Concrete and gravel paths combine with concrete seat walls that edge the back of a main courtyard space in Sonoma County, Calif. The design by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects was an American Society of Landscape Architects award-winning project.
A modern concrete fire pit surrounded by patio chairs with neutral cushions offers a place to enjoy the views. Durable, pebble stones and horizontal blue hardy boards serve as the base for this dynamic space.
A stamped finish can refresh a concrete driveway and its borders. A spray treatment and textured roller were used on this driveway to give the surface a realistic look, says Mike Dussling, owner of Concrete Resurfacing Products, based in Suwanee, Ga.
Skylights in the grass let light reach the garage beneath the house. Sleek architecture, with no ornamentation, gives the house a clean, modern look. Panes of glass surrounding the door make for an inviting entry.
Shifting soils will cause concrete patios, steps and driveways to crack. Luckily, most surface defects and hairline cracks can be repaired with a thin overlay of cement stucco or mall-aggregate concrete, says Tim Carter, builder/remodeler and founder of AskTheBuilder.com. For concrete that's severely cracked, missing chunks or at different heights, he recommends replacing with steel-reinforced concrete that's a minimum of 4,000 PSI strength.