As new developments have occured in the concrete industry, we have seen the trends develop in the landscaping and home improvement industries to match. Homeowners no longer see concrete as this drab, plain material that they incorporate into their hardscape designs for utilitarian reasons.  

Yes, concrete is durable.  And, yes, it can be used to support structures and provide boundaries in landscape designs and even protect against the elements, however, concrete has become more than just a structural component.  With the proliferation of stamped concrete and of other decorative concrete techniques, has come a widespread creative use of concrete.

So, first, let’s take a look at all of the ways homeowners have incorporated the use of concrete into their overall landscape design.  They use them for patios, retaining walls, fountains, swimming pool decks, fire pits, decorative walls, and for foundations for pergolas, additional seating, walkways and paths,  and other structures.  It used to be that if you wanted to include more elaborate design elements into any of these projects, you would incorporate other materials such as natural stone, brick or pavers.  However, now concrete can be used to mimic so many of these materials into almost any design.  

Yet, decorative concrete is not the only new design element being used to innovate outdoor spaces in homes.  More and more we are seeing homeowners request less common shapes and intricate designs for their patios, decks and walkways.  So, what used to be a plain rectangular shaped patio has now been modified to be round or more creatively shaped and styled.  

So, why are these innovations in poured concrete design taking hold as much as they are?  Well, concrete has always been known as the most budget-friendly option, especially for a material that is so resistant to the elements and long-lasting. The alternatives, such as pavers made out of brick or flagstone, are not as durable and certainly cost more to install because of the more labor-intensive process. 

Now that poured concrete can be made to look like these other more expensive options, many homeowners have begun to incorporate these design elements into their outdoor spaces.  Not only this, but the added benefit of a variety of concrete stains has added to the design possibilities.  People can choose colors and designs that create a more harmonious design that matches their home and the rest of the landscaping.  

Experienced technicians of this craft can make use of the variety of stamp designs and stains to make suggestions about what may look best in the setting.  The major categories for stamped concrete are designs that are made to resemble, cobblestone, brick, wood, or sandstone.  

In terms of longevity, poured concrete is at the top of the list for materials that can withstand the elements and last for many years.  Stamped concrete is no different in that it is poured concrete.  However, keep in mind that it will require that a sealant be adhered to the surface in order to protect the color and design.  It will be necessary to periodically re-seal, especially in high traffic areas or areas that have had exposure to harsh chemicals or high temperatures.  This ensures that the color and design elements are protected for the long run and continues to amplify the design of your outdoor space.