Concrete may not be your first thought when designing a house build or extension, or even for some of your in-home or garden renovations. Concrete is traditionally seen as dull, grey and uninspiring. However, we know different, and we are sure you will agree and find yourself surprised at just how valuable and exciting concrete can be, not to mention the other great benefits concrete could bring to your house and garden.
As well as a new build or extension made from concrete, which we will explain the benefits of later, let’s first look at some of the more aesthetic uses of concrete throughout the home.
Flooring – more than just functional
Concrete floors are becoming the flooring of choice, but why is that? Quite simply because it is cost-effective, relatively maintenance-free and the different styles and the finishes you can achieve are excellent. Concrete flooring is more than just an outbuilding drab grey rough finish and certainly less fussy or demanding to protect as solid wood flooring. Polished concrete, micro toppings, acid staining and using textures and patterns ensures that you can create an easy to manage yet beautifully unique look to any contemporary or modern home with ease.
Another excellent reason for choosing concrete flooring is the ability to carry the same look through to your outdoor space. You can easily continue outdoors to create the illusion of space and bring a modern twist to any home.
Kitchens, Bathrooms and beyond?
Concrete has real potential to mimic and recreate the luxury feel only usually obtained by installing expensive marble. Polished concrete will offer the same luxury but for a fraction of the price. When used in the kitchen, it makes for excellent hardwearing, hygienic work surfaces that also take bathrooms up a notch, without the pain of paying for marble.
The good news is you can have a luxury look coordinated throughout your home; preparing food outside can be as stylish as inside.
We know concrete is widely used in construction. However, modern twists and finishes now also create stunning architectural and decorative features, including incorporating light-transmitting optical fibre strands to make the most stunning translucent panels. This could be just the ticket to add value to your home.
New Build And Extensions – the Benefits
- Reduced Energy Bills – When compared to standard stick-built homes, homeowners can expect heating and cooling costs to be in the region of 20-25% lower. Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) offer outstanding insulation and tighter construction.
- Comfortable Peace And Quiet – Tight construction cuts air filtration and reduces cold spots in walls and corners. Greater wall mass reduces noise penetration by more than 80% when compared to more traditional building methods.
- Naturally Pest Proof – Concrete and ICF are less appealing to rodents, ants or termites than wooden structures.
- Healthier Internal Environment – ICF walls have no organic material to harbour harmful micro-organisms and mold or mildew.
- Structurally Sound And Fire Resistant – With a potential for wind resistance up to 250mph, they are one of the more robust options for homes in danger from hurricanes or tornadoes, offering a high level of protection from flying debris. In addition, plastic foams used in ICFs are treated with flame retardants, designed to withstand flames and temperatures up to 2,000 degrees without structural failure for as long as 4 hours.
- Less Maintenance – Made using non-biodegradable materials, they do not rot or deteriorate like untreated timber, and reinforcing steel is protected by the concrete, so it does not corrode or rust.
- Quality – As with any construction project, it is essential to source and use quality materials, ensuring that any areas have the required damp-proof membranes in place. In addition, DPM punctures can be prevented by choosing quality high chair rebar spacers; this is one area it is unwise to scrimp and choose poorly manufactured stools.
As you can see, there are many benefits and uses for concrete when building or extending a home. Why not begin to look at this sturdy, dependable material in a different light, and see how you could use it in your next project?
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