Hamilton Residence New Construction Indoor Pool
This is a project we did in 2006 in Crete, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. The homeowner called us after a disastrous pool deck installation by the pool company. Above left, you can see how the decorative finish is totally unappealing, and the cement overlay is delaminating. We had no choice but to tear out that installation and redo it. Our installation appears above right.
We began by using a propane-fueled scarifier - because the project was indoors and the power requirements too high for home electricity - with attached dust collector (above left) to remove the overlay and get back down to sound concrete. We then ground the concrete smooth (above right) to remove the ridges left by the carbide teeth of the scarifier.
Next, we troweled down a new cement overlay and then stamped it, first, with an Italian slate texture chosen by the homeowner and, subsequently, with an ivy leaf border. You can see the new, patterned cement above left. With the pattern in place, and surface now stable, we acid-stained the body of the cement light brown, and the ivy pattern a shade of olive.
Here is the staining work from another perspective. Above left, you can see that we stained the ivy first by hand, and then (above right) stained the entire surface light brown. We decided this would be the best approach so as not to damage the surface while working on the ivy staining, and to best allow the olive color of the ivy to show through.
Above are two more before and after photos, which perhaps illustrate best why you should never allow the company that builds and installs your pool to also do the decorative finish work: it is not their specialty or strong suit; and after all the construction, they will just be eager to get out there. By contrast, we specialize in this work, and we do not cut corners.
The last four photos show the new, finished pool deck after re-opening the pool and furnishing the deck. The customers were ecstatic with the result, and had a big party shortly after we finished.
The icing on the cake for this project was that, as a member of the American Society of Concrete Contractors' (ASCC) Decorative Concrete Council (DCC), we wrote an expert letter on behalf of the homeowners for their arbitration case, which resulted in them getting a full refund from the pool company.
The project also won first place in Concrete Decor Magazine's 2006 Concrete Restoration contest, which you can read about here.