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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Well, I bet I'm going to piss off a few local stamped concrete contractors in my area (and probably a few guys here on lawnsite too) once this web page starts popping up on search engines.

    Stamped Concrete in Portland Oregon - A Good Idea?

    Sorry guys. My bad... ;)

    You stamped concrete guys can go ahead and lash out at me now. Flame away....... I will take it like a man.
  2. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Sure there is some concrete contractors in Oregon that would love to show this is what happens when you hire a landscaper who thinks he can lay a few pavers. This is the result after 3 years.
  3. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    Ok I'll play devils advocate just for $hits and giggles.

    Compressive strength with a color hardener is close to 9000 psi.

    Comparable in cost. Pavers $15 to $20 sq. ft.
    Stamped concrete. $9 to $10 sg. ft. Prices vary per region.

    You don't need rebar in a 4" thick patio or a 5" or 6" driveway unless you plan on parking a dump truck on your patio or driveway.

    Control joints are typically 1" deep on a 4" thick slab, using the formula of 1/4 slab thickness. 1/8 wide if cut with a saw. As opposed to your comment on a big gaping line. Also they can be less conspicuous if the contractor takes the time to think it out and camouflage them in the design. Will you still notice them? Yes, but some don't take strategic placement into consideration.

    Slippery when wet. Shark Grip or Glass beads solves that problem.

    Cracks. Concrete does and will crack, but if control joints are placed properly the cracks are limited to the control joint. Hence the name control joint. Most times if the concrete cracks anywhere else, it is the fault of the contractor not spacing the control joints properly, or waiting too long to relieve the pressure by cutting a control joint. Or not enough compaction or poor soil conditions etc. You should see the concrete work down here. Its funny actually. Proper spacing is 2 1/2 times the depth. I don't think most concrete guys down here know that.
    Small surface cracks or crazing is caused by the surface drying out too fast. Those type of cracks are preventable and can be fixed by someone who knows what they are doing and can be made to be almost invisible.

    Future changes or repairs. Well that depends. You can match concrete that was poured previously if your good. Obviously it may not be an exact match but you can get it really close. Especially if the first slab was poured using color hardener vs integral color. As far as tree roots and settling goes. If you planted the tree there well... If you did not advise the customer about a problem tree before your install, well......

    I'm just having a little fun with you since you asked for it. I actually like both. If installed properly, and that is the key thing, stamped concrete can look good and last a long time.

    Your article on your website would convince most homeowners that don't know any better and it accomplishes your goal of steering them to pavers, which I guess is its purpose.

    PS. I'm working with Tonya as we speak. Thanks Dave...
  4. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Heck of a page, Jim! The control joint thing is my biggest issue. After four years of doing design work in VA, I just found a stamped guy who hides his joints. Still don't love the look, but at least it's better. I never design a project with stamped concrete in mind, but occasionally the client takes it that way. I always put my foot down when it comes to steps or raised edges, though. I have yet to see even the best stamped concrete guys make decent looking steps.
  5. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    Im with Jim Lewis on this one I could not agree more.
  6. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Good page Jim! Now I will sell stamped, plain, aggregate showing, whatever they want in concrete if that is their hearts desire and I cant talk them into pavers. Some guys just don't get the control joint marring the nice pattern they just put in....
  7. CaliDesigns

    CaliDesigns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    How about these?

  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Those steps are sweet!

    I'm not totally against stamped concrete. I just think pavers are a better option. But I do like some concrete work.

    Part of the problem is concrete doesn't do as well here in OR than it does in say, Arizona. A lot of cracking due to the occasional freeze spells and underground water (heaving). Also a lot of issues with it being slippery because it rains so much here.

    Just like pavers though, there are a lot of guys around here who make stamped concrete look BAD. I've seen varying degrees of stamped work. Some is very high quality. But unfortunately, most of it I see ends up looking pretty bad. I have several customers who had it done and now regret it because they didn't understand how ugly the control joints would look or how slick it would be or they are upset with the cracking, etc. And the problem is those guys are always bad-mouthing pavers and trying to steal jobs from us. So this page is an effort to combat that, this year.

    I lost a few jobs last year to lousy stamped concrete guys and I aim to make sure that doesn't happen again. To be fair, I probably snagged some jobs from them too, after I spoke with the customer. But this page will help me in those efforts this year.
  9. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

  10. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    CaliDesigns- if the stamp work I'm seeing around here looked like that, I'd be singing a completely different tune.

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