Step-by-Step Design Options for All
Preferences and Budgets

Step 1

LET’S GET STARTED

SHAPE

We offer custom project shapes to maximize your space. If you have a shape in mind for your project and do not see it listed here, give us a call. We love being creative with concrete!

DRIVEWAYS

Circular Driveways

Circular drives are one of the most popular driveway layouts. Sometimes called a horseshoe driveway, this layout option has an entrance at the road, rounds off as it approaches the house and then has a separate exit lane leading back to the road. This driveway type is popular among our clients because it eliminates the need for backing out or turning around. 

A common variation on the circular driveway is the teardrop driveway. A teardrop driveway has only one entry and exit point off the road, but opens into a loop that cars may drive around. Whether a standard half-circle, a horseshoe or a teardrop design, circular drives require quite a bit of room, so they aren't typically an option if you have a smaller-sized lot.

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Curved Driveways

There could be several reasons for you to opt for a curved driveway. First, if the best access point from the street does not line up with your garage, this will require your driveway to curve or angle. Second, if you want your driveway to be designed around existing trees, boulders, or other features.  Additionally a curved driveway can add interest to the overall look of your home and front yard. 

Whatever reason you have for wanting a curved driveway we will make sure that all types of vehicles can maneuver safely by using broad, sweeping curves since they look great and navigate easily. We will avoid placing curves too close to the street or house to allow a driver to safely straighten their wheels whether leaving the road or entering a garage or parking space.

Straight Driveways

Straight driveways are appropriate in two types of situations.

1.  A small front yard. The distance a vehicle will need to travel from street to garage is very short. In this situation your layout options are limited and it is best to keep your driveway simple and functional. Interest can be added to a short, straight driveway with decorative stamped borders or using a color sealer.

2. A long distance between the street and your home. If you’re looking for an estate-like entrance, a long straight driveway lined with trees is a great way to welcome guests to your home. This type of driveway layout purposefully directs focus to your home, putting it on display.

PATIOS

Patios are unique because their design is virtually unlimited. Unlike rooms inside your home, patios don't have to conform to a standard box-like shape. With patio design, you have many freedoms and the ability to extend the living space of your home. Designing a patio can be quite adventurous. Keeping your needs and the landscape in mind, your patio can be a square, a rectangle, a circle, a free-form design, or even a series of interconnected shapes that work together as a whole and provide you with an entire area of additional living space within your home.

Factors to consider when designing your patio’s shape:

  • Your property's shape and size
  • How you plan to use the patio 
  • The style of your home and landscaping

Square Patios

The most common patio shape is a square or rectangle. While this design is not the most creative, it is often the most practical and cost effective. Square patios, featuring straight edges and ninety degree angles, fit well into formal and contemporary style gardens. A square patio is excellent for entertaining large groups. If you choose to go with a large rectangular patio, consider designating different areas by changing color or finish direction. Decorative saw cuts and color sealer are also options to add interest to this type of patio.

Round Patios

Round patios are also quite popular. Often, a round patio will feature a focal point at the center. Sometimes this focal point is a circular dining table and chairs, a fountain, fire pit, or built-in spa. There are two main types of round patios - a full circle design, or a half-circle design. Full circle patios often exist independently and serve as a destination that draws people out into the yard. Half circle patios typically have a center point at a building or other hardscaping surface. Rounded patios blend naturally into the surrounding landscape because they don't have hard edges or sharp angles. 

Free-Form (Radius) Patios

This shape of patio is much less predictable than its square or round patio counterparts. Free-form patios have broad, sweeping curves and/ or unpredictable angles. This patio has an organic feel and is appropriate for informal landscapes.

SIDEWALKS:

Formal Path (Standard)

Paths in a formal walkway are almost always straight. In private applications, when standing at the origin of a walkway, one should be able to see all the way to the destination as this type of path design leads the eye and the visitor directly to a focal point of the landscape. In public applications, formal paths are almost always required in order to meet ADA and other building safety guidelines.

Informal Path

Curved paths work best in informal landscapes because of their natural, casual appearance. Curves invite visitors on a journey of discovery of what lies around the bend. The natural, flowing shape of a curved walkway also evokes a feeling of relaxation. A small garden can be made to appear larger by hiding the end of a curved path behind a structure or plants. To emphasize a path's organic shape grow a variety of plants along its edge and allow them to spill over onto the path.

STEPS

  • Square Corners
  • Square corners are standard with all of our projects.
  • Radius (Rounded) Corners, Wedding Cake
  • In some instances, rounded corners are a must for a project to fit within a space. However, some of our clients choose radius corners for their steps for aesthetics.

 

SIZE

DRIVEWAYS

Driveway lengths:

Generally plan your driveways using 18-20 feet of length for each car or truck. Allow 22-24 feet for full size pickups with extended cabs and oversized mini-vans. If at all possible, allow three to five feet of  “walk around” room at the bottom of the driveway.

Driveway widths:

For each vehicle, plan a minimum of 10 feet of width. If space allows, use wider spacing for easier walk-about space between vehicles, the driveway, and the sidewalk, and the vehicles and the garage or house. Picture kids removing their bicycle from the garage and allow enough space between vehicles to avoid a scratched car.

  • Single Driveway: 20x10 minimum. Minimum width 10 feet, preferred 12 feet to allow car doors to open and step onto pavement
  • Double Driveway: 20x20 minimum, 20x24 is preferred
  • Triple Driveway: 20x30 minimum

Emergency and delivery vehicle access may also be a consideration in the design of a new driveway, especially on longer driveways.

PATIOS

Step 2

CHOOSE YOUR FINISH

Finish Options

Concrete is known as a versatile construction material that is used worldwide for many residential, commercial, and industrial applications. What makes this material unique is that it carries strength on the inside and displays beauty on the outside. The concrete’s exterior appearance is modified through the use of various products or techniques.

 

Broom Finish - Standard

A broom finish can be applied to make concrete surfaces slip-resistant. This is done after placement, leveling, and troweling of concrete. Once a smooth surface is created, a broom is dragged across the surface of the concrete to create small ridges. This finish provides traction control, particularly when the concrete surface is wet. Concrete surfaces without a broom finish tend to be slippery and can be dangerous when wet. A picture frame border is a popular upgrade to this type of finish.

 

Slick Troweled - Standard on floors and covered porches

Slick troweled concrete is created by either a steel hand trowel or trowel machine used by a cement mason to close the exposed surface of the concrete.  Typically, slick troweled concrete can be found in a garage, basement, or warehouse floors and covered front porches. Slick troweled concrete is a good choice for garages and porches because it is easy to clean.

More labor and time are required to produce a slick troweled concrete finish since it takes time for the concrete to harden enough for the cement finisher to walk or kneel on and to trowel the surface. When the concrete becomes hard enough to stand or kneel on – there is a limited window of time the finisher has to ‘close the surface’ before the concrete hardens beyond being able to be worked.


Mag
Swirl

In our opinion, a Mag Swirl finish is one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of concrete finish. There is a tremendous amount of skill and craftsmanship needed to execute this type of finish. Mag Swirl is generated by smearing the concrete surface in a uniformly overlapping circular pattern beginning at the last round of floating by moving the trowel in swirls or circles. There are several patterns or designs available with this finish as the depth and shape of swirl finish can be changed as per your individual preferences. 

This type of finish is favored for outdoor applications because not only does it add visual appeal to the surface, but it also provides more grip than a smooth surface finish, especially in wet conditions. Common Mag Swirl finish applications include driveways, patios, and sidewalks.A picture frame border is a popular upgrade to this type of finish.

Exposed Aggregate Finish

Once commonly found in sidewalks of old cities, an exposed finish is created by washing the top layer of concrete away, which exposes the edges of the natural stone aggregates that are mixed into the concrete. This provides an attractive and slip-resistant finish.

In addition to the use of the normal concrete materials (cement, sand, gravel, and water), other materials may be added into the mix to provide exposed finishes with unique looks. Examples are rose quartz, limestone, dark gray or black basalt, red or blue granite, and even colored glass or seashells. The key with any of these additives is to avoid materials containing iron, which can stain the concrete. It’s also important to provide a high-quality seal after concrete curing in order to protect the surface.

Common Missouri Aggregate Rock Options:

  • Old Monroe Torpedo - A multi-colored 3/8”gravel from the Old Monroe Deposit, located in Old Monroe, Missouri.
  • Iowa Glacial
  • Illinois Glacial
  • Meramec Torpedo - Located at approximately the 14 mile mark of the Meramec River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, this alluvial deposit consists of about half sand and half gravel, and is of glacial origin. Color ranges from light grey to buff to yellow and brown. The larger natural aggregate shape is rounded and smooth.


Stamped
Concrete

Concrete stamps are a common method of texturing concrete. These stamps are comprised of panels with inlaid designs, which are placed on concrete while it is still curing. Designs may consist of brick, stone, wood, or other decorative patterns to provide the desired look, sometimes mimicking other common building materials, but retaining the strength and durability of concrete. Generally stamped concrete is colored by adding color pigments to the concrete mix in addition to a secondary color (release) pigment that is added during stamping. Regular sealing of this type of finish helps longevity of the color. 

Stamp Options:

  • Stamp Pattern Selection

         Our Favorite Patterns:

Stamp Options:

  • Stamp Border Pattern Selection

Step 3

CHOOSE YOUR OPTIONS

Color Options

  • Color Selection (For Stamped Concrete)

          Our Favorite Colors: Brick Red, Coral Buff, Gull Gray, Sienna, Soapstone

  • Release Color Selection (For Stamped Concrete)

  • Color Sealer Selection (For Broom Finished or Textured Concrete)

 

  • Acid Stain Color Selection (For Slick Finished Floors)

 

Sealer Options

 

Decorative Saw Cutting Options:

These decorative saw cutting patterns are not only functional in serving as control joints to help prevent cracks, they are also a versatile option to produce a truly custom project. 

All patterns are available in 3-6 foot grids.


Border Options:

 

Fire Pit Options (with patios):

We offer three-block fire pit options through our local vendor, Midwest Block & Brick: