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Super & Sustainable Fixes for a Low Budget, High Style Patio or Balcony

Five Fashionable Fixes

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WoodPlankOver Concrete

You can cover an old concrete slab patio with decking materials for a fresh new look
Photo Credit:coumaris/Photobucket

Do you have an ugly concrete patio?  Sometimes we just want to take a sledge hammer and whack away, but there are easier ways to pretty up that plain pad.  You can fix it up for suprisingly little if you keep your eye on a green remedy.

 Give your outdoor room that custom designer feel.  We have found some of the best low cost, high style quick fixes for your concrete patio or balcony facelift.  In very little time you can have the patio or balcony of your dreams.

Go Green and Save a Bundle! These fixes meet your sustainable goals.  Sustainability is achieved by making use of the patio or balcony that already exists. Concrete is recognized as a sustainable material by LEED standards, so keeping it is definitely sustainable even before you start.  You will further your green objectives by using recycled /repurposed or sustainably grown materials.  Reusing your existing patio pad allows you to spend far less than replacing the entire structure.  This allows you to make the most of your budget, without sacrificing any of the beauty for your patio makeover.


Concrete patios and balconies are often the least attractive outdoor room feature, so the effort to improve the surface will be a major improvement to your home's overall value. Concrete is our flooring in the outdoor room, and the bland gray uniformity can be very boring.  Sometimes the surface is also marred by unsightly stains, cracks, spills or low spots that collect water. 

Unless the concrete structure is unsafe, you don’t have to rip it up and start over. Do be sure to have an inspection to make sure your concrete is sound and without structural defects.  A good contractor will be your best resource for a safety check up.




Here are five fun fixes that will give your outdoor room a boost and still go easy on your budget.


Patio Wood TileWood Tile makes this small space balcony seem roomier

Photo Credit: Handy Deck

Cover - Sometimes fixing up your ugly concrete can be as easy as covering it with tiles.  Tiles add an instant dash of panache to any sad cement surface. Ceramic tile has been a long time favorite, and this is a lovely option, but there are stone, bamboo and wood tiles that give you so many new possibilities.

The sustainably harvested teak tile on this balcony project can easily be completed in a weekend.  The tiles are interlocking and are installed on a raised grid base for a quick solution to your patio or balcony blahs. 


Glazed Concrete

Glazed Concrete  provides this Outdoor Kitchen/ Patio with an attractive and to easy clean surface
Photo Credit: Decorcrete/Photobucket

Glaze Glazed concrete is a fantastic finishing touch to your patio or balcony surface.  Glazing concrete  is not a difficult  process, but preparation is important. 

The concrete is thoroughly cleaned and lightly etched.  Then the glaze is applied and sealed for a sleek and gorgeous surface finish.  The effect is similar to the visual texture of faux painted walls and will enhance the appeal of any slab surface. 



Concrete Medallion

Center Medallion Stencil on Polished Concrete
Photo Credit: Americantoxicology /Photobucket

Pattern  You can pattern your concrete with gorgeous stencils.  The stencils give an impression of an inlaid stone mosaic such as you might see in Tuscany.  You can find inspiration in a center medallion, a Moroccan carpet, an Italian villa or a totally modern design — these are all easy to recreate with laser cut stencils.  You can even have your own personal pattern cut to your specifications.  Make sure that only laser cut patterns are used, either by you or your contractor.  The visible difference is worth the little extra cost.  Don’t settle for less.

Colorful Patio

This colorful shabby chic faux flagstone adds a bit of whimsey for only the cost of paint
Photo Credit -
© Stan Nelsen

Paint People have been painting concrete for years, but often not with style in mind.  There are many solutions possible with paint for a sustainable concrete makeover.  You can tape off a border.  Paint random overlapping circles or rectangles.   Go faux by imitating traditional materials such as brick or flagstone.  Let your imagination take charge. 

This shabby chic faux flagstone paint job is one example of an easy and affordable fashion fix.  Your color scheme can be subtle or bold but your concrete will have a dramatic finish that makes you forget its former flaws.  Paired with a repainted garden bench it gives your patio a head start for an eclectic blend of reused and repurposed furnishings.


Stamped Concrete Patio

Stamped Concrete Patio
Photo Credit: ou812kidd/Photobucket

Stamp & Stain—  Stamped and stained concrete is a fantastic new technique  that is being used in a lot of new construction.  You can take advantage of this new application for existing concrete  with a thin layer of  new generation concrete  that has elastic additives such as acrylic.  This thin layer of concrete is poured to resurface the existing patio or balcony slab.  The concrete can be colored before pouring or left in its natural condition. 

The newly poured surface can then be stamped be with any number of different patterns that mimic traditional outdoor paving.  Often a glaze or other stain is applied after curing for a custom, one of a kind patio or balcony that you and your guests will love. 


The Concrete Network – This is a fantastic resource with many pictures, ideas and tips for working with concrete.
Handy Deck
Modello Designs

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