With summer in full swing, people are spending more and more time outside. The constant desire to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine has made people take a look at their outdoor spaces¾patios, decks¾to determine if they still meet their needs or not. In our last post our demolition experts covered how renovation budgets are expected to hit record levels this year. Now is a great time to finally redo your outdoor entertainment space so you can enjoy it more in the coming months.
Decks and patios are great places for families and friends to gather in the warm months. No matter the look you’re going for, there are many options to fit your space. Concrete patios are paved areas directly on the ground either attached to or separate from the house. Decks are raised platforms¾either high off the ground or close to ground level¾and sit directly next to the house. Patios are more inexpensive, but decks provide a higher return on investment for resale value. On average, wooden decks have a 79% ROI, higher than all indoor home renovations, according to Nationwide. Patios, however, have lower maintenance required and a longer life span, lasting more than 25 years if done properly.
A quality contractor can help you with the pros and cons of each to determine what’s best for you and your family.
Assess Your Current Space
Before you can even start your reno, you have to get rid of all the old concrete or old deck first. If your concrete has minor stains, chips or scratches, you probably don’t need to replace it. More severe damage must be fixed by demolishing and replacing it. There are several different conditions your concrete could be in that require your timely attention.
- Deep, widespread cracks – This is where settlement has occurred and can be due to a few different reasons such as the weight of a large truck, poor preparation of sub grade, or erosion of sub grade.
- Sunken concrete slabs – This can be caused by sub grade not being properly prepared using loose dirt. If sprinkler or rain water gets under the concrete and it’s not supported, dirt can settle and make it more susceptible to sinking. Another cause is again extreme weight.
- Damage from frost heave – In cold climates, such as here in Boise, moisture in the ground can freeze and push concrete upward.
- Pitting on the surface – Pitting refers to the surface of concrete starting to deteriorate. You recognize it by clusters of small holes. This is caused by a problem in the production of the concrete when it’s being mixed or while curing.
Acknowledge DIY Isn’t Always the Best Option
Before you go throwing heavy machinery around during the demolition stage, keep in mind that DIYing a project isn’t always cheaper or quicker. First, consider whether you even know what you’re doing. It sounds simple, yes, but people often think YouTube will certify them in a new specialized trade. You don’t want to risk injury to yourself or others working around you by not knowing how to operate the machinery or tools.
Do you know where your utility lines are? When tackling a driveway demo, consider that electricity, water, oil and gas lines all often run underneath driveways. To hit one¾or several¾ would not only be a major inconvenience for everyone under your roof, but also a financial setback you didn’t anticipate. You could incur fees for utility line damage.
If you do decide to start DIYing your concrete or deck demolition and it turns out you bit off more than you could chew, you’ll have lost hours and money spent on tool rental and potential damage. Don’t be overly ambitious and start what should be an exciting project off on the wrong foot.
Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal and Safety
Even if you’re not redoing an entertainment space, you want to make sure you have a proper place for all your guests to park when they come over for a summer BBQ. Concrete driveways and walkways can age or be done poorly and provide less-than-ideal conditions for cars and people passing through. Cracks lead way to tripping hazards, especially for young kids and the elderly. Consider the people who live in your home full-time as well as your visitors.
Aside from varying safety concerns, driveways and walkways that are in such horrible condition are totally unappealing to the eye. There are a lot of options for driveway finishes to add a traditional or unique touch to your home.
- Broom – This effect is made using a broom while the concrete dries.
- Smooth – This is a classic and neutral look that will never go out of style.
- Stamped – Stamps of various designs can be used to create texture and pattern. The options are limitless.
- Stained – If the standard gray color isn’t your thing, you can change the color with staining for a look not many houses in the neighborhood will have.
- Pebble – You can add other materials to give your driveway a textured and interesting look.
- Sponge – After the concrete has somewhat hardened, it can be wet and dabbed with a sponge to the desired look.
With some creativity or consultation from your contractor, you can pick the perfect finish to match your home’s aesthetic.
Know When to Call in the Pros
As previously mentioned, demo is the first step, and there are many ways it can go horribly wrong. Don’t get discouraged by such a giant project, and let the experts do all the work for you. Junk Bros’ property clean-up experts will break up, load and haul away old concrete. We will also help you with tearing up your old deck, driveway, walkway, patio, sidewalk and more. We know the proper protocol and are trained on heavy machinery and tools. Call or text 208-297-8720 today to get us scheduled. We offer free estimates.