DIY Home Improvement

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It appears that there has been a decline in consumer confidence in the building and construction industry of late. This may be because of the scams highlighted on television or the bribery and corruption rampant in the corporate sector, but it is almost certainly the same reason why so many are now carrying out 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 accomplish 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, althoughthey 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.

Not surprisingly, homeowners are discovering that the jobs are not being completed to their satisfaction. Sometimes they are even pre-paying for services that do not get done or were not part of the plan.

You do not have to trust and pay someone to enhance your home. Why not have a go yourself?

You can do up your home's existing concrete surfaces using acid stains, acrylic paints, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques.

If you are bored with looking at bleak gray concrete, there are some simple projects if you are serious about having a go at home improvement DIY, you can easily give your patio, driveway or garage a revitalizing new look.

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

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

Acid-based concrete stains are becoming more and more fashionable for coloring concrete surfaces. They chemically react with the cementitious material to create permanent color with a variegated or mottled look like 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 dye. The big benefit of water based stains is the wide array of colors available.

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

You can 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 key thing to bear in mind when scoring is to trace out the pattern on the concrete first and make sure you are satisfied with the way it looks because scoring is permanent.

Epoxy paints make an excellent coating for garage floors and cellar floors. Many industrial floors have epoxy coatings because of their hardiness and resistance to chemical spills as well as their appearance.

In recent years, however, it has become very fashionable for residential use with the availability of an increasing quantity of different colors. This is not a difficult 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 floor, 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 some instructions and a little bit of work, anyone can turn dull concrete into a work of genius of their own.

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