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Renovating a Family Home

Finding the right balance between comfort, style and functionality can be tricky when renovating a family home.

With a need for easy maintenance and durability, how can you also achieve a welcoming environment for the whole family to enjoy?

Geostone decorative concrete is suitable for all areas of the home, both indoors and out. And the wide range of decorative concrete colours and stone selections allow you to create a welcoming and practical family home without compromising on style.

The hard-wearing durability and low maintenance of decorative concrete makes Geostone suitable for renovating on a budget. And the fast-setting nature of concrete often means you can complete decorative concrete flooring and landscaping sooner, allowing you to fast-track your renovations.

To help you get the most out of your project, we’ve outlined some practical tips for using decorative concrete when renovating your family home.

 

Flooring

When thinking about ways to keep your home warm in winter, you may not immediately think of concrete floors. While rugging up with a blanket in front of the fire is one option to combat the cold, a Geostone polished concrete floor can help to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home all year round. And it’s all thanks to thermal mass, which helps to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. This is because concrete floors can absorb, store and release heat over a wide area to keep room temperatures stable.

 

Indoor and Outdoor Areas

Decorative concrete isn’t limited to indoor flooring. Geostone Exposed Aggregate, Honed Concrete and Coloured Concrete ranges are all suited to outdoor use, and a wide range of applications, including some that might surprise you. Geostone’s versatile Polished Concrete is a practical alternative to marble or stone, suitable for flooring and both kitchen and outdoor benchtops. Sinks and basins can also be crafted from decorative concrete for a durable and functional feature with a high-end finish.

 

Driveways and Pathways

Perhaps you’re considering decorative concrete for a more traditional and functional area such as renovating or installing a new driveway. The landscape of your project area will influence the amount of product required, and also the complexity of installation. A property valuer could determine the price range of your home before they walk through the front door, so if you’re renovating for profit or considering selling your home some time in the future, it pays to invest in the exterior of your home.

 

You can also use decorative concrete to connect the indoors and outdoors, creating a seamless transition between dining or living areas and outdoor entertaining areas. This achieves a seamless indoor-outdoor flow that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional for busy families.

 

Wet Areas

Wet areas such as bathrooms or laundries can also benefit from concrete flooring. Using concrete in these areas creates a durable and family-friendly surface with a slip-resistant finish. Honed concrete is ideal for the wet areas around swimming pools and decorative concrete patios can can be enjoyed all year round by weatherproofing your outdoor entertaining areas. Using materials specifically designed for outdoor use will extend their overall lifespan and help you avoid issues like mould growth and rot.

 

Low Maintenance

Another important aspect of any family home is using materials that are easy to clean and maintain. While some flooring options can become damaged and incur extra repair and replacements costs during their lifetime, Geostone decorative concrete provides a durable and easy to clean surface, with minimal maintenance requirements. A regular sweeping or damp mopping is all that’s needed to keep it clean, and wax or sealants can be used for extra protection. The key to achieving a long-lasting concrete surface is taking steps to prevent concrete cracking, which can be easily achieved with the expertise of an approved installer.

 

Contemporary Style

Are you worried concrete floors might look too industrial in your home? Rest assured, decorative concrete has come a long way in recent years. The Geostone range of polished and honed mixes is available in a wide array of organic and neutral colours and stone selections unique to your local region. This ensures you are able to tailor a look suited to your home, that blends seamlessly with the surrounding area. The end result is warm, welcoming, creative and contemporary style for your home.

 

Versatile

Whether you like the look of open plan living, minimalist home design,  or a Scandinavian style aesthetic, the Geostone decorative concrete colour palette will work for you. Working with such a versatile material means you can create and complement almost any style with ease.

The versatility, durability and timeless appeal of Geostone decorative concrete can heighten the look and feel of your family home renovations. For more renovating information and inspiration visit our Article Archive

Knowing When Not to DIY

DIY renovations can save time and money, but the key to a successful project is knowing when to call in the professionals.

Sometimes knowing when not to DIY can be even better for the budget. Having professionals take care of the work means you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to go back and do it again.

In fact Domain reports that Monday is the busiest day for Australian tradespeople, fixing up botched DIY jobs from the weekend.

If you’re renovating on a budget, there are plenty of ways to cut costs without compromising on quality.

Opting for hardwearing, low-maintenance and durable materials such as polished concrete floors, exposed aggregate driveways and honed concrete pool surrounds are just some of the ways you can save money in the long term.

So which areas do you do yourself, and what do you leave to the experts? To help you decide, we’ve compiled some tips on knowing when not to DIY.

 

Landscaping and Outdoors

Exposed aggregate is a popular material choice for driveways, paths and walkways, and requires professional installation techniques to ensure the right finish, and a long-lasting, durable surface.

If you’re planning to install and maintain a concrete driveway for example, getting it right the first time by hiring a professional installer, can prevent costly repairs and maintenance down the track.

If you’re planning on  pouring concrete over an existing surface, it’s also a job best left to the experts. It is possible, in some cases to save time and money, but you will need to weigh up the risks with your installer to determine if it will pay off in the long run.

Approved Geostone installers prepare the area where your Geostone concrete is to be placed and then lay, spread, compact and finish the concrete, which includes exposing the stone in exposed aggregate projects, or honing and polishing for a smooth finish.

Professional concrete preparations also include erection of formwork and the placing of steel reinforcement and control joints to help ensure your concrete remains sturdy and strong.

 

Electricals

Lighting is one of the most popular ways to refresh the look of your home during renovations.

While most people are capable of installing new light bulbs and light shades, all electrical installation work must be carried out by a licensed electrician in Australia.

Whether you’re needing extra power points or a new appliance installed, be sure to check the regulations in your state and seek professional services from a licensed electrical contractor.

 

Plumbing

Regulations regarding plumbing also vary between states, but in general, any works interacting with the installation of drinking water systems and sewer lines require a licensed plumber.

 

Choosing Colours

From paint and concrete colours to furniture and decor, choosing a colour scheme for your home is one of the most exciting aspects of any renovation.

But colour selection can also be overwhelming. Determining which colours work best together to complement your home and surrounds can be a job best left to the professionals.

The Geostone decorative concrete range is exclusive to each region, using natural stone and materials sourced from the local area. So who better to ask than a professional who knows the local product.

Visit a Geostone Display Centre near you to choose the perfect Geostone coloured concrete and stone selection for your project.

 

Flooring

Concrete flooring is a durable and hard-wearing floor surface that can reduce maintenance costs over its lifespan, which is why concrete flooring is a more affordable option than you might think.

But correct installation is crucial to ensure a long-lasting and crack-resistant finish.

Approved Geostone installers and finishers are recommended to hone and polish concrete floor surfaces to a professional standard.

 

Pool Surrounds

Installing pool surrounds may be another area to call in the professionals.

Decorative concrete is an economically viable choice for seamless swimming pool surrounds, and comes in a wide range of colours and textured finishes.

Geostone’s exposed aggregate mixes highlight the raw texture of natural stone on a skid-resistant surface, while an honed and sealed finish oozes luxury and contemporary style.

 

Display Centres

You can view the Geostone range available in your area anytime from the comfort of your home online.

But if you would prefer to see, touch and explore the range in person, a visit to a Geostone Display Centre can help you make the best selections for your project.

The Geostone Team can also put you in touch with installers, finishers and other professionals in your local region.

If you’re planning to DIY to save money on your renovations, you might be hesitant to invest in an installer.

While some renovation tasks can be safely done yourself, seeking the skills of the right professionals can save you money and time in the long run.

For more information and inspiration for your decorative concrete project, visit the Geostone article archive.

Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

Creating an outdoor kitchen is a great way to make use of your backyard, deck or patio area.

Australia’s climate is ideal for outdoor entertaining, and outdoor kitchens have come a long way since the days of the old Aussie brick barbie in the backyard.

Enjoying regular meals outdoors can support a more active and healthy lifestyle, while also keeping your indoor kitchen sparkling clean.

Outdoor kitchens are ideal for entertaining guests or hosting children’s parties too, and can even increase the resale value of a property.

To guide you on your way to your personal al fresco journey, we’ve put together a checklist to consider when creating your outdoor kitchen.

 

Bench Space

While camping has its charms, it may be less fun entertaining friends using an esky lid as a prep table.

So one important feature of an outdoor kitchen is ensuring you have enough room to prepare and cook delicious meals.

Geostone’s polished concrete is a practical and attractive material to use for benchtops, being water-resistant, easy to clean and visually beautiful.

Geostone could also be used  for creating outdoor dining tables, with aggregate stone selections, colours, and shapes customised to your individual needs.

Using decorative concrete both inside and outside the home is a contemporary way of defining spaces and improving functionality.

 

Plumbing, Electricals and Lighting

Before installing a benchtop, determine the positioning of your sink and tapware.

You might want plumbing for a kitchen sink, an outdoor tap, and possibly even an outdoor dishwasher or hot tub.

Electricity supply is another consideration. Perhaps you’re planning to install a big screen to watch the footie on weekends. You might also need to fire up the party lights and even a karaoke machine. And let’s not forget the beer fridge.

 

Appliances

Dreaming of the appliances you want outdoors is a little different to designing your indoor kitchen.

Outdoor spaces may have the freedom and space to include a variety of appliances. Give this careful consideration and be e as practical as possible.

Barbeques and pizza ovens are a great way to make the most of your outdoor space, and are perfect for entertaining guests.

When installing large appliances that require ventilation, think carefully about their placement, ensuring adequate clearance from trees, walls, rooves, furniture and other appliances.

If you’re working with a smaller space, you could consider an outdoor oven, stove top and wok burner for your cooking needs.

Whatever you decide, installing any kind of cooking appliance will give you the flexibility to enjoy a meal outdoors any day or night of the week.

 

Flooring

Give careful consideration to the type of flooring you would like in your outdoor kitchen area.

Geostone polished or honed concrete is the perfect outdoor kitchen flooring solution, being easy to clean, durable, and suited to all weather conditions.

Concrete flooring is also easy to maintain, and more affordable than you might think.

Concrete floors are also allergen-friendly and scratch resistant, making them perfect for pets and family friendly.

 

Weatherproofing

The ideal outdoor kitchen is one that can be used in all weather conditions.

The materials you choose and the layout of your space will contribute to creating a weatherproof outdoor entertaining area.

Some flooring and decking options can be prone to rotting or splitting, while a decorative concrete floor makes for a long lasting and durable flooring option that’s even suitable for wet areas.

If you’re working with an uncovered space, be sure to ask your installer about outdoor sealer. By sealing your concrete, a protective layer can give the concrete additional slip-resistance and keep it looking new for longer.

When it comes to aesthetics, finely finished decorative concrete lets you bring the beauty and refinement of indoor flooring to your outdoor space. You can create an effortless flow between indoors and outdoors, combining durability, functionality and style.

So you can still enjoy the beauty of nature or views of your swimming pool, consider installing bistro blinds in your patio area, which offer protection from the elements without obstructing your view.

 

Furniture

Choosing the right furnishings for your outdoor kitchen, from bar stools to dining tables and even decorative plants is key to defining your space.

An open and welcoming patio is ideal for multi-purpose areas, so it’s best not to overcrowd the space with too much furniture.

If you’re working with a smaller space, a dining area can be created by arranging bar stools at the kitchen benchtop or island bench.

When it comes to choosing furniture, make key pieces stand out by keeping to a uniform visual style. Complement your decorative concrete benchtops and flooring with wooden furniture and metallic accents to create a coordinated contemporary aesthetic.

Whatever your vision, these tips can help you make a start on creating your dream outdoor kitchen.

For information on the Geostone range available in your area and more design inspiration, visit www.geostone.com.au   

How to Design Your Ideal Outdoor Area

Designing an outdoor area can be just as important as your home’s interior, but what’s the best way to go about defining spaces in your backyard?

When building a new home, landscaping is often left until last, and can sometimes be rushed or neglected if the budget blows out on the build.

But a well-designed backyard offers a year-round outdoor living and entertainment area that deserves your attention and appreciation during the planning stages.

From pathways to pergolas, it’s best to plan your entire outdoor area before you break ground.

Take the overall size of the space into consideration and identify any areas you will use for special features. This could include a swimming pool, vegetable garden or entertainment area.

The most successful landscape designs make use of zoning to provide designated areas, coming together in harmony to create an attractive and functional outdoor space.

The possibilities are endless, but we have put together some of our top tips to help with defining spaces in your backyard.

Zones

Dividing your backyard into zones is an effective way to create interest and spaciousness.

Small trees, hedges and greenery can be used to create borders, without interrupting the cohesion of your backyard or blocking your views.

Decorative concrete floating stairs, walls and dividers can provide functional structure, while creating a pleasing aesthetic for your divided zones.

Geostone’s decorative concrete range can be used as a landscaping material in any outdoor area, including driveways, entertainment areas and pool surrounds, and can even extend to polished concrete flooring for a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.

 

Levels

Individual zones can be created with the introduction of multiple levels across the backyard. With the use of stairs and retaining walls, you can elevate an area for an entertainment zone, or dig down for an intimate sunken lounge and fire pit.

Geostone’s polished and honed concrete, coloured concrete and exposed aggregate products are suitable for constructing any shape or space, requiring little maintenance while offering a weather resistant surface ideal for the great outdoors.

 

Paths

Pathways can be used to connect each of your zones, guiding visitors through your backyard while protecting lawns and gardens.

Decorating with trees and greenery can provide a colourful accent to your pathways, creating a natural tone for the whole backyard. Make use of trellises or walls to bring the greenery upward, framing the pathway to provide a level of structure and order.

Decorative concrete is a popular construction material for pathways. Geostone Exposed Aggregate combines coloured concrete with natural stones sourced from your local region to provide an attractive, functional and slip resistant ground surface.

 

Decks

Outdoor rooms and enclosed decks allow for year-round entertaining, and can be used to showcase views of the best features of your backyard.

For an enclosed area that remains connected to your home, beautifying the deck or creating a sunroom is an effective way of defining a welcoming indoor-outdoor space.

Exposed aggregate and honed concrete are suitable solutions for creating an outdoor deck of any size, including wrap-around decks surrounding your entire home.

Consider placing an outdoor chaise lounge on the deck for a more relaxed feel. If you’re working with a narrow space, try some longer outdoor seating, or an all-weather daybed along the external wall.


Patios

Patios lead from the outside of your home into the greater yard area, offering flexible functionality and a platform for additional features.

Creating weatherproof outdoor areas is an important consideration when designing a patio you can use all year round.

Keeping the patio open and welcoming is key for a multi-purpose area, so it’s best not to overcrowd the space with too much furniture.

Instead, make key pieces stand out by keeping to a uniform visual style.

Compliment concrete and stone with wooden furniture or metal accents to create a coordinated aesthetic, and try including some greenery with pot plants or a vertical garden.

 

Entertainment Area

The inclusion of an outdoor kitchen can increase property value, providing year-round entertainment for families and guests alike.

Outdoor ovens and barbecues are an excellent way to cater to large crowds, offering a relaxed alternative to cooking indoors on a warm summer evening.

Geostone’s polished concrete range can be precisely moulded and shaped to an exquisite finish for both indoor and outdoor benchtops and dining tables.

While placement and elevation are necessary decisions for all outdoor areas, the specifics of the design are equally important.

Depending on the size of the area you are working with, a large dining table and chairs can give your space a sense of grandeur, and create an inviting ambience for guests.

 

Pools

The backyard swimming pool is synonymous with the Great Australian Dream.

When installing or refurbishing a swimming pool, style, safety and functionality are key factors to consider.

Geostone decorative concrete provides the look of luxury for pool surrounds and water features, with a range of exposed aggregate, honed and polished finishes to choose from.

As well as the aesthetic appeal, decorative concrete offers a slip resistant surface ideal for wet areas, and seamless flow to other zones of your outdoor space.

Backyard spaces are most successful when planned with a clear vision in mind for the use of the space and your lifestyle, and designed with respect for the style of your home and surrounding area.

With so many options to consider, you can see why defining spaces in your backyard can be just as exciting as designing the inside of your home.

For more information, tips and tricks, take a look at our other Geostone articles.

Decorative Concrete vs. Pavers

Concrete and pavers are two of the most commonly used materials for landscaping outdoor areas.

Determining the most suitable solution for your project will depend on many factors, so it’s important to consider all of the options before rushing in.

Aside from colours and cost, you will also want to consider the texture of the material, durability, local climate and weather conditions, and how you intend to use the space.

You might also like to think about how these needs could change in five to ten years, durability of the material and resale appeal should you choose to sell your home.

Our experts have compiled some of the latest facts and figures of decorative concrete to help with your selection.

Versatility

Decorative concrete lends itself to a range of colours, textures, finishes and forms. While pavers are generally limited to square and rectangular shapes, decorative concrete is poured in liquid form, meaning it can be more easily moulded into rounded, curved and organic shapes.

Geostone decorative concrete is available in Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete, and Honed and Polished Concrete, providing a range of finishes, colours and natural stone selections to choose from.

Best of all, the range is always unique to your local region, so you’re sure to find a material suited to your home and the natural surrounds of your area.

Surface Diversity

Pavers are most often found in pathways and patios, whereas the versatility of decorative concrete provides an endless array of applications.

Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete and Polished and Honed finishes can be mixed and matched to create everything from outdoor kitchens and benchtops to retaining walls, pool surrounds, driveways, paths and patios. While inside, polished concrete is a popular flooring solution.

Installation

All landscaping requires a degree of preparation. For example, installing pavers often requires excavation, grading, sub-base compaction, laying geotextile fabric, base preparation and compaction. And that is all before the physical process of laying each of the pavers. If pavers need to be cut to size, this will also slow down the installation process.

When using decorative concrete, entire slabs can be poured and levelled in a matter of hours.

Your approved Geostone installer will then finish the concrete to your chosen texture, whether that’s exposing the aggregate, honing, polishing or applying an outdoor concrete sealant. Additionally, there is also the potential for pouring concrete over an existing surface, which could save you time and money in the landscaping process.

Climate Adaptability

Using pavers not suited to your local climate and weather conditions could result in cracks and broken and lifted pavers. All landscaping materials need to allow for movement and shifting over time, but those that are prone to lifting and breaking are more likely to need replacing. Concrete has thermal mass capabilities, which allows it to absorb and release extreme temperatures without cracking. And with the right preparation and drainage, decorative concrete is able to stand up to most conditions Mother Nature throws at it.

Resale Value

Outdoor landscaping is the one project that is often left to last. Kitchen and bathroom renovations regularly blow the budget. While for new builds, landscaping is not always  included in the builder’s fee, so if not the homeowners take a wait and see approach.

Yet a property valuer will often determine the price range of your home before they walk in the door, which highlights the importance of prioritising the outside appearance and functionality of the property.

Research suggests neutral colours, natural materials like stone, and low maintenance requirements are all attractive incentives for buyers, and could increase the resale value of your home.

Surface Finish

The joins between pavers are susceptible to invasion by weeds as well as mould and moss growth, which can create hazards. Concrete can be laid in larger sections between control joints, providing more functional space and reducing troublesome weeds.

The larger surface area also makes decorative concrete easy to clean, and helps to avoid those unsightly stains that can quickly age an outdoor area.  

Cost

The cost of pavers varies greatly depending on the size, material and brand of the paver, as well as your project area. The price of Geostone’s decorative concrete varies according to your region, product and colour selection, so we invite you to submit your project details for a free quote. Be sure to include your preferred Geostone product, project area, and postcode.

These are just some of the factors to consider when choosing between pavers and concrete for your next landscaping project.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for decorative concrete inside or outside your home, you might like to explore the Geostone concrete range available in your area. And visit our Blog for more articles and ideas.

Concrete v Tiles

Concrete and tiles are two of the most popular flooring options for contemporary homes.

Whether you’re building or renovating, you might find yourself comparing the benefits of a polished concrete floor with traditional floor tiles.

While the colour scheme could be the first consideration to spring to mind, there are many other factors that contribute to choosing the perfect flooring for your home.

It’s important to think about your lifestyle, your household’s needs, and the ways you intend to use the space.

Also think about how those needs might change five and ten years from now.

To help with your selection, our experts have compiled some of the latest information on polished concrete flooring, from aesthetics and installation, to cleaning and durability.

Speed

Time is money when building or renovating. Tiles first require a solid foundation like a concrete slab. And the process of tiling is known for being time-consuming and tedious. Polished concrete floors are poured in liquid form, and entire house slabs can be completed in a matter of hours. Once set, the concrete finisher hones and polishes the concrete to your requested finish. Finishing the floor faster also allows you to continue on with the other areas of your build and renovations, so you can be enjoying your new space sooner.

Grout Free

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges with tiles is the effort required to keep the grout free of mould, dirt and stains. In even the most meticulously kept homes, grout will eventually discolour, and sometimes crack and need replacing. This can result in floors looking dirty or aged, even when they’re freshly cleaned. Polished concrete floors offer a single, solid and flat surface that doesn’t require grout to hold it in place, making it easy to clean, while retaining that long-lasting sheen. And being waterproof and resistant to mould makes polished concrete ideal for wet areas.

Visual Appeal

Concrete-look tiles have grown in popularity as more homeowners embrace minimalist styling, earthy textures and natural materials. Instead of replicating the look of concrete, a polished concrete floor provides all the benefits of genuine concrete, while offering the visual appeal of a range of concrete colours and natural stone selections, with a smooth and polished finish.

Durable

Anyone with tile floors can attest to the frustration of a broken tile. Perhaps you dropped something in the kitchen, the kids were playing a little too rough, or time and movement have caused tiles to lift or crack. While broken tiles can be replaced, it’s not always possible to find a perfect match. And sometimes just one chipped tile requires multiple tiles to be replaced. Polished concrete floors are hardwearing, durable and require minimal maintenance, which is why polished concrete is a long-lasting and affordable flooring solution.

Versatile

Polished concrete is smooth as silk, and hard as rock. But it starts out in a liquid form, making it a highly versatile construction material. This versatility extends beyond colour and stone selections to include special features, and custom shapes and forms. Decorative concrete can also be extended outside the home, and is particularly popular outdoors as honed concrete or exposed concrete for driveways, patios, paths, outdoor entertaining areas and pool surrounds.

Climate adaptable

You might remember the childhood joy of laying on cold tiles during a hot summer’s day. But what about waking up to those same cold tiles on early winter mornings? Polished concrete floors offer the benefits of thermal mass, helping to keep your home cool in summer, and warm in winter. Concrete is capable of absorbing and storing heat from sunlight, and slowly releasing that warmth when the air temperature drops.

This process is reversed during warm weather, when concrete floors can help to absorb heat to maintain a comfortable temperature day and night.

Lifetime costs

Long-term costs and return on your investment are also important aspects to consider when choosing building materials for your home. Sometimes lower cost options can cost more in the long run, particularly if they require extra maintenance, or have a shorter lifespan.

While some building materials like polished concrete floors can not only hold their value, but increase the resale value of a home. This will be a vital consideration for anyone renovating for profit, or contemplating selling their home, even many years down the track.

These are just some of the factors to consider when choosing between tiles and concrete flooring for your home.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for polished concrete floors in your home, you might like to explore the Geostone polished concrete range available in your area, or visit our Blog for more articles and ideas.

How to Renovate Your Home for Profit

Renovating for profit has become big business in the Australian property market.

What was once reserved for property developers, professional tradespeople and the lucky few gifted with an eye for detail, has become a  money maker for those fortunate to be in the market.

First home buyers and ‘mum and dad investors’ discovered the thrill of ‘flipping houses’ through television programs like The Block, which made renovating for profit seem simple.

The rising trend resulted in a massive increase in home renovations across Australia, rising by 147% from 2010 to 2014.

The House Industry Association (HIA) reported home renovations totalled $33.6 billion in Australia in 2017, and that figure is predicted to grow to above $35.5 billion by 2021.

Some people are certainly living the dream, like Australia’s own ‘Renovation Queen’ Cherie Barber.

Dubbed Australia’s Number 1 renovation educator, Cherie has 27 years of profitable renovation experience, and 112 projects under her belt.

Although Cherie is known for turning record-breaking profits in just a matter of days, she has confessed to a love-hate relationship with television renovation programs.

In a 2017 interview, she told the Eastern Reporter that today’s homeowners make the mistake of doing too much DIY, recommending 90 per cent of the work should be outsourced to licensed tradespeople for the best results.

But many experts warn fast renovations don’t always equal fast profits.

Respected property investment writer Michael Yardney says renovation flips often flop for many reasons.

He says buying low and selling high after a quick, cheap renovation is a ‘speculative strategy’, which often doesn’t work due to transaction and holding costs, tax, unrealistic expectations, and a fickle property market.

Instead, he recommends a long-term investment strategy to buy, renovate and hold.

“I enjoy taking a dwelling that’s been a bit neglected and breathing new life into it, making it into a home my tenants will love and want to care for and more importantly, it’s a great way of manufacturing equity for my property investment portfolio,” Michael Yardney writes on his website PropertyUpdate.com.au.

Michael says this slow-growth approach allows homeowners to make thousands of dollars in equity and fast-track capital growth, while increasing rental yields, and gaining tax benefits through depreciation.

So what are the secrets of the successful house flippers renovating for profit?

And how can their tips be applied to your own renovations?

Maybe you’re renovating or building a home to live in, but hope to sell for a profit some time in the future?

We’ve compiled the top three suggestions from respected industry experts on just some considerations when renovating for profit.

The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual circumstances. You should consider seeking independent trades, financial, legal, taxation and other relevant professional advice specific to your needs.

 

Longer lasting equals lower cost

There can be a strong temptation to choose the cheapest option, particularly when renovating a home purely for profit.

But smart buyers, or their conveyancing teams, will easily spot the difference between a quality build, and a cheap fix-up job.

If you’re planning to live in the home, or rent it out as an investment property, choosing materials that will withstand the test of time should be a priority.

While this approach might cost more initially, it’s likely to save money in the long-run by avoiding costly call-out fees, repairs or premature replacement.

 

Avoid temporary touch ups

A lot of renovators admit to ‘settling’ with a temporary renovation option, despite grand plans for something very different down the track.

The old saying of ‘do it right the first time’ can certainly be applied here.

While you have to take into consideration your own budget and financial situation, choosing a temporary touch-up that requires ongoing maintenance could end up costing a lot more than making a solid long term investment from the beginning.

Even luxurious finishes like polished concrete floors can be more affordable than you realise.

 

Don’t neglect the outside

The majority of any home renovation budget is often spent on the kitchen and bathroom.

Sometimes, over-spending in these areas means little to no money remains for outside renovations, so it goes unfinished for years, or the property goes on the market with no landscaping at all.

If that’s you, then you could be selling yourself short.

Did you know property valuers can determine the price range of your home before they walk through the door.

And potential home buyers will usually make a decision about whether or not to pursue a property within the first 10 seconds based on kerbside appeal alone.

Buyers also look favourably on finished renovations, and statistics show a finished driveway can earn up to 75% ROI.

For more information and inspiration for your home renovations in relation to your Geostone concrete needs, visit the Geostone blog or contact us today.

 

How Much Does a Decorative Concrete Driveway Cost

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Geostone is how much does a decorative concrete driveway cost?

The answer depends on many factors, including the size of the area to be concreted, the location of the project, and which Geostone product you choose.

The beauty of Geostone is the variety of colours and natural stone selections available across our Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete and Polished and Honed Concrete ranges.

We understand everyone’s home is unique, which is why we offer decorative concrete in a selection of different product styles, colours and finishes.

This guide has been designed to step you through Geostone’s product selection process, so our team can provide a detailed and accurate quote for your new decorative concrete driveway.  

 

Location

Geostone products are now available throughout much of Australia, but the colours and stone selections vary depending on the region.

Each Geostone decorative concrete product is exclusive to the local delivery area, including natural stones, known as aggregate.

As a result, the price for each product varies depending on the location, because the products are all different.

For this reason, when providing your quote, we will ask for the postcode of your project so we can provide you with localised product options and pricing.

You can also see the product range available in your region by using the regional selector on our website, whether it’s for Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete, or Honed and Polished Concrete.

 

Landscape

Will the decorative concrete driveway be built on a sloping block, a suburban subdivision, farmland, a rocky hill, or maybe on top of an existing driveway?

The landscape of your project area will influence the amount of product required, and also the complexity of installation – and each of these factors will influence the price.

To provide an accurate quote, Geostone, and your chosen installer or service provider, will ask you questions about the landscape and topography of your project area.

 

Size

No two driveways are exactly the same. The size, shape and layout of your driveway will determine how much Geostone you require.

Many of our customers also choose to extend their driveway into a complete wrap-around of their property, including a front porch, side walkways and back patio.

We recommend asking your chosen installer to determine exactly how much product your project will need. But we invite you to use our Concrete Calculator to help you make an initial estimate.

 

Style

Do you like the natural stone features of exposed aggregate? Maybe you would prefer a solid coloured concrete, or a sleek honed concrete finish.

Whatever your style, Geostone has a range of options available to suit you and your home.

Remember, the product ranges, and prices, vary depending on your area.

As a first step, we recommend using the Product Range regional selector on our website to see the options available to you. You can also visit your nearest Geostone Display Centre to see samples in person.

Once you’ve decided on the style you would like to use, you’re another step closer to knowing how much your decorative concrete driveway will cost.

 

Colour

From creamy coloured neutrals to earthy reds, and forest greens to midnight black, Geostone decorative concrete is available in a wide variety of colours.

This assists  you to find the  colour selection to either match, or complement your home’s colour scheme and the natural surroundings.

We recommend taking a look at the colours available in your region using the Product Range regional selector on our website. Remember, the colour options are all unique to your local area, and the colours vary between the Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete, and Honed and Polished Concrete.

Make a note of the names of your favourite colours, and head along to your nearest Geostone Display Centre to take a closer look, check the website for the various locations.

 

Installers

We recommend professional installation of Geostone decorative concrete, and there is a range of service providers, installers and finishers to choose from across Australia.

You can also use the Find A Service Provider search tool on our website, but please note this list is not exhaustive. Holcim does not engage the listed service providers directly, and does not have a system of accreditation for service providers. Holcim recommends each customer undertake their own research to find the most appropriate service provider for their needs. Installation and finishing costs will vary depending on the provider, and you will need to discuss this with your chosen contractor.

 

Contact Us

If you have worked through each of the steps in this guide, you should now have a clearer picture of the end result you could achieve with Geostone. With your project blueprint fresh in your mind, we recommend you contact us to request a concrete quote, which you can do by calling us on 131188, or you can submit an online enquiry. And if you’re still not sure which Geostone product is right for you, rest assured our Geostone Colour Specialists are here to help.

Renovating on a Budget

If you have grand plans for your home makeover, renovating on a budget can sound challenging.

Everyone wants a functional, comfortable and inviting home they feel proud to call their own.

And most of us want space for entertaining guests, and hosting gatherings for friends and family.

But how can you achieve your dream home without blowing the budget?

It’s likely you’re renovating to not only improve the home you live in now, but also to add value to your property when it comes time to sell.

So it’s important to think about which changes will give you the best returns in the long run.

We’ve gathered some tips from the experts on the most successful ways to tackle renovating on a budget.

 

Setting a Budget

Although it might sound simple, deciding on a budget isn’t as easy as just picking a number. To accurately determine how much money you will need to spend to achieve your plans, it can be helpful to create a wish list for each area of the home you plan to renovate. Then, for each room or outdoor area, list all of the supplies and services you will need. Also look for and note down any opportunities to reuse and recycle materials you already have to reduce your costs.

By setting a budget for each of the items you need, you can cost out each area, and add those together to arrive at your budget. Setting a budget with this level of detail, you may find the total amount is higher than you first expected. While this might seem off-putting, it’s better to have a realistic budget set before you start renovating to avoid running out of funds mid-way through construction.

A good rule of thumb is to keep 20% of your available budget as a safety net for any unexpected or extra costs.

 

Choosing Your Suppliers

You might have been told that obtaining at least three quotes for every job is always the best way to go, and for many people this is true. However, creating vision boards and Pinterest boards is becoming a popular way to plan home renovations and restyling. Some home renovators know exactly what they want the moment they see it – so if that’s you it can be best to act swiftly and purchase those goods to avoid disappointment, particularly if supply is limited or time is running out. It can also be helpful to source suppliers local to your area to further reduce the costs of your home renovation.

 

Indoor Renovations

Changing the look and feel of your home is an exciting undertaking. And home renovations have become a favourite pastime for Australians inspired by the abundance of home makeover programs on TV and our national obsession with styled interiors. Or as news.com.au words it, “Australia is in the midst of a home renovation epidemic”.

Some of the most common indoor renovations we see today are upgrades of bathrooms and kitchens, as well as new flooring throughout the home.

While it can be tempting to use an array of different materials and colours in every room, using a restrained palette can help to create cohesiveness and flow. Looking for opportunities to use the same materials in multiple areas of the home can also help to reduce costs.

Polished concrete is a versatile flooring option suitable for these key areas of the home, for both its aesthetic appeal and functionality. Not only beautiful to look at and easy to maintain, concrete floors offer the benefit of thermal mass which can naturally help to decrease heating costs. And they’re suitable for wet areas too.

 

Outdoor Renovations

The outdoor ‘reno’ is all part and parcel of the great Australian dream. Our home is our ‘castle’, so we all strive to create a space that is uniquely ours. Some of us tinker away at the landscaping and exterior remodelling of our homes for years.

The most popular outdoor renovations are re-cladding or painting, alfresco dining areas, driveways, and swimming pools.

Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete and Honed Concrete are all popular options for laying down the foundations of these outdoor landscaping projects.

Concrete can also be extended from inside the home to create indoor-outdoor living areas. This provides another opportunity to minimise the number of products needed for your renovation, helping to reduce costs and services overall.

Make a list of your ‘must haves’ and measure out your project areas before contacting suppliers to ask for quotes. You don’t have to know every detail of the renovation process, but understanding your project space and having a clear vision of your renovation outcomes will give you the confidence you need to get the best deals and make the right decisions the first time, every time.

 

Cheap is Not Always Best

Although your budget is limited, it’s important to think about the long term investment and vision for your home. Often you will find cheaper is not always the best option, nor the longest lasting.

Choosing durable materials that will last the distance can save you time and money in the long run, whereas cheaper materials and supplies may need to be repaired or replaced sooner and more often.

It’s always important to ask suppliers about product warranties and query your service providers about guarantees. Also be sure to ask about the best maintenance methods to ensure you keep your new renovations in the best possible condition and have them looking new for longer.

While renovating on a budget may have its challenges, it’s also an enjoyable and rewarding experience and an exciting opportunity to put your unique style on your very own home.

 

For more inspiration on home renovations, interiors, landscaping and concrete flooring, head to the Geostone website.

Should You Restore or Build a New Driveway?

Whether you’re upgrading your home or buying an established house, restoring your driveway is probably on the to-do list.

Driveways come in many forms and materials, including pavers, bricks, concrete, asphalt, gravel or sometimes just good old fashioned compacted dirt.

If the existing driveway is aged and hasn’t been maintained, it’s likely you’re faced with stains, cracks, potholes, water damage or other signs of ageing that make the entrance to your home less than inviting.

So if you’re investing in renovating your home or upgrading the exterior, you’ll probably also want to renovate your driveway.

Should I restore or build a new driveway?

While it is possible to lay Geostone over an existing surface, a well-prepared foundation will always provide the longest lasting results for

your decorative concrete.

So removing the existing driveway and building a new driveway might be the most cost effective option in the long run.

If the foundations of the existing driveway are deemed appropriate by your service provider, it’s possible Geostone coloured concrete or exposed aggregate could be poured over the top to create a new driveway.

Either option will give you the ability to tailor the colour scheme of your driveway and landscaping to complement the rest of your home and natural surrounds of your local area.

Important factors to consider when restoring a driveway

As with any landscaping or home improvement project, there is a range of important factors to consider before embarking on your new driveway.

Going into your renovation with a defined budget, well thought-out plan and a clear vision of the finished project will make the process much easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

It is particularly important to communicate this plan clearly with your suppliers and service providers. If you’re installing a driveway as part of a bigger landscaping and renovation project, it is essential to coordinate the timing of the driveway construction with those too.

Budget: Budgeting may not be fun, but it is important. By determining a budget at the beginning of a project, and sticking to it, you can avoid spending too much on renovations. 

Timing: You probably don’t want to pour a brand new concrete driveway right before earthmoving equipment arrives to clear the backyard. If you need landscaping and pathways in other areas of the property, you could potentially save time and money by combining all of the projects together. Weather is also a factor when pouring concrete, so it’s important to consider the best time to renovate your driveway.

Longevity: When investing in home renovations, you want them to last. This is why you and your service providers should take steps to improve the lifespan of your new driveway, including measures to prevent concrete cracking.

Value: Whether you’re improving your home for your enjoyment, or preparing to list the house for sale, you’re probably interested in ways to add value to your home. Restoring your driveway using decorative concrete, is one way to increase resale value.

Colour: Did you know neutral colours are more likely to return higher value when you sell your home? Choosing the best coloured concrete for your home ensures you enjoy your space while you live there and reap the greatest benefits when it comes time to sell.

Sealing: Not all service providers include outdoor sealer as standard. Thoroughly finishing your decorative concrete including using an outdoor sealer, can help to extend the lifespan of your driveway.

Atmosphere: Ultimately your driveway is the introduction to your home, making it a really significant restoration project. Our resident architect Peter Colquhoun shares his insights into creating the perfect welcome home.

Be sure to check out our Driveway Installation Tips  and visit our blog archive for more decorative concrete inspiration and ideas.

Contact us today for a personalised quote or more information about Geostone.