Concrete and its interesting uses are no longer limited to contractors or even homes. Most people think of concrete driveways or stamped patios, but cement is being used in some fascinating and even fashionable ways. I talked with friends at Concrete Services of Bend, Oregon and they shared some really interesting things that they’ve seen over the years.
An interesting example of the web was an iPad stand that was made out of cement with the ledge for the iPad in it. Very creative and you won’t likely see your neighbor with one.
Another simple do it yourself (DIY) with concrete is bowls. There is no end to the shapes and sizes that you can create. Not only are they durable, the bowls, which don’t have to be round, can be painted or adorned with other designs to make them unique. Or perhaps you would like a matching set. You will want to be careful setting them on glass, but the likelihood of breakage from falling off a table is next to zero.
Often when using concrete, you will need something to create a mold, such as a bottle, plastic box, or almost any other object. One fun item to create using this medium, especially if you understand simple wiring, is a lamp. Think of all the beautiful hanging lamps you see in stores and other homes. This is a simple DIY project that you can do. And since cement can be easily malleable before it dries, you could even put a pattern, using something as simple as a pencil into your new lampshade.
The next time you have a contractor working at your house on anything to do with cement, such as a stamped patio, ask him or her for some of the left-over ready mix. Or, stop by your local hardware store. Concrete mix is very inexpensive. Besides keeping some on hand for concrete repairs, there is really nothing, in terms of containers, that you cannot make. Another popular choice for many people is planters, especially the large outdoor type. Not only will they not tip over, but you can also easily paint them to match any environment. A simple Google search for the words “concrete planters” yields over 37 million results.
More typical uses, since they are all outdoors, but ones where if you cannot do it yourself, you would hire a concrete contractor, include fun yard projects such as borders or curbing. You’ve undoubtedly seen this in the past in some form or another. Gravel driveways sometimes have cement curbing up and down the sides and from end to end in order to keep the gravel or stones from leaving that particular area. This is also a good alternative to concrete driveways. It’s all personal opinion, but whether you decide stone, tile or cement, there are many choices for an outstanding driveway.
And to take a look at the biggest item on your property, your home. Homes have been built with concrete for quite a while. The material offers substantial cost savings with cooling and heating. Homes built in this fashion are usually more durable than standard wood-framed houses. Typically, this type of home has poured cement into wall systems and allows for greater overall strength. It’s a great alternative and usually does not look any different from the inside nor outside, than a “stick-built” home.