2 Important Points to Consider Before Starting a Decorative Concrete Feature Project in Your Outdoor Living Space

Concrete has always been a popular choice for use in the building industry. It's tough, versatile and cost effective. In recent years, concrete has graduated from being a merely structural material and is being used to create contemporary and attractive features in homes and gardens.

A great way to use concrete in your home's outdoor living space is to create a permanent, functional feature. This may be an outdoor dining table, a wood fired BBQ or an outdoor seating area. These are made by pouring concrete into timber formwork which acts like a large mould. You can do this yourself if you're experienced in woodwork, or you can hire a carpenter to build it for you.

Once you've decided on the size, shape and location of your feature and prepared the form work, you can add the concrete. Before you do this, here are two important points to consider before you begin the pouring process.

1. Opt for a mini mix concrete delivery

These concrete projects don't require the large amounts of concrete that structural work does, so it's best to order your concrete through a company that provides mini mix deliveries. It can be ordered to exactly suit the volume of concrete you'll need for your project and then pumped directly into the formwork.

For a small scale project like this, you may be tempted to mix up your own concrete in a backyard cement mixer. While this is possible to do, it can also be fraught with problems. Even a small project will require more than one load from a backyard mixer and if the different mixes aren't identical, you may end up with a feature with inconsistent colour, texture and hardness.

2. Decide on decorative elements

There are many additives that you can add to concrete to give a decorative and unique look. Concrete paint or coloured resins can be added after the concrete has set, but other additives need to be included in the mixing process.

Coloured aggregate like glass chips, river stones or quartz pieces can be added to your concrete mix and then exposed with a light sanding afterward. A concrete colourant can give your concrete feature a vibrant and personal look and can also be used to recreate the look of natural stone such as marble, granite and slate.

Before you start your concrete feature, it's a good idea to contact your local concrete supplier. They can help you decide on the best concrete options for the job and give you accurate costings for the volume of concrete you require plus any decorative additives.