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By Roelf Nel

Concrete design countertops

When considering counter-tops that are highly customizable, then the versatility and design of concrete is a good choice. Concrete tops create a simple clean look that is not formal. Whether you want a more traditional style or sleek, polished surfaces, then concrete tops offers you a range of options to choose from.

You don’t have to settle for the popular stony gray look. Concrete tops can be made in virtually any colour. A white concrete counter-top provides a crisp, clean look that is appreciated by many home owners. If you would prefer a more traditional look, then brown is a good option. Brown concrete creates a similar look to natural stone, bringing warmth to your home. Concrete offers limitless colour possibilities. If you are wanting to add drama to your home through colour and design, concrete can help you achieve this.

Concrete is a natural material which is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Ask your contractor if the sealant they use will discolour the surface. Concrete counter-tops offer minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning with non-abrasive cleaners is recommended, and periodic waxing if you have opted for a polished finish.

Benefits of Concrete Countertops
• Concrete counters can be designed to fit your space.
• It is available in a wide variety of colours to match you palette.
• It provides a textured, soft natural feel to counters.
• Properly sealed and maintained concrete tops will wear well for years and can be used indoors and outdoors.

Problems of Concrete Countertops
• This porous material will stain if not sealed properly.
• They develop minor hairline cracks which are non-structural because of the natural shrinkage of the material.
• It’s hard to control concrete’s natural variation in colour and texture.

If you are looking to design with an eco-friendly material that is durable, and will last a lifetime, consider using concrete for your counter-tops.

 

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By Roelf Nel

Do you want a green minded home?

A green minded home is characterized by five main categories:

  • Materials and resources
  • Sustainable site
  • Water efficiency
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Quality of the interior air

Some ideas on how to implement a green minded home:

Solar Panels

With Eskom’s load shedding schedule and woes having solar panels may become a solution to the constant load shedding that South African’s experience.  Solar panels use the sun’s energy to power your home.  Solar energy can be used to heat water, provide electricity to appliances and lighting.

Build to your advantage
Consider building your house in a place that uses the surrounding environment and its positioning to your advantage.  This passive design strategy focuses on using an ambient energy source; include daylighting, natural ventilation and solar energy.

LED and Natural Light
Using LED lights or natural lighting is cheaper and lasts longer than ordinary light bulbs. Natural light is, obviously, the best choice, since it has no negative effect on the environment, causes no waste and actually uplifts the psyche of the home’s inhabitants significantly.

Here are some advantages of using LED Light Bulbs:

  • LED lights are more durable and robust than conventional light bulbs, they can also be made significantly smaller than conventional bulbs and can be used in flashlights and other small devices
  • LED light bulbs are energy efficient – producing more light per watt than incandescent bulbs which results in cheaper LED lighting costs when compared to regular lighting
  • LED lights don’t contain the toxins found in incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, such as mercury
  • LED light bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs. Normal light bulbs have an average life span of 1,000 hours but an LED bulb has a life span of between 40,000 and 60,000 hours.
  • LED lighting operates at a lower temperature than incandescent light bulbs, less energy is wasted in heat production and subsequent heat loss

Green Your Walls and Roof
Have you considered growing plants on your walls and roof?  This offers many beneficial effects such as:

  • They insulate the building,
  • prevent noise pollution,
  • emit healthful Oxygen and absorb Carbon Dioxide

Growing vegetables on your roof will also ensure that you have organic food available to you at no extra cost or effort.

Grey Water Systems
Grey water is reusing your water; you can read more about grey water on our recent blog.

What does your green home look like?

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Concrete design countertops
Do you want a green minded home?