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One sure fire way to transform your front yard, backyard or any exterior area of your home is with a stamped concrete driveway, patio or pathway. Stamped concrete offers homeowners the ability to personalize their outdoor spaces according to their design preference. If you are planning to have stamped concrete installed around your home, you should first know all of the  pros and cons to better understand how best to maintain it and extend its life span.

Here are the most relevant pros and cons of stamped concrete:

Pros of Stamped Concrete

1. Affordable Installation

Stamped concrete is an affordable option to transform your outdoors. In many cases it is cheaper than natural stone and pavers. This is mainly due to the installation process being much faster and cheaper because it requires pouring concrete and stamping it, versus laying down individual stones. Overall labour costs are lower than brick or stone setting or installation. However, stamped concrete requires professional installation for a flawless finish.

2. Customizable Aesthetics

Another advantage of stamped concrete over other alternatives is that it can be customized or personalized to the homeowner’s design or preference. It is stylish, flexible, and can be finished to meet the overall ambient beauty. Installers usually offer different types of stamps and colour options that can be used to customize the concrete. Stamped concrete can be finished to resemble brick, natural stone, slate, tile and much more.

3. Low Maintenance

Stamped concrete is easy to maintain. It does not require frequent and intensive maintenance or resetting like brick or stone. You do not need to spend annually to maintain your patio or pathway with stamped concrete. Stamped concrete that is sealed needs to be resealed after two – three years. Stamped concrete can be sealed annually for additional protection against water damage.

Cons of Stamped Concrete

1. Cracking 

This is the most common issue with stamped concrete. Its surface begins to crack over time, although the cracks may not be very noticeable. After some time, it may be necessary to patch the cracked surface or parts of the stamped concrete. If not patched early, there could be water seepage that will cause significant damage to the stamped concrete.

2. Issues with Matching Colours

Another downside of stamped concrete is that it can be difficult to match colours when a repair job is done on the stamped concrete. Although it is affordable to patch concrete, the problem is matching the original colour used. As a result, any repair work or patches done can easily be noticeable.

Above are some of the more common pros and cons of stamped concrete. The decision of whether to have your patio, walkway, or driveway completed with stamped concrete should come down to design, budget, and maintenance needs. The above should help you make that decision for your home. When looking to hire a concrete contractor, make sure that they indicate they will be cutting  relief joints in your concrete to help prevent cracking. You can also ask for suitable sealants to seal the concrete’s surface. Keep in mind that proper maintenance is the key to make stamped concrete last longer.