Pros and Cons of Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are quickly becoming more popular; whether they are DYI concrete counters or you pay a professional, they can be arguably cheaper and more durable than other countertop material choices.

Pros of Concrete Countertops

Durability Concrete countertops are very durable; they are not only heat resistant but also scratch resistant as well. Cost The ability of concrete to be molded into any shape and dyed or stained almost any color as well as endlessly customizable with colors, designs, embedded objects such as fossils, tiles (whole or pieces), recycled glass, rocks, and much much more.  The organic look and feel of concrete draws most people to it, when you can’t find the perfect shade of granite, or right pattern for Corian, you can create it in concrete.  Whatever shape, whatever color, and whatever size you want, concrete can be that for you.

Cons of Concrete Countertops

Maintenance Applying a sealer is the key to maintaining a concrete countertop, because concrete is naturally porous and when is a lighter color, it will readily show blemishes when not properly sealed. Don’t wait until there is a problem with your counter to start taking care of it, you should be sealing the countertop regularly and caring for it in order to prevent problems from occcuring It is also important to clean concrete counters right away when there is a spill on them, this will help prevent staining.  Make sure that the cleaner and sealer that you are using are made for cleaning concrete countertops as using other types of cleaning products can end up damaging your counters in the end. Imperfections It is very difficult to pour a perfect concrete countertop, stains or other imperfections are usually present in any concrete whether it is a do it yourself project or a professional job. Hairline Cracks Concrete countertops that are poured in place instead of precast may develop hairline cracks as a result of your house shifting or settling, or other issues such as your kitchen faucet being screwed in too tightly.  Larger cracks are easier to fill and fix, hairline cracks are not so easy to fix and may require a professional.

Home Building 101: Major Phases of Construction Part III

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been walking you through what building a home entails, from the initial pouring, to explaining all of the inspections that take place, we’ve put it all together for you to quickly understand.  Today, we’ll continue to talk about this topic, here’s you can find part one and part two.

Drywall & Interior Textures

After the insulation is installed, the drywall and interior textures are begun.  After this is completed, the interior can be painted with primer to prepare it for the interior paint.

Exterior Textures

The exterior of the house will begin to be installed, this includes finished such as stucco, stone, brick, and siding.

Interior Trim & Paint

The decorative trim for interior doors, window sills, moldings, baseboards, and stair balusters are next installed as well as bathroom vanities, cabinets, fireplace surrounds and mantels.  Interior walls will then be painted or wallpapered.

Exterior Work

At this stage, any walkways, patios, and driveways that you have planned will be poured, though some contractors will wait until the house is completed to pour the driveway.

Floor, Counter tops, Exterior Grading

All vinyl, hardwood, and ceramic tile flooring is now installed along with kitchen and bathroom counter tops (we have a post comparing Corian and granite counter tops which might be helpful to you).  Any carpeting will be installed later in order to prevent any damage.  Not sure which kind of flooring to choose for your home?  You might want read our posts comparing hardwood and carpet, hardwood and laminate, as well as some general information on bamboo flooring.  Exterior grading is complete to make sure that water drains properly away from the home to prevent any foundation issues.

We hope that you’re enjoying reading this series of posts as much as we’re enjoying writing them.  If you’re looking for some home building ideas, it might be helpful to visit our post about luxuries to consider for your custom home, or how to build an energy efficient home on a budget.  Any suggestions?  Drop us a comment below.  See you next week when we wrap up this topic.

Home Building 101: Major Phases of Construction

Every step of building your dream home is fresh, new, and exciting, but what exactly are those steps?  What happens when and how does it happen?  The actual home building process will vary according to your home builder’s particular way of doing things, but this is a general guide that will help you understand the building stages of your South Texas custom home.

Site Prep & Foundation Pouring

The initial stage of your home building is to prepare the area will your home will be built.  Rocks, trees, and other debris will have to be removed before the area can be leveled.  After this, a wooden form is laid as a template, then holes and trenches are dug and footings are installed.  Footings are what connects your house to the ground.

If your house is slab directly on the ground, after the footings are complete then the space between the footings is level and utility runs (such as electrical chases and plumbing drains) are fitted, then the slab is poured.  If your house has a basement or needs a septic tank, it is dug at this point, and the walls of the foundation are then poured.

After the concrete slab is poured, it needs to cure.  This takes time, up to 6 to 8 weeks depending on the thickness of the slab and the weather.  Nothing else can happen at the construction site while waiting for this to happen.

When the concrete has finished curing, the construction team will use a waterproofing membrane to coat the foundation walls before installing the drains, water taps, sewer lines and any other plumbing for the first floor or basement floor.  The hole around the foundation wall is then filled back up with dirt.

First Inspection

A city inspector will need to visit the construction site to check that the foundation fully cured, is up to code, and that everything is properly installed.  After the inspection has been passed, the forms around the foundation are removed.


The skeleton of the house is the next important step.  In this step, the builders will complete framing for the floor, wall, and roof systems.  Plywood is then fixed to the roof and exterior walls, while exterior doors and windows are also installed.  The plywood is then covered in house wrap which is a protective barrier against water and reduces the likelihood of wood rot or mold.

Check back next week for the continuation of Major Stages of Construction.