your concrete is adjacent to other surfaces (i.e. drains, skimmer baskets, other hardscapes, door thresholds, coping, etc.) the concrete can be feathered to leave you a surface that is almost flush with your existing elements. The thickness can also help supply a high-end look on patios without enough space to install a traditional hardscape product.
  • You’ll have a large influence on the final product. Unlike manufactured products such as stone or pavers, many overlays actually allow you to select the design and color that best suits your specific, unique space. You can select a pattern that creates a cohesive design flow with the interior of your home while selecting a color which will perfectly complement the landscaping and construction materials already existing in your yard. In most cases, an overlay can allow you to update your space while making it look like it was done at the same time as the rest of your space.
  • Cost savings over traditional options. While overlay products can have substantial variation in price depending on the material itself and your market, they generally present a more cost-effective solution that other hardscape materials. Products like travertine, stone, pavers, decorative concrete and porcelain will almost universally be more expensive. Many times, the savings from selecting an overlay solution can be used to update other areas such as the pool finish, coping, landscape and more.
  • Overlays are generally more repairable than slab options. If something impacts the surface of a concrete slab, it can be extremely difficult to repair without leaving obvious scarring from the repair work. In many cases, an overlay can be re-manipulated so that the space looks whole one again.

Is an overlay the right application for you? If all of the above information marries up with the desire you have for your space, it just might be. Call a local expert and see what they think. One thing I know for sure: you’ll be blow away by some of the options available today. In the 80’s and 90’s you would see plain (boring?) overlay applications such as cool decking. Today, we have hand-crafted, custom stone finishes that will leave you wondering how a cementitious product could be made to look like real stone!

 

 

 

 

Should I Install Pavers or Stamped Concrete?

We’re often asked the question of “What’s better pavers or stamped concrete?.” The short answer is that “better” is relative. Stamped concrete would be the lower cost decorative option. It can provide a custom look and transform any space almost immediately. There are two major limitations with a decorative concrete application. First, it requires a biennial sealant be applied and, because of this, in the end, some of the cost savings can actually be given back over time. Second, a decorative concrete application is still a slab of concrete and all of the inherent issues in slabs of concrete could create issues as your surface ages. Items like cosmetic cracking, topically applied color, significant cracking caused by outside forces like tree roots and those pesky expansion joints could still be a source of frustration moving forward.

The paver system provides a significant level of improvement at a moderately higher cost. It is an independent, repairable system. Like decorative concrete, there are dozens of choices stylistically to ensure you receive a product that belongs in your space. And while no installation is maintenance free, the paver system, generally speaking, is a much more durable, longer-lasting application. Instead of being placed on compacted dirt as is true in concrete applications, the proper paver system consists of 4-6” of stabilized cementicious material along with a layer of bedding sand. Instead of grout as is typically used in tile and stone applications, a paver system is installed with polymeric sand. This product allows for more flexion and less cracking than is standard in a cement-based mortar product. Another difference is the color. The color is baked into the paver and, because the initial look of a paver is more weathered to begin with, the paver is likely to age more gracefully than any competing decorative concrete products.

So, back to the original question….Which is better? It’s not a fair fight as a paver is truly the most durable solution on the market. If short-term money and a quick fix are the chief concerns, a stamped concrete application may make the most sense. Under nearly every other circumstance, go with a paver.

 

 

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Living Area

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Living Area

If you watch many shows on HGTV or DIY Network, you have probably spent a fair amount of time with mouth agape at some of the incredible outdoor living areas that are created. But you don’t have to just dream about an outdoor living space. Living in Texas and Arizona, we are in the perfect climate to enjoy an outdoor living space year-round. And at Allied Outdoor Solutions, we know how to help you create the perfect outdoor living space for you. Here are a few things to address throughout the process.

  1. What features do you want? An outdoor living space can be anywhere from simple to elaborate. It all depends on how you plan on using the space. The outdoor living division at Allied Outdoor Solutions can complete any project you can think of, from outdoor kitchens to water features. So ask yourself and your family, “What features do we want to be a part of our outdoor living space?” Custom pergolas and patios, kitchens, water features, and fire features are all options.
  2. What surface do you prefer? At Allied Outdoor Solutions we specialize in many kinds of surfaces, all of which could look stunning at your home. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer pavers, concrete, wood decking, or carvestone. We can resurface an existing surface or create something free-standing. Really, the sky is the limit.

So stop just dreaming about your outdoor living space. Now is the perfect time to contact Allied Outdoor Solutions to start planning your outside oasis. Contact us today for more information.

 

Update Your Pool With A Pool Deck Overlay

Updating the interior of your home may seem more pressing than updating the exterior. New appliances and fixtures are an obvious place to start when updating. But the exterior of your home needs some TLC too, especially if you have a pool. A pool deck overlay is an excellent way to give the exterior of your home a more modern look. Having a pool is a luxury, but you want your pool deck to be luxurious too— not just plain, boring concrete.

There are a number of ways we can help you customize your pool deck at Allied Outdoor Solutions. We serve many areas of Texas and Arizona. So if your pool deck needs an update and you are in Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, or San Antonio, one of our locations will be happy to help you.

The great thing about updating your pool deck is we don’t have to tear out your existing pool deck. That would be expensive and messy. We can just do an overlay, either with carvestone or concrete. Whether you want to expand the area you have paved, or just give your current deck a facelift, we will leave your yard looking more beautiful than you could have imagined. Allied Outdoor Solutions does stamped concrete using dozens of stamps and rich, beautiful colors. And our carvestone overlay method is a gorgeous way of getting the appearance of natural stone without the expense and the slippery nature of stone.

Contact us at Allied Outdoor Solutions today and we can start dreaming together about an improved pool deck overlay to update the exterior of your home.

 

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions Pool DeckAllied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas Concrete Overlay Patio and Pool Deck

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions Pool Deck

Allied Outdoor Solutions Pool Deck

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions Pool Deck