It amazes me just how versatile something as simple as concrete patio slabs can be. My now fiance used to work with large scale concrete installments for a living so je recently clued me in on the fact that you can mimic the look of stone patio pavers for a much lower price by simply dying and stamping concrete. He said that this is exactly what they did to make this pool deck. It is so crazy to me that you can make something look almost identical to stone out of a huge expanse of liquid concrete. Considering it cost about half the price of doing a deck this size in patio pavers, I am definitely willing to try though! We are planning on doing a stamped concrete pour for the deck in our backyard and then trim it out in paver edging to give it an even more realistic look.
I would love to know if there is any way to use concrete patio slabs to mimic the look of this gorgeous flagstone flooring but at a lower price. I have heard a lot about dying or stamping concrete to give it a different color palette or decorative finish to it. I would think that, even if I vary the shading of the mix, the concrete patio cost would be drastically lower than the price of buying flagstone and I would look pretty darn similar. I am not naive enough to think that I will be able to recreate this exact look by skimping on materials, but I am really just going for a "close enough" situation since I am not willing to spend ten thousand dollars buying high end patio pavers for our backyard renovation.
It continues to amaze me how few people know about concrete patio slabs as an alternative to your typical, pavers, cement, and natural stones. I actually think that they make for some super elegant patio designs (I mean look at the fun backyard of this gorgeous Cape Cod dream home!) but they have a much more affordable price point. This allows you create some gorgeous designs while saving enough money to invest in other important aspects like outdoor furniture, landscape lighting, and maybe even a fun fire pit. I would definitely encourage any homeowner that is working within a tight budget to look into some concrete patio ideas -- you might be surprised at the versatility that you find.
My husband and I debated for quite some time on what type of material we wanted to use for our new back yard entertaining area and, ultimately, we went for concrete patio slabs both for look as well as for price point. To be completely honest, I argued for days with him because I thought that a concrete porch would look a little to harsh and impersonal, and we really wanted the backyard to be warm and inviting. Boy was I wrong though, because I actually love how the concrete slabs look against the pavers that we already had under the porch. In my opinion, the thing that made it special and much more decorative was the flower bed that we situated in the center of the design.
Concrete patio slabs like these are one of the easiest and most versatile materials to work with because they are available in several different colors to blend with virtually any design palette and they are pretty cheap to boot. When I first discovered this product, I wondered how they were different from landscape pavers and it turns out that there isn't a huge change between the two. Concrete slabs are obviously larger and tend to have a flatter finish than pavers, but they are made of the same material and cost roughly the same per square foot. I imagine that they are probably easier to work with than pavers because there are simply less that you need to measure and lay out.
I certainly feel like plain concrete patio slabs are so last year and that trendy designers are using this cool checkerboard more and more often. Before you would only see it in the home's of the ultra wealthy, but I actually think that it is a pretty simple design to install and maintain using large cement pavers, strips of sod, and careful planning. I haven't taken on the project yet, but I am thinking that I will use these photos as inspiration for my design and try to replicate it as best I can with our local materials. There's no way that I am going to spend the money to source out large concrete paving slabs from far away just to make a "celebrity" backyard design.