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Geostone 101 – Creating beautiful outdoor areas with concrete 

Holcim’s range of Geostone decorative concrete offers an endless array of applications, with exclusive regional colour and stone selections unique to each local area. 

We have created this two-part mini-series to answer frequently asked questions about Geostone decorative concrete for both indoors and out. 

In Part 2, we explore popular outdoor applications for Geostone decorative concrete, from traditional paths and driveways, to entertainment areas and pool surrounds.

 

What is Geostone? 

Geostone is a decorative concrete range by Holcim with options in exposed aggregate, polished and honed concrete, and coloured concrete.

Geostone combines the integrity of concrete with the uniqueness of Australian stone to create the perfect solution for contemporary yet classic driveways, pathways and pool surrounds, as well as indoor and outdoor applications.

The range is designed to assist the homeowner, architect, designer and builder to create spaces that are both functional and beautiful. 

Geostone’s aggregates are sourced from the local area of each supply region, and blended with decorative concrete available in a wide range of colours.

 

How can Geostone be used Outdoors?

Driveways

They say first impressions last – which is why one of the most popular uses for Geostone decorative concrete is the driveway

Exposed aggregate is the material of choice for most driveway projects, allowing homeowners to select a colour and stone combination to suit the style and colour scheme of their home.

Geostone also gives you the option to restore or build a new driveway, with benefits for both methods depending on your circumstances.

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. 

When it comes to cost, it will largely depend on the size, shape and location of the project, with seasonal changes and weather conditions that might influence the best time to renovate your driveway.

If compiling a checklist for renovating your driveway, ensure it adds street appeal to the exterior of your home, and make sure its durable enough to stand the test of time.

 

Pathways

Geostone doesn’t have to end at the driveway. 

You can use Geostone decorative concrete to create a welcoming flow with pathways extending from the streetfront connecting to other areas of your home and garden. 

Geostone’s exposed aggregate and honed decorative concrete are perfect for creating safe walking surfaces.

Pathways can be stylish and practical at the same time, so think of them as a continuation of everything you love about the outdoor space. 

 

Entertainment Areas 

Designing the perfect outdoor entertainment area involves a combination of planning, zoning, connecting and decorating everything to create a unified look. 

And it all starts from the ground up.

Geostone decorative concrete allows you to create attractive concrete patios, which are safe, durable and can add value to your home. 

You can choose a colour, pattern or texture that complements the surrounding area for a completed look and stylish flow.

Outdoor areas are exposed to the elements, but weatherproofing your outdoor area can be easily achieved with Geostone’s exposed aggregate, coloured concrete, and honed concrete.

For entertaining guests, you might also consider creating an outdoor kitchen, providing a great opportunity for unique concrete applications that you may not have thought of, like a concrete benchtop or sink.

 

Pool Surrounds 

The seamlessness of a concrete pool deck is hard to beat, as it can be versatile, durable, and most importantly slip resistant.

Geostone’s decorative concrete is comfortable underfoot, and can be applied to pool areas as exposed aggregate for a textured finish, or honed concrete for a smooth and slick surface.

 

Gardens

Concrete is one landscaping material that has stood the test of time. And Geostone’s range of decorative concrete makes it beautiful.

From custom steps to retaining walls and garden beds, Geostone can be used to transform any outdoor area. If you’re limited on space, think vertically, with green garden walls that not only look great, but can serve a functional purpose through privacy screening or noise reduction.

Plants, flowers and edible gardens can really liven up your outdoor area, complemented with neutral coloured Geostone garden beds, pots and other decorations to tie the space together.

 

Understanding the Geostone Process

So you think you’d like Geostone for your project, but you’re not sure where to start?

We’ve put together this handy guide to help.

1. Choose your Geostone finish

Firstly, select from Geostone’s Exposed Aggregate, Polished Concrete, Honed Concrete or Coloured Concrete options, which are unique to each region.

2. View the range available in your area 

You can use the Regional Selector on our website to view the range of mixes and colours available in your local area, all from the comfort and convenience of your home.

3. Visit your nearest display centre 

To see samples in person or to speak to one of our colour consultants, visit your nearest Geostone display centre, where you can discover the Geostone range.

4. Find an approved installer and finisher in your region

Once you’ve chosen your preferred Geostone mix, you can use our website to find an approved installer and finisher in your local area. Installers will first work to prepare the project site, then lay, spread and compact the concrete, while finishers prepare the concrete to your chosen finish.

5. Request a quote 

To request a quote or learn more about Geostone, send your project details and postcode to our team. When you are ready to proceed with your project, the Geostone team will help to finalise your order and can assist with arranging trades for installation and finishing.

Read Geostone 101 Part 1 for information about the indoor applications of Geostone. 

Designing an Entertainer’s Dream

Designing an entertainer’s dream home can be a colourful and creative experience.

It’s a chance to design a space that reflects your personal style and celebrates your passion for entertaining friends and family – whether that’s with epic backyard barbecues, patio parties or fancy dining room dinners.

The possibilities extend far beyond renovating the kitchen or adding on an alfresco area. You could go big and bold, minimalist and understated, or somewhere in between.

To help you create the perfect space for your style, we’ve asked our experts for their top tips on designing an entertainer’s dream.     

 

Driveways and Paths

It might not be the first area that springs to mind when you think of entertaining, but the first impression of your home starts at the driveway and path to the front door. 

You can create a welcoming aesthetic with landscaping, gardening, curated greenery and florals, and driveway and pathway materials that complement your home’s colour scheme. Geostone’s Exposed Aggregate range is ideal for driveways and garden paths and is available in a range of colours and stone selections unique to each region and suited to a wide range of colour schemes while blending seamlessly with the natural surrounds.

 

Floors

Before deciding on your new two-door fridge or double oven combo, you’ll need to turn your eyes and thoughts to the floor.

Geostone’s Polished Concrete flooring is durable and ideal for spills, being easy to clean, resistant to stains, and requiring less maintenance over its lifetime compared to some other floor coverings. That means no restrictions on serving red wine or black coffee; your guests can enjoy their meals and drinks while you enjoy peace of mind.

Colour

Neutral and earthy tones are popular colour schemes for modern homes. But don’t be afraid of adding pops of colour to create a statement that wows your guests. Our Colour Consultants recommend finding a feature colour you love, then integrate it throughout your entertainment area in decor, appliances and surfaces such as bench tops and flooring.

 

Layout

The ideal entertainer’s home allows you to stay engaged with your guests while cooking for them. You might like to consider installing a concrete island bench top with forward facing cooktops. This will make the time you spend in the kitchen more of a social event, and won’t see you ducking back to the kitchen every few moments. 

It’s easy to keep the party going with an open plan kitchen and dining space, which allows for conversations to drift between multiple areas of the home and can create a better sense of unity.

 

Outdoor Kitchens

The great outdoors provides a perfect backdrop for entertaining guests, so why not have a kitchen outside too? When it comes to appliances, pizza ovens and barbecues are always a hit, making the showmanship of cooking all part of the entertainment. 

When installing appliances on a patio or deck, follow professional advice for placement and installation to allow for appropriate ventilation.

 

Alfresco Dining

Considering the comfort of your guests should take top priority when designing an outdoor dining space. If you have the room to move, you might like to create several seating areas such as a large dining table with a separate outdoor lounge. If you’re working with a smaller space, opt for a compact table and chair setting that’s suitable for both dining and relaxing, while accenting the area with plants and other greenery. 

Fire pits and sunken lounges away from the main dining space are also popular features for entertainment areas.

Landscaping

Those with polished concrete floors indoors can continue the home’s aesthetic outside with an elegant indoor-outdoor flow for continuity and cohesion. 

Geostone’s Exposed Aggregate, Coloured Concrete and Honed Concrete ranges are ideal for outdoor applications, designed specifically for outdoor use and built to last in most weather conditions.

 

Pool Surrounds

A swimming pool is a showcase feature of many Australian backyards and entertaining areas – so it shouldn’t be neglected. Stunning pool surrounds can be achieved with materials that compliment and enhance your home’s aesthetic. Geostone’s decorative concrete range is designed specifically to function in wet areas, so your pool area will remain slip-resistant and easy to clean, while maintaining great visual appeal for years to come.

Whether you entertain guests occasionally or often, consideration of the ways you plan to use the space will help you design a true entertainer’s dream.

For more information and inspiration about renovations, building and concrete installation, explore our article archive.

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

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.

Modern Gardens and Landscaping Trends

Design trends come and go, and the concept of modern gardens and landscaping trends change just as fast.

So, when looking to 2019 and beyond, what are the latest modern outdoor design trends, and how can they be replicated?

We have put together some top tips and tricks for creating modern gardens and landscaping trends.

 

Materials

Materials used to create gardens and outdoor spaces can wane in popularity.

But concrete is one landscaping material that has stood the test of time and it doesn’t have to be plain and grey. Decorative concrete solutions like exposed aggregate and coloured concrete can give new life to any outdoor space, creating a modern garden or outdoor entertaining area.

Geostone’s range of decorative concrete features natural Australian stone, providing the contemporary look of natural materials.

That means decorative concrete is perfectly paired with other natural materials including timber and stone.

 

Colours

When it comes to choosing colours for your landscaping and garden surrounds, natural and neutral tones can return higher property value.

Decorative concrete is always a staple of modern design and will work seamlessly with any other materials that populate the space.

Various types of timber and stone combined with the neutral tones of coloured concrete will provide a simple and timeless aesthetic for your garden.

Metalwork or chrome accents can also complement any outdoor space, often used in furniture or latticework for greenery to grow on.

Planter pots and other greenery mix well with wood, metal, stone and concrete, so keeping your colour palette neutral allows the colours of nature to shine.

 

Paths, walls and driveways

When deciding how to frame the garden, concrete driveways and paths provide structure and order.

It’s easy enough to install a simple concrete path but going the extra mile with decorative concrete will add greater visual appeal and functionality.

When thinking about structure in the garden space, the boundary fences aren’t the only framework to consider.

Decorative concrete can also be used to build stairs and retaining walls, creating sections in the garden to differentiate between plants, greenery and grass, pathways and lounging spaces.

 

Functionality

A feature that is increasing in popularity is an outdoor living space or lounging area, that can be just as comfortable as the living room inside your home.

Concrete flooring can set the scene for an intimate outdoor lounging area, on an elevated, or even sunken section of the garden.

The key is to create a space that is not only attractive to the eye, but also functional for your lifestyle.

 

Greenery

Of course, no garden space would be complete without plants and natural greenery.

You might like to plant an edible garden, classical flowers or a tropical oasis.

The types of plants used are always a personal preference, although the way they are installed varies depending on the desired aesthetic.

For modern gardens, black, metal or concrete planter pots work wonders for taller leafy plants.

Lattices and vertical gardens are also a popular choice for creating gardens in small spaces.

While seasons change and design trends continue to update, these modern garden staples will help to future-proof any outdoor space.

For more tips, tricks and design inspiration visit the Geostone blog archive or our Facebook page.

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.

What Property Valuers Look For Outside Your Home

A property valuer could determine the price range of your home before they even walk through the front door.

That’s why outdoor renovations should not be overlooked when preparing to sell your home.

Bathroom and kitchen renovations are often prioritised by homeowners wanting to increase the sale price of their property. But improving the exterior of the home could offer greater rewards.

Realestate.com.au reported Cathy Morrissey of The Reno Chick, made a $105,000 profit from a $6,000 cosmetic refresh of the front of her Sydney investment property, in just 35 days.

Proving first impressions really do count, Cathy says it’s the front yard that gets people in the front door, and if sellers don’t capture a potential buyer’s interest in the first ten seconds, they might lose them.

In a highly competitive market, everyone is hoping for the best returns. So what exterior features drive up the value of a property? And where do you begin?

Renovating for Profits’ Cherie Barber says as a general rule of thumb, aim to at least double, or ideally triple, your investment for every dollar you spend.

 

Landscaping

While having a freshly mowed lawn is a good start, carefully considered and low-maintenance landscaping can give your property greater buyer appeal. Adding concrete pathways, garden beds or a new driveway creates clean borders, giving structure and order to your outdoor space.  Elaborate, established gardens can be perceived as a liability and could turn some buyers away, whereas the appearance of low maintenance gardens can help increase property value. Some reports estimate an overall landscape upgrade can provide a 105 percent return on investment.

 

Painting or Rendering

Dated exteriors can be updated quickly and affordably with fresh paint or cement rendering. Choosing the right paint colours is important, and fresh neutral colours will maximise returns. Outdated red brick or blonde brick walls can be covered with cement rendering, which has been estimated to return $10 for every $1 spent.

 

Outdoor entertaining area, alfresco or patio

Australians are known for their love of the great Aussie barbecue and entertaining friends and family. Indoor-outdoor living is always in demand, offering potential for greater returns for homes with a dedicated outdoor entertaining area, which Domain describes as an ‘emotional driver’ for buyers. And it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Even a modest patio or alfresco upgrade of $2000 to $8000 can increase property value by providing additional all-year-round living space. State Custodians recommends capping total renovation costs to a maximum of 5 per cent of the total property value, with the aim of increasing property value by at least 10 per cent.

 

Use decorative concrete for your driveway to improve your home's value

Off Street Parking and Driveway

If you’ve ever paid for parking in a major Australian city, you know how valuable those few square metres of ground can be. In high density urban areas in particular, off-street parking significantly increases property value. Even if there isn’t room for a garage or carport, building a concrete driveway can work in your favour when it comes time to sell. For those with an existing gravel driveway, Inman estimates paving a gravel driveway can earn up to 75 per cent ROI, using material such as decorative concrete.

 

Finish Renovations

We’ve all seen it – properties listed for sale with unfinished renovations and extensions. The listing proclaims a ‘renovator’s delight’, but it could be more of a nightmare for the potential buyer. Why has the seller abandoned it? Termites? Asbestos? No return on investment? Simply too expensive to fix? Although there is a market for the classic ‘fixer upper’, Mortgage Choice says buyers and valuers look more favourably on completed renovations.

 

Tidy Up

This may seem obvious, but valuers still report assessing properties with unmowed lawns and untidy backyards. Realestate.com.au says ensuring your property is well presented will benefit the valuation. They recommend clearing the yard of any unkempt plants or structures, and completing a general tidy up prior to your property appraisal.

 

For more tips on how to add value to your property from the outside, claim your free Geostone e-book.

The Best Time to Renovate Your Driveway

Whether you’re building a house or planning a long-overdue home makeover, you might be thinking about renovating your driveway.

But when is the best time to do it?

While pouring the perfect concrete might be an exact science, when to do it certainly isn’t.

So there is no hard and fast answer. The best time to renovate, is any time that best suits you.

Although this means you can build a concrete driveway, entertainment or alfresco area any time of the year, there are still some considerations to take into account to help you choose the perfect time to pour.

Weather

The best time to renovate your driveway

While it is ideal to have optimal weather conditions for pouring concrete, there are many benefits to renovating driveways and outdoor areas in the cooler months too.

Perhaps best of all, getting your outdoor spaces finished in the winter means more time to enjoy it with friends and family when summer comes around.

Home Value

Upgrading the outside of your home with renovations such as a new driveway or pathways could help increase the value of your home sooner, improving the curbside appeal of your home for potential buyers, should you decide to sell.

Technology

Be it in the depths of winter or the heart of summer, there are always great weather days just around the corner. CCAA’s Smart Concreting App could be helpful in forward planning your renovation, as it can assist with forecasting temperatures and weather conditions and how they could impact your pour.

Seasons change, but technology means you no longer need to be a slave to the temperature. Avoid the rain and continue working through the winter months, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your new outdoor area on those balmy summer evenings.

Timing

Will you be working on the renovations yourself? If you’re hiring contractors and planning a big project, do you have time to oversee it? Or will you need to engage a site manager?

These are important but often overlooked considerations to factor in when deciding on a timeline for your project.

Budget

Your budget can also influence when the best time will be for your concrete pour. Can you afford to do it now, or do you need more time to save?

A common mistake renovators make is leaving the outdoor jobs until it’s too late. They prioritise walls, floors and doors, break the budget inside, leaving outside looking old and outdated.

If you have the budget available, stick to your limits, set deadlines, and avoid ending up with an unfinished driveway, garden or outdoor area.

And when it comes time for your concreting project, remember to follow the best practice guidelines for a long-lasting finish and take measures to avoid concrete cracking. Following just a few simple steps will help save you time and money in the long run.

When planning your Geostone concrete project, discuss these points with your concrete installer or service provider to help ensure your decorative concrete looks great for years to come.

Double Up

Staged renovating is popular for budget-conscious renovators. You might be planning to build a new driveway now, saving for some garden steps in six months and a new entertaining area next year.

But you could save more money by combining all of these projects into one.

Geostone offers decorative concrete in a range of coloured concrete and exposed aggregate finishes for a wide array of outdoor projects, including pool surrounds and footpaths, as well as honed and polished concrete to add style and sophistication to your home.

So the best time to renovate your driveway might be right now.

Contact Geostone today and we’ll help get you on your way to a brand new driveway.

Why Concrete Is the New Cool

Using contemporary concrete styling in your home

The industrial vintage look of concrete has made a return to dominate contemporary architecture on a global scale.

And you can now replicate this style in your very own home.

Once confined to house slabs and the base of the Hills Hoist, concrete is now being used extensively throughout residential construction.

Home renovation programs like The Block have escalated this age-old building material to new heights, using concrete to add modern and unrefined functional features to the home – even in the kitchen and bathroom.

Programs such as these have proven to be highly influential, with viewers being drawn to replicate the same trends and styles they’re exposed to on television in their own homes.

But it doesn’t end there.

The growing concrete trend is everywhere you look.

Social media is another popular and highly influential platform to source design and style inspiration. And #concrete is certainly trending. 

A quick keyword search on Instagram reveals more than 2-million results for concrete, paired with images of stylish concrete forms – everything from sky rise buildings and art galleries to swimming pools and flower pots.

Pinterest is another hotspot for lovers of all things concrete, with imagery collections ranging from concrete garden inspiration to vintage industrial concrete interiors.

Of course, these trends all have a beginning somewhere far removed from social media.

Leading the way in the concrete architecture of the real world is celebrated architect, Tadao Ando. Working primarily in concrete, Ando is inspired by the brutalist style but best known for his own unique ‘cashmere-like’ smooth finish.

The Atlantic captured it perfectly in their recent article on Tadao Ando, which made the comparison that most architects consider concrete as a building’s underwear, ‘an essential but hidden layer’, while Ando’s structures display their concrete with pride.

And like Ando, we are seeing more and more architects test the boundaries of concrete, as concrete buildings make headlines around the world.

The once snubbed building material is now embraced everywhere from Japanese homes crafted from raw concrete to the 17 best concrete buildings from across the globe.

This movement is perhaps best described by styling blog, Hunting for George as ‘a concrete renaissance’. And we couldn’t agree more.

Tips on how to capture the contemporary concrete look in your home

  • Go Big: There’s no need to hold back when it comes to contemporary concrete. Whether you’re planning a single large concrete space or combining several separate features, Geostone’s decorative concrete range is versatile and diverse enough to use without restraint.Concrete is the new home styling trend
  • Embrace Colour: Raw and exposed traditional grey concrete is certainly hot right now, but adding colour to the mix is still popular with homeowners wanting a softer style. Geostone’s coloured concrete allows you to customise your concrete to the unique colour scheme of your home and surrounds.
  • Natural Look & Layering: Concrete is ideal for pairing with natural textures and building materials such as stone and timber. Geostone features natural Australian stone sourced from your local region to truly reflect where you live.
  • Polished Concrete: If sophistication is your style, it’s hard to go past the beauty and durability of a polished concrete floor. Speckled with natural Australian stone throughout, Geostone’s polished concrete is a truly beautiful option for flooring and benchtops.
  • Think Outside the Square: Concrete doesn’t have to be restricted to driveways and patios. Take a look at our other concrete projects for the garden and backyard.