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Giving Your Home A Face-Lift With Concrete Overlay

[Posted on August 12th, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]

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If you’ve got some drab concrete in your home or as part of your landscape, this could be decreasing the aesthetic appeal of your property. If the concrete in your outdoor living spaces is old, faded, or damaged, consider adding a concrete overlay of pavestone from Allied Outdor Solutions. Damaged concrete may have been improperly installed, and is best left to professionals.

What is a Concrete Overlay?

You can implement a concrete overlay when you want to cover up your existing surface permanently, due to imperfections that detract from the function or aesthetics of your property. Decorative overlays add a bit of shine to your driveways, patios, walkways and pool areas because you can give the area a face-lift without spending big bucks compared with removal and complete replacement. You can choose from a variety of types, styles, colors and textures to complement the space, with many decorative finishes available to suit your unique needs. It’s possible to achieve virtually any look you want through the exploration of a multitude of decorative concrete overlays.

Benefits of Overlays

Many traditional overlays are cement-based in nature. Today we have access to polymer resins blended with cement, sand, pavestone, and other additives to boost the performance, wear resistance and appearance of the concrete. This allows extreme precision in the installation process, with layers as thin or as thick as you want. Another benefit to this type of overlay is its ability to attach well to old concrete that’s already there, repelling salt, chemicals and abrasions. Protecting your concrete with an overlay which is resistant to harmful UV rays to prevent fading when properly maintained and sealed.

Freeze-thaw cycles are no match for polymer-modified overlays, which can be crucial in areas that get seasons of cold and warmth. Different manufacturers blend their overlays differently to achieve the highest level of benefit. It depends on the desired end result, climate and application method. Some of today’s decorative overlays employ the use of acrylics due to their heightened bonding strength and ultra-violet resistance. It’s critical, though, to ensure the underlying base is structurally sound and installed professionally. If not, cracking can develop over time. Tiny cracks can lead to large cracks in no time once moisture sets in and expands.

Implementing Concrete Overlays into Your Home

It’s easy to breathe new life into your home with concrete overlays that are decorative in nature. Use it for your patios, walkways, garden paths, retaining walls, in-ground pool areas and driveways. You may be tired of your old and cracked concrete and want to replace it with something that will not only look great but that will stand the test of time. Hiring professionals is the only way to achieve this type of project properly because they have the necessary tools, expertise, precision and knowledge to get the job done right the first time.

Incorporating Concrete Flooring in to Your Houston Garage

[Posted on August 6th, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]


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Installing concrete in your Houston garage is a smart way to go green and save money on a durable surface that’s built to last. It’s also great for outdoor patios, walkways, driveways and pool areas because of concrete’s natural durability and ability to withstand heat and other elements. Houston Concrete can bring out the natural beauty of your concrete by blending aesthetics, durability, versatility and functionality all in one. You can even incorporate custom patterns and texture through stamps, colors and finishes to mimic the look of stone and other materials.

Green Features

The professionals at Houston Concrete can help boost the sustainability of your garage flooring while at the same time encouraging economy, durability and functionality that will last for decades. Going green when it comes to your flooring and patios can actually save you cash over the long haul because you won’t be spending lots of money on repairs and maintenance. Another testament to the Eco-friendliness of concrete is that there are several concrete coatings and sealants these days featuring non-toxic and low-odor versions that won’t affect your health.

The ultimate in sustainable construction that’s minimally invasive, concrete flooring, particularly in a garage, comes with several benefits — not the least of which is its minimal impact on the environment. Because concrete flooring acts both as the foundation slab and the finished floor, there is no carpeting or other overlay on the top that must be replaced over the years. By going with concrete, you not only conserve materials, you also boost the energy efficiency of the space and ensure the quality of your indoor air. You’ll also save cash, too, as concrete doesn’t require a lot of costly maintenance or upkeep.

Why Concrete for Garages?

With beautiful, long-lasting, durable concrete flooring in your garage, you can create an extension of your living area through the addition of color, which can also hide imperfections and improve wear resistance. Just because it has to be durable doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You can enhance a plain drab garage with heavy duty coatings that give the space a much-needed upgrade as well as improve its resiliency. After all, it will house your cars, tools, lawn mowers and other functional, heavy items. As such, concrete coatings and decorative stamping can hide stains, small imperfections, tire marks and even oil spots when done the right way. With so many choices available for the base coating, you can easily add on other design options that bring out the enhancements.

Concrete flooring, particularly for garages, needs to be durable. It needs to stand up to abuse not typically seen in other areas of your house or yard, as it must hold the weight consistently over time of your cars and any other large equipment you have in there. When it comes to installation, this involves thicker slabs and longer cure times, which your contractor will have expert knowledge of. Concrete coatings can further protect the floor from stains, spills and imperfections, allowing you to easily clean off the affected area. Choose concrete for your garage and do your part to go green.

Going Green With Concrete Coating in Your Houston Home

[Posted on August 5th, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]

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Incorporating concrete coatings such as Carvestone to your pool decks, driveways, outdoor patios and walkways is a green and eco-friendly way for homeowners to save the planet and save some money too. Using concrete coating in your Houston home can make any surface look great with its benefits of sustainable construction, blending beauty, economy, durability and functionality that will last a lifetime. Going green when it comes to your flooring and patios can actually save you cash over the long haul because you won’t be spending lots of money on repairs and maintenance.

Pros of Concrete Coatings

Allied Outdoor Solutions implements quartz coating that looks and feels like genuine stone with all of concrete’s durable benefits yet without the high price tag. With twice the strength of concrete, this coating doesn’t get too slippery when it’s wet, which is great around pool areas. Its versatility allows you to incorporate it anywhere, from walkways to driveways. Including a concrete coating on your Houston patio can also add a decorative element through customized patterns and colors. Concrete coatings are also resistant to many types of abrasions, impacts, stains, chemicals and even thermal shock, plus they don’t shrink over time and their colors don’t fade from the sun, which is an important factor when living in Houston.

The growth of mold and mildew is prohibited with concrete coatings, thanks to the natural non-porous finish. You don’t have to do a lot to maintain your areas of application, either, which is also a key benefit especially when those areas get a lot of foot traffic from kids, pets and cars. When a coating is applied to concrete, this preserves the natural beauty of the underlying concrete by shielding it from the harmful effects of the sun, cold, rain and heat. Due to their natural stain resistance, concrete coatings allow for quick and easy cleanup when you spill beverages, suntan lotion, soda, fruit juice, wine or any other liquid.

Why are Concrete Coatings Eco-Friendly?

Decorative concrete flooring has dual functions, becoming both foundation slab and finished floor in one, with no need for replacement over the years. This in turn conserves materials, improves energy efficiency and boosts the quality of your indoor air. Perhaps you’ve read about possible toxic elements to products that have been traditionally used to stain and seal concrete flooring. But the concrete coatings of today have low-odor, non-toxic varieties that won’t pollute the air your breathe in.

Customization

Aesthetics is a big reason to outfit your driveways and pool area with concrete coatings, which can be custom tailored to match the surroundings. If you think a messy tear-out and excavation is necessary, think again. This is a hand carved, detailed process that’s minimally invasive and works well with your existing landscape. Add a slip resistance to your pool areas, some texture to your driveways or decorative patterns to your patio. The best thing about concrete coatings is that they’re unique and no one else has quite the same look that you do. Save your little corner of the planet by going green and impress your guests with your beautiful new patio and walkway, all at the same time.

How to Recycle Pavers in Houston

[Posted on August 4th 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]


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In front yards and backyards, there are several reasons people use pavers. Houston, Texas, in particular, is a city that – because of its climate and location – makes pavers an ideal choice for hardscaping and landscaping. Pavers are durable and flexible, able to be used in a variety of projects and last for several years or even decades.

Still, pavers don’t last forever; a time will likely come when your pavers need to be replaced by newer ones; you may also want to replace them because you are changing the look of your yard. That’s the bad news. The good news is that pavers can almost always be recycled, able to meet your needs or the needs of another.

Getting Rid of Pavers Entirely

For people who want to get rid of pavers, Houston, Texas offers a few possibilities that avoid the hassle – and wastefulness – of simply tossing the pavers in a dumpster or household trashcan. This typically involves giving (or selling) old pavers to people who may be able to use them in a useful manner.

There are a few different ways you can do this, including: asking any friends, neighbors, or relatives who are landscaping if they need any pavers; putting an ad on places like Craigslist that either offer the pavers for free or for a small price; or finding a thrift store or other charitable outlet that provides home and garden materials to those in need. If you opt to go with the latter, there are many organizations that will come to your house and pick up the pavers themselves.

Using Paver in Other Landscaping Projects

One of the best things to do with old pavers is to recycle them; one way you can accomplish this is by using old pavers in new projects. For instance, you can use old pavers to fill drainage materials for large flower pots or containers; you can crush pavers up and use their grains as a replacement for gravel or mulch; you can use old pavers to construct a patio for things like children’s’ playhouses or as an area to set your gas or charcoal grill; or you can use pavers to set up a barrier and protect your garden, your plants, or your child’s sandbox from rabbits and other pests.

You may also wish to use pavers in more creative manners, such as painting the names of your flower types on the pavers and using them as identifying stones; creating an artistic-like walkway to a garden or backyard; or using them to construct a border around a flower bed.

The Advantage of Recycling Pavers

As mentioned above, simply tossing a paver is wasteful, but it’s also an incredible chore. Pavers are heavy, made of rock or stone: tossing one may not seem like that big a deal, but tossing a dozen will. Some city garbage collection agencies may also not accept them if you simply put them on a curb. This can require you to make special arrangements and pay for extra costs out of pocket. Thus, recycling isn’t just better for the environment, but it’s better for you as well.

The Many Uses of Concrete Coating

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre

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Incorporating concrete coating around your home is essential in keeping up its original color, luster and overall appearance. When you enlist the help of professionals such as Allied Outdoor Solutions, you get attention to detail in every job, thanks to hand carved, colored and grouted concrete. Coating the finished concrete, and then applying a coating regularly throughout the life of your driveway or patio, is key in maintaining its long life.

Why Concrete Coating?

There are plenty of reasons why concrete coating is so important. Such durable coatings help the concrete to resist abrasion, impacts, chemicals, thermal shock and a variety of stains, from spilled juice to oil. When you apply coatings over concrete, you’re ensuring that they don’t shrink as time passes and that the colors underneath do not fade. You spend a lot of money on your concrete patios, fireplaces and pathways. You may even have chosen some beautiful colors to complement your landscape. As such, it’s important those colors retain their luster over the years. Concrete coatings are non-porous, meaning water, mold and mildew can’t penetrate to do serious damage. Overall, coatings don’t call for much maintenance on a yearly basis. In addition to providing durability for any high-traffic space, concrete can be naturally slip resistant if it has some texture to it. That’s why many people incorporate patterns and designs in their finished product. Coatings are great for preserving concrete from the harsh effects of the sun, rain, cold and heat. As such, it’s a great addition to outdoor spaces, such as around fire pits and pools, because of its durability. However, it can also be used indoors, for fireplace hearths, sun rooms, indoor/outdoor rooms, screen rooms and more.

Color Sealant

Concrete coatings are essential for keeping in the vibrant color of your walkway or patio. They work to “trap” the color of the concrete and shield it from the hot Texas sun. If you notice the area looking less than lustrous, clean it with special solutions that work to remove stains and make it look polished again. The environment, along with foot traffic and cars, can call for additional sealants and minimal cleaning regimens over the years.

Stain Removal

If you’ve got kids, you know they can easily spill their fruit punch and food on your pool deck. If you’ve got cars, you know they can leak oil on your driveway. If you’ve got guests using your pool, you know they can spill suntan oils and lotions, which can cause a permanent mark if your concrete it not coated. Stains of all kinds can accumulate on your concrete driveways and other surfaces. That’s why it’s important to have a coating that can keep those stains from penetrating. It’s still a good idea to wash off any stains as they occur to minimize damage. Using a high-quality concrete coating is imperative if you want to retain the gorgeous look of your driveways, walkways and patios at a minimal cost. Have a professional install your decorative concrete and coatings so as to ensure the long-lasting look you’ve been after for years.

Adding a Concrete Fire Feature To Your Austin Backyard

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre

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When you think of summer, you probably imagine enjoying your backyard pool and grilling on the barbecue. Imagine if you could add a fire feature to that summer oasis, the perfect place to roast hot dogs and marshmallows while telling stories around the campfire. Well, now you can with the help of Allied Outdoor Solutions, a trusted resource for Austin concrete. In fact, you don’t even have to wait till summer. When the weather is cool, this is also the perfect time to enjoy your very own fire feature.

Concrete Fire Features

Concrete in Austin is built to last, thanks to an innate durability and versatility characteristic of this type of material. Bring warmth to your gathering on those cool nights when you’re looking for a unique entertainment option. No need to head inside when the sun goes down. Instead, invite friends over for a night around the fire pit. However, these aren’t your ordinary fire pits. When you incorporate decorative concrete into your fire feature, you can really explore the options afforded you, resulting in anything from a sleek modern fire pit or a rustic natural one that blends in with the backyard surroundings.

These days, fire features can be even more ornate than your indoor fireplace, complete with stone chimney, spots to store extra wood and tools, a hearth and seating areas. Allied Outdoor Solutions can hand craft you a well-wrought sunken firepit, top-of-the-line linear ventless fireplace, classic stone features or anything else your heart desires.

Why Concrete?

There’s no limit to the creations Allied Outdoor Solutions can do with a fire feature in your backyard. That’s because concrete is a versatile product that can be used in the creation of anything form driveways and patios to pool areas and walkways. It’s especially ideal for fire features because it can easily handle the heat from the fire, as well as the outdoor elements such as rain and hot sun. With an inherent fire resistance, concrete does not burn, plus it has a low initial cost with little required in regular maintenance.

As a result, the structural integrity of the fire pit will withstand the test of time and will never emit toxic fumes. Because pavers can come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, you can configure them in any way you want. Choose a semi-circular stone bench surrounding a circular stone firepit complete with bench or plush patio seating for a crowd. Fire features don’t have to be circular, though. Think outside the box and go with a square, rectangle or other funky geometric pattern that will wow your guests. When you’re laying concrete pavers, virtually any design you can think of is possible. You don’t even have to have the fire feature above ground. Immerse it into the patio itself for a truly organic look.

Enlist the Help of Professionals

When it comes to installing a fire feature in your Austin backyard, it’s best to leave this up to the pros at Allied Outdoor Solutions. This is because they have the proficiency and experience to provide detailed, step-by-step installation that encompasses just the right balance of design and structural integrity. Get started on your fire feature design today to take advantage of those fun nights in the backyard.

Using Pavers To Design Your Houston Garden

[Posted on July 21st 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]


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Pavers make the perfect garden walkway for your Houston backyard thanks to their ability to withstand heat and their highly durable nature. No longer relegated to boring gray concrete colors, you can incorporate the style and colors you want to match the rest of your landscaping through beautiful accents from Houston Pavers.

The Perfect Solution

Using Houston Pavers to design your meandering garden pathway means you can add rich variations in color interspersed with earthy organic tones to complement the natural appearance of your garden. Pavers are an ideal material to use in Houston because they resist cracking and fading due to the hot sun. They’re low maintenance and high strength yet with low water absorption. They’re also quite affordable when you compare the cost with the natural stones they are designed to resemble, such as slate. Not only are they attractive but they’re also versatile, allowing you to place them in virtually any configuration you like.

Want a rugged garden pathway with wild flowers overflowing the sides? You can do that. If you’re looking for a more manicured look with perfectly-positioned stepping stones and evenly trimmed landscaping, you’re in luck as well. You can even go with two types of stone and try a stone-and-pebble walkway that leads guests through lushly landscaped areas.

From geometric patterns to haphazard designs, you can make your garden pathway take on a life of its own. You don’t have to be confined to square or rectangle pieces, either. Why not go with circles that mimic stepping stones on a pond, or intersperse long rectangular shapes offset by small, irregular ones? Garden pathways are all about whimsy and fun, so don’t feel restricted by one set design. Your paver professionals can lend assistance during the design phases to help you choose just the right pattern that speaks to your style.

Garden Oasis

If you’ve got a colorful vegetable or flower garden out back and want to enhance the entire look with a path and perhaps a bench, consider a rustic look complete with wrought iron table and chair. Got a hillside garden? Welcome your visitors with a set of stone steps featuring bright green spruce evergreens on the sides. Add potted plants for some texture, lining your walkways with your favorite blooms, wildflowers and hedges to increase the feel of dimension. In terms of the pavers, you can go with a curved, streamlined look or a funky patchwork appearance depending on the style of your garden. Try a straight layout for a more formalized look, or offset some rectangular paver patterns reminiscent of an English courtyard.

Perhaps you love the weathered look with overgrown wildflowers or maybe you prefer the manicured look of straight lines bordered by pristine mulching. Whatever your choice, employ the services of a professional to ensure a perfect job. When you choose to incorporate stylish concrete walkways, you lend a clean, bold look to your entire yard that enhances borders and offers up an elegance that’s unrivaled any other way. Thanks to concrete’s ability to last decades, you won’t have to replace your dream walkway for a very long time to come.

Building Your Dream Houston Patio Using Concrete

[Posted on July 16th, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]

 

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Building a patio can add value and beauty to your home. Patios have the unique ability to extend your living space, creating an atmosphere both for entertaining and for quiet meditation. When considering the construction of a patio, however, there are many possibilities to consider. What will be its design?  Will it have a specific pattern? Do you have a simple shape in mind, or do you plan for it to wrap around and enhance the natural landscape? Most importantly, what material will you use? Let Houston Concrete help you with your patio design and construction. You can trust the experienced patio designers create a custom concrete patio in Houston, designed and individualized for your home and your needs. We offer an array of decorative concrete surfaces that will bring a new aesthetic to your home.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is concrete that is embossed with a pattern or texture, in order to simulate flagstone, stone, slate, or bricks. Unlike a patio made from these materials, however, concrete has the advantage of actually increasing in strength for several years after it is poured. Concrete also provides better value when compared to pricier brick and stone pavers. If you wish, color can be added to the concrete to create a particular aesthetic, or to help the concrete resemble the stone you choose to simulate. To color the concrete, a coloring agent is added while the concrete is still mixing. After the concrete is poured, spreading a color-enhancing compound on the surface enriches the color. Next, the crew uses rubber stamps resembling the desired pattern to create the design of your choice. Finally, a concrete sealer is applied. The sealer increases the life of your concrete patio in Houston, by shielding against moisture, thereby promoting durability and decreasing maintenance.

Mixing It Up

There are no limits on the types of designs to integrate and pair within your patio. Just as the interior of your home likely has different flooring surfaces, the patio can also take on different characteristics to create different outdoor “rooms” and functional spaces. Various stamp patterns, colors, and textures can be integrated to line pathways, define a round grill or table space, or encircle a fire pit. Each pattern serves to create a style, define a space, set a mood, or generate a border. Many homeowners choose patterns that complement their indoor living space, while others choose to blend their patterns into the natural landscape.

The Benefits of a Concrete Patio

An increase in home value is among the many reasons a homeowner should consider building a concrete patio. A neatly maintained concrete patio suggests livability, comfort, and style, creating immediate curb appeal for potential homebuyers. Add several planters, a grill, and some outdoor furniture, and the patio generates an inviting ambiance for your property. Aside from attracting potential homebuyers, a patio will draw you out, allowing you greater opportunity to experience the outdoors with the comfort and proximity of your home. A patio serves to draw families into the fresh air, whether it is for reading, playing games, or eating a meal. Enjoying a meal outdoors creates a unique atmosphere that enhances any social gathering.

Concrete Houston Infographic July 2014

Concrete Houston Infographic July 2014

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Ideas For Incorporating Stamped Concrete in to Your Houston Home

[Posted on July 8th, 2014 by Ashley Aguirre]


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Looking to spruce up the look of your yard? A great solution which is both affordable and attractive for your home in Houston is stamped concrete. All stamped concrete is hand carved, colored and grouted with no use of stencils, for a flawless look every time. It looks just like authentic stone but it’s less costly and lasts for years to come. It can be used for driveways, walkways, patios, or in your home for a durable, eco-friendly surface that can be customized to fit your tastes.

What is Stamped Concrete?

For homeowners looking to remodel their patio in Houston, stamped concrete is ideal. It is created using a template to etch a custom design in poured concrete so that it dries in that form. This can be used for anything from patios and walkways to driveways and pool decks. You can also include stamped concrete in outdoor living areas to enhance fireplaces and pergolas, for example. This material is versatile because it can be colored and textured to match any environment, giving the look of real stone.

A step above traditional smooth gray concrete, you can certainly add a depth of character to any space with stamped concrete. Whether you want to mimic stone or brick, you’ll save money plus you will have a wide color palette to choose from because the concrete can be mixed to result in any hue you want. Virtually any geometric pattern you can think of can be designed with stamped concrete. The inherent benefit of stamped concrete is its natural slip resistance with added traction, perfect for wet pool areas with little kids. You’ll be the only one in the neighborhood with that particular pattern, not available in any retail stores. You can’t put a price tag on that!

Benefits

A professional concrete contractor has the expertise and experience to help explore the options for your space. You can choose the pattern you want, completely customized with no stencils. This ensures that each job is unique, with a special coating that won’t erode and that’s smooth to walk on. No messy-tear outs are involved. Your professional can work with any existing surface such as pea gravel or tile. Just transforming your patio area can breathe new life into your yard. In fact, why stop at a patio? Why not add a complete outdoor living area that will last for years to come? You’ll get a colorful, textured addition that matches the landscape with endless possibilities at your disposal. The end result is a slip-proof textured area that mimics the look of real stone.

Use stamped concrete for a fire pit or fireplace, outdoor kitchen area, pool decking and any walkways that connect one area to another. Your stamped concrete is easy maintenance, too. To avoid staining, rinse off any spilled beverages or food right away. Special coatings by Allied Outdoor Solutions can resist the harsh effects of the hot Houston weather, guarding against mildew and mold. Rain runs right off and cold is no match for your new stamped concrete surface. Stamped concrete is not only lower in cost than real stone, it’s also  durable, heat resistant, aesthetically pleasing, textured and versatile. These factors all combine to make a long-lasting outdoor oasis for your Houston home that’s tough to beat.