Beautifying a Barn Yard

The Collins Group, Inc. (www.thecollinsgroup.org) and J Dabney Peeples Design Associates, Inc. completed an outdoor decorative concrete project in Liberty, S.C. The project revolved around the owner's "barn". The design incorporated large slabs of natural cut bluestone; however, due to budgetary restraints and the fact it was just a barn, the contractor was forced to find an alternative paving material to take the place of the bluestone slabs.

The purpose of the design was to provide an outdoor entertaining area that didn't look or feel 'suburban'. The overall feeling was to have a natural, meadow like, traditional surrounding to a barn that will be used in a non-traditional way as a lodge and entertaining space. The space is very large, so line and texture were used to break up the large expanse. A flower motif was created around the fire place to mimic the natural surroundings. This horticultural motif was continued in the concrete stamping in the outer petals of the design with native plant species grouped together in the same combinations of species as are found on site; wetland, deciduous forest and pine timberland. River stone and pebbles along with locally quarried granite and boulders added to the naturalized feeling of the site. The surrounding landscape consists of native trees and a large meadow of field turf, native grasses and clover.

The project utilized 2,150 square feet of individually formed and poured concrete slabs. Each concrete slab was hand finished and allowed to cure. The contractor spray applied Concrete Coatings Inc.'s VIVID Acid Stain in Coffee color. Once neutralized, the stained concrete was sealed twice with Concrete Coatings' Super Seal 2000.

Once sealed, polished black beach pebbles were set in a mortar bed in all of the joints. The pebbles were grouted with a black grout, cleaned, and then the entire surface was sealed twice more. Shark Grit was added to the final sealer coat to provide some skid resistance when the surface is wet.

The fire pit and drive borders were constructed out of locally quarried granite. The seat wall around the paved surface was constructed with river stones and a hand chiseled granite cap. The gravel used in the joints and surfaces in front of the bay doors was a crushed slate aggregate.

Project information submitted by Concrete Coatings Inc.

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