If you want to jazz up your home, inside or out, look no further than concrete. Russell Davis, owner of Outlaw Coatings in Willard, says concrete can give you a high-end look at a low-end cost, not only for your driveway or patio but also as basement flooring or for countertops.
Davis said there is a trend toward acid-stained concrete flooring in a basement.
"People get groundwater in their basement, so they pull the carpet out and put stain down," he said.
It costs less than carpeting and can be done in any color to match the home. Another benefit in a newer subdivision is that it separates your home from the others.
"In newer homes, do different stuff so you're not looking at the same home with the same carpet and tile. You'll get a high-end look at a low-end cost, and we'll be in and out in two days," Davis said.
Want to update your countertops? Concrete can be an affordable and practical option, because concrete overlay can go right over the existing counter.
"It's cheaper than granite, and you don't have to tear out countertops. You can put it right over the Formica. It's pretty popular," Davis said.
He also points out that because it isn't porous and has no seams, a concrete countertop keeps bacteria out and is approved by the Federal Drug Administration for food preparation.
Plus, he said, new sealers allow concrete work to be done in the home without flammable or noxious odors.
Most homeowners have a concrete driveway or patio, but a decorative stain, stamp or chip can make your home stand out.
"We can give you a decorative look to match the home instead of having just gray concrete," Davis said.
Colored chip, a stamped design or a nonslip surface are some of the options available to homeowners.
Although there is a point where badly cracked concrete may need to be torn out and replaced, in many cases an overlay will do the trick.
"Concrete will crack. We seal and color it and make it so it looks brand-new. It is less susceptible to getting cracks from salt and ice melt. Sometimes a crack comes back. It's kind of a gamble. If it does come back, it's usually a hairline and not as big as it used to be," he said.
Davis says he can do outdoor jobs in four to five days. He recommends not abusing the concrete, and resealing it every two to three years to get the maximum benefit.
"It's anything people want," he said. "It definitely increases the value of the house."