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if i had the choice in patio treatments, there is concrete, there is wood, there is flagstones, there is bricking, there are steping stones, there is gravel...... i would chose either the concrete or the wood. yes there is up keep on them, yes there is 'decay' of them. but, so do the rest of the treatments including a yard of grass, gravel or stone. and i agree with both men on the concrete so much depends on the experience and expertise of the ones doing the work AND the upkeep that goes into it.
my all time first choice regardless of upkeep, is wood, followed by concrete.
Also, the black counters are very dark and depressing in a kitchen. Add the horrid black appliances and your kitchen becomes a dungeon. Stainless steel appliances are also falling out of favor since people are finding out they leave finger marks and scratch. Better left to the sink.
I agree with the previous comments.
As a concrete finisher for 12 years, I think I might know. The only concrete that cracks, has been improperly installed. Just look to massive concrete structures like dams, buildings, bridges, and roads. A concrete gains strength with age up to about 100 years!
Barbra needs to stick with what she knows and hold comment about what she does not.
There is no such thing as an expert in any field. An authority maybe but, never an expert. When someone claims to be an expert in anything, run away quickly. Berne Madoff was considered an investment expert. Ironic isn't it?