We have an IG concrete pool with an existing concrete deck surrounding the pool. It is about three to four feet wide and goes around the entire pool, basically the width of a city sidewalk. Enough to walk on but not enough for a lounge chair. My husband, who is fairly handy, built me a beautiful gazebo by the pool last year, so I promptly went out in the fall and purchased outdoor sofas on clearance for this summer. When spring arrived, I began bothering him to expand the decking on the left side of the pool (currently we have grass outside the concrete deck).
The plan was for my husband to pour a concrete pad under the gazebo with a small area past the gazebo for lounge chairs. My husband rented a bobcat to excavate 8 inches of dirt under the gazebo and had a grand old time with it, and decide to expand the project to go from the gazebo to the entrance gate of the pool fence. Once that was excavated, he realized it he might have bitten off more than he could chew, so we are getting estimates from the pros for stamped concrete and pavers.
My question is, I do not want the pool area to look like a concrete jungle, so pouring plain concrete for that large of an area is not very appealing. We live a rural, wooded area with lush woods and I would like to keep it kind of natural looking if I can. I would like to blend the new decking with the existing concrete, which is in great shape and has not cracked in the thirty or so years the pool has been there, so I figure if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know it will never be perfectly matched, but I would like it blend as much as possible. We are looking at about 450 sq feet total of decking space to finish, but the area under the gazebo (approx 200 sq ft) is the top priority and we can do the project in stages. Our budget for the project is $5000 for this year.
Here is the area (excuse the mess, we had just opened): We are looking to cover from just past the left end of the gazebo to the gate at the far right). Eventually we will get rid of all the rest of the grass and replace with river rock or stone, but this excavated area will be the only additional decking. Maybe stain the existing concrete as well.
Edited to add second pic. This is from when we first moved in a few years ago but it's a better view of the area we are planning to cover, from trash can at bottom right to just past gazebo on upper left.
So we can get pavers in something like this (Belgard Lafitt or Techno Block Blu):
Or stamped concrete in a similar gray block pattern. We haven't picked anything but it would be something like this, I imagine.
I did some googling about matching new decking to existing and there didn't seem to be much information about it. Anyone have any experience they can share?
There isn't any plumbing or electric in this area, so no concerns about tearing up concrete in the future. We are located in SE PA. We were quoted $5k to do the whole area in stamped concrete and about $3k for pavers under the gazebo and stone to fill in my husband's gigantic hole (we would cover with river rock and do pavers over the rest of the area in a year or two. The estimates for the whole area in pavers were $7k. Which seemed high to me, since we liked the cheaper, $4 sq ft pavers and the area is already excavated for them.
I kind of like the variation of and look of the pavers but they are more expensive and I am worried about weeds growing in the cracks. I know they have the special sand and all that, but still. Stamped concrete is so easy, we would come in on budget and be all done but I am worried about all that concrete taking over the yard.