Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Concrete Pathway in the Backyard

This post is rather late considering we had this done in November.  Better late than never. 

Once we had completed all the landscaping we were left with the path down the side of the house which needed to be covered. The dead side of the house is the only access we have to get hte lawn mower thorugh, and it also stores the bins, and access from laundry to the washing line. So it is used a fair bit.

At first we were going to do rocks and pavers to create a stepping stone effect

Similar to this

But this wasn't practical to drag the bins and mower over so that idea quickly turned into the possibility of paving it. We looked into the type of pavers that were available and had quotes on costs to have it laid. It was far to costly to spend so much on something that no one really sees. And paving concerned me with the ground movement, i didn't want my paving lift in a couple years time and look messy.

We then started to explore concrete options. A stamping pattern to create the look of pavers both appealed to us, and concrete is so easy to maintain. and will stay in place to create a nice even surface.

Here is an example

We then started to get quotes.  Hubby decided to go with a local concretor that seemed confident and was going to offer us a good service, he was keen and had plenty of photos to show us. I wasn't to sure as i couldn't find anything on the web about him. But left this one upto hubby to organise so went with the flow.

The concrete is a fantastic choice, and its super cheap compared to the paving. The stamp we went with was called FLEMISH, and the colour was a one colour choice called Bluestone.  Many people opt for a 2 tone effect to create shadowing, but we wanted to be able to colour seal it in the future so went with 1 colour.

As you can see from below there is so much choice. PARCHEM in penrith has osme stamps on display outisde that you can view to get ideas.

Here are the before shots of the area we had to concrete.

The concrete has just been poured and stamped. Awaiting the colour seal.

The stamping process

Colour Sealed again with the Bluestone, massive difference between Bluestone colour through concrete and the actual colour sealer.
He also added some grit product to it as it was so slippery. The concretor promised to do it but he didn't so keep in mind if considering the concrete stamping.

Hubby has now painted the retaining wall in the Woodland Grey (Same as the fence) Looks really good!

Before retaining wall is painted

And just because i love before and after shots, and looking back at old photos when we first moved in and admiring what we have today i found some to share with you.

All but a distance memory now!  i know im writing this 1 year after we moved in so 12 months ago we were experiencing the photos below, and today we can go and enjoy valuable family time with the kids as our yard is so easy to maintain and its all finished!

In summary all im going to say is pick you concretor wisely! Make sure you can 100% trust them once that concrete is poured it can not be removed.

Alfresco & Portico Tiling

Something I didn't think we would be able to get done for a while was the Alfresco tiling. It was last on my list of things I wanted to get done as it wasn't urgent. One day I decided to get quotes to see what it would be worth, thinking we couldn't afford it. The quotes came through reasonable so we were able to go ahead quite quickly.

Given that i rarely have any spare time on my hands, and dragging the kids through countless tile shops is not something i wanted to do, i set off on my own to check out the local tile places and picked out my favourite options. Once i had narrowed it down to about 4 possibilities we had the kids looked after for a couple of hours on Saturday morning - this was our chance, we had to select something that day - and hardest part of all hubby and i had to agree - that's the biggest challenge right there :)

First tile shop was CTM in Toongabbie - he hated everything i liked,off to a great start! Next place he selected something i hadn't considered and i didn't mind the texture of it, so we had a possibility. again he didn't like my choices at the second place (Lexatonia Tiles). The 3rd place was Beaumont tiles and the ones we liked were way out of our price range.

In the end we selected the one that he had picked out, I was able to borrow a sample for the night to see if it suited the tones of our house, and it did.

The tiles were purchased from Lexatonia Tiles in Seven Hills on Abott Road. Great service and a great price too. The tiles ended up being $26sqm. Pretty good considering Beaumont tiles were up around the $60sqm price range.

The tiler even said the tiles we picked were so hard to cut, he believes they will be near impossible to crack. We have spares just in case.

The area we had to tile was just under 40sqm to cover the Alfresco and portico. The tile is a 600x300mm porcelain tile called PROVENZA ASH and it is rated for outdoor use.

The tiles so far are easy to maintain ( I mop with a ENJO outdoor mop) the grip on them isn't that extreme rough sand paper feel so grit doesn't stick to them to badly. They are beautiful to walk on too. The colour is a prefect choice for an outdoor space. It doesn't show the dirt and doesn't show the doggy paw prints too badly either, which is a bonus for someone that is a little bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness. 

Would highly recommend this tile.

Our tiler suggested to lay them length ways in a brick pattern, which was the total opposite to what i was thinking, as i thought of lying them horizontal in a straight pattern so the space would appear wider.

Here is the finished alfresco area. Still some grout dust on them when i took these pics, its gone now though after a few washes.

I know i haven't posted about the laundry fit out yet, and that will come shortly, we also did the tiling for the splashback in the laundry. 600x300mm tiles

Here is a sneak peak....more to come in laundry post.