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Using concrete resurfacing and other tricks to revamp a tired space

Your home or office is looking dated and you know it’s time for an overhaul. But you don’t have the money for a full-on renovation. We have a few alternatives that will save you the cash while still giving you an amazing result.

 

Concrete resurfacing

This time tested method makes tired old surfaces look brand new. The surface layer is scrubbed/sanded and a new layer of concrete replaces it. The contractor can go through the options with you. A polished or acid-stained finish is a popular concrete resurfacing request. It’s a great neutral palette for you to dress the room up as you like.

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Modern home foundations are made of concrete. If you have a carpeted floor, that’s what you’ll see when it gets peeled back. Concrete resurfacing will brighten up the dull layer considerably and cost you less money.

 

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Believe it or not, you don’t always need paint to improve your walls. The surface looks grimey because a layer of dust and dirt has built up over the years. A simple way to brighten things up is to break open the sugar soap and wipe down the walls. If you do end up painting anyway, this is a necessary step.

 

Homewares

After the concrete resurfacing, you’re left with a beautiful floor. Why not get some homewares to match it? The ‘industrial style’ trend has exploded in recent years. Think exposed brick/rendered walls, cement floors, and old metal pipes used in light fittings.

Check out stores like Etsy for concrete accessories to match your new look

Check out stores like Etsy for concrete accessories to match your new look

Concrete homewares are easy to find in an interior design shop or online. There’s so many to pick from it’ll be hard to decide. You can get shelves and coffee tables, all the way down to paperweights.

 

Declutter

This is one of the most inexpensive things you can do to revamp a tired space. You’ll be surprised at how much useless junk takes up the shelf/cupboard/garage. How long has it been since you used that tennis racquet or the surfboard? Get ruthless and start cleaning! It’s hard work but the satisfaction at all the extra space is worth it. The charity shop will appreciate the donation, too.

Clean up. Seriously.

Clean up. Seriously.

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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

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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

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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

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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

renovation

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

Doing a renovation or general fixing isn’t as expensive or draining as the shows on television and your friend’s stories might lead you to believe. You can keep  everything on track, and survive it, if you prepare. There’s a lot of tips out there, but we’ve narrowed down the list to our top 5.

 

  • Get your budget in order

The renovation can’t get started if you don’t have the cash. You need to meet your accountant, and someone from your bank if you need to take out a loan.

Line up the quotes you got from the concreter, the carpenter, the plumber and any other  trades you need. Can you afford to pay them? You’ll also need extra cash, about 20% of the total budget, in case of extra costs from unforeseen circumstances.

 

  • Decide where to live

You can’t use the kitchen when the concrete floor’s getting polished, or take a shower when the screed is curing. It’s up to you whether or not to move temporarily, but if the whole house is getting renovated it’ll certainly make life easier. Trades start work early; do you want to wake up to the sound of a concrete truck pouring cement, or drills going at it, at 7am?

 

  • Clean and store

Most trades respect your space, from the concreter to the plumber, but sometimes accidents happen and things break. Make sure you move the valuables and fragiles out of the house until work is finished. Mess is a given in a renovation, so moving delicates and valuables will ease your anxiety. 

 

  • Go shopping

Look at display homes and interior magazines. Speak with your contractors, too, when getting a quote. Be transparent about what you want and the money you have to spend.

Just because you’re mindful of counting pennies doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice quality. Can’t splash on a marble benchtop? Get a stained concrete slab instead. Go to vintage shops and recycling stores for second-hand furniture. Reupholstering old furniture is cheaper than buying a new suite. You’re going to cut the cost of the renovation dramatically when you buy second hand instead of new off the shop floor.

When you’re looking at fixtures like taps and lights, favour the environmentally-friendly options. You’ll save a lot on your electricity/water bills.

 

  • Keep an open line

During the renovation, the builder is the boss, but that doesn’t mean you disappear. As a client, you want satisfaction guaranteed so it’s better to stay accessible. Builders have a good habit of sending progress reports, and that includes any problems they’ve encountered. This is why it’s better to have that 20% extra budget handy, though hopefully you’ll never have to use it.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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Three Questions to Ask About Concrete

Concrete is a necessary material to lay those first foundations when you’re building a home, resurfacing your driveway or even taking the first steps to building an alfresco dining area. But not all concrete is made equally; there are different types for different purposes. Before you call the contractor, ask yourself these three questions to make sure you’ll choose the correct materials.

 

  1.      What kind of work am I doing?

Concreting a driveway is a very different job from building a patio, and no two products will be the same for this reason. For outdoor work you need concrete that’s resistant to the sulphur found in soil. For common areas there’s a kind of concrete that’s resistant to cracks. There’s no “one type fits all”. Investing a little time in checking will save you money in the long run.

 

  1.      How strong does it need to be?

Next from the point above, it’s important to note that different concretes have different psi, or load bearing, capacities. 2500psi types are good for general construction like interiors and paving, but for strength some builders will prefer 3500psi blends. Rarely will a home need a 4000 – 5000psi concrete which is standard for warehouses, shops and other areas where there’s a high volume of traffic.

 

  1.      Is there a particular style or finish I’m after?

Finishing touches are just as important as the product itself! These last details can add value to your home and gives you a chance to personalise it the way you want. Concrete isn’t just grey anymore. There are various finishing touches to choose from. This includes exposed to polished, coloured to plain and stencilled to acid-stained.

 

Of course discuss the best options with your contractor, but knowing these questions will save time and money. They’ll help you find a product that will change your home, add value to your investment and even inspire a little envy among your friends.