Courtyard Resurfaced!

April 23, 2012

So I’ve been dreaming of resurfacing our courtyard space for years and years and years.  Long story short, after our home’s expansion and remodel six years ago we were left with hodge podge pieces of old and new concrete surfaces that never matched up.  Over the years, I covered it up and diverted attention with outdoor rugs and furniture and pots in places, but oh heavens it was not an attractive scene. 

We went back and forth on how to remedy the whole problem.  Rip out the concrete and repour new?  Cover it with travertine or slate?  All the solutions we could think of over the years ended up too costly and too big of a headache, so it sat and sat for season after season. 

After the back breaking job of adding stone to a smaller circular patio last year, we knew the large courtyard was a job we wanted to hand over to professionals. A few months ago, Matt found the perfect solution: a company that offered concrete restoration that would completely resurface our existing courtyard and unite it all together without any removal at all, and that was exactly what we were looking for. 

Here’s our rear courtyard before the work began, it measures roughly 20’ x 20’. 

courtyard before

 

Here’s how it looks now after the resurfacing.  Much improved!

resurfaced courtyard after

 

We are so so thrilled to have a cohesive looking outdoor space, here’s how it played out over the course of four days.  The first day was all about preparation – we had to move all the planters and furniture off and clear the concrete.  We also decided since the crew was in the yard to resurface the small patio up above where we have the summer cabana.  Here’s Matt moving the cabana frame and all the furniture to our lawn. 

top of cabana

 

He also helped the guys clear off the concrete surfaces of dirt and debris.   

scoop dirt

 

Next came a strong power wash to get rid of all that long time gunky stuff that had accumulated over the years and the surfaces sat in the sun to completely dry for a day. 

power wash

 

The second day, the crew of three came back to fill in cracks and do the skim coat, which was like a primer.  They poured a polymer concrete formula onto the existing slabs and skim coated them to unite all the multicolored and multi textured surfaces together. 

trowel skim coat

 

Even after that first coat, we noticed a huge improvement!

primer coat

 

Day three was all about laying down the subtle tile look pattern in the courtyard and adding the final concrete layer on top.  Here’s Andy of DelGrosso Concrete and his assistant designing the pattern for the next layer with specialized nylon tapes.   

measuring pattern

 

The middle pattern was stamped, then the outside troweled by hand with an imperfectly smooth finish and allowed to dry a full day. 

final resurfacing by hand

 

Once the final coat was dry, the nylon tapes were peeled up the next day to reveal the pattern and get the surface ready for the sealer. 

custom nylon tape

 

I wasn’t present for the final day they sealed the entire surface, but that was the last step!  Now what we see up close in the center of the courtyard is this subtle pattern. 

tile stamp detail

 

Here’s a view of the line between the exposed aggregate surface and the plain concrete pathway before it was resurfaced. 

side before

Now the lines are blurred with the new polymer concrete surface on top. 

side walkway resurfaced

 

Here’s the view of the upper patio that we also resurfaced.  It had some cracks, so we decided to work with them, and created a bunch more to make it look like a random design.  We’re loving the abstract pattern up on this patio surface. 

upper patio after

 

I had high hopes of moving all the furniture and cushions back to this area but since the forecast is rain later this week, I’ll have to wait.  But it is so so so nice to have one smooth surface outside that looks a million times better than it did before.  This is the  outdoor space right off the kitchen, it’s a great place to relax and hang out with friends. kitckitchen

I keep hearing the famous Etta James song in my head every time I look at it.  “At laaaaaaast….”    A huge thank you to DelGrosso Design for doing such a terrific job.  We can’t wait to spend our summers out here later this year! 

 

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