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The Must-Have Feature for Every Australian Backyard and Garden

Making the most of your home means spending time outdoors too, so you want your backyard and garden to reflect your lifestyle.

There is one must-have feature that can help you create an outdoor space that is not only beautiful, but also functional, long-lasting and could even add value to your home.

The answer? Decorative concrete.

There are so many diverse ways to use concrete in any outdoor space, from the smallest courtyards and patios, to sprawling gardens and entertainer’s paradise backyards.

Let’s take a look at just some of the possibilities.

 

Assorted Custom Finishes

Homeowners are no longer restricted to a plain grey concrete slab. Concrete is now available in a wide variety of appealing finishes including exposed aggregate, coloured concrete and polished and honed concrete. Geostone’s decorative concrete range also features natural Australian stone, providing the natural materials and earthy tones that are so on trend in outdoor styling.

 

Garden Beds

Building and maintaining garden beds requires a lot of planning and hard work, so you want them to last. An article by Urban Agriculture co-founder Brian Barth discusses the many benefits of building garden beds with concrete, and he says no other material is as durable or suitable for the job as poured concrete. Concrete also absorbs the warmth of the sun, holding it in the soil overnight to aid plant growth. And the flexible nature of concrete allows you to create curved shapes and more artistic-styled vegetable gardens.

 

Patios and Alfresco Areas

The backyard barbecue is a much-loved Australian institution, making outdoor entertaining areas the key feature of backyards and gardens everywhere. Decorative concrete options such as coloured concrete and exposed aggregate concrete featuring natural stone help to create an attractive and inviting atmosphere for patios and alfresco areas. Various decorative concrete types can also be combined to create outdoor rooms and clearly defined spaces, from grand entertainment areas to the smallest patio designs.

 

Swimming Pools and Pool Surrounds

Decorative concrete is a popular choice for building swimming pools, swimming pool renovations and creating cool pool surrounds. Coloured concrete can be used to add a striking decorative border or pattern, while exposed and honed concrete offer slip-resistant properties. Other benefits include greater weed resistance, reduced mosquito breeding, and greater comfort underfoot.

 

Driveways, Footpaths and Pathways

There is something comforting about pulling into your own driveway at the end of a busy day. Using decorative concrete for driveways gives the entrance to your home a sense of individuality, and a differentiating look and texture to the rest of the street. Driveways and pathways can also be used to frame lawns and gardens.

 

Retaining Walls, Feature Walls, and Steps

Decorative concrete isn’t limited to ground coverage surfaces. It can also be used to build three-dimensional and functional structures, such as retaining walls and garden steps. Home improvement website Networx identifies the many benefits of decorative concrete retaining walls, including greater strength, durability, resistance, flexibility, ease of installation, low maintenance and affordability.

 

Garden Sheds, Garage and Shed Floors

Every serious outdoor area needs a shed, and every home needs a garage. Sheds and garages are best finished with a hardy and durable flooring surface that is both easy to clean and will last the test of time. Coloured concrete is becoming an increasingly popular option for sheds and garage floors, while honed and polished concrete can add another level of luxury to the garage space, ideal for showcasing a much-loved vehicle.

 

Decorative Features

There really are endless opportunities for using concrete in your outdoor space. As well as all of the above traditional purposes, concrete can be used to mould decorative and functional features for the outdoors including concrete fire pits, concrete seat walls, water features, or even an outdoor smoking room. With the wide range of decorative concrete colours, textures and finishes available from Geostone, you are only limited by your imagination.

 

For more information and inspiration on how to improve your backyard and garden with concrete, visit Geostone on Facebook or read more about decorative concrete.

Decorative Concrete: Seamless Perfection for Pool Surrounds

If you have a swimming pool or have decided to get one, there’s little doubt it will be the focal point of your yard. The look of what’s around your pool, and how well that area functions as a seamless transition to the rest of your home, is as important as the pool itself. Good fencing can prevent you being on visual display to neighbours when swimming, when entertaining friends or just reading a paper while relaxing around the pool. Good fences make good neighbours. The right plant choices will add charm and interest around a swimming pool and help facilitate a sense of space and soften the harsh lines of fencing. Tall shrubby varieties can create a privacy screen along the fence line and conceal electrical pump units and unsightly views. It’s best to avoid species that shed foliage, bark and pine needles everywhere or flowering varieties that attract a lot of bees. With the right pool surrounds, unobtrusive, functional furniture and a well-planned garden layout, any suburban swimming pool area can be transformed into a beautifully presented entertainment oasis – a place where you, family and friends will want to spend every minute of the day.

An ideal choice for your all-important pool surrounds is concrete. Today, decorative concrete production is versatile in design and composition; leaps and bounds ahead of the 50 shades of grey of yesteryear. It can be shaped into stylish curves or the regimental straight lines of premium tile work. The top layer of the concrete may have a brushed-through, or a stamped pattern effect, or can be even further honed to give decorative concrete for your pool surrounds is relatively cheap and requires low maintenance.the appeal of a premium polished floor.

Exposed aggregate is simply ideal for pool surrounds. Removal of the top cover delivers an attractive skid resistant surface that gives a glimpse of the natural stones underneath. There’s a vast range of colours and different compositions of crushed granite, earthy mixes of pebbles and sands – all to complement the sparkling blue water and style of your poolside landscape.

The Concrete Network Australia website for homeowners, contractors, builders and designers provides updates and professional tutorials on the latest concrete techniques and applications. The popular web service assesses that concrete excels when compared to other pool surround materials; it’s a comparably low cost material, is easy to maintain, has good thermal properties, slip-resistant and offers a multitude of customisation options.[2] Decorative concrete is a proven and popular choice when it comes to pool deck design and pool surround makeovers.

ECONOMY

Concrete presents great value for pool projects that take up a big chunk of the homeowner’s real estate. Pavers and bricks can be expensive due to the labour hours needed to position and cement the individual pieces. A concrete pour is generally far more economical and any desired colour, straight edges, tile shapes and tints can be created with stamping or inking finishes. Decorative concrete is an affordable solution for pool renovators on a budget.

LOW MAINTENANCE

Lots of other paving materials are tough and long lasting but most will require considerable more maintenance than decorative concrete. Joints between pavers may need to be weeded and re-grouted, long lengths of timber may warp, bricks and pavers that shift out of place due to heavy traffic and weathering will require replacing or repositioning. A well sealed and maintained concrete is relatively free of these problems and simply needs the occasional scrub and rinse and a possible periodic resealing to keep it as clean and fresh as the day it was installed.

HEAT RESISTANT

Surfaces of darkly toned bricks and tiles can become sizzling hot under a blaring son and unforgiving on bare feet. Decorative concrete can have finishes that significantly lower surface temperature.

GREAT GRIP

Pool surrounds are often high-traffic wet areas and with all the fun and fast activity bound to be happening there, slip-resistance is crucial. Many pool materials can become slippery when wet, especially tiles. The numerous grades of coarseness, grip and ruggedness of the textured overlay of decorative concrete means you can create fine looking pool floors with slip and skid resistance.

DESIGN OPTIONS

Stamped, stencilled, saw-cut, engraved and even toned concrete underlays with exposed pebbles… there is an almost limitless array of design options with decorative concrete. It gives you the ability to customise your pool decking designs – you decide the shape, size, colour and textured surface, and you’ll never have to compromise on walking comfort. With decorative concrete you can mix, match and experiment to your heart’s desire. You can even use decorative concrete to mimic the aesthetic features of other decking materials so that your pool surrounds have the appearance of having been made with tile or brick.