Today’s homeowner tends to value a home that is not only visually appealing but is structurally safe. They want a home that will stand the test of time. But at the same time, they want a home that is energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and environmentally friendly.
As a result, the concrete industry is always changing to accommodate those desires with new advancements in technology and techniques.
More and more homeowners are realizing concrete’s potential for beautiful aesthetic and structural capabilities in one, while also being affordable!
We’ve seen a number of concrete trends emerge with residential homeowners this year, both structurally and aesthetically.
Structural Concrete Trends
Resilient Construction with Concrete
In a time where natural disasters seem to be more common (and destructive), residential homeowners are concerned with resilient construction. Standing up to hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, floods and more–concrete is the answer to resilient construction. In 2018 we’re likely to see an increase in concrete use throughout the residential construction industry because of its resiliency. Leading us to our next trend….
Insulated Concrete Form Walls
ICFs, or insulated concrete form walls, are becoming a popular option for residential owners and builders. The growing popularity of ICFs is due to the fact that they make the building process quicker, easier. Additionally, they create a structure that is durable, efficient, and safe.
The process of constructing ICFs involves stacking the dual-sided expanded polystyrene units held together by a high-density polypropylene webbing. Steel reinforcement is locked in to place as the wall is constructed and then filled with high-strength concrete to form a solid wall structure.
ICF walls create a structure that is energy-efficient, fire-resistant, and can withstand flying debris. These walls can handle debris from tornadoes and hurricanes with wind speeds of up to 250 mph. ICF construction is quiet, low maintenance, healthy, and has a lifespan that is significantly longer than traditional building methods. Compared to a wood-framed home, ICF walls provide 20 percent or more in energy savings. As well as 10-30 percent less outside air infiltration and three times less noise and a 4-hour fire rating.
We expect to continue to see the ICF wall system be used throughout the residential and even the commercial construction industry in the future.
Aesthetic Concrete Trends
What was once just a construction material is now a high style decor material for residential homeowners everywhere. There are several advantages to using concrete for decorative purposes:
Few seams and the ability to minimize the appearance of seams with the use of a color matched filler.
Water and stain resistant with the use of a surface sealer.
Infinite color options with integral coloring, staining, or both which gives a homeowner the ability to coordinate or match with any room.
Can be cast in any shape and almost any size.
The ability to create custom edges or replicate designs using molding products.
Can be personalized with unique embedded items like pebbles, recycled glass and, seashells.
The appearance will improve with age. Since concrete is not a static material, it will evolve and acquire character over time.
The trend of using concrete for architectural and decorative purposes on the residential level is flourishing thanks to new products, advanced techniques, and designers promoting the look. Achieving a particular decorative or architectural appearance with concrete typically requires special forms, unique finishes, different ingredients, colors, and other variables. Here’s how people are using concrete within their homes:
Concrete countertops are especially trendy today. The demand for concrete countertops is growing as people learn the advantages of using the material in their kitchens. One of the most appealing factors swaying people towards concrete countertops is how easy they are to maintain!
Decorative Concrete Floors
Also associated with the decorative and architectural concrete trend are decorative concrete floors. A range of pigments, stains, stamps, dies and stencil patterns, glass and friction finishes allow you to create a walkable piece of art that fits any location.
Concrete floors are economical when compared to quarried stone, they’re also strong, require little maintenance, are long lasting, and provide you with a variety of decorative options!
Pool, Patio, and Other Outdoor areas
Generally, people look to cover their outdoor surfaces with a material that is strong and durable yet practical. Decorative concrete can add a fresh and unique look to your pool, patio, or other outdoor areas, which is something everyone is prioritizing this year!
Driveways and large walkways
Compared to gravel and asphalt, concrete is a more expensive material to pave your driveway or large walkways with, but less expensive than brick or cobblestone. The incentive to use concrete? It’s strength, minimum maintenance, cooler surface, and longevity. Concrete is strong by its very nature standing up to heavy loads through its ability to disperse those loads evenly throughout the pavement. Concrete requires little to no maintenance and its high reflectivity means that more of the sun’s incoming radiation is reflected back into the atmosphere, lowering the amount of heat absorbed by the pavement and its surroundings.
While these are the current trends in residential concrete use, one thing is for sure, the full potential of concrete as a material is just being tapped into. Trends will continue to emerge, taking the concrete industry to new places.
From small do-it-yourself projects, retaining walls, driveways, walkways, and outdoor living areas, to major home renovations and new home construction, plus everything in between, we’ve got you and your residential concrete needs covered. Get an estimate for your residential concrete project today.