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Discussion Starter #1
I built myself a garage/shop/mancave and I'm looking for ideas for out front other than conventional concrete

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Asphalt four feet wide pitched away from garage. Removable metal grates 2 ' x 3' in front of door. 1' x 8' in front of each garage door. Then hard pack or ledge pack for driveway and walkway over heavy duty weed block.
 

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They can do some really neat stuff with stampcrete these days. My boss had his parking pad in front of his garage done with a really low profile worn wood plank pattern. And I believe it was even dyed to match his trim work. It’s freaking sweet. Nice garage!
 

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they can also do neat stuff with pavement, making it look like bricks and or different designs in it
I like the idea of gates out in front,
have to ask yourself , how pretty do you want it, or how durable?
and how do you plan to move snow off it
plow, snow blower, shovel?

what ever you do, I strongly suggest doing a very good BASE, so it doesn';t shift., lift or crack what ever you put down from freeze thaw/frost lines!

up my way many hire the cheapest big, and get this base or NONE at all, and then a winter to 2 pass and things lift, crack and just end up re doing, spending a LOT more $$ than if done right the first time!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
sweet looking building.
Do you run studs?
Are you worried about stud lines?
My brother has a prestudded track but we have dollies to protect the concrete


Thanks for the ideas
 

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Exposed agg concrete FTW. Stamped is nice to look at, but is very expensive and very high maintinance. Exposed actually looks better as it ages.Also alot more durable, as its all stone on top.
 

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No way would i want a stamped driveway with the way concrete spall''s nowadays. you never know what you're going to get from the plants either. lot's of chert in the aggregate around here too. then add in salt coming off your vehicles, there is a good chance that driveway will look like shit in a few years. I ask some of the best finishers around here what they think of stamped and most do not recommend it unless its a covered patio or well maintained foot only area. Winters like last year were hell on concrete. I have seen some exposed aggregate drives that still lokked good after many years, most around here just do a border.
 

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Concrete is nice, but there is a saying. Concrete that is cracked, or concrete that will crack. Plan on that fact if going concrete. I would not waste the money on stamped concrete for a cold climate. It just doesn't hold up as well.
We have a couple of different color poured concrete slabs. They look better than standard concrete. There are trade offs though. Cost is a little higher from the plant. It is also not a quick patch job if you need one down the road.
BTW, nice looking building.
 

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A nice roller stamp with charcoal colored release, have done quite a few over the years, mainly patio stuff decorative, but would compliment your building colors very nicely! Its just a light pattern that after you pour and float you add the release so the roller doesn't stick to the concrete and the color of the release stays in. Easy to work with cause the roller goes on the float handles so you can reach everything from outside the slab. You could get way more technical if you wanted, but this is just a simple one color idea.
 

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Pea gravel, river rock or base gravel #3/clean stone is what i am going for for. Easier to maintain in the arctic climate than cracked contrete/asphalt.
 

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It depends on what you plan on doing with it during the winter. Are you going to plow it, snowblow it or shovel it? If you don't get a solid freeze before it snows the any of the above become a major pain in the butt. I went with asphalt for mine and will never go back to a dirt driveway.
 

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Dollies on anything stamped will be a pita. Blacktop is great provided the base is done properly. And concrete in a driveway should really be a minimum of 6" thick (lot of people go with 4") with some good mesh or even small bar. And seal coating concrete helps with protecting it as well as letting the sun do it's magic to thaw things out.
 
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