Stamped Concrete




What do you think about this video?

wack jones: ths guy is a complete joke

Phil D: This is why, as a business owner (general), I do not install pattern concrete.
But l must also express that, if a customer asked for all those stipulations, I'd walk away. IMO I think most concrete contractors would just say to themselves, after hearing this from a customer, that this job is going to be a headache. Dealing with perfectionistic customer is suicide; most contractors would think to themselves the hell with this, why bother. I don't care how much l need the coin. People offer suggestions to what ought to be put in place before signing but try to actually get a contractor to agree to those terms, never. It's unrealistic as there's too many variables with Mother Nature that can go wrong that has noting to do with the quality of concrete.
Id just walk away from a deal like that and let the other contractor not answer the phone when called to repair a installation.

Joseph Torres: So truly the homeowner is correct...BUT to a point...there will be defects...of course....quite a few...yes ...EVERYONE DOES THEM...but NOT that many...!!!! So he is right...that's the bottom line

Joseph Torres: I do concrete for a living.... Just like a lot of people who watch this video... And I'd have to say the homeowner is correct.... If you really pay attention to what he says... You will notice that no "chert" popped out on the sidewalk/walkway... But the driveway popped Out all over the next two seasons 180 spots.. Anyone who knows Concrete.... Knows what kind of weather conditions they have in their area... So a true professional practices what he needs specifically in his area... Four instance large score marks in Arizona... Lots more reinforcement in California.... Surface retarder's in Hawaii.... And water reducers in freeze/thaw states back east... 

Bella Concrete, Inc.: Steve I also wanted to mention for you and for any who have viewed your videos, that as you mentioned Hilltop delivered concrete to your jobsite that was determined within industry "standards".  My previous comments describe the problem in our industry that determines those standards.  By openly stating that Hilltop delivered "bad" concrete to your project, you and anyone else that decides to do what you have done, could be open to a lawsuit against you from these Red-mix suppliers, who have very deep pockets.  Hilltop delivered concrete to your job site that was within industry standards-not "bad" concrete.  
Those of us who are professionals in this industry know how to prevent both the sealer and "chert" issues that you've had on your driveway.  We know how to work with the materials that are available to us and make the necessary adjustments.  There are extra steps needed during installation, as well as additional materials that we use to compensate for standard concrete mixes that are available today.  4,500 p.s.i. verses a 5,000 p.s.i. concrete mix design has very little to do with controlling or preventing either of the problems you experienced, and in fact using a 5,000 p.s.i. mix could easily cause other issues especially regarding cracking.  
Your dissatisfaction with your driveway has led you to take a crash course on decorative concrete, and you can not possibly become an expert in this trade or be qualified to offer advise, or any type of guidance without field experience in our trade.  It would be no different if you did the same thing after a brain surgery where you felt you didn't fully recover the way that you should have, and blamed the surgeon.  You could file a lawsuit and do all the research you wanted on brain surgery, but a wise person would never view you as an expert on brain surgery or take any advise from you on how to go about selecting a surgeon, or performing the actual surgery.  
Because you are not a professional in our industry, you should be careful not to guide homeowners or suggest that they do things a certain way, or specify certain materials be used when installing their decorative concrete, their future problems based on your suggestions, could become your problems as well.  
I personally have 30 field experience installing decorative concrete, and I am a professional in this industry.  If homeowners want a quality decorative concrete job, they need to contact a professional in the industry, with similar experience who can guide them to make good decisions.

Bella Concrete, Inc.: Hi Steve, I'm sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with your driveway.  I just now found your second video.  I wish I had seen this post years ago I may have been able to save you allot of money in legal fees that you could have used to patch and re-seal the driveway.  Sealer applied to colored/stamped concrete does have a 2-5 year re-application schedule depending on the homeowners preference.  The important thing to remember is that sealer wears progressively throughout that time period, it does not just all instantly disappear at 2 years or 5 years.  During this process the appearance may not look uniform.  You will notice some areas where the sealer is gone next to areas where there is still sealer.  Because the look is not uniform we do have customers that re-seal every year.  We also have customers that let all of the seal wear off and never re-seal.  Once the sealer completely wears off the appearance is again uniform.  It is a different look, but it still looks nice.  This re-sealing issue comes down to homeowner preference.  
Concerning the "chert" issue, this one is far more complex.  First I am sure you know by now that the ASTM standard for the amount of allowable "chert" in your concrete mix is 5%.  What you probably did not know but have learned through this process, is that 5% refers to "surface area".  Believe it or not, that means the concrete mix can meet this standard and you can have a total of 5 pop-outs within every 1 square foot of surface area of your driveway.  From what you have described you are no where near that total amount of pop-outs.  
If your contractor had agreed to using an State Highway concrete mix design on your driveway project, that allowable chert amount would have been cut down to 2%, however that still means 2 pop-outs allowed for every 1 square foot of surface area.  These 2% highway mixes are predominately limestone mixes, however specifying limestone does not eliminate the chance for pop-outs.  Unfortunately those highway mix designs are rarely used in residential construction.  
As concrete contractors we are at the mercy of the raw materials available to us.  Unfortunately the available aggregate that the Redi-Mix concrete plants use contains more and more chert the deeper the mines get as the years go on.  That is the reason the ASTM standards are what they are.  Opening up new mining locations rarely happens because these decorative issues are as of yet not a concern of the large Redi-Mix suppliers, or those who continue to make huge profits in our industry.   Synthetic aggregates would also solve this issue, but again cost is a large factor.  If either of the changes were to be made in our industry today, redi-mixed concrete would probably not be available/affordable for residential construction projects.  
You are unfortunately involved with an issue that many of us professional experienced decorative concrete contractors are very passionate about.  We would all like to see these changes made in our industry, but realize that "big business" and "greed" will probably never allow the proper changes to be made.  
From what I can see from your video RKC was a quality contractor, and did a nice job on your project.  What is unfortunate is that you have become another victim of our industry "standards".  Changes to these industry standards will most likely not happen in your or my lifetime, and until they do lawyers are the only ones who will benefit from these "issues".
Also I have found from my own personal experience, hiring concrete contractors from Angies List recommendations in no way gaurantees that they are at all knowledgeable about these issues, or know how to prevent them.  In fact most concrete contractors do not know about these issues until they find themselves involved in a lawsuit.

Andrew: You should have company name in title so search engines can pick it up better. But this would seriously hurt their business when people research company name.  

Maggie Stokes: Thank you for this useful information.  I imagine it has your contractor squirming.  We are building a house and are considering stamped concrete for various outdoor areas.  Your video has given us a valuable road map if, indeed, we go in that direction.  

jammin jimmy: I am sorry you are having the problems you are.  I do overlay work, and would recommend you stay on top of any areas that become porous, as any water penetration will change concrete chemistry, and if it freezes once in, the pops will be more apparent.  Try to find an installer of acrylic overlay in your area or order acrylic resin, and decking for patch work on the internet.  Where you live is definitely a more aggressive winter wise than where I reside (Phoenix, AZ.) But I do work in freeze thaw areas (Prescott & Sedona) and have seen this problem addressed by keeping the water OUT as best you can. It will require that you learn and stay diligent on the application of sealer, but this will be your best assurance of attaining the longest life of your product. I would purchase a 2500 PSI pressure washer (minimum) and have a good coat of solvent based sealer applied to a clean very dry warm surface prior to going into the cold snowy season. Your home is very beautiful, I can tell you are the type of owner that takes great pride in your home.  Best of luck with your driveway, JIM

Enrique Onate: you have "pop outs" only on your driveway. its has heavier traffic coming in and out then your patio and sidewalk where ppl only walk on . 

Vincent Mckinney: concrete is guaranteed 2 things, get hard and crack, this isnt the contractors fault, maybe the concrete company, i do concrete, this happens when its too cold, or the concrete isnt mixed well, although had you hired a smaller company, they would have treated you better. and checked the concrete, i have had to send concrete back to the plant before, 

Carmela O: You cant warranty concrete its exposed to the elements. if he had a problem with workmanship or he didn't get a specified amount of concrete or the proper reinforcement wasn't utilized then sure but he clearly states his grip is with the actually concrete mix which I am confidant the contractor clearly states isn't his fault. Those surface blisters can be remedy. I live in philly and we see it time to time. that work looks great and I feel bad that this guy is going to this extreme but imagine contractors going back to jobs 4 years later to fix concrete that's been exposed to the elements and the like. everyone would go bankrupt. moreover pavers have the same issues. The contractor is  merely an installer. notice how this guy dose not talk about anything but the concrete that was installed 4 years prior ..

Julie Cramer: Thanks for the advice.  I think I will forgo this idea.

Nancy Oneill: Thank you for sharing your experience on YouTube. We just had a stamped concrete patio poured this morning. Wish I would have viewed this a week ago. While I don't anticipate problems, seeing this makes me think I should. So far I am very happy with the work. And it is springtime so the risk of freeze is low. Still the info you provide tells me to be aware of the possibilities. Thank you. 

Angus Phelps: bs

isctony: where there's blame there's a claim huh!

Daniel Neubert: Great video for anyone thinking about a stamped concrete driveway. I see a lot of people posting disparaging remarks about the homeowner. If I paid 25,000 for that job I would expect a better job than what he received. Some said he should sue the concrete company who mixed the concrete. Let me remind you the homeowner contracted with the contractor for the whole job. It is therefore the contractor's to make sure the concrete, sealer, base and everything covering the complete job is what would be reasonably expected for a quality job. When the homeowner paid 25,000 and signed a contract the contractor takes on that responsibility. If, one said, it is because of the salt in the area then that should have been spelled out to the homeowner and told these problems would happen. If told that, then I assume he would have gone a different route with the driveway. To expect this homeowner to accept this driveway is unreasonable. He relied and experts to do the job and someone in the chain did not fulfill their part of the contract.  

rimaggio: Incredibly well done and useful information to help others select a concrete re-surfacing  process and contractor.  Thank you!

John James: It may be in your best interest to read your contract carefully and consult with the contractor to resolve your issue in a viable manner. I'm not sure what your asking of your contractor for remedy but most and I'm not saying all people are susceptible to acceptable remedies. I'm not commenting to take either side just like to see people keep and open mind set to possible cost effective solutions. Good luck!!!

John James: Sir I must state that concrete flakes chips and discolors over time. As far as the concrete flaking on your drive and not in the other areas. You seem intelligent enough to recognize that salt from your car and or applying it to the drive for ice and snow removal will create concrete and product erosion. The salt may be picked up by vehicles from your county applying it to the roads for snow removal. Your driveway also has loads running across it vs your sidewalk and porch not having loads.

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