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Your Spring Cleaning Sorted in Six Easy Steps

Summer is coming and Christmas is just around the corner – but is your home ready for the season?

Perhaps the bathroom has seen better days, the kitchen cupboards are in chaos, or you’re searching high and low just to find your favourite shirt?

Then it’s probably time for a spring clean!

Deep cleaning and decluttering your home doesn’t have to be daunting, but it should achieve more than your weekly maintenance routine.

As well as making your space more practical and productive, having an organised home can be emotionally rewarding as well.

The KonMari method of tidying made famous by Marie Kondo focuses heavily on the emotional and spiritual benefits of organisation, driven by keeping only those items that ‘spark joy’.

Even a simple decluttering can give you a greater appreciation for the belongings you have, and more enjoyment of the space you’re in.

So if you’ve been putting it off, we’ve put together some expert tips for getting your spring cleaning sorted in six easy steps.

  1. Plan

The most important thing to do before embarking on your spring cleaning journey is having a clear action plan or a solid objective  – what are you trying to achieve? Is your home simply in need of a thorough clean? Do you need to create space and clear out items you no longer need?  Or are you preparing your home for sale

 

  1. Assess

A great process for deciding what you want to keep and what needs to go comes from utilising Marie Kondo’s philosophy for sparking joy. Consider what items actually bring you joy, while focussing on form and function. From clothing to crockery, ask if it enhances your space, or creates unnecessary clutter. 

Humans are creatures of habit, so collecting material things can make us feel good. But physical clutter is a reflection of our mindset. Donating unwanted items to a local charity or op-shop is an effective way to clear out your home while helping others.  

 

  1. Attack

Once you’ve finalised your plan and assessed what can stay and what should go, it’s time to get moving! Sort everything into categories, for example, collect all of your books, and pile them up so you can see everything in one place. Then you can make a clear decision about what to keep before finding a designated space for them.

 

A great way to ensure you’re on the right track is embracing elements of minimalist home design. A minimalist home doesn’t have to mean settling for just one couch and a coffee table, or only a mattress on the floor. Instead, consider using a ‘catch all shelf’ or other functional furniture to display all your decorative objects in one place.

  1. Clean it up

Once you’ve cleared the clutter and organised the space, you’re ready to start cleaning. Keep in mind that spring cleaning is a much bigger task than a weekly tidy-up. Ensure you have the time to clean thoroughly, and use it as an opportunity to analyse how you can keep your home cleaner for longer. If your carpet is dirty and stained, or your tiles are chipped, you might want to consider how Geostone’s decorative concrete can provide a low-maintenance flooring solution.

 

Decorative concrete floors are a solid long-term investment as they’re easy to clean and durable. Geostone only requires regular sweeping and occasional mopping to maintain its stunning look. It’s also perfect for pets and families, meaning you get to worry less about scratches, stains and marks

 

  1. Test it out

Before dubbing your spring clean a success, it’s best to test it out. Is it easier to find things in your new layout, and is the space more functional? Or are you feeling lost and searching for things in all t

he wrong places? Use this as an opportunity to refine and reset if you need it.

You might find your spring cleaning inspires a streamlined look for the rest of your home too.  Perhaps it’s time for a splash of paint, new artwork, or updated flooring and benchtops. With a new aesthetic and layout, why not think outside the box and embrace

 the growing concrete trend.

 

  1. Rest, relax and enjoy!

Once you’ve done the hard yards, decluttered, cleaned up and settled on your new layout, it’s finally time to enjoy the fresh space a deep spring clean has delivered for your home.

 

For more information, tips and tricks on all things concrete and home renovation, head over to the Geostone blog archive.

 

 

Seven Unique Features for Every Aussie Home

Home ownership was once the Great Australian Dream.

And for many, it still is. It just often looks a little different these days.

No matter what type of home you live in, big or small, there are some things you just can’t live without. 

So we’ve compiled seven must-have features for every Aussie home.

 

The ‘Barbie’

No backyard, or balcony, is complete without a classic Aussie barbecue. It’s a must-have for easy week-night dinners, summer weekend gatherings, and of course the traditional Boxing Day barbie.

Whether you’re feeding the family or entertaining guests, creating an outdoor entertaining area to host your barbecues can be a lot of fun.

These days, barbecue areas and outdoor kitchens can include everything from big screen TVs to hot tubs and even the kitchen sink! 

Decorative concrete can be used to add extra wow factor to your space, crafting anything from the floor to benchtops, pizza ovens, tables and more. 

 

Swimming Pool

Is it really an Aussie summer without a swimming pool

Many of us have fond memories of childhood summers spent in the water.

Whether it was in our own backyard, a neighbour’s or a visit to the town pool, there’s probably also many a memory of scorching hot concrete and scraped knees. 

Australian homeowners are now designing gorgeous pool surrounds with Geostone’s decorative concrete range, offering unique designs, styles and colours in a range of modern finishes.

These functional pool surrounds offer natural slip resistance to ensure a safe and practical solution, while being comfortable underfoot, and maintaining a welcoming and timeless design.

 

The ‘Pool Room’ 

In the words of Darryl Kerrigan, “this is going straight to the pool room”.

Whether or not you own a billiards table doesn’t really matter. Maybe you call it a den. Or a man cave. But every Castle should have a space for showcasing those treasured possessions.

For that little extra ‘vibe’, a polished concrete floor will help to set the scene. 

And given polished concrete is more affordable than you’d think, there’ll be no need to ‘tell him he’s dreaming’. 

Both durable and easy to clean, Geostone’s polished concrete flooring achieves a balance of style and practicality. 

And with a wide range of colours and styles on offer, you’re sure to find the perfect mix for your Pool Room.

Ahh, how’s the serenity?

 

Verandah 

Every Aussie home needs a verandah out the front.

Whether you use the space for entertaining guests, a welcoming entry, or simply enjoying a good book in your old rocking chair, verandahs have long been a mainstay of Australian home design. 

Similar to other outdoor areas like patios and balcony areas, verandahs can also enjoy the benefits of a concrete surface

Add in some pops of colour and foliage to the surrounding area, along with Geostone’s exposed aggregate or honed concrete, to provide that finishing touch to the overall look and feel of your Aussie verandah.

 

Hills Hoist 

The ultimate Aussie home wouldn’t be complete without a clothesline out the back.

An iconic Australian invention, the Hills Hoist has long been a feature of many a backyard.

Although perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing feature of a home, the clothesline is practical. And there’s a certain sense of nostalgia associated with fresh white sheets blowing in the wind.

To ensure the clothesline remains practical, it’s important to make sure it isn’t neglected in an overgrown or muddy area of the yard. 

Creating a decorative concrete path and landing area with Geostone provides clear access from the house to the clothesline, while also creating defined zones in your landscaping.

 

The Shed 

Even if you’re not the handy type, space for extra storage can really come in handy, which is why outdoor sheds have always been a staple of the classic Aussie home. 

Whether you use it as a workshop, storage, or a place to keep your tools, you will want a hard and durable floor surface that is easy to clean and can withstand the test of time

You can choose from Geostone’s exposed aggregate, polished, honed or coloured concrete, with each offering a range of colours and finishes to meet your needs.

 

Entertainers kitchen 

Australians love food, and entertaining, so the kitchen has always been the heart (and belly) of the Aussie home. 

The once humble home kitchen has had a makeover in modern times, with many homeowners embracing chef grade appliances and high-end finishes to create the ultimate entertainers kitchen.

A spacious, effective and functional kitchen space can also be complemented by outdoor dining extensions such as an outdoor kitchen or alfresco entertaining area

Designing the perfect floor plan is integral to the success of your kitchen and if you’re renovating on a budget, you don’t have to compromise on style in favour of functionality or price with eostone decorative concrete.

. . . 

With so many options and variations for creating classic Aussie home designs, we hope you’re inspired by these must have features. 

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

Geostone 101 – What you need to know about indoor decorative 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 1, we explore popular indoor uses for polished and honed Geostone decorative concrete, and explain the Geostone process.

 

What is Geostone? 

Geostone is a decorative concrete range that 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 spaces.

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

With options in exposed aggregate, polished and honed concrete, and coloured concrete, Geostone’s aggregates are sourced from the local area of each supply region, and blended with decorative concrete in a wide and varied colour palette.

 

How can Geostone be used indoors? 

Flooring

Geostone’s polished and honed concrete range is a popular choice for indoor flooring. With colour and stone selections to suit any interior, Geostone polished and honed concrete offers functionality and style with an easy to clean and durable surface.

Geostone can be laid as a foundational house slab, or potentially poured over an existing surface. Before deciding on the stone and colour combination that’s right for you, take some time to consider designing your floor plan. 

Bathrooms

It is often assumed concrete floors are slippery when wet, but Geostone concrete floors can be prepared with a slip-resistant finish that makes them both safe and comfortable under foot.

Moisture prevention is imperative when installing Geostone in bathrooms and other wet areas. The concrete must be properly waterproofed to prevent water transfer and water retention in the sub floor and wall joints.

A grout-free polished concrete floor also offers easy maintenance, requiring only mopping to keep it clean and dry. Concrete floors are generally quick to install, provide beautiful visual appeal, and are highly durable and versatile, which may lead to greater returns on investment, and even increased resale value of a home in the long run.

Laundries 

Modern laundries call for a sleek minimalist design, and easy-to-clean surface areas. Like bathrooms, laundries are another wet area perfectly suited to concrete flooring.

Not only will decorative concrete bring life and colour to your bathroom, ensuite or laundry, it can also absorb and release thermal energy, keeping the temperature of your home comfortable all year round.

Kitchens 

Polished concrete floors can be a cost-effective flooring solution for any kitchen space. Geostone polished and honed concrete is available in a range of colours and natural stone selections to complement your home’s colour scheme.

And Geostone isn’t limited to just the floor. One of the applications you might not have thought of is the ability to create custom benchtops for the kitchen, laundry or bathroom.

Geostone polished concrete can be shaped and styled to your specifications, before being polished to reveal a stunning modern sheen. Finding the perfect look for your place is easy to achieve, while waterproof features ensure longevity, minimising repair and maintenance costs.

Living Areas 

The living room is often a central hub for activity. Whether you’re entertaining guests or needing a family-friendly space, Geostone decorative concrete is designed to stand the test of time.

The sleek lines of polished concrete allow you to maximise your living space, while the durability and functionality makes it the perfect flooring solution for children and pets, being naturally allergy-friendly, skid and scratch resistant, and easy to clean. 

 

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 

From the comfort and convenience of your home you can use the Regional Selector on our website, which displays the range of mixes and colours available in your local area.

3. Visit your nearest display centre 

If you would like to see samples in person or to speak to one of our colour consultants, you can 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. 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.

Preparing Your Home for Sale 

Preparing your home for sale may be a daunting prospect. 

What you should bear in mind, however, is that the right presentation can pay off. 

Ensuring that your property appeals to potential home buyers is the best way to optimise resale value.

But where do you start? Interior, exterior, kitchen, bathroom or backyard? 

Just how much work is required? And what will it cost?

For some areas of the home, small changes can make a big difference, such as spring cleaning, some new artwork, or perhaps a lick of paint. 

Larger updates can provide even greater returns, particularly in areas that are dated or worn like floors and kitchen benchtops.

To guide you through the sometimes painful pre-sales process, our experts have compiled their top tips.

 

Clear the Clutter

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to prepare your place for sale is to declutter your home

Less is more when creating buyer appeal. So pack away family photos and other personal mementos, minimise the number of items on display on shelves and benchtops and aim for a minimalist style.

If you are preparing to move, now is also the perfect time to downsize and sell or donate any household items you won’t be taking with you. That might mean re-locating appliances and items of furniture for a more streamlined appearance.

Diversify the Space

Think about the current layout and use of your home. What has worked for you, might not offer the best functionality for a potential buyer. 

For example, if your house has five bedrooms, you might consider staging one as a study or office to demonstrate the flexibility of the space. And the children’s rumpus room could easily be converted into a home theatre room by clearing away the toys, setting up a television or projector screen and strategically placing some comfy recliners.

You’ll be surprised at how many different ways you can update your space without much effort or expense.

 

Add Colour

Natural materials and neutral colours can create higher property value. So it might pay to think about different ways to introduce colour when renovating for profit.

It could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint, or you might like to get creative with colour in your outdoor space, kitchen benchtops, or indoor flooring

Using too much of one colour can cause a ‘washed out’ look, and combining too many colours can overwhelm the eye. Instead, stick to a select few colours that both contrast and complement each other. 

Geostone’s Exposed Aggregate and Polished Concrete ranges are popular materials for both indoor and outdoor renovations for this reason, available in a wide range of concrete colour and stone selections. 

 

Floor Plan Flow

Open plan living has replaced the old trend of homes being separated into a collection of tiny rooms and closed spaces. 

Modern design celebrates open layouts and multi-purpose spaces. But preparing your home for sale might not be the best time for knocking down walls.

One of the easiest ways to create cohesive design and flow is with a flooring solution that continues throughout your home. 

Unlike some flooring materials that have restricted uses, Geostone’s polished concrete range is ideal for the entire house including wet areas.

As well as being a solid long-term investment, concrete floors are more affordable than you might think.

Before making any major changes, be sure to seek support for designing your floor plan.

 

Know when not to DIY

It’s tempting to head to your nearest hardware store and attempt a quick and cheap DIY makeover so you can get your property on the market sooner. 

But experts warn rushing those all important preparations could cost you more in the long run.

Knowing when not to DIY is crucial for avoiding costly mistakes. 

It’s important that only licenced professionals are engaged for the jobs that require professional skills. 

While renovating on a budget has its challenges, there are plenty of ways to maximise your makeover without breaking the bank. 

Choosing high quality materials along with professional support can help you to avoid spending too much on renovations. 

 

Outdoor appeal

Pre-sale renovations often focus on the indoors, but did you know that property valuers can determine the price range of your home before walking in the front door?

And you may have just 10 seconds to capture the attention of potential home buyers, before they drive on to the next property on their open house list. 

So it’s important to make a good first impression, starting with the exterior.

Adding value to your home from the outside might mean renovating the driveway, installing paths, updating the garden, or building a patio. 

If that’s the case, the Geostone decorative concrete range can help you to maximise the return from your home in a number of ways.

For more advice on improving your home’s value, download our free ebook or explore the Geostone article archives for more design ideas and inspiration.

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.

Mastering Your Kitchen Makeover

Most kitchen makeovers start with flicking through Instagram, Pinterest and home decorating magazines looking for inspiration.

But mastering your kitchen makeover takes a little more work than creating vision boards.

While the visual appeal of an Insta-worthy kitchen might make your heart skip a beat, it takes functional consideration and technical knowledge to design a successful and practical kitchen.

As the heart of the home, the kitchen should accommodate your lifestyle and be able to adapt to the changing needs of your household over time.

But before jumping into the latest trends, consider the elements of timeless design to create a kitchen that will last the distance. Geostone decorative concrete can help you to achieve a beautiful finish for any kitchen makeover, is championed for its versatility and functionality and is suited to an array of applications from benchtops to polished concrete flooring.

We’ve compiled this list of some of the key focus areas to consider when planning your kitchen makeover.

 

Flooring

Thoughts of kitchen renovations probably conjure up images of sparkling new appliances, elaborate double ovens and high-tech refrigerators. But the first element to consider when renovating your kitchen should be the floor.

Whether you’re saying goodbye to ‘delightful’ 1960s vinyl, replacing chipped tiles or ripping up old floorboards, you’re probably ready to welcome a contemporary flooring surface that will last the test of time. Polished concrete floors provide a hard-wearing solution combining modern sophistication and timeless style with practical benefits for all lifestyles.

Not only are they easy to clean, but polished concrete floors can be a cost-effective flooring solution too, by reducing the need for maintenance over their lifespan. Geostone Polished Concrete is available in a range of colours and natural stone selections exclusive to your local region, allowing you to tailor the look to suit your home.

 

Bars and Benchtops

One of the practical concrete applications you might not have thought of is the ability to create custom kitchen benchtops. Geostone Polished Concrete can be shaped and styled to suit any kitchen design, and polished to reveal a stunning modern sheen.

The kitchen is often the most expensive room of any home renovation, and if you’re renovating on a budget, polished concrete can be an economical material choice. Professionally sealed polished concrete is suitable for wet areas ensuring long lasting longevity in the kitchen, and minimising repair and maintenance costs.

 

Outdoor Kitchens

While there can be too many cooks in a kitchen, there can never be too many kitchens for a great cook.

Homeowners are increasingly adding on outdoor kitchens for entertaining friends and family, and Geostone decorative concrete works just as effectively outside as it does indoors.

You can continue the indoor kitchen aesthetic by using the same or a similar mix outside, creating a seamless transition of indoor-outdoor flow. Designing your dream outdoor room could include polished concrete picnic tables, benchtops, pizza ovens and sinks.

As far as appliances are concerned, you will need to consider positioning of barbeques and outdoors ovens to ensure appropriate ventilation, and seek professional installation of electricals and plumbing.

 

Optimising the Space

Whether you’re planning a complete kitchen makeover or refurbishing an outdoor entertaining area, you’ll first want to consider how you plan to use the space.

Modern kitchens are more frequently combined with living and dining areas to create an open plan design, achieving a welcoming space that brings a sense of cohesion. Optimising space in your kitchen could mean incorporating more storage or bench space, removing non weight-bearing walls to increase the floor area, or rearranging key features of the kitchen to improve workability and accessibility.

Outdoor kitchens provide even more room to move, organically extending the indoor living and dining area when connected to the indoor kitchen with glass sliding doors. The polished concrete of the indoors can be organically extended outside with an honed or exposed aggregate finish, ideal for everything from patios and pool surrounds to driveways and paths.

 

Calling in the Professionals

The kitchen is one of the most common settings of DIY disasters. One recent report found Monday is the busiest day for Australian tradespeople, spent fixing up botched DIY jobs from the weekend.

By knowing when not to DIY, you can potentially save time and money by calling in the professionals and doing the job right the first time, everytime. It also means you can focus on the next area of the renovations, and get back to work sooner on other areas of the home.

If you need more support for mastering your kitchen makeover, contact the Geostone team for expert colour advice. For more information and inspiration about renovating and building with decorative concrete, visit 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

Designing Your Floor Plan

With so many options and orientations to choose from, designing your floor plan might seem like a job best left to the professionals.

But no-one knows your lifestyle quite like you, so designing your own floor plan can ensure the layout of your home perfectly suits your needs.

Even sketching some initial blueprints will help your architect and builder understand your vision for your home, and will highlight any areas that require additional planning.

A good floor plan will improve functionality of your space while highlighting the features of your home most important to you.

Considering flooring materials is a natural next step when designing your floor plan. Laying concrete flooring throughout the home at the time of construction can save you both time and money.  Polished concrete flooring is a popular flooring option that provides uniformity and seamlessly connects the spaces of the home together.

So whether you’re interested in renovating, or building a new home, today we explore some of the most important areas to consider when designing your floor plan.

Kitchen

The layout of the kitchen is arguably the most important aspect of any floor plan.

Your ability to cook and prepare meals efficiently depends entirely on factors like bench space, placement of preparation room, and distances between key features like the oven and refrigerator. You’ll also need to give thought to durable yet appealing flooring materials. Geostone’s polished concrete is a hard-wearing option suitable for kitchen floors and benchtops alike, being easy to clean and ideal for wet areas.

Kitchens are the heart of the home, and deciding on a layout that works for you can set a precedent for other areas. While modern kitchens tend to open up to the living or dining room spaces, you might also opt for separating the areas to create more intimate rooms.

Bathroom

Bathroom layouts and inclusions can vary dramatically, but a few key considerations can help you determine the floor plan.

When renovating an existing home, keeping showers, bathtubs, toilets and basins in line with current plumbing will reduce the cost of your refurbishment.

Also consider if your bathroom will feature only a shower, or also a bathtub or spa? Would you prefer a single or double vanity? And do you need several bathrooms, or will one be sufficient?

What about the flooring options? Polished concrete floors are ideal for wet areas, being both beautiful and functional, and skid and slip resistant when sealed.

Living

Living areas can be one of the most exciting rooms to plan, as a space to showcase your personality, and create a lasting impression on guests. When deciding on a floor plan for this area, you will need to decide whether to section off a dining and entertaining area from the living room, or embrace an open plan living space.

Give thought to window placement and views, positioning of your television and lounge suite, and giving every zone enough space so as to not feel cramped, while considering polished concrete flooring to tie them all together.

 

Bedrooms

For every bedroom there is a unique layout, from agreeing on the size of the walk-in-wardrobe you need, and whether or not the ensuite really needs a spa bath, to controlling the level of natural light. When deciding on a floor plan for your bedroom, think about whether you want the early morning sunlight streaming through the windows. You’ll want to consider the type of window coverings you’ll need to keep the room dark when sleeping, and ways to keep your bedroom cosy in the cold winter months.

 

Additional Rooms

Many modern homes have other dedicated spaces in addition to the kitchen, living, dining, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Other rooms to consider in your floor plan could include a rumpus room for children, powder rooms or guest bathrooms, a standalone or European style laundry cleverly tucked away into a wardrobe, or an office space to organically separate work from home life.  

 

Outdoors

Your home’s floor plan should also give consideration to the outdoor space, including the placement of windows and external doors, as well as balconies or outdoor rooms and alfresco dining areas if you have the space.

Bringing the indoors out can create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor living areas with only a little forward planning. Geostone decorative concrete solutions can be used both indoors and out to create seamless flow, allowing you to open up the space and have more room for entertainment and relaxation.

While floor plans are only one step in building or renovating your home, thinking ahead can make the entire building process easier and ensure you’re soon living in a home you love.

For more design inspiration, or to view the Geostone decorative concrete range in your area, visit www.geostone.com.au.

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.