Patio and
Front Porch

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When Buss decided that it would be best (because of the slope of the lot) to change from a slab to pier-and-beam, he offered to keep the back patio and front porch the dyed and stamped concrete Judy wanted.

The patio, 3'-4' off the ground, had to be filled in
and tamped down:
The concrete was brought around back
with a bulldozer blade:

A tan dye was added to the concrete in the cement truck. After the concrete was poured and smoothed and allowed to dry just enough, a darker tint powder was spread on top. A mold of a rock surface was placed on the concrete a section at a time and tamped down, then carefully lifted off and moved to the next section.

Some people will just put a stain on top of the concrete because adding dye to the entire batch of concrete is more costly, but if you get a chip in the patio, the raw concrete will show if dye was not used.

The process was repeated for the front porch. After allowing several days for the tint powder to bond, the loose tint powder will be cleaned off and the concrete sealed.

Five days and a lot of rain later:

The darker powder stain which was stamped into the lighter
concrete has been dissolved and spread across the entire patio.
It will be interesting to see if it has ruined it. Meanwhile, Buss
has cut a pattern into the patio which looks pretty good to me.
Patio stairs:

The stairs look like they are made of real wood, but they are
actually a composite material which will not decay or deteriorate.
Combined with the concrete patio and the stainless steel cable
railing system, this patio should require very little maintenance.

Over 250 holes had to be drilled in the steel posts for the stainless steel cables -- a job made even more tedious by the need for the
holes to be prefectly aligned and spaced to allow the cables to go through each post for the 28' length of the patio.
The black steel rails at the top were welded in place to help the posts withstand the tension of the cables.

The finished cable railing system protects little ones from falling off the patio without blocking the view from inside.

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