Backyard Patios

Who doesn't love a beautiful backyard patio?  When we downsized to our bungalow three and a half years ago we left behind a big backyard with a large deck, a pool, a flag stone patio and perrenial garden and guess what? I don't miss any of it one little bit!  Yes it was beautiful but it was SO MUCH WORK!  

When we decided to buy our bungalow we knew we needed to do something to the backyard because it looked like this:

We thought a bigger deck, maybe a composite deck, we weren't sure but we knew we wanted something that was easy to maintain.  We also knew we wanted all of the shrubs and perennials removed because we didn't want our backyard at our new house to become labour intensive, it defeated one of the main reasons of downsizing which was to simplify our lives.  

I remember the day my husband came home and said "I think we should look into having a stamped concrete patio poured".  I didn't know a lot about stamped concrete so started some research and quickly discovered this would be the PERFECT solution for our backyard.  

We got a couple of referral companies from friends and associates and also found some ourselves.  We did a ton of research, we read Home Star reviews, made some phone calls, got some estimates and references.  The 'company" (and I use that term loosely) we ended up going with seemed great, their reviews were great, they really seemed to know their stuff.  We saw photos of their previous work and were thoroughly impressed so we signed the contract and the work got underway.

There were red flags from the get go but we seemed to be able to iron things out.  Then the employees started dropping off like flies, there were different people on the job everyday.  This job was supposed to take 5 days and ended up being 5 weeks before everything was done and our lawns and yards were put back to the way they were promised.  It turned into an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE!!!  We had to fight with the owner of this company EVERY SINGLE DAY to have the job done right.  I could go on and on, I could actually write a book that's how bad this process was!  (I don't like to publicly name shame but if you want to avoid the problems we had, shoot me a message and i'll gladly tell you who to avoid).  I will say that this was not a small "fly by night" company, they are associated with a very BIG concrete firm in my area which was part of the reason we used them in the first place.

Ok, back to the question at hand which is, do we like our stamped concrete patio and would we recommend one and the answer is YES!  We love the look, we love how it holds the warmth of the sun in every season, it's low maintenance and aesthetically pleasing.  The downfalls?  The sealant they put on the concrete is extremely slippery when wet....i'm sure there should be a way around this but again, the company we used was and is completely incompetent.   We were told the sealant would last 5 years and that's part of the warranty, it did not even last a year and we had to fight and fight to get them to come back and reseal it.  When they came back to reseal it, they OVER SEALED it and it basically bubbled up and left an even worse mess.  The "parging" they called it, around our stairs has all chipped away and they look terrible and there are numerous areas that have faded to white.  There is nothing worse then spending your hard earned money on something like this (or anything really) and basically getting bilked.  We weren't asking for the moon, we were just asking for what we paid for.  I don't know how this guy sleeps at night because I have since found some other extremely unhappy customers right in our neighbourhood  who were treated the same as we were and the negative Home Star reviews are piling up.

This is our third summer with our stamped concrete and while pictures show the beauty of our patio, they are an example of how a picture can disguise a lot of things.  We spent A LOT of money on this project because this little bungalow and downsizing adventure was/is to be our forever home, that was the plan and is why we decided to make this investment.

 We love our gazebo which we leave up all year long.  It's made by  Sojag  and came from Costco

We love our gazebo which we leave up all year long.  It's made by Sojag and came from Costco

 This furniture is a quite a few years old and is from the  Super Store  and the throw pillows are from  Jysk

This furniture is a quite a few years old and is from the Super Store and the throw pillows are from Jysk

Now we need to find a reputable company to come and strip the sealant that is slowing peeling, fading and chipping and have it properly resealed so that this patio will last us for many many years.  If anyone has any recommendations please feel free to share them!  This will be another huge expense that we were not planning on but if we don't have it done the integrity of the concrete will be compromised and we will be left with an even bigger mess. 

 Here's a better shot of the chunky steps we love.  The table and chairs came from  Lowe's , they are the perfect size and a close match to our other outdoor furniture,

Here's a better shot of the chunky steps we love.  The table and chairs came from Lowe's, they are the perfect size and a close match to our other outdoor furniture,

 The lines you see in the patio are how the water drains off the patio onto the lawn.  We always worry these aren't quite right too!  Red muskoka chairs are from  Canadian Tire a nd cushions are  Presidents Choice !

The lines you see in the patio are how the water drains off the patio onto the lawn.  We always worry these aren't quite right too!  Red muskoka chairs are from Canadian Tire and cushions are Presidents Choice!

However, when you look beyond all these issues the patio itself IS beautiful.  We love the kidney shape we chose and the sun dial is my fave, second only to the big chunky set of steps.  If you want low maintenance then stamped concrete is definitely the way to go.  Hopefully next summer we will find someone to do the repairs it needs so it will maintain it's beauty for years to come.  

A big hell yeah to stamped concrete and an even bigger no to me referring the company who did ours!

Happy Patio Season!

Michele xo

 

{PS...when you think you've done enough research into a company, do a little more, go the extra mile and save yourself the headache we went through!}

 

WEATHER WASH COATINGS

WEATHER WASH COATINGS

Not Oprah's Book Club

Not Oprah's Book Club