Concrete lasts a long time with very little maintenance—you already know that. But did you know that when concrete does need some maintenance, it's generally relatively simple to fix? What's more, you can easily update an old patio with a concrete overlay. In other words, a concrete patio could easily last through the entire tenure in your house. As you plan your patio, don't picture a simple concrete slab; instead, dream big about your patio's design.
Contractors can use preformed stamps to create stone designs in a concrete slab. They follow this up with a staining and dying procedure so that the slab resembles actual stone. According to the Landscaping Network, ashlar slate is one of the most popular designs for a patio. Slate pavers offer distinctive color gradations with subtle planing or cleavage. Consider having your patio made over in an ashlar slate pattern. Gray is the most common color, but the natural stone also comes in shades of brown, purple, red, and green. You could choose shades of one color for the body of the patio with a decorative border in a complementary color.
Another material that decorative concrete can mimic is brick, which is a traditional building material. Actual brick is expensive and requires some maintenance, including the replacement of broken bricks. You could get the look of brick with the stamping and staining process. What's more, if you have brick in your house, contractors can match the color with the dying and staining. A brick patio looks attractive with any style of traditional home; consider pairing one with equally traditional wrought-iron furniture.
You probably picture wood when you think of backyard terraces. While wood is a common material for such a design, concrete can make an attractive addition. Because contractors pour the concrete, they can design any shape that fits into your backyard—including freeform. Consider having your patio stamped and stained to resemble natural stone. Plan the levels to coincide with chosen views or with different activities. For example, have one terrace be your dining patio, have another for sunbathing, have another for enjoying the view, and so on.
Along those same lines, perhaps you don't have a lot of space for a patio but still want to dine outside. A patio bistro answers this call. Typically such a patio accommodates a bistro-sized table and just a couple chairs. You can add a fountain and some landscaping around the patio for a secluded dining spot. If space is really limited, have the concrete poured into a circle just big enough to accommodate the table and chairs. Such a charming bistro would be well-served by a concrete slab stamped and stained to resemble cobblestone, as at your favorite Mediterranean café.
Utilize decorative concrete for a patio that complements your house and your outdoor living.