I would like to thank Doug Carlton of Carlton Construction in Wyoming for putting this article together. Have a read, print it out, use it to help your design. It has a lot of very useful information about designing your Hard Scape projects.
A pleasing hardscape is no accident. It is the culmination of preplanning and design that works harmoniously with a surrounding structure. A hardscape should never stand out, nor should it be so insignificant that it can easily be ignored. Nailing this balance project after project takes great effort, but the reward is far more than monetary. Concrete hardscapes last decades, and so do the reputation of the concrete artisans who successfully pave their way into decorative history.
Over the next few paragraphs this article will describe why some decorative concrete hardscape projects look appealing and why some don’t. The lesson of past mistakes, both mine and others’, can enhance your opportunity to transform shades of color into eye-catching spaces of hardscape elegance.
If you plan to make a living by way of decorative concrete, you will eventually have to completely grasp a hardscape’s blend of natural color and design. Please don’t underestimate this concept, because a failure to grasp the need for pleasing combinations will often lead to an unnatural blend of hardscape and structure, which will result in a less-than-appealing outcome. If you remember only one point please let it be this: The structure or building always dictates color hue and design, but only after functionality. This also means that the hardscape should not be a shrine to your flamboyant artistic concrete ability.
Rarely will a project’s decision maker produce a complete set of working plans that include color, texture, pattern or finish. This is far too often left to the hardscape artist — you — who in return must muddle through many design options before unloading the first tool onsite. Seasoned decorative concrete professionals often refer to this period as “front-end work.” This part of the hardscape design process could take one afternoon or it could take months, depending on the complexity of the project or decision maker. It is never recommended that you rush through the front-end design stage of any project.
The top two components to consider when designing a hardscape project are functionality and taste. For instance, an aggressive cobble stamp pattern is not a good idea when designing the hardscape for a local assisted living project, nor is including too many elevation changes or narrow pathways. The intended function of the project should supersede all other design considerations.
The design plan should include three components; flow, texture and color. Flow involves the formation of the hardscape and the course of travel through it. The purpose and function of the hardscape project should dictate the hardscape’s configuration. For instance, a patio area should comfortably hold tables and chairs for seating but not be overtextured so that surfaces are unleveled. Walkways or pathways should connect to the patio with flow that is organic but does not encroach upon the patio’s seating arrangement. This transition from patio to pathway is a great opportunity to introduce another pattern, texture, band, color, or anything else that the decision maker finds functionally appealing.
Expansive, or wide, hardscape areas will need multiple forms or shapes of interest. Large areas of concrete hardscape are less appealing without shapes of contrasting texture, pattern or color.
The opposite is true with long, narrow pathways or walkways. Design linear hardscapes for narrow pathways that include interlocking imprint stamping or a tightly spaced transverse pattern of some kind. Keep straight formwork crisp and free-flowing curves smooth. Regardless of the design, the texture must be consistent in the pattern’s depth and layout parallel to the abutting structure.
The abutting structure should play a major role in both design and color. Some architectural building designs will limit pattern and texture choices. For example, a colonial home will look odd with a Paris fan stamp pattern but fine with a brushed finish over a colored concrete surface. Of all stamp patterns, texture patterns are most universal and compliment a wide variety of architectural designs and structures.
Let the structure’s facing elevation help determine a hardscape’s design. Pay close attention to the building’s architecture, shape and style.
Color is the catalyst of an appealing hardscape project. Again, a hardscape color hinges on the structure’s hue and should never compete with it. The hardscape color, or colors, should be at least a shade lighter than the dominant structure color, and the only exception is a secondary release, or antiquing, hardscape color. This can sometimes be challenging in new construction because many times the hardscape is installed before the structure receives its permanent color. Be sure the decision maker chooses at least the structure’s dominant color before finalizing hardscape hues.
Color is a vital part of a hardscape’s natural order. The hardscape must organically blend with all landscape surroundings, in good harmony. Many people who are new to the decorative concrete profession find it all too tempting to use a hardscape to grab attention. This seldom works and is rarely recommended outside of theme parks. Keep colors natural when designing in a natural environment and watch how many favorable comments arise from those who truly enjoy the appeal of a professionally planned hardscape project.
Concreation Canada is proud of the exciting new colours we have added for the 2018 season. Can’t wait to see the creative ways you decide to use them.
Come visit us at The Building Show.
We will be in the World Of Concrete Pavilion.
Located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the South Building Booth Number 10.
CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish is a very versatile product. We have noticed that our customers are using this to create and repair a number of different Concrete and Masonry applications.
In this post we will look at some the different ways CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish can help create the perfect finish for job or application.
We look forward to your comments on these examples. If you have any ideas you would like to share please send us a message and we will post it for you.
USING CCI-400 BOND COAT & BROOM FINISH AS A FINISH
In the pictures above you can see how CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish can be applied to an existing damaged concrete surface to create a clean long lasting finish. Specially formulated polymers in the mixture creates a strong bond between the existing and the new surface without the need for any additional adhesives or additives. Just add water to the dry powder and apply. As long as the surface is clean of any dirt, grease or oils and stable CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish will adhere. Using CCI-750 Cleaner will help to neutralize any acid built up on the existing surface prior to starting your job.
USING CCI-400 BOND COAT & BROOM FINISH AS MORTAR, THIN SET, OR ADHESIVE
Weather you are repairing an stone overlay installation or creating a new look on an existing cement staircase. CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish is the perfect ADHESIVE for the job. Once again there is no need for any additional admixtures to the product. Once you have a clean and stable surface CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish will create a solid bond between your existing Concrete surface and your new stonework.
USING CCI-400 BOND COAT & BROOM FINISH AS A BONDING LAYER
The BEST use of CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish is as a Bonding Layer to adhere a new surface to an old, worn, and damaged concrete installation. Weather it is a Warehouse, Store, or Basement. Use CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish to fill in any Cracks in the existing floor and then apply a very thin layer to the surface before adding your new finish. The new finish can be any of the CCI-400 Overlay products, CCI-400 Self Level Overlay, CCI-400 Stamp Mix, or CCI-400 Bond Coat & Broom Finish. This process further enhances the bond between old and new surfaces.
Here at Concreation Canada Inc. we value your input. We have developed this Blog as an interactive tool to share projects as well as information about how to use our products.
Let everyone know what works for you and what TIPS and TRICKS you can offer others to make sure that their concrete installation is as good as it can be.
We welcome all your input and look forward to working with everyone.