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Formed Concrete Balconies are a Hit with Golf Enthusiasts Merritt Residence, Carmel, Indiana

In 1987, Dan Mattingly was an enterprising young contractor using his pickup truck to carry leftover concrete from the local ready-mix plant to his first decorative concrete jobs in the Indianapolis area. Twenty-seven years later, Mattingly Concrete is a go-to company for challenging jobs in Central Indiana. “We specialize in high-end residential decorative restoration,” says Dan’s son Will Mattingly, who now oversees the company’s day-to-day operation. “Ninety-nine percent of the work we do is fully tearing out and replacing decorative concrete without making too big of a mess or destroying everything around it. Our crew takes a great amount of pride in this work. Without a crew of this caliber, these jobs would not be possible.”

Formed Concrete Balconies for House

In 2012, Mattingly Concrete took on the challenge of helping remodel a residence with a view of the 13th hole on Carmel’s Crooked Stick Golf Club course. “That particular project required an outfit that knew how to work around existing spaces and landscaping,” Mattingly says. “They had demolished part of the house and were bringing it back to its former glory.”

Stamped concrete deck slate pattern Will Mattingly stamps the deck with a slate finish. Photos courtesy of Will Mattingly
Will Mattingly stamps the deck with a slate finish. Photos courtesy of Will Mattingly

Nothing was small about this project. “The project was in its third year and had been through two builders,” Mattingly says. Now there was a deadline: The owner wanted the home to be ready to entertain VIP guests for the 2012 BMW Championship golf tournament at Crooked Stick.

Over a nine-month period, Mattingly Concrete poured “a few hundred yards of concrete,” most of it stamped, including foundations, seven patios, five sets of steps, a pool deck, two driveway aprons, garage aprons, 2,000 lineal feet of driveway borders and two showpiece balconies.

“They wanted to make the balconies look like a big piece of rock suspended over their pool area and another one over the patio,” Mattingly says. “They wanted the entire surface and the edges to be stamped.”

After steel columns were installed to support the balconies, Mattingly’s crew erected scaffolding and then built the forms on top of the columns. “The way it was formed was quite an undertaking as far as working around other people went,” Mattingly says. “An engineer helped design it and how the load was going to be carried, but we ended up making most of the critical decisions as far as how the formwork would hold.”

After supporting joists were installed by the framers building the house, Mattingly’s crew braced the structure and installed the formwork. “To make it lightweight, we blocked out the middle of it and filled it with 2-inch polystyrene foam, which gave it a beam effect, with a lot of rebar in those areas.”

Polystyrene blocks for concrete deck forms
Polystyrene foam blocks, placed in forms
to create a lightweight beamed deck.

The mix was a six-bag mix called a reverse-weight stamp mix. “It switches the ratio of sand to gravel and adds a few other things that enable an easier finish and more uniform stamping,” Mattingly says.

The balconies were poured in August. “In Indiana, you get up to 100 percent humidity and 90 to 100 degrees during the day,” Mattingly says. “Luckily, the homeowner was OK with our starting at four or five in the morning for several weeks in a row.”

The mix included integral color, which accelerated the set time. “We did both of the balconies in one pour. One balcony was 11 or 12 yards, and one was 9 1/2, so there was a little bit of jumping around going on.”

The forms were constructed so that the sides could be taken off the day of the pour. “We had a form liner with a chiseled edge, and we took the forms off and used a plastic bag to powder the edges with Perma-Cast Storm Gray colored release. That gives it a softer surface.”

After the balconies were poured, Mattingly’s crew finished the balconies by saw-cutting control joints and applying sealer. The whole process, from form construction to finishing, took four or five days. Afterward, the steel columns were sheathed in limestone, limestone trim was added, and lighting and wrought iron handrails with limestone piers were installed.

The last few weeks of construction involved seven-day weeks and a ballet of tradespeople working around one another in an effort to get the home ready for the golf tournament. But everything came together, and the homeowner and his friends got to watch Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy take home one of golf’s biggest rewards, the BMW Championship’s $1.4 million first-place prize.

Pouring a concrete balcony and stamping the concrete on the second floor.
The balcony after the pour.

Project at a Glance
Home: Merritt Residence, Carmel, Indiana
Decorative concrete contractor: Mattingly Concrete Inc., Carmel, Indiana
General contractor: Morken Construction Inc., Fort Wayne, Indiana
Design and project management: Mattingly Concrete personnel were led by Scott Brehm (formwork), Bruce Van (demolition), and Will Mattingly (jobsite foreman)
Project description: Among other decorative concrete elements, Mattingly Concrete created two second-floor stamped concrete balconies.
Products used: Marshalltown Uni-Mix Integral Concrete Colorant in Gull Gray; Marshalltown Perma-Cast powdered release in Storm Gray; Butterfield Color Italian slate stamps, cobblestone stamps, chiseled-edge form liners and heavy stone texture skins.
Challenges: Concrete had to be poured and stamped on days with 90-degree heat and 100 percent humidity. A tight construction schedule meant working around other contractors.