Is the quality of my imprinted concrete “normal”?

Discussion in 'Building' started by lozcozard, 8 Nov 2021.

  1. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    I was inspired by a neighbours drive to get an imprinted concrete drive. I chose a company that had really good testimonials and reviews, the highest rated on Google by far, and spoke to another neighbour who used the company and said they are really happy with the work.

    it’s ended up not looking as good as my neighbours. I do have a much larger area and lighter grey colour and larger prints than theirs so perhaps my imperfections stand out more.

    the issues I have are:
    • Lighter patches, it’s not all a uniform colour, see attached image
    • Footprints from some boy who walked all over it even though we put tape up to prevent entry
    • curved lines where they used a long edge to flatten the surface - the other neighbours installer had a long handle on the edge and pulled it straight across the whole drive rather than curve it

    Does anyone with experience think I’ve not had a good service, it really should be better quality? I feel really disappointed it’s not perfect and doesn’t look as good like my neighbours. I feel that I’m stuck with it as it’s concrete and I’ll just have to accept it get used to it?

    Thanks

    Edit: Have put more detail into how I chose the company seen as someone has an issue choosing a company based on reviews!
     

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    Last edited: 8 Nov 2021
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  3. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Oh dear.
     
  4. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    I would have thought that the colour differences are normal, the swirls perhaps not normal as they make it look even more artificial than it otherwise would, and definitely no footprints from the installers - but if some other randomer walked on it after the job is finished, that's not the installers fault.
     
  5. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    No the footprints are not the installers, its a young lad who came with flyers. Although the installer could have setup a sign, or more tape, rather than 1 strip of tape to stop that. I think the footprints I have to live with. But the other things like swirls and colour is dissapointing. You could say the swirls are part of the pattern, thats what the installer said, but its not the pattern itself, you can just convince yourself it is, so the swirls are not that bad. Its just my neighbour doesnt have any. I think the colour differences are the worse. My neighbour (much smaller drive though) seems to be a lovely consistent colour, it just all looks perfect whereas mine has imperfections.

    I am assuming there is nothing we can do? Although there are companies that say they can change colour and repair, so I wonder if it can have a re-colour to make it all consistent. If a lot of imprinted drives end up like this then I guess thats fine too, I can live with it. Its only because I see another than does not have the issues I think mine didnt have to.

    What does one do in a situation like this? You spend thousands on it, and then think it could have been a much better finish, so do I have to just accept that as it cant be altered, or can it be, and I should get him to improve it?
     
  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    One of our neighbours had that done, but they used a very fancy, very complicated, arty pattern including a compass rose on it (they got that several degrees out). It looks to be a perfectly consistent in colour and the only marks in the surface are the deliberate ones.

    You cannot reasonably blame the installers, for someone walking on it before it set.
     
  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It's can't be altered or improved, only replaced.

    The issue is what did you pay for? Have you got copies of specific designs or photos that you chose, if so these become part of your contract (even if there was no written agreement). Fundamentally, if you had a specific photo and said something like "I want this", and that photo does not have swirls, and is all one colour, then the product is not what you agreed. It may be that what you thought you were getting and what the contractor thought he was providing are two different things

    Otherwise you will need to rely on what is "normal" or custom and practice, and for this you will need expert advice. But a good place to start would be the rep of the company that sells the imprinted concrete dyes and patterns. Otherwise other photo's or brochures of the end results. Are there any industry or Association guides? Imprinted concrete paving

    Colour shades are natural in all building materials. If you had concrete or granite slabs (which by the photos, that design is intended to imitate) then those would have different shades. So unless you asked for a single (unnatural) colour then it can be argued that that is the designed effect.

    So whether you accept it, or accept it and have some money refunded, or don't like it at all and need it replaced is what you need to decide. And if you choose replacement, and the contractor is not amenable to this, then you will need to rely on your agreement..

    The footprints are more difficult. Again it comes down to what what agreed. Perhaps a good contractor would be expected to fence the area off, but then how do people get to your house? Perhaps the contractor expected you to manage access?
     
  8. lozcozard

    lozcozard

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    Thanks woody, sounds like good advice. I asked it to be like the attached image (removed the persons house hence the cut out). It does have lighter shades, hard to tell if its the same kind. Theirs looks like its throughout and uniform, whereas mine I have a large patchy area, then an area with not much, so it stands out more.I cant see any curves from the straight edge on theirs.

    I wonder if its "blooming" that I read up on, when water gets trapped under the sealant. I am sure it wasn't as bad as it is now when they finished.
     

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  10. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    To be honest, it's a bloody drive.
    You're parking a car on it, it isn't a living room carpet.

    It looks ok to me.

    I have 60 year old concrete with a strip of tarmac down the centre where there was grass once upon a time.
    neighbours spend thousands on fancy drives only to park on them.
    I don't see the point
     
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  11. sxturbo

    sxturbo

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    it does make a big difference to the look on the front of the house though.

    i've got a concrete drive thats slowly crumbing away, i cant wait until i can get round to digging it up and replacing it to smarten up the front of the house
     
  12. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    Get the point regarding functionality vs. aesthetics, but if/when you sell up then your drive versus somebody else's lovely tarmac, brick-edged drive might be part of the consideration when making an offer!

    That said, the OP's driveway really does look fine!
     
  13. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Lower your expectations of what you are paying for and what you get for your money, you mean?

    It's like when I ordered this for Mrs W and a bit of sexy time. Yeah I suppose it works as we now have Asbestos Removal Night a couple of times a year :cautious:

    upload_2021-11-8_15-15-36.png
     
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  14. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    I'm so disappointed!
    Google Lens says that is NOT Mrs W! :D
     
  15. conny

    conny

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    In either of the photo's! :whistle:
     
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