Stamped Concrete

Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been in business?
We have been incorporated in the state of Pennsylvania since 2001.
Are you insured?
Yes. We maintain substantial levels of general liability, automobile and workers' compensation insurance at all times.
How many people do you employ?
Between 20 and 30 depending on the time of year
How many crews do you have?
We have many crews, however each crew has their specific function. As a company grows the one thing that you need to watch for is the quality. Rule of thumb is as the company increases the quality decreases. With our system that is never an issue. A typical installation of a stamped concrete patio requires multiple functions and steps. We assign each step to a specific crew:
  • Excavation Crew — First crew on the job site. Responsible for digging and removal of ground, elevation grade, pitch and stone base. This crew also places boulders for designs that require them, digs foundations for sitting walls, and piers for structures such as pergolas, roofs, etc., if required.
  • Masonry Crew — If your project includes masonry sitting walls or a foundation, then the next crew you will have on site will be our masonry crew. This crew includes an experienced mason and an assistant who will build up the sitting walls or the walls of your foundation work with cinder block. This block will then be lathed and scratch coated after it has been built up to height. The veneer stone will not be applied until all the flat work is completed, towards the end of your project.
  • Form Crew — Usually on the job site an hour behind the excavation crew, this crew forms and pours steps.
  • Pour Crews — Does all pouring of concrete and stamping.
  • Detail Crews — Our detail crews remove forms, handle final coloring details and clean the site.
  • Seal Crew — Approximately 5-7 days after concrete work has been completed, your project will be sealed to protect the finish and to enhance the colors.
  • Service Crew — Take care of all reseals and any service calls.
Who will supervise the crews?
The project manager or owner is involved in the entire process. You will have once contact person and daily communication throughout the entire process.
How long will the process take?
Every project will vary, depending on the complexity, just a patio will take 7-10 days. Projects that involve pool installation, decks, gazebos, boulders and landscaping will vary.
Will my concrete crack?
Concrete does crack. However, your concrete will be saw cut to control cracking. Occasionally, some hairline cracking outside the control joints does occur. This is totally normal and does not affect the integrity of your concrete.
How does stamped concrete fare in the the winter?
Even the coldest, snowiest winters do not pose a problem. Canada is home to a significant percentage of the world's stamped concrete installations.
Is stamped concrete slippery when wet?
In the process of applying the sealer to the concrete, we add a non-slip additive directly to the can of sealer. This product stays suspended in the sealer and then is rolled on the concrete. The anti-skid product does not alter the beauty of the finished product and is highly effective in eliminating slipperiness. This is the standard process for all of our exterior applications.
Where are you located? Do you have a showroom?
We are located in East Greenville, PA. Our showroom is being built in Spring of 2015 and will be open by appointmentt only.
What areas do you cover?
For the residential market we service Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, Bucks and Berks. See our coverage area list.
What is your specialty?
In the decorative concrete industry there is a lot more involved than just forming and pouring a pad. We specialize in working with you on design ideas, layout, putting the correctly sized patio with the appropriate size house, step options, etc.. The new home market gives you and us the option to create what we can imagine. Our specialty is a new home and someone that wants ideas on what they can do. We work with your budget and advise accordingly. Every job is custom to that house or the homeowners needs.
Do you have a minimum fee or job size?
Yes. We do have minimum fees depending on what service we are doing for you. Our minimum fee for flat-work decorative concrete is $8,000.
Do you charge for estimates?
No. Estimates are free. Keep in mind that there is so much more to decorative concrete than the price.
Can I get a price over the phone?
If you are looking for general budget ideas, you can figure approximately $12-$16 per square foot, plus steps if needed. However, there are so many factors that need to be looked at that will affect the job cost. Some of those factors are: access to the site, soil type, thickness of stone base, downspouts, reinforcement, thickness of concrete, strength of concrete, number of steps, step design reinforcement of steps, time of year, other jobs in the area or neighborhood, backfill when complete, see area when complete, type of sealer used when complete, warranty, electrical conduit under pad, multiple patterns on same pad, border, raised pad and footed pad are just to name a few. Keep in mind; this is an investment into your property that you will get back when you sell your home in the future. This is not a price item. A patio that is $1,500 more now, may be $6,000 cheaper 10 years from now when you need to replace because corners were cut on the installation process.
What kind of maintenance is necessary?
We recommend that stamped concrete is re-sealed every 3-5 years. You can easily do this yourself, or we can provide the service for you. The process is simple:
  1. Wash the area, remove all dirt. You can do this with a power washer or hose and a stiff bristle broom with dish soap
  2. Once the area is totally dry, (typically a few hours) add the anti-skid additive to the sealer and roll on with a paint roller. That's all.
For more detailed maintenance instructions, see Care & Maintenance
Why choose Finishing Edge for my stamped concrete patio?
You can trust the improvement to Finishing Edge, Inc.. We are at the World of Concrete and other contractor's trade shows learning the latest trends, market news and techniques. We are not locked into certain manufacturer brands. As an independent stamped concrete contractor, we have the flexibility to choose the best manufacturer for a slate pattern, the best stamp for a rock pattern, etc.. Being part of a group where you must buy all stamps through the same supplier is like a variety box of chocolate...there is one great one and the rest are OK.
Should we try to match the color with the house?
This is a personal preference. We highly recommend using earth tone colors. Don't loose focus of the goal; "Create the natural look of brick, stone, slate or wood." Some people have a red door and want the patio to match. They also want a slate pattern. The problem is that slate is not red. Therefore, no matter what we do the patio looks bad and the red gets older after a few months. If it is a slate pattern, do you want gray, tan or brown? Or a mix of all three? A mix of all 3 looks the best and most natural
What is the most popular pattern?
Slate patterns are by far the most popular patter for patios. Over 95% of our patio installations are slate patterns. Why? Several reasons:
  1. Extremely realistic. Using multiple coloring effects, great realism is achieved.
  2. Shallow pattern. The impressions are mild. With this pattern you do not have to worry about the table wobbling.
  3. The natural colors of slate are earth tones and usually go with any house.
  4. Not a busy pattern that you will get tired of. We have 2 different size slate patterns based on your liking and to fit the appropriate size patio.
I do not want a square patio. Is it going to cost more?
No. The shape of the patio will not affect the price. We take pride in smooth rounded curves. Finishing Edge, Inc. has the best forming material using plastic forms and composite wood that flexes for smooth curves.
Once the concrete is poured, what if I do not like the color?
As long as it has not been sealed we can alter the color accents and highlights. A day or two after the concrete has been poured, our detail crew will arrive to saw cut joints, chisel, wash off the release agent and do accent colors. At this time you can control the darkness and the color of the accent colors. The base color can not be altered; however the accents are the main appearance. As we accent with other color, if you don't like, we wash it off!! Very few contractors give you this flexibility.
Are you going to tear my yard up?
Yes. Don't worry, machines are used to dig, dump trucks haul away ground and bring in stone. Cement truck is needed for the concrete. After patio completion we will backfill, grade and seed.
How thick is the concrete?
For residential work, typical patio or sidewalk is 4". For driveway, 6" is recommended.
How deep do you dig?
The stone base should be the same thickness as the concrete. So a patio will have 4" concrete and 4" of stone base for a total of 8". Driveways 12".
Do I need a permit for a concrete patio?
Depends on where you live. In most cases the answer is yes. We suggest you call your township, city or municipality to be sure. Obtaining a permit is the responsibility of the homeowner, unless made part of your contract.
What about underground wires?
We are required to call PA once call prior to construction. They will mark all public utilities. We are responsible if we hit any of these. If we hit a private utility and you told us about them then we will assume responsibility. If we are not informed about a private utility, then we can not be responsible. Private utilities include: invisible dog fence, landscape lights, well line, septic tank lines, sprinkler system, etc..
How will water flow off the concrete?
The stamped concrete will have a minimum pitch of ¼" per ft.. You will never feel this when walking on it, however it is essential.
How many steps will I need?
Measure from the door to the desired patio height (usually 2" - 6" below siding level). Divide by 6" (each step riser) each step tread should be 12" deep. You can eliminate a step by not having a landing the same height as the door. Refer to our design page for more detailed information.
Once the patio is poured, how long should I stay off?
Keep off the patio until the day after it has been sealed. Once the pad is poured there are still several steps that need to be taken. During these steps the pad must stay clean and free of footprints.
How many patios do you install per year?
In 2012 we installed over 160 patios in addition to our other work.
What is the average cost of a stamped concrete patio?
In 2014 the average patio cost was $18,105.00. This would include minimum additional features, such as sitting walls, fire pits, lighting, etc.
What is a good size patio?
Every family's needs will differ. The average size patio is 700 sq. feet. The size of the patio should stay proportionate to the size of the house.
When is the best time to install a stamped concrete patio?
Temperatures should be above freezing.
We just had a house built, I am tired of the mud, can we install now?
Let the ground settle for a minimum of 3 months from the time they backfilled the foundation. However now may be the time to schedule the job.
From the time I sign a contract with Finishing Edge, Inc. to install time, how long must I wait?
Great question. It greatly depends on time of year. Everybody want a patio June 1st. The problem is most wait until April to call. By then, June 1st never happens. We typically work with an 8-16 week back log. We take pride in our work and pay attention to detail. Stamped concrete can look really bad, or it can look really good. The difference is taking all the necessary steps and not skipping any. For installs prior to June 1st, call no later than mid-March.
Can I use salt in the winter?
No! No! No! That is like Kryptonite to Superman. Use sand only. Remove snow with a plastic shovel or snow blower that does not have metal blades. Never use an ice pick to chip away ice.

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