5 Things You Should Know About Decorative Concrete

May 29, 2013

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As simple as concrete can look, making it visually appealing isn’t as easy as it seems. Here, a seasoned pro will give you his 5 best practices to ensure you decorative concrete project goes smoothly.

Installing decorative concrete is usually seen as something simple, that requires little attention, time or budget. But it actually is a bit more complicated than that. The variety of finishes and textures available now make decision-making that much more complicated.

Some of these finishes and combinations of finishes can make the concrete susceptible to damage. Here, those variables are covered.

1. Manage and assess client expectations: This should begin with a clear, written description of what the client wants. The contractor should then give the client the realistic and financially feasible options. This should help quell any unrealistic expectations.

Pros recommend focusing on installing the concrete so it can take on decorative modifications later on. If concrete is installed and not up to aesthetic qualifications it may be of no use to the client. Applying decorative work to regular concrete can be disastrous for the client and the contractor’s reputation.

2. Choose the right decorative contractor: You need a place-and-finish contractor that knows how to work with decorative concrete. It’s important so narrow down your search to the kind of concrete work you want done and location, for example “painting company in California”.

3. Carefully schedule your concrete work to avoid unnecessary damage: If you’ll be undertaking a scheduled maintenance during this time, you must take heed of this piece of advice since decorative concrete is highly susceptible to damage before and after treatment. It’s very important to discuss pre-treatment and care instructions with your contractor. It is recommended that this type of work be scheduled on a Friday to avoid running into other contractors who may not know the ins and outs of working on fresh decorative concrete.

4. Provide the right protection for your work: Common logic would state that once concrete is dry it’s done and the only thing that can happen to it is being demolished by force. This isn’t the case at all. Concrete, like any other chemical substance, ages and so does its composition. This is the reason concrete coatings are essential. It is important to include specific instructions about care so that your work lasts as long as possible. The client will be responsible for the care of the job, since the contractor will not stay until it is dry. This is why it is of the utmost importance to be specific with care instructions.

5. Negotiate an agreement with the client/owner on post-occupancy maintenance: Long-term maintenance should also be discussed in pre-job meetings. This will ensure that the client uses the correct products and care to maintain the job in tip top shape as long as possible. The care will also depend on the finish the customer wants and the traffic that their decorative concrete will have.

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