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  • A stamped concrete driveway and curved walkway blend in beautifully with the color scheme and style of this two-story brick home. The border was custom colored to match the trim and shutters on the home.
  • Another view of the stamped concrete sidewalk leading to the home's entryway. The front step was formed to look like natural cut stone, with an overhanging lip to hide landscaping lighting installed within the concrete.
  • Another view of the stamped concrete driveway, showing the border and bands used to add decorative interest. The stamp pattern used for both the driveway and sidewalk is a seamless granite cleft stone.

The owners of this beautiful brick home in Akron, Ohio, needed no convincing that decorative stamped concrete would be the ideal material to replace their existing driveway and sidewalks. They were already familiar with concrete’s great qualities. “We did a stamped concrete patio and an outdoor kitchen for them about two years prior to this job,” says Matt Zook of J&H Decorative Concrete. “The client loved the job we did, and loved the natural look and durability of concrete. They also liked the idea of not having to worry about the settling of materials and the growth of grass and weeds that can occur in the joints of precast pavers.”

Design goalsThe project involved ripping out the old broom-finished concrete driveway and sidewalk and replacing them with 1,500 square feet of decorative stamped concrete. The clients envisioned a driveway that would blend with their home instead of being the main attraction. “They wanted it to add to the home and enhance its curb appeal, so that people wouldn't just notice the driveway,” says Zook.

The clients told Zook the general color scheme they were looking for, and Zook made them a couple of samples of different color combinations in the stamp pattern they liked. He also suggested that they add a border and put bands through the driveway to help break it up a bit and give it more character.

Secrets to successZook took pains to match the border color with the dark brown trim on the home and tie all the colors together. “I had to do a little tweaking on the color to get it just right,” he says.

Proline's old granite seamless cleft stone pattern was used on the entire project, including the borders and bands. The main fields of pavement were colored with Brickform’s Pecos sand color hardener, accented with a walnut release agent. The border color was walnut mixed with an oyster white color hardener to lighten it slightly.

The project took about three days to complete, including tearing out the old driveway and sidewalk and pouring the new stamped concrete. After allowing the concrete to cure for 10 days, J&H sealed it with two coats of a medium-gloss acrylic concrete sealer.

A unique challenge on this project was to install low-voltage landscape lighting within the concrete on the front step to the entryway of the home. “We used rubber liners on the inside of our forms to make the step look like it has a natural cut-stone top, and the lights went under the lip of the step so the light fixture itself would not to be visible. We had to make sure that when we poured the concrete the electrical conduit would stay in place flat against our liners so that when we stripped the forms the conduit would be accessible for wiring the light,” Zook explains.

Selling custom concreteA family owned business, J&H Decorative Concrete has been installing decorative stamped concrete for about 18 years and takes pride in giving their work a personal touch. “We like to think of our business as custom decorative concrete, not just plain stamped concrete. We customize and design each project to fit the needs of our clients,” says Zook, who is seeing a healthy demand for decorative concrete in his area. “People are not only asking for stamped concrete, but are also seeing and asking about what else we can do with concrete.”

Get more ideas for using concrete to enhance a variety of home styles.

Materials usedConcrete stamps: Old granite seamless cleft stone pattern, from Proline Tools
Color hardeners and release agents: Brickform
Sealer: Super Stamp Seal, from DecoCrete Supply

ContractorMatt Zook
J&H Decorative Concrete - Uniontown, Ohio

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