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Most homes nowadays have swimming pools. There are so many concrete pool deck designs nowadays that feature stunning aesthetics and innovative concepts. However, if you have kids in the house, not just any design is enough. It is important to make the pool deck as safe and kid-friendly as it could possibly be. If you already have an existing pool deck, here some things you could do to make the pool area more enjoyable for kids:
Slip-resistant Pool Deck
Kids love to run around the pool deck in between swimming and taking dips. With wet and bare feet, it could be very dangerous. Stamped Concrete or spray-down concrete resurfacing are some of the most efficient solutions to improving slip-resistance on a pool deck. A stamped overlay or knockdown texture on concrete provides just the right texture without making the surface difficult to walk on especially with bare feet. The great thing about stamped overlays is that it comes in a variety of patterns and designs to choose from. A spray texture, on the other hand, features a stucco-like look but with a more subtle texture.
Cool Deck Surface
Concrete and most pool deck materials have the tendency to turn into really hot surfaces when exposed to sunlight for long hours. Asking kids to wear flip flops every time they need to walk around the deck can be quite challenging for parents and inconvenient for kids. Instead, hire a contractor to install a spray knockdown finish on the existing pool deck. This resurfacing material is known for its heat reflectivity. Instead of absorbing heat, a knockdown finish reflects it back, keeping the surface 30% cooler.
Wide Wading Area
Extend the pool deck a bit into the pool but make it about 6 or more inches deeper. This area is not only great for sunbathing, but also great for smaller kids to enjoy the pool at a safe distance from the deeper areas.
Add Some Shade
Kids can stay out in the pool area the whole day if they want to but parents fear that they would acquire terrible sunburn. Adding some shaded area gives children a place to lounge and play without getting burned under tremendous heat. You can use a big umbrella or some fabric hanging somewhere near the pool.
Towel and Toy Area
Make towels and pool toys accessible for kids. When kids get out of the pool, it would be nice to have towels they can use immediately right on the pool deck. It would be a lot easier also for parents to fix pool toys because they just put it in one spot near the pool instead of into the garage or back in the house.
The Fall season is one of the preferable seasons of all because of the rich Autumn colors on the trees and the cooler climate. Unfortunately, it is not really the best season for using the pool, unless you have a hot tub, then it is the perfect time of the year for a soak. So, what else can be done to make the pool decking an equally enjoyable space even during Fall? Here are some ideas:
Integrate Fall Colors
If you have trees around the pool deck that feature the colors of Fall, then you are lucky. However, you can further enhance it with flowers in similar colors or other autumn hues like pink, magenta, purple, and blue. You may also want to opt for resurfacing pool deck area with concrete overlays in Fall-like colors. It could be a red brick surface or a travertine patterned overlay hand-stained with the colors of the season. If you have deck chairs or beds, add some orange or yellow pillows or throws. Not only will these create a trending look, it also provides the necessary stuff to keep warm while outdoors.
Heat Up the Deck
The deck may seem like a colder area, thanks to the drop in temperature as the season slowly shifts to a winter. So, why not add heat to the cool decking? Adding fire pits or outdoor fireplaces provide a means for warmth and illumination in this time of the year. You can hang out all you want at night time, watching the stars, and not freeze to death. A working fire not only provides heat and light, it also allows you to roast some barbecue or some plain marshmallows. That and the throws and pillows you have prepared will definitely guarantee a warm and cozy outdoor experience.
Enhance Outdoor Lighting
Lights are always essential, regardless of the season. However, during these cool months, it would be nice to have enhanced lighting to make the surroundings look warmer and brighter. Lighting fixtures can also be a decorative solution to make the pool deck area more Autumn-like. Hanging a string of Christmas lights or small lanterns around and across the trees will bring a bohemian vibe to the pool deck. It provides subtle lights that seem to twinkle like stars where they are. Intricately designed lamps can be hung on posts or branches or simply placed on the deck beside some chairs or by the pool. Using tea lights is also a great way of adding drama while keeping the area warm and cozy.
The myth is that you can only resurface a concrete driveway during summer and spring because of their favorable weather. However, autumn is also a great time of the year for a concrete resurfacing project. Aside from the fact that it is easier to book a concrete contractor at this time, most resurfacing coatings and overlays can be installed in this climate and temperature, such as:
Stamped Concrete Overlay
A stamped overlay is not at all temperature-sensitive. It is also an ideal overlay because it promotes better traction and grip, all thanks to the stamped patterns involved. The grooves from the stamping process make the driveway safer to tread on even when rain falls hard. The great thing about this overlay is that it requires minimal cleaning and maintenance, which is a huge blessing for homeowners especially when the time comes to winterize the entire property in preparation of fall and the winter season that comes after.
Spray Knockdown Texture
This is a spray-on coating system that can be used on any outdoor surface, concrete driveways included. Instead of being poured, this coating is sprayed onto the surface before being knocked down with a trowel. The effect creates a texture that is highly slip-resistant. This coating is also not sensitive to temperature so it can be installed despite the cooler temperature associated with autumn. This comes in a wide range of colors and it can also be stained with custom shades.
If you prefer a more subtle update to the concrete driveway, staining can do the job. Acid stains can bring out unique effects that can never be replicated on any other concrete surface. It creates a look similar to leather or natural stone. Water-based stains come in a wide selection of hues from earthy tones to pastels. Both can be installed in autumn and the change in weather will not affect the results it yields. If you need more traction on a stained concrete driveway, it is highly recommended to integrate it with another overlay, like a stamped one, or to add fine abrasives to the sealer. The sealer will enhance the color, add a bit of shine, and help enhance grip if added with abrasives.
Driveways vary in size, length, and slope angle. If you are unsure if any of these would work on yours, consult an expert contractor so they could recommend the best option for you at this time of the year.
When it comes to versatility, nothing has it more than concrete. It can be molded to almost any shape and it can be designed to your heart’s desire. While decorative concrete is mainly used on concrete surfaces and floors, there are fun ways you could use coatings and overlays. You can use stamps, stains, and epoxy to make cool stuff you could use in or around the house.
- Acid-stained Countertops
You know how luxurious homes have those marble or granite countertops? You can achieve the same look using acid stains on concrete counters. The great thing about acid stains is that it produces unpredictable effects, designs, and colors similar to natural stone. You can use more than one color to give it more variety and to make the natural stone look more believable.
- Stamped Concrete Planters
Concrete is an ideal material for creating planters on outdoor spaces. However, if you are not satisfied with the way plain concrete looks, you can add stamped patterns to make them look more decorative. If you prefer something more customized, scoring or engraving on the sides of the planters would also be a good idea. This must be done carefully, though, so as not to break it.
- Stamped Concrete Wood Stepping Stones
The look of wood on a pathway is amazing but wood is not really the easiest material to clean and maintain. Also, left on a pathway with all moisture on the soil would make the wood rot and soften easily. So, why not stamp wooden patterns on a concrete stepping stone? Staining it with earthy colors will make it look like real wood all the more. The great thing about this project is that you get the wooden look you wanted without having to deal with the tedious maintenance that wood requires.
- Epoxy Indoor Dining Tables
A concrete tabletop isn’t the prettiest thing unless you are a huge fan of the utilitarian concept. You can make it more attractive with a coating of epoxy. Not only will it turn the tabletop into a seamless and sleek surface, it will also make it resistant to any damage that dropped utensils, dishes, and spilled food and drinks could cause. Just make sure to use an epoxy coating on indoor tables only as this material is not very fond of UV rays. The material may discolor in the most unpleasant way when exposed to the sun.
The patio has become more than just a paved outdoor area. Nowadays, it is an instrument in bringing family and friends together. It is quite enjoyable to make use of the concrete patio for family events, relaxation, bonding with friends, or as a child activity center. However, all these can wear out the patio sooner or later. When the time comes to address concrete issues, you have the option to resurface or replace. Which is the more economical choice?
This type of concrete repair involves the use of a coating or overlay, giving the old patio a new lease on life. An overlay system, like a stamped concrete patio, often costs $3 to $10 per square foot. This range is greatly influenced by several factors, such as:
- Material – There are different types of resurfacing coatings or overlays. The type you choose and how many layers of it will be used will affect the overall costs.
- Patio Size – Since rates are calculated by square foot, bigger patios cost more. There are rare instances when smaller ones incur more costs, like when access to the small patio is difficult.
- Additional Services – Customization costs extra, of course. This may include hand-staining, intricate patterns, and the like.
- Other repairs – If certain issues need to be addressed before an overlay can be applied, such as sealing cracks and holes, then it could add to the total costs.
Replacing the entire concrete patio will cost more, of course. Demolition of the old one alone may already cost somewhere between $800 to $1000. Installing a new one after the old one has been removed also depends on the material used:
- Concrete – Pouring new concrete may cost around $11.50 per square foot. A concrete contractor recommends sealing the concrete because it is a very porous material.
- Stone – Installing stone units, like flagstone, can cost about $20 per square foot. This would require a concrete slab and some mortar to support the stone pieces.
- Gravel – This only costs around $5.66 per square foot but it can be difficult to maintain because the rocks move around. It is also vulnerable to weed growth.
- Pavers – Concrete pavers cost around $15 per square foot. The soil underneath needs to be compacted well enough for it not to shift. The pavers also need to be sealed and held down with polymeric sand.