Hi and Happy Holidays!
My husband and I are considering getting some work done to spruice up
the hard surfaces around our house in Santa Clarita, CA. We like the
look and options of stamped concrete. One of the contractors offered
concrete overlay that's about 1/4" thick, rather than removing the
existing concrete and repouring, and then applying the stamped concrete
design. We were wondering if that is a good idea because we are
concerned about the durability of the thin overlay. This project would
involve our driveway, walk way to the front door with some steps, the
side of the house as well as part of the back yard. Assuming that it's
properly applied, is the overlay going to last as long as fresh poured
stamped concrete? Is it going to save us money? I would imagine there
would be some big cost savings going with the overlay, like not having
to rip out the existing concrete, haul it away and repour it all. And
is it going to save us money in the long run? Or will it look nice for
a few years and then start cracking and pealing and will we end up just
redoing the whole work from scratch?
Another question: the contractor that has shown us a portfolio of some
of his work that we like the best has no license, but he seems to have
the magic in his hands because the work looks beautiful and he sounds
like he really knows what he's talking about. Is it foolish to hire
someone without a license just because you have a good feeling about
him and his work? He's also a neighbor, and he just bought his house
in our neighborhood, so he probably won't go far for a while if we have
problems. We are thinking about hiring him for a short job to do
something else (replace a broken jacuzzi gas line under concrete and
replace a cracked driveway section), so we can always evaluate him
based on that job before we decide to go with him for the big job.
We would appreciate some advice from home owners who have done the
overlay, especially a while ago (any problems?) and from the pros.
Thank you very much!