When we first looked at the house, we noticed the deck (which had never been treated) was getting really grey and weathered.
weeks to finish it (due to the size and the heat of July and august) but it's finished and looks so much better.
Underneath the deck was a hot mess of weeds and bizare looking insects and it was honestly kind of odd to me why the builder didn't put concrete there. Knowing we would have a hard time growing anything underneath should we attempt to do so, it seemed like an obvious (not to mention maintenance free) solution to have a concrete slab poured. We ended up finding a concrete company who also did decorative concrete as well, so we had a stamped concrete patio poured at the same time. We spend a lot of time outside and knew this would be a worthwhile investment. I happened to be home over the several days that they poured the patio and it was really neat to see the whole process. I will admit though, that as they were pouring the cement into the framework, I was freaking out because it looked nothing like the color of concrete I chose (that I spent hours agonizing over). It was dark. And ugly. And sort of permanent.Here it looked dark red-brown, almost like a terra cotta planter. I wasn't a fan at this point.
After the cement was smoothed out, they threw a thick dusting over it and then stamped it with a mold that was somewhat rubbery, moving the molds piece by piece.
The stamping portion was relatively quick- it took about 30-45 minutes to do 400 square feet.
After it cured, it was powerwashed and then sealed. I love it. No, actually I LOVE it. Love the texture, love the color.
Next year we will probably do a little landscaping around it.
At the same time the patio was being poured in the back, we had a retaining wall put in the front. This is a project I seriously contemplated doing myself, but seeing as how I can barely find time to paint our laundry room, I figured I would never find the time to start- much less complete a project like this. Boy am I glad I didn't! I was able to watch the retaining wall go up and it was so much more tedious than I ever though in my mind, even after reading about DIYing it. Getting the concrete in the right consistency to be workable, keeping things level...definitely a learned skill. I feel though that I might be able to attempt a brick and mortar planting bed on a smaller scale ( like in the back of the house where no one could see my imperfections- ha) someday when
My goal was to landscape this area before winter hit, but the selection of plants aren't great right now, so I think I may wait until the spring.
So that's whats been going on outdoors! I have some fun stuff going on inside too- I'll be sure to share very soon. As always, thanks for reading!