Concrete With Pebbles For Patio: A Wise Investment?
Improving your outdoor space is the perfect way to make your home stand out, and even increase its value. In fact, studies have indicated that you can improve the value of your home by between 5 and 20% just by doing some work in your garden and turning it into a usable outdoor space.
One of the best things you can do is to turn that boring concrete patio slab into an interesting pebble coated surface that will enhance even the smallest space. And it can be a an easy project with a little help from your local resin bound surfacing contractor. Here’s how…
Concrete With Pebbles For Patio: Is It A D.I.Y Job?
You can certainly try to cover your concrete patio with pebbles – but it is trickier than you might think. While the process is fairly straightforward, it is the preparation of the base that will ensure you have a trouble free patio for years to come.
By adding pebbles to your patio, you are making it much more attractive, but equally, it won’t stay looking that way for long if you have failed to take the necessary steps to ensure longevity. Resin bound pebble or stone surfaces need special treatment to really get your money’s worth.
What Is Resin Bound Surfacing?
You may not have heard of this term before, but it is a simple process of combining the right amounts of resin and stones or pebbles, to create a resilient mixture of materials that can be pressed into the sub base with a trowel.
This coating sets hard and is a long lasting and hardwearing surface that is perfect as a patio. It can be laid directly onto concrete, and is perfectly porous, allowing water to pass right through, avoiding puddles of water on your new patio. You can also choose any colour of stone to get the look you want.
Why Do I Need A Professional To Install It?
This sounds easy enough, right? Well, your pebble coating for your concrete patio actually needs a great deal of specialised work to ensure it looks great year after year. The process involves much more than mixing resin with stones, and spreading them over the concrete.
● First you need to check the concrete base. Is it free draining? Is it even? Is it free from cracks, dips, undulations and broken areas? All of these things will need to be rectified before you start.
● If the concrete base has any issues, it may need to be lifted, dug out and replaced with a new sub base. The patio needs to be one piece of concrete, so this needs to be carefully laid.
● The edges of the patio need to be marked out with some kind of edging. This could be raised bricks, a small wall, or wooden battens. The resin coating will need something to sit up against.
● The concrete now needs to be entirely cleaned. It must be free of all dirt, or the resin will not stick to it. You can also paint it with a primer to help this process. It is also essential the concrete is dry.
● Now turn to the stones. If you have bought the pebbles from a local stone merchant, they have probably been sitting outdoors for some time. This means they are likely to be damp or even wet. The stones need to be completely dry before they are used to prevent white patches on the patio, as the dampness leaches out of the stones over time. The pebbles used in your patio need to be kiln dried – something that is hard to find.
● Mixing the resin with the stones. A simple concrete mixer is not good enough for this job. And definitely do not try to hand mix these two together. You need a specialised mixer and each batch should be mixed for exactly the same length of time.
● You need to work quickly, and to have the correct ratios. This will change depending on the location, the weather, and the type of surface you want. Once the mix is ready, it must be spread on the concrete in one go. This means that you will need help, as some resins will dry in just ten minutes. If you let one section go hard before adding to it, you will have lines in your patio or other inconsistencies.
● The resin coat needs to be around 8-12mm thick for a patio and even across the entire surface. This can be hard to do and takes experience to have an eye for it.
As you can see, laying a pebble coating over your existing concrete base takes more than a basic knowledge of DIY. Finding a good contractor who can do a professional job for you is a priority.
Choosing A Credible Resin Bound Pebble Patio Contractor
When you are searching for someone to help you with your patio project, you need to bear in mind a number of important things:
● Is your contractor recommended? Check review sites, ask around friends and neighbours, and make sure you Google them. Do whatever you can to make sure that you know if they are reputable.
● Is your quote competitive? Never go for the cheapest quote when it comes to pebble resin patios; this is likely to mean that your contractor is using substandard materials, cutting corners, or they simply don’t have the experience to quote you correctly.
● Is your contractor offering to do things they shouldn’t? If they tell you they can lay your patio on a substandard base, that you don’t need good drainage, or that they can work even when it’s raining – they are either incompetent, or a “cowboy,” or both.
● Make sure you get at least 3 quotes. This is minimum for any home improvement project, and you will need to make sure that the quotes are comparable. That means asking the same questions, and asking for the same product.
● Ask for examples of their work. Your contractor should be able to produce examples of customers they have worked with that you can visit to see the quality of their work, and to discuss how polite and efficient the team were.
Covering your concrete patio with pebbles is a job that people often take on themselves, but hopefully we have convinced you that you will get the best results, and the longest lasting patio from hiring professionals to complete this project on your behalf.
After all, there’s a potential 20% to be made on the value of your home; with returns like that, its clearly well worth the investment. Find out more by contacting our in-house expert team, today. Call 0800 1700 636, or send an email to [email protected] for more information.