Get the professionals to put up the foundations

How to stay sane during your renovation

Before the renovation starts, you’re seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses because you’re so excited about living in a ‘new’ home. But reality will hit hard if you’re not prepared. Tasks that come with renovation like the heavy lifting, concrete cutting, and the noise the power tools let loose is enough to drive anyone to breaking point. That’s why we compiled this list on how to stay sane.

 

 

  • Plan A, B and C

We don’t live in a perfect world and there’s always going to be unexpected obstacles  during a renovation. This can be anything from busted pipes to uneven ground. This is going to stress you out if you’re not prepared.

Think of the worst possible scenarios, write them out and make contingency plans accordingly. Better to be over prepared than not at all.

 

  • Call the pros

Don’t attempt a DIY build unless you have the skills. You wouldn’t pour a concrete slab or erect a timber frame unless you know how to do it!

Get the professionals to put up the foundations

Get the professionals to put up the foundations

Some tasks you can do yourself but if you want to stay sane, let the professionals do theirs. You can help carry out debris, do some of the painting, and help them out by making decisions. Indecisiveness is a tradie’s worst enemy.

 

  • Make little goals

Take it room by room, week by week. Don’t stress out over the whole build, just focus on what you’re doing at that moment. That way you know you’re completing the task properly.

 

  • Stay accountable

Everyone documents progress on social media or blogging, whether it be weight loss or house renovations. The ultimate form of accountability? Reality television, but you’re not going that far.

Start blogging and show off your progress

Start blogging and show off your progress

You’re keeping yourself accountable as well as boosting your ego a little bit when showing your progress for the world to see. Before and after pictures will wow the world and you can take pride in saying ‘I did that’.

 

  • Keep your goals in view

You’ll ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?’ multiple times. Write your goals out and pin them up somewhere visible. People renovate their homes because:

  • They want to provide a better home for their family
  • They want to achieve something meaningful
  • The house is an investment/something to make money

Goals can even be an ideas board of what you want each room to look like.

 

  • Make a refuge

Find yourself a space in the house or somewhere you can decompress when the stress just gets to you. It’s natural to feel like you’re going to  to explode during the renovations at some point. The trades are late, the money is getting out of control, or the family  is just getting on your nerves. It’s just a temporary situation. Find a safe place for yourself and just breathe/read a book/have a coffee.

Coffee shop, finished room or some other place; make it yours to decompress

Coffee shop, finished room or some other place; make it yours to decompress

 

  • Do something for the trades

You’ll feel good doing something nice for others. And they’ll also appreciate the gesture. Tradies working on the renovation have laboured long and hard. They’ll get paid for it, but do something unexpected to say thank you. Have a sausage sizzle or just bring out tea and Tim Tams en masse. Things you don’t have to do, but want to, go a long way.

Hold a fancy sausage sizzle to say thank you

Hold a fancy sausage sizzle to say thank you

 

  • Be excited

You have the right to feel tired, cranky, frustrated and tired (again). But this is an exciting time because you’re building something meaningful.

 

Need more insight? Read these:

5 sure-fire ways to make sure your renovation goes to plan

10 stencilled concrete design ideas

Bedroom-4x3R

Set these in concrete before you build | Articles around the web

New home builds take commitment, patience and a clear understanding of what’s coming in terms of costs. Before you sign any dotted line, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

 

The most common building mistakes and how to avoid them by Domain

igor-ovsyannykov-219666

Be clear, be realistic and don’t be afraid to get involved. These are only some of the points that the guys at Domain highlight. Thousands of dollars are wasted on builds because future owners don’t know what they’re in for. Nor do they want to step on anyone’s toes.

 

10 mistakes to avoid when building a new home by Fresh Home

design-home-underused-rooms

This piece focuses more on home design like room placement and how to utilise lighting as best you can. Once it’s built, you can’t take anything back and it’ll cost more to remedy. The article also makes a point about not letting anyone tell you what YOU want. Unless your builder or the designer is telepathic, it’s their job do satisfy your vision for the house.

 

The hidden costs of building a new home by Home Sales

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There’s a lot more to building a new home than quotes from the trades. Legal fees, stamp duty and inclusions are just some of the extra costs that building clients aren’t aware of (if they don’t do the research).

 

How to customise an off-the-plan home by Real Estate

Kitchen-island-bench-top-2000x1500

Buyer meets display home, falls in love, but wants to have a marble benchtop instead of laminate. This, and other customisations, will cost a lot of money that the future owners can’t spare. Real Estate takes readers through the variations and how much they cost, as well as the impact they’ll have on the home overall.

 

We have more advice about home building here:

3 areas you can spruce up with concrete work

5 finishes that add value, from polished concrete to modern art

concrete

3 areas you can spruce up with concrete work

Home and office improvements need to be done from time to time and concrete work is a practical, cost-effective solution.

 

  • The garage

It’s a place to park the car, and you mightn’t see it as much else. But the neglect builds up over time until all you’re left with is a space dotted with big oil stains and dust everywhere.

Homeowners honestly don’t think too much about their garage floor, but the final effect knocks people off their feet. Resurfacing and resealing the existing concrete floor, or even decorating it with an acid stain or paint chips, gives the room a whole new look. A white garage floor will reflect the natural sunlight and brighten the space considerably.

 

  • Your kitchen

Interested buyers and visitors judge homes by two rooms: the kitchen and the bathroom. The former is the heart of the home and the majority of people spend most time there.

Polished concrete floors will modernise the area without much effort. You can even use a concrete slab as a kitchen bench. Staining it will give it a ‘marble’ effect, or you can go for an exposed aggregate finish.

To put up with general wear and tear like spills, the floor is cured and sealed before anyone’s allowed to walk on it. That way any stains can easily get cleaned.

 

  • Home exterior

Concrete work like paving and pathways gives your home ‘curb appeal’, as the real estate people say.  The work you do will last for decades and boost the resale value when the time comes. Do a stencilled path or driveway in a unique pattern. You can also ‘define’ the exterior garden beds with a concrete boarder, giving the yard a sense of order.

Applying some finishes in these areas will brighten their appearance without too much effort. The options are endless, and luckily for customers, concrete work doesn’t cost the earth. Differents areas will need different treatment, like sealing and such, but your contractor will know what to do. 

 

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polished concrete kitchen

5 finishes that add value, from polished concrete to modern art

You need to update your office, your home, or even one of your commercial properties to get ready for resale. Or you just need to renovate because the block was built 20 years ago and it’s TIME. Fenix Concreting has completed several renovation projects, both domestic and commercial, and we list here some of the five top touches that go well with your new polished concrete floor.

 

  • Polished concrete

Industrial style living and office spaces are the new vogue, just look at the Wool Stores in Teneriffe, now million dollar apartments and lofts. Rather than rip up the old floors, contractors were briefed to resurface them, creating a polished concrete look. This gives old floors a second chance at life.

There’s also ways to use polished concrete that don’t involve flooring. Customers order custom concrete benchtops in place of stone because a  cheaper price gets the same result. You can order polished concrete with aggregate through it, or even a stained finish.  

 

  • Neutral colour palette

Don’t depend on loud colours to decorate your home or business. It’ll be distracting for you and your visitors. Reds, oranges, and the like are ‘hype’ colours that rev up the brain.

Pale blues, pinks, beiges, and eggshells are great neutral options that interior designers will easily dress. They’re also good to use on a feature wall, if you insist on having a splash of paint somewhere.

 

  • Use accessories for colour

When you use a neutral palette, it means you let the accessories do the talking. With polished concrete floors, you can lay down a coloured or patterned rug. If you have furniture with grey or white fabric, invest in some cushions and throws.

Polished concrete walls in art galleries are great backdrops for the works on display. A plain backing forces the eye to focus on the art. Plus, it’s a classy touch.

 

  • Industrial-style fittings

Restaurants, galleries, and even some homes that go down the ‘industrial style’ road purchase light fittings to match the theme. Fixtures with exposed bulbs, such as ‘plumbing pipe lights’, have become increasingly popular.

 

  • Outdoor living

One extra living area equals a higher reserve price! Patios and alfresco areas are irreplaceable as part of the Australian lifestyle. It’s a place to wine and dine, or just sit down and breathe after a long day at work. In a commercial build, having an outdoor space is vital to employee health so they can get some much-needed sun and fresh air. You can use your polished concrete patio for informal meetings with clients, or leave it accessible to employees for some fun downtime after work.

 

concrete driveway

Get creative with your concrete driveway

Homeowners refresh their concrete driveway when they’re looking to sell, or just looking for a change. With property prices soaring and people becoming pickier about style, the driveway is the easiest outdoor area to take care of when renovating.

the average concrete driveway has come a long way from being a grey slab with exposed aggregate finishes. The latter is certainly a classic, but smooth finishes are favoured because they’re easier to walk on with bare feet and look ‘cleaner’.

Rather than single colours and plain finishes, driveways with a stencilled pattern are the new normal. This gives the property owner the chance to put their ‘stamp’ in stone, so to speak. Stencils are laid over the concrete before it dries and then lifted, creating whatever effect the owner orders. Patterns like stars, compasses, and pavers are etched in driveways around Australia, normally in a multitude of colours. The paver effect is popular because it’s cheap, and uses less time and materials than the real thing. Another common design is a single coloured path with a paver effect at the edge in another shade.

Concreters like Fenix work closely with the homeowners so the desired effect is achieved the first time. If the owner of the property has examples of driveways they’d like to emulate, that is certainly  helpful, though contractors might have some designs on hand. They’ll also have colour charts to choose from. Colours are finalised during the quoting process.

In a world of renovation shows, an expensive property market, and choosy buyers, homeowners and property investors are more concerned with  how their driveway looks. After all, the whole facade of the house is the first thing prospective buyers  see. An old, tired, and cracked concrete driveway doesn’t make a good impression. This is easily fixed with an experienced contractor, some design ideas, and a different colour…or two, or three.

concrete driveway

A driveway in Coolum

concreting

Concreting at home: finishing touches

A lot of thought goes into concreting – it’s not just pouring liquid cement into a mould and waiting for it to set. After the technical aspects like tensile strength and dimensions are settled, the fun things are next.

 

A little polish

Or not. Domestic concreting projects, like interior flooring, will need a polished surface for comfort. Paths and driveways are more likely to have an exposed aggregate surface. This finish is achieved when the surface cement is blasted away to reveal the larger stones underneath.

Smooth, polished, concrete is a popular choice for interior decorating. Warehouses developed into housing and apartments often come with pre-existing concrete slabs that the new owners can redecorate at their whim. Some choose to leave it plain (or just re-apply some sealant). Others will spray coloured covercrete on their driveway or even do an acid-stain inside to ‘freshen up’ the space.

 

Colour

Concreting isn’t boring; you can have a bit of fun with it. Speak to your contractor about coloured options for your driveway, patio, or path. You rarely go past a house with a plain grey slab out the front. Instead, homeowners and developers will choose a colour scheme that matches the exterior of the home.

 

Design

Some like it plain, others like it patterned. Your contractor will tell you that they can ‘stamp’ concrete to mimic the patterns of wood or marble. They can also use covercrete (a spray adhesive concrete) to make designs on the slabs. You can use concrete as a canvas and get creative with it to make something unique.

Keeping it simple colour-wise is fine, though designers and homeowners might choose to mix it up with a bit of concrete cutting. This type of design is found on patios and driveways, giving the impression that the area is made of large tiles instead of a concrete slab.

concrete steps home

Concrete solutions for the home

Concrete for the home is nothing new. The “industrial” trend has seen warehouse conversions and new home build with entirely concrete interiors. It’s getting a better rap for its design potential, rather than its use for making council footpaths. We’ve listed some of the common uses for concrete in the home below.

 

Patios

You can’t walk into a backyard without walking on a patio first. They’re an essential part of the Australian way of life; where else will you put the barbecue?

Making a patio isn’t that much different from making a driveway. You still need to go over specifics with your contractor. This includes the size of the surface area, the type of finish you want and the required strength of the concrete.  

 

Floors

Warehouses that are converted into homes more often keep the original floor. A bonus of this is the psi strength of the concrete will be around 4000 – 5000 psi. This type of concrete is used in “high traffic” areas. Any lesser type would crack faster.  

Polished concrete floors are popular in new home builds that want to have a “modern” finish. Concrete floors are low maintenance and easy to clean with a broom or steam-mop.

 

Steps

Indoor or outdoor, concrete stairs are reliable and sturdy. They can withstand high amounts of foot traffic, unlike varnished timber. It is also waterproof. When high amounts of rain or flooding occur, the steps will remain standing.

You’re more likely to find concrete steps out the front of a home, but they’re slowly making their way indoors as a design quirk. An example of this is art galleries, museums or display homes.

 

Tips

Concrete is tough but is prone to staining, same as carpets or clothing. This is because concrete is a porous material. Penetrating sealants “plug” the pores and bonds with it at a molecular level. Topical sealant sticks to the concrete’s surface and is fine at resisting minor stains.