Concrete is used all over the world, in civil engineering projects and on residential building sites. We use concrete slabs to construct bridges, dams, and office blocks. We pour concrete into pilings to build secure foundations. At home, we use concrete to create level foundations for sheds and outbuildings or as a hard-standing for vehicles. It’s an incredibly useful material. However, concrete is rarely used as the primary building material in residential architecture.
Look at a slab of concrete. What’s the first thing that strikes you? Concrete is utilitarian, brutal almost. There is nothing pretty about concrete. It is strong, relatively inexpensive, but not aesthetically pleasing. With its uniform gray color, concrete is the material of choice if you want to build a nuclear bunker or car park. For anyone building a luxury home, concrete is probably not their first choice.
The Advantages of Concrete
Concrete has a lot of advantages when used as a building material. It is very strong and durable when strengthened with rebar. As long as the metal is encased in concrete, it doesn’t rust. Concrete is fireproof and will not burn, so in the event of a fire, your home won’t be completely destroyed. It’s also going to last a lot longer than a conventional timber home.
Homes built from concrete are in a minority. In house-building lingo, concrete is classed as a non-standard construction. Whether the home is cast on site or constructed from pre-fabricated pieces, there is a lot you can do with concrete, but there are also a few pitfalls to be aware of.
Problems Associated with Concrete
First, the problems. Older concrete homes are more likely to have issues. There may be structural weaknesses, damp or mold issues. Lenders are also less keen on offering mortgages to buyers looking at concrete homes. However, these problems can be avoided if you build a concrete home to suit your own specifications. Be sure to check that you can get a mortgage, though.
Create a Unique Design
Building a concrete home gives you plenty of freedom with the design. Concrete can be molded into any shape, even curves, so you have the opportunity to get really creative with your design. The great thing about concrete is that it’s cheaper to use than traditional brick and stone. It’s also quicker to assemble if you use prefabricated pieces, which are poured off-site and then assembled on-site.
Concrete does look rather brutal if you don’t finish it, but polished concrete is actually rather beautiful. It has a lovely sheen, which shows off the many different colors in the material. Concrete can also be painted and finished with other materials, such as timber and drywall. Outside, you can use architectural stone to create a range of finishes.
Use luxurious materials to finish your concrete home and transform it from a box to a jewel. Polished metal, marble, natural stone, and high-quality fabrics, furniture, and lighting will all make a concrete home more comfortable. Soften harsh edges with plants and greenery. In time, you won’t even notice the concrete.