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Re: decorative concrete

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Subject: Re: decorative concrete
From: "Karl Vacek" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 09:46:04 -0500
We just went through this same decision for a 1,200 SF driveway and 575 SF
of sidewalk.  We went all around and looked at various contractors' work,
and our main problem with most of it wasa that it tended to look modern to
us - and our house is 135 years old.

Stamps are expensive, but most contractors who regularly do this work will
have them already, so that's not really an issue.  There is more labor in
stamping concrete, particularly certain patterns, but it's not that huge an
increase over plain finishing.  The color is the real expense - certain
colors are more expensive, and the with any color darker you want it the
more colorant it takes (and the more it costs).  Then the yard charges maybe
$100 per truck more for wash-out.

Stamping alone on white concrete isn't too expensive.  Alternatives might
include stamping plain white concrete and then staining it with an acid
stain afterwards.  But stain's not cheap either.  You'll need to seal it
anyway, and there are colored sealers available, almost the same price as

We wound up using exposed aggregate concrete overall, and a brown sealer.
It can be made darker with more sealer, but ours is pretty much the color of
wet old concrete.  It lasts a couple of years so if you don't like it, it's
not forever, or it could even be removed.  Our village requires exposed
aggregate on the sidewalks anyway, so now it all looks the same.  We paid
about $7.50 per square foot, including one coat of sealer (one coat of
sealer takes about $500 worth of material) - in the Chicago suburbs.

Good luck !

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Andy" <>
> > The stamps are fairly expensive, it's skilled labor to do it right
> > (you have to get the expansion joints in the right places, so they
> > don't show).  How much of this is done where you are?  I'm sure demand
> > (or lack of it) is a big factor.
> Thanks!  From this, and other private responses, it sounds like $12/sq ft.
> isn't a total raping at least, which is probably good enough for me.  :-)
> Both folks we talked to had prices in the same ballpark, and both offered
> up some addresses in the area where they'd done work, so I don't think its
> too unknown around here.  We checked out one guy's work and generally
> liked it, though we've got some color questions (ok, more accurately, my
> wife has some color questions.  I stood on it and thought "Yep.  It holds
> me up.  Good enough!  :-)
> Thanks!
> Mark

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