We’ve come a long way since the “Beverly Hillbillies” referred to their swimming pool as the “cement pond.” Many materials have been used in constructing swimming pools with varying degrees of success.
Swimming pool construction materials have included: concrete, fiberglass, metal, plastic, tile, or vinyl.
· Concrete pools can be custom designed in shape, size, and depth.
· You can build a concrete pool anywhere you want.
· Concrete construction lets you build a waterfall anywhere in the pool you want it.
· You can mix concrete with other construction materials such as tile.
· Concrete is one of the longest lasting man –made construction materials. If it is installed properly, concrete will last for decades unlike other construction materials with a shorter life expectancy.
· You can stamp concrete to get some interesting visual and tactile variations.
· With the right tools, materials, and skill installing a concrete pool can be done very quickly.
One of the newest and most natural materials being used in swimming pool construction today is natural stone.
Why Use Stone?
Stone swimming pools are attractive.
While more labor intensive, stone pools require fewer specialized tools and fewer construction materials than concrete.
If you are trying to create a natural pool look by adding such features as a grotto or a waterfall, stone lends itself well to this landscaping.
Stone swimming pools are more than attractive, though. They look and feel luxurious.
Stone can be incorporated into both construction and landscaping.
Stone is durable and stands up well in all kinds of weather.
Stone pool coping gives the water a more natural look.
Stone allows for some variations in both design and cost. For example: You can decorate around your stone pool with natural or faux stone.
Stone is available in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. You can use tiles, rocks, or boulders, allowing countless designs and elements.
Stone construction allows for customization of shape and design.
Your stone pool can easily become the focal point of your entire yard. This can cut back on landscaping design and maintenance costs.
Concrete pools can crack in weather extremes. Stone does not crack or heave.
Stone is not as subject to erosion as concrete.
While you need specialized skills to work with stone, it is more environmentally friendly. The natural stone swimming pool finished product is longer lasting and more aesthetically pleasing.
Advantages of Natural Stone
There are several reasons to choose natural stone counter tops and floors for your kitchen remodel.
Stone is durable. It won’t crack, chip, or show knife marks. It doesn’t discolor with age. Stone comes in a wide variety of colors so you have plenty of selection.
Once it is in place stone surfaces are easy to maintain. When you have sealed the surface then damp mopping with soap and water is all you need to do.
Stone floors and counter tops are a great investment. When you go to sell your house, the return on your investment can be as high as 100%? You’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful stone floors and counter tops and get all your money back. Further your house will sell faster too.
Of all the surfaces, natural stone is the most aesthetically pleasing.
Disadvantages of Natural Stone
Stone is literally as hard as a rock. Thus, it is not a recommended surface for young children or senior citizens, as falls are issues. These age groups could get hurt if they fall on such a hard surface.
Stone is not an inexpensive material for us in counter tops or floors. If your renovation is on a tight budget you might want to look at something more economical than natural stone. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 square foot to $250 square foot for natural stone.
Natural stone also requires expert installation. It is labor intensive and costly to transport and install.
Natural stone surfaces are not ideal to work on as the stone will dull knives.
Natural stone surfaces need to be sealed annually. If this is not done, the stone will begin to stain.
While beautiful natural stone surfaces are cold and can be slippery so they are not recommended for anyone with balance, circulatory, or fall issues.
How to Make the Best Choices in Natural Stone for Your Kitchen
If you have a busy lifestyle and kids, you may wish to choose a surface that has less maintenance and upkeep than natural stone.
What do you personally like? The floor and counter material and color should reflect your personal taste. Be sure that what you choose is something you will be happy with for years to come. Stone surfaces are not something you change over quickly. You may want to try someone else’s natural stone flooring and counter tops before you decide it is what you want.
You’ve finally have your own home, the one place you can arrange to your heart’s content and create something wonderful, a place of privacy and serenity in the bustle of the modern world. But, there is a lot of work required to keep your home in top shape. In other words, home maintenance is an ongoing business, to say the least.
Thankfully, there is now a wealth of technology to help you out with these chores. Most importantly, the various apps will help you organize your time and schedule necessary work well in advance, so there are no budgetary problems.
Remove stains by using fizzy drinks? Yes please! This one trick can save you hours and hours of toiling away hunched over a stain, and BrightNest app for iTunes and Android has thousands of them. Called “LifeHacker for your home” by Wired magazine, this is definitely the top choice maintenance app of any DIYhandyperson and comes bundled with many useful additional features.
Home Depot is the lifesaver of many a family when home ruckus happens. Plumbing, tools, screws – you name it, Home Depot has it. Now, you can use the wonders of mobile technology to stay on top of your problems by choosing the store nearest to your location. Then, you can order the items to arrive at your home address, most of them with free shipping, or go to the store yourself and have your smartphone’s GPS lead you to the exact spot where the item is located.
This app got high praises from the likes of CNN and the Wired magazine, and for a good reason. Once you’ve downloaded the app and filled it with some basic information regarding your dwelling, you will receive ideas, recommendations and tips on how to best preserve your home while keeping your budget sight.
Changing oil? Changing a tire? Why don’t they teach us how to do this in elementary school? In any case, the iFixit app is here to help you get around all of these most basic tasks in your home. This app is a collection of user-created manuals with detailed steps and pictures to help you along the way. If you’re still stuck, you can ask questions or shop for repair tools and parts straight from the app.
Sometimes, you just wish there was someone who could give you a cool idea for doing something out of the ordinary. In this case, the Instructables app will help you with awesome DIY manuals and ways to enrich your living space. This includes woodworking and technology manuals, besides the standard “fix the clogged sink” type of manuals.
The first sign of being an adult is dealing with getting – and spending – your own money. This also includes managing invoices and bills. Luckily, there is a wealth of financing apps out there that can help you with that. One of them is Invoice2Go, taking the stress right out of your daily life.
The best interior design elements are anything that you like – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t rules and guidelines to help make your home better. The following are some quick tips for choosing home design elements.
1.Pick the paint color last
When it comes time to redecorate a room, many homeowners believe they should choose the paint color first. However, doing this can severely limit your design choices. Instead, find large furniture pieces your love first, and then continue to build the room with coordinating accessories. After the majority of the room is designed, head to the paint store to find the perfect shade.
2.Create a focal point
Whether you’ve chosen it intentionally or not, the focal point of the room is what the eyes are immediately drawn to. Too many bold pieces in a space can create visual noise and leave it feeling cluttered. Instead, chose a focal point such as a fireplace, artwork, or a piece of furniture and allow it to be the star of the room; the rest of the furnishings and accessories should have a supporting role. A well placed focal point can also help draw attention away from any eyesores in the room.
3.Mix color, texture, and scale
Mix color, texture, and scale to create a curated look that still uses lots of patterns. As a rule, a room should have no more than three prints: 60% of your favorite, 30% of your second favorite, and 10% of a bold accent print. However, don’t forget the solids; without any neutrals or solid colors, a room will be left feeling more circus-y than intentionally put together.
4.Be wary of trends
What’s in and popular this year could leave your home looking dated and out-of-style next year. To prevent this, avoid using design trends in a big way. For example, instead of painting an entire wall with a chevron pattern, buy several throw pillows or art pieces with the pattern. This gives your home a modern, fresh look – but can also be easily changed when it falls out of favor.
5.Don’t go overboard with a theme
A rustic cabin doesn’t have to be entirely outfitted in exposed wood and dark colors; likewise, Cape Cod style doesn’t have to mean a house full of bead board and sailboat prints. Instead, create a room using a color palette, furnishings, artwork, and other accessories that support the theme without resorting to clichés.