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San Clemente Journal

“CURB APPEAL” What’s New?

Nov 01, 2007 05:31PM ● By Don Kindred
by Joe Ronstadt

The Standard Gray Driveway?
Drive through any neighborhood and note that most have common gray concrete driveways! In the sixties and prior, Orange County homes were built with asphalt driveways, and they were considered to be the standard, until concrete replaced them. Increasingly over the years the bar has been raised as people have opted for brick ribbons, stone ribbons, pavers, stamped concrete etc… All of which are beautiful but also very expensive and can cost as much as $15,000 per driveway.

Some reasonably priced alternatives have been catching on for the last few years, which include:
Concrete Overlay - Concrete based coatings that are colored and textured to look like real tile or stone. 
Stain and Seal - Simi transparent stains that are layered and that work with the existing shades of the concrete and then topped with a beautiful clear coating. 
Cutting in Grout Lines - Grout lines can be cut and then filled with grout to achieve the appearance of large tiles. 
Any of these options can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost of a demo and re-pour.

Architecturally speaking the goal is to break up the stark gray traditional driveway and to achieve a Courtyard sort of appearance. Installing a planter with a tree could be incorporated if desired. Most people are happily surprised to see the difference just a color change or (stain) can make. While you’re at it, you may also want to consider doing your backyard patio or pool area at the same time. The larger the area, the greater the price break will be per square foot.

The Garage Door?
Again take another look down your street, chances are most of the garage doors are the standard white metal or painted wood models. The garage door is the first thing you see and the largest architectural component of the house. A darker shade of paint will help blend it into the house however a Wood Grained Garage Door will offer real pizzazz but without flamboyant contrast.

What about a Wood Grained Garage Door?
Real Wood Garage Doors are widely considered to be a beautiful and elegant upgrade but also very expensive, as much as ($5,000 - $10,000 for 3 cars). A cost saving alternative is to refinish your existing Garage Door with a faux wood grained surface. To achieve that realistic wood grain appearance it requires highly trained and skillful individuals, proper techniques and the right products.


Don’t forget about that Front Door! 
Again the cost of replacing a painted front door can be hard to swallow. Consider refinishing it with a realistic faux wood grained effect and a beautiful satin clear coat. If you hire the right contractor, you will be happy with the results.

When investing in your home it is important to consider if it will increase your property’s value. If it is possible to achieve a substantial upgrade at a reasonable cost, it is also possible then to beat the system. For some individuals these home improvements might just be that right “Bang For The Buck.”

For more information you can contact Joseph Ronstadt at: 
949 922-9228 / /

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