Home Renovations DIY

By Colin Jones

It appears that there has been a wane in consumer trust in the building and construction industry of late. This may be because of the scams shown on television or the bribery and corruption endemic in the corporate sector, but it is almost certainly the same motivation why so many are now doing home improvements by themselves.

And why shouldn't they? A little knowledge of the technical aspects combined with an eye for creativity is often enough to complete the home improvement on your own.

Why are people turning to do-it-yourself home improvements?

There are many people trying to pass themselves off as construction workers, although they do not have a lot of experience in construction or home maintenance and they are literally are out there right now practising, learning their trades on homes like yours and mine across the country.

As a result, homeowners are finding that the jobs are not being finished to their liking. At times they are even pre-paying for services that do not get done or were not part of the arrangement.

You do not have to rely on and pay someone to improve your home. Why not try to do it yourself?

You can augment your home?s existing concrete surfaces using acid stains, acrylic paints, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques.

If you are tired of looking at drab gray concrete, there are some easy projects if you are sincere about having a go at home improvement DIY, you can easily give your patio, driveway or garage a revitalizing new look.

Attractive concrete work costs about double that of regular concrete, which is why a lot of people cannot afford it.

However, there are inexpensive methods to beautify concrete after it has cured, without having to pay skilled tradesmen.

Acid-based concrete stains are becoming more and more popular for coloring concrete surfaces. They chemically react with the cement to generate permanent color with a variegated or mottled appearance similar to that of marble. This results in a natural, stylish looking exterior.

Water-based concrete stains are an alternative to acid stains but are much more user friendly because they are so much less toxic. These stains do not chemically react with the concrete; they are absorbed into the porous surface and act like a colorant. The big advantage of water based stains is the wide range of colors on hand.

If you want to risk going beyond the basic staining of your concrete, consider using some scoring techniques to create patterns on the surface.

You could make your concrete resemble a tiled floor for example. It is just up to your imagination. A mini angle grinder with a 4 inch cutting wheel is the ideal tool for this.

The important thing to remember when scoring is to draw the pattern on the concrete first and make sure you are happy with the way it looks because scoring is irreversible.

Epoxy paints make an outstanding coating for garage floors and basement floors. Many commercial floors have epoxy coatings because of their durability and resistance to chemical spills as well as their appearance.

In recent years, however, it has become very popular for residential use with the availability of an growing number of different colors. This is not a complicated job, but the key to successful application is surface preparation.

Epoxy paints have also become available in a water based form making it safe for the DIY'er and perfect for indoor applications. They cost a little more than stains. For a 400 square foot area, you'll pay out about $200 for the materials needed for this job.

So, you see? You do not have to spend big money to improve your home. You have the ability to do it yourself. With a few instructions and a little bit of work, anyone can turn dull concrete into a work of art of their own. - 29857

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