Stamper Construction, Inc. has been a Johnson County based company for over 20 years and continues to grow and strive to meet its customer’s new home and remodeling needs.

Stamper Construction works closely with its customers to design their dream homes or redesign their current homes. Whether you need one room remodeled, one new level, or an entire house. Stamper Construction will guide you through each step of the process, from architectural design through the final construction.

For many premises owners, a floor is something they do not pay a close attention to unless a problem happens. You probably relate to this. If you built your home many years back, you will most likely thing of changing the roofing, or repaint the walls, but it will be difficult for you to think about installing a new type of floor, unless the present one is damaged. However, this is human nature, we tend to see floors as something that is below us, an element we step on, and, therefore, has no much value for our homes.

A great option to enhance the look of any concrete floor is epoxy coating.  Epoxy is basically a coating that acts as a sealant to concrete floor. Today, most people around the world have seen the importance of epoxy flooring, and have kept it as top-guarded secret. This type of flooring is not only fashionable, but it also ensures that your floor can withstand massive foot traffic without getting a single crack for a long time. This is the main reason why this type of flooring is prevalent in large areas, especially commercial buildings and basement parking areas.

The next time you think of renovating your concrete floor, think of epoxy flooring. It will give you a range of benefits including;

Optimum strength

The reason why you installed a concrete floor in your premises is purely because you needed something that would offer optimum strength to complement your strong foundation. By adding an epoxy coating, you will be enhancing this strength, and you will have the guarantee that your house will never shake even with an earthquake of the highest magnitude.

When the epoxy cures, it becomes a solid polymer that is unbelievably strong and is resistant to any chemical breakdown. Your floor will therefore be the strongest element in your home, and you will not have to worry even if the heaviest object in your home fell on it.

Durability

The dream, of every premises owner is to have floor that will withstand foot traffic every day, and still serve its purpose for a lifetime. Epoxy flooring is a good way to ensure that your floor will serve you today, and for lifetime, and still provide your future generations with the benefits you get today without compromising on beauty and quality.

Coating concrete floors with epoxy flooring ensures that it lasts for a long time, and resists significant wear, hence you will save a considerable amount of money that you would have used to regularly maintain your floor.

Aesthetics

Well, nobody hates beauty. Factually, beauty can increase the resale value of a property by over 80%. People want to leave in a stunning place, and in a location where they cannot feel ashamed to admit visitors. Epoxy flooring is an option that can help make your premises a gem that many will want to emulate. Epoxy coatings come in a wide variety of colors to choose from; hence giving you a golden opportunity to build the floor of your dreams. You can add a personal touch to your floor, making it stand out among many in the neighborhood.

Safety

In every aspect of construction, safety should always come first. Epoxy flooring is resistant to slippage, therefore, you can have a peace of mind knowing that your children can run around the house, and none of them will get hurt as a result of slipping and falling. With it, you have a guarantee that you will not have to follow up with your insurance company to have an employee compensated for an accident that happened in your workplace.

Epoxy coatings are also resistant to extreme impacts, high temperature, and most importantly, they are fire resistant.

Low maintenance

Epoxy flooring will help you a great deal when it comes to maintenance. When installed, the coating ceases to be porous; hence only little maintenance is required. In fact, to make your floor look wonderful each day, all you need to do is to use a simple broom with soft bristles to clean. You may need to use vacuum or pressure cleaning, but not on regular basis.

As long as you do what you are required to do to maintain this type of flooring, you will save some bucks that you would have paid experts to remove debris and efficiently maintain your floor habitually.

Other major benefits include;

  • It is chemical resistant
  • It is environmental friendly
  • Reduces wears on vehicles when used in garages and other parking areas

Concrete staining has become popular throughout the world thanks to the astounding curb appeal and the ease of installation that comes with it. If you are a DIY die-hard, this type of decorative concrete is all you need to make your life interesting.

Concrete staining is the best way to old and worn out concrete to life. if you have a damaged floor or a cracking patio, you no longer need to demolish and build a new one, staining will do the magic that cannot be done by any other type of decorative concrete.

When you go out to the market looking for concrete stains, you will find out that they come in different types. Most homeowners are, therefore, perplexed because they have no idea on the type of stain products they need for their projects. For those who have worked with these products in the past, choosing the right ones for their projects is a walk in the park. It will be, however, a vicious cycle for those who are interacting with the product for the first time.

Essentially, there are two types of stained concrete:

  • Acid-based reactive stains
  • Water-based stains

 Acid-based reactive stains

These stains are specially made to chemically react with concrete. They result into a translucent and variegated color that mimics that of marble.

The acid-based concrete stains is made of metallic salts that will react with the lime contained in concrete to form a bond that is permanent and whose color will not peel, fade, or flake off.
This type of stained concrete is not difficult to install since it does not require a lot of skill, all it needs is for the user to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can therefore do it all by yourself, or you can involve your family and friends and do it as a fun event. However, these stains are relatively hazardous and require special handling. To bring out the most desirable results, however, it is prudent to seek the services or advice of a professional decorative concrete contractor.

Benefits of acid-based reactive stains

Durability

Concrete is relatively durable, but acid staining will bring a long additional durability, since it ensures the surface is resistant to wear and tear. If sealed correctly, this type of stained concrete does not peel, fade, flake off, or chip. It will remain intact for as long as you live.

Curb appeal

Coming with a range of selected colors and patterns, an acid-stained surface comes in handy with desirable beauty. You can also achieve the elegance brought by high-end materials slate, sandstone, marble, granite, and travertine at an affordable price.

Low maintenance

Regular mopping and sweeping as all that is required of you in order to ensure that your acid-stained surface stays clean and beautiful always. How often your structure is used is a factor that will dictate how often it should be maintained, but generally, acid stained concrete has the lowest maintenance cost of all other types of decorative concrete.

Water-based non-reactive stains

This type of stained concrete is non-reactive since it does not involve any chemical reaction with concrete in order to impart color on it. Its pigments are directly deposited into the concrete. This staining option comes in a wide array of colors, and they are the easier to apply as compared to acid-based stains.

When applied, they provide an opaque look, but might provide a translucent appearance if lightly applied.

They are environmental friendly

Unlike their acid-based counterpart, water-based stains are environmental friendly and are not potentially hazardous. They do not require specialized handling and do not carry any disposal risks.

Functionality

This concrete staining method offer functional benefits to the end user as well as the applicator. It does not fade, discolor, chip, or flake off over time, and it is never affected by UV rays. With it, you can stay lest assured that it will not show signs of cracking, spalling, crazing, or softening.

Aesthetic appeal

Coming in a broad range of colors, shapes, and patterns, they offer desirable versatility. If you want vibrancy, this is the type of concrete staining you should use. With it, you can build whatever you can think off.

Acid-Based Vs. Water-Based Stains: Is One Better Than the Other?

For a fact, no type of stained concrete is better than the other. It depends with the outcome the end-user wants to achieve. If you want a natural look of the most expensive materials, consider choosing the acid-based stains. If you want a variety of colors to select from, so that you can construct a customized surface, consider selecting water-based stain products.

The Perfect Blend: Mixing the Two Together

To bring out the best and the most unique surfaces, some contractors choose to use the two types of stained concrete together. They use the water-based stain to bring out the best and most desirable colors, and use acid stains to provide accents and make the surface look more natural.

Unlike in the past when homes were basically elements that gave people housing as a basic need, today’s homes are more than that. People are building good homes not only to get a roof over their head, but also as a way of keeping up with the trends. The housing sector has become highly competitive across the world, and every homeowner is striving to stay ahead of the competition. Many are adding a myriad of elements in the outdoor space, and concrete driveways have become the most popular for those who care about beauty, class, and attention to detail.

Concrete has become a prevalent driveway material for many homeowners across the world mainly because of its durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. Interestingly, a well laid concrete driveway has a lifespan of over 50 years. Yes, with one, you can live for half a whopping 50 years without doing any replacement!

A concrete driveway important to any modern home. by installing one, you will go a long way in in complementing your landscape, and the resale value of your property will increase significantly.

Concrete driveways are constructed in many ways. As long as you employ the services of a good concrete contractor, you will always have a driveway that will blend well with your premises, and add on to its glamor. Below are the major types of concrete driveways:

Plain concrete driveway

Whenever you need to install a concrete driveway in your premises, but on a very tight budget, this is the type of driveway that will suit all your needs. It is known for being the cheapest concrete driveway in the market, mainly because it does not require in decorative finishes.

Basically, this type of driveway is made of a standard grey cement mixture.  It can be roughly finished to give it a textured finish; thus giving it a sense of beauty.

In terms of durability, this type of concrete driveway is highly durable, as long as the concrete is well laid and given enough time to cure. When treated with quality construction joins, you can stay lest assured that your plain concrete driveway will serve you for quite a long time without showing signs of cracking.

For all the paved areas in this driveway, it is advisable to use quality sealants in order to minimize cracking, staining, and fading.

This driveway is highly criticized for being traditional, greyish, and boring. In fact, very few concrete experts will recommend it either for your home or business premises. The main reason behind this is because the color grey is dull, and does not bring out beauty. Plain concrete is therefore not widely used for driveways.

PS: applying a smooth finish to plain concrete driveway can be hazardous. This is because it is slippery, and can cause accidents.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveway

This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful concrete driveways. Once the concrete is poured, pebbles of different colors and sizes are added to the mixture. Sandblasting is then used to help expose the pebbles on the surface. The concrete paste is then removed through pressure washing.

This type of concrete driveway is highly rough and solid, thus it will definitely serve you for a lifetime. To maintain it, you will need to sweep it regularly using a hand brush with hard bristles in order to remove dirt and debris. You can also apply pressure washing once in a while. By doing this, you will have an eye-catching driveway for as long as you leave, and your future generations will have something to remember you with.

The textured surface provided by the finished surface provides efficient traction in icy and wet weathers; thus exposed aggregate is safe and rarely cause accidents.

Decorative concrete driveway

Concrete can be decorated using various methods including staining and stamping. The main advantage of using decorative concrete for your driveway is that you can mimic the most expensive materials in the market including marble, sandstone, flagstone, bricks, and natural stones at a fraction of their cost.

Decorative concrete also comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes, patterns, and textures; hence you can build a customized driveway that is hard to beat.

With this type of concrete, you can bring out the most authentic look in your driveway. Honestly, this driveway is not cheap to come by, but it is worth a hefty investment.

If not properly sealed, a decorative concrete driveway’s colors can fade, flake, and peel of, hence changing its dazzling appearance. Therefore, ensure that you look for an experienced, reputable, and skilled decorative concrete contractor to lay the driveway for you.

Installing Concrete Sidewalks

Installing concrete sidewalks is by no means an easy project. The serious do-it-yourselfer can manage it with a little guidance and proper preparation.

Excavating – The hardest work is usually digging the ground because you probably have to use a shovel and wheelbarrow unless you want to tear up the yard with a tractor. Dig approximately 6 inches below the intended top of the sidewalk. This will allow 4 inches of concrete and a few inches of granular fill underneath. Use sand, pea gravel, or crushed stone for the subgrade. The granular fill is used to fill in low areas and allows water to flow under the sidewalk.

Forming – Use 2x4s for the formwork. Set a string line to get desired height and straightness. The strings should be set so that the side closest to the house is slightly higher. The sidewalk should slope away from the house approximately ¼ inch per foot. So a 4 foot wide sidewalk should have about 1 inch slope.

Drive stakes every 4 feet, raise the board to the string and nail or screw in place. For curved sidewalks, use a flexible material such as masonite for forms. Since the forms for curved walks are flexible, you must drive more stakes to keep the concrete from pushing out the forms. Once the forms are set, rake down the fill so that it’s 4 inches below the top of the forms.

Pouring – Have plenty of help with you when pouring concrete. It’s hard work and you only have so much time before the concrete gets too hard. It’s highly recommended that you use concrete from a ready mix company instead of mixing your own. A ready mix company will suggest the best mix and slump for the job. Slump is basically a measure of the wetness of the mix. They can also slow down or speed up the set time.

Start at the end furthest from the mixer. If you use a wheelbarrow, don’t fill more than half way. Concrete is very heavy and you don’t want to spill or hurt yourself. Use a piece of 2×4 the same length as the sidewalk width to strike off or level the concrete as you pour. Someone should be gently floating behind the pour to bring the cement paste to the top. Place expansion joint between new and existing concrete. Most ready mix companies can supply the expansion material.

Finishing – Finish concrete using a wood or magnesium hand float. Magnesium is used for air entrained concrete. If you live in a climate subject to freeze and thaw cycles, the concrete should be air entrained. The ready mix company will know this. The most common type of finish for sidewalks is a broom finish. After the concrete is hand floated again and the surface is smooth, drag a broom across the surface perpendicular to the length. If it appears to rough, let it dry a little longer and try it again. Use an edging tool to dress up the edges.

Control joints can be placed during finishing with a hand groover or the next day with a saw and diamond blade. Joints should be spaced evenly. If the sidewalk is 4 feet wide, then cut a joint every 4 feet. Joints should also be placed at stress points such as corners or across a turn in the walk. Apply concrete sealer immediately following finishing with a sprayer. Adjust the tip and pump the sprayer for misting so you don’t mark up the surface.

Pouring and finishing concrete is a skilled trade not usually recommended as a do-it-yourself project. But if you’re feeling up to it, then installing concrete sidewalks is the easiest place to start.