Commercial Vs. Residential Buildings: What’s The Difference?

Whilst people might realise that commercial and residential buildings are two different types of buildings – it’s rare for people to understand why they’re different. There are actually quite a few reasons that separate the two types – such as permits and manpower. These differences are exactly what we’re going to be taking a look at in today’s blog, so let’s dive straight in!


Commercial buildings

First, the obvious. A commercial building is a building that is built with the purpose of acting as a place of business or service. An office building would be the most obvious example, or even a bar or restaurant. Commercial buildings typically tend to be larger concrete construction projects in comparison to residential buildings. Though it’s possible to have small-scale commercial buildings – like a small bar or café – they are generally larger in size.

With the larger size comes much more planning and liaising between the different parties involved. If a tall office building is being built that will house multiple different businesses, then there must be constant and meticulous supervision to ensure everything goes to plan. For starters, the overall floor space will be much larger than that of a residential home and large beams will be required to act as the support.

Plumbing will be far more advanced in a commercial building – not just because of the potential height of the building but also because each floor will require at least one bathroom as well as a kitchen. Electricals will also be more superior and complex. More-so than plumbing even, as there’ll most likely be dozens of computers and other electrical products being utilised by different companies simultaneously.

A commercial building is used in an entirely different way to that of a residential building and there are so many more facets and kinks that need to be added and considered during the building phase to make it a successful building. Things like egress requirements and disability access points are a must for the commercial construction world. Another key difference is the fact that steel is also used with concrete in the construction process of a commercial building – as steel is a much sturdier material. This is as opposed to residential buildings where wooden supports are used with concrete instead.


Residential buildings

A residential building is a house. A common misconception is that an apartment complex is considered a residential building, but as it is used to lease property to others it is considered a commercial building. A residential building is built with a concrete base – just like a commercial building is, but to a lesser degree as there won’t be as much physical pressure on the foundations of the building or foot traffic. This is also a reason why different grades of concrete are used in the construction process.

Both residential and commercial builders are required to be registered with the Victorian Building Authority but the permits required to build a residential building tend to be less complex than those required for commercial buildings. Each Council has its own permits and codes so it’s best to check with them before proceeding with a residential or commercial building. Planning permits must be first obtained for both of the concrete construction types.

Residential buildings end up being much cheaper generally as they’re done on a much smaller scale. This also means the equipment required to complete the task and the labour costs are cheaper as well. Because of the smaller scale, the builder in charge will most likely end up recruiting all of the contractors himself and personally meet with the architect on multiple occasions during the planning stages as well as during the building process. There can sometimes be a lot more flexibility involved with residential buildings as well.


Are you in need of a concrete contractor?

Prestige Concrete Services is a veteran concrete construction company that employs fully qualified and highly trained contractors. We specialise in both commercial and residential concrete construction projects with over 20 years of experience. We understand the difference between the two types of building projects and are well-suited to tackle either of them in a professional and efficient manner.

If you’re interested in one of our concrete construction services, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.

The Difference Between Concrete, Cement and Mortar

Cement. It’s a wonderful substance and is the building block for almost every modern building. Cement is also the best friend of concrete contractors everywhere. On its own, it has no power – but when combined with other materials and elements it becomes the most useful weapon in a concrete contractor’s arsenal. But it is a common mistake to confuse cement with concrete and mortar and that’s why today we’ll be going through the difference between these three and exploring a little bit about each of them.


What is cement?

As we touched on just before, cement is a building block. It is a binding agent that can make other materials – such as mortar and concrete – when combined with water and other ingredients. Cement itself is actually manufactured using elements such as silicon, calcium, iron and aluminium and chemically combining them together.

Things like limestone, silica sand, clay and shells are also added into the mix and the mixture is superheated to just under 1500°Celsius. There are different types of cement, such as hydraulic cement – which is any type of cement that sets and hardens fast after it has been mixed with water.


What is concrete?

Concrete is a construction material that has many industrial applications. It can be used for concrete slabs, foundations for walls, for steps and many more similar things. Concrete is created by mixing cement in with either sand, gravel or other similar fine aggregates. This combination does nothing until you add water to it, which is what makes it cause the cement to bind together with the other ingredients.

Concrete is a highly versatile material because as it can be fashioned into virtually any shape you want using a mould or other similar tools. You can even have furnishings that are made entirely out of concrete for both outdoor and indoor settings. You can actually purchase pre-made concrete mix where all you have to do is add the water – as everything else is already included in the mix.

A common creation that concrete is used for is the concrete slab. Concrete slabs are commonly used as the foundation for homes and buildings and are separated into three types of slab foundations – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab.

Concrete can also be customised a few different ways to suit your own personal style. For example, you can have your driveway coloured by adding certain pigments to the mix. Some colours work better with certain types of concrete and you can also play around and match it to the rest of your home if you like.

You can also try exposed aggregate concrete for your backyard or driveway – which involves different types of aggregates being partially exposed in the finished product. As well as being highly customisable it also offers a slip-proof surface – making it practical as well as stylish.


What is mortar?

Mortar is similar to concrete – in that it is a masonry material composed of cement and fine sands – except mortar is not nearly as strong as concrete is. The reason for this is because mortar is used as a binding agent to glue brick and other masonry products together. More water is used in the mixture when producing mortar – giving it its binding properties.

There are different types of mortar that you can use – each of which is better suited for different applications and have their own unique features. Lime mortar, for example, is where cement is substituted for lime and then combined with sand. Whereas, gauged mortar utilises both lime and cement with sand.


What’s the difference?

The difference between these three is that cement is just an ingredient whereas concrete and mortar are actual finished products that require cement in order to be produced. Whilst concrete can be moulded into shapes and used to shape structures, mortar is used to keep these structures together – acting as a glue.


Are you looking for concrete contractors?

Mixing cement to make concrete and mortar can be a daunting task if you haven’t had any experience, so it’s best to call professional concrete contractors like the ones at Prestige Concrete Services. We specialise commercialresidential and local government concreting projects. Our fully qualified concrete contractors have had over 20 years of experience and are highly professional.

If you would like to know more about our concrete contractors and the services we offer, then please get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.

Concrete Slab Foundations: Pros And Cons

The foundation of anything is the basis of it, the beginning of the project. This is what comes first and holds the rest of the project up. In this sense, we’re talking about concrete foundations for buildings such as houses. There are three types of concrete slab foundation types – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab. In today’s blog, our concrete contractors are going to go in depth and explain to you what some of the pros and cons are of concrete slab foundations.


What exactly is a foundation?

As we said above, a foundation is an initial structure that will support the entire project. But it goes a bit deeper than that. The foundation of a building must do at least three things:

  • Support the structure;
  • Keep out groundwater; and
  • Be a barrier to water and soil vapour.

These are the three points to a successful foundation and are key in their design. But with the three types of foundation structures, there also comes a variety of different features that will appeal to different types of people.


1.   Slab-on-ground foundations

This is the most common concrete slab foundation type and can actually be laid in two different ways:

  • The conventional slabs that feature deep holes with beams. These can be insulated beneath the floor panels; and
  • Waffle pod slabs. These sit closer to the surface and through polystyrene foam contain a maze of beams in between. Waffle pod slabs are already insulated beneath the slabs.

Like the other three concrete slab foundation methods, slab-on-ground employs the use of steel mesh as well as concrete slabs to form the foundation.


2.   Suspended slab

As the name may suggest, these slabs are suspended and do not actually have direct contact with the ground below. These are commonly used as foundations for other floors in multi-storey buildings but can also be used to form the foundation for ground floors. Suspended slab foundations will be often constructed off-site and then transported via a truck.


3.   Precast slab

Precast slabs are also manufactured off-site and then transported and placed where they need to be with a crane. These can be constructed with post-tensioned reinforced or standard concrete as well as from autoclaved aerated concrete – which is lightweight and energy efficient concrete that is manufactured to have multiple closed air pockets inside of it.


Pros of concrete slab foundations

  • Thermal properties – Concrete slabs contain very high thermal mass – meaning it is quite good at storing and re-releasing heat. This works especially well in the sense of foundation as it is a good heat regulator for the house. Of course, to take full advantage of the concrete slab’s thermal properties it must be paired with a passively designed house.
  • Long lasting – Concrete is already a naturally long-lasting creation. But, with the correct reinforcement and design, the concrete slabs can last close to forever. They must be placed correctly and compactly to ensure there are no openings that could cause destabilisation. They must not be affected by water too much as this could weaken them.
  • Termites – Concrete slabs can be highly resistant to termites as long as they have the least number of shrinking joints as possible. Any joints and penetrations should be treated – as well as the edge of the slab.


Cons of concrete slab foundations

  • Insulation design flaws – The edges of concrete slabs have trouble letting heat escape in the colder seasons. With this in mind, you should ensure that the insulation should be constructed to account for this.
  • Thermal properties – The great thermal properties do have their downsides. If your evenings are hot, then the heat stored in the slabs will not dissipate, but instead, continue to be stored in the concrete. To combat this, natural ventilation will need to be provided in the design. This is especially the case in the upper levels of multi-storey houses. This should be paid close attention to particularly if you have bedrooms on upper levels as it could affect comfort whilst sleeping in the evenings.
  • Acoustics – Whilst concrete slabs do reduce sounds such as music and loud conversation, there are certain sounds that are known to penetrate the slabs. Higher impact noises such as heels on the floorboards will get through the slabs. If you know this is likely to happen often and that it will bother you, then you should consider extra acoustic insulation.


Do you need concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services offers high-quality concrete contractors in Melbourne. Our concrete contractors are highly professional and skilled in various concrete services. We have experience in residentialcommercial and local government projects.

If you’re in need of some concrete contractors, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or fill out the form on our website.

5 Things To Keep In Mind When Building A Commercial Carpark

A commercial carpark is not a simple concrete construction project as it may initially seem. There are a large number of factors that all affect the project in different ways and each carpark will have its own unique problems and things to consider. At the end of the day, a carpark is designed to be a space where customers and/or employees can park their cars. That’s why today, we’ll be having a look at five things that factor into building a commercial carpark and how to maximise your design to get the most efficient carpark possible.


1.   Its primary use

Different carparks will suit different uses. For example, carparks in shopping centres tend to be fairly regimented to the point where it’s just rows of car spaces across the carpark. Walkways should be considered so there’s a safe path to be taken to the building’s entrance. Or, if it is a train station carpark then a safe route to the station itself.

Train stations tend to have bus stops outside them nowadays so it’s important to factor that into the planning. What sort of weather does the area you’re building in typically tend to get? Will you need to put up sails or build a concrete roof? If it’s for a supermarket or a shopping centre that contains a supermarket then you’ll need to allocate an area for the trolleys to be stationed at.


2.   The design

After you’ve established what exactly it will be used for you can start designing the carpark. This is not as simple as drawing out where the car spots will be placed. You’ll need to factor in things like water runoff – so the carpark doesn’t get flooded when there’s heavy rain or a water main bursts. You should start with the outline of the carpark and work your way inwards when designing it on paper. Entrances and exits should be established first to make sure they lead to an appropriate area on the road.

When it comes to the car spaces, designing them in tandem with each other will maximise the number of spaces whilst still having appropriate space for driving lanes. Whilst functionality should always be the top of the list of priorities, generally a client will want it to look in some way aesthetically pleasing. So, you should keep that in mind when designing it. Also, make sure you’re operating within council boundaries and guidelines when undergoing a concrete construction project such as this.


3.   Functionality

This is closely linked with the design aspect and should be decided in conjunction with the design of the carpark. This detail decides things like how large the actual car spaces and driving lanes will be – as well if the lanes will be one way or two way. This is where you’ll also start to think about what sort of materials will best suit the construction of the carpark. Essentially if the carpark will be able to excel at what it is being designed for.


4.   The materials

This is a big one as the materials that you’ll be using will determine the durability and effectiveness of the carpark. Some popular materials used for carparks are:

  • Asphalt – Asphalt is quite resistant to weeds but is also fairly susceptible to cracking when laid down over large areas. This is mainly due to the natural movements of the Earth. However, it is also easy to repair and resurface as well as being fairly cheap to lay down in the first place.
  • Gravel – This is definitely the cheapest and quickest material that can be used as it is quite literally just loose gravelled that is laid out. Weeds and grass are able to sprout through it and some inconsistencies may arise if different sized gravel is used.
  • Concrete – Concrete can sometimes be around the same price range as asphalt if used on smaller spaces but for larger areas, concrete is more expensive. However, it is much more durable and requires very little maintenance with an estimated lifespan of around 50 years – double that of asphalt.


5.   Calculating cost and time

This point is important as you’ll assumedly have a budget to stick to and will want to stick to it. So, calculating the cost of materials and labour costs is essential to your concrete construction project.


Are you in need of a commercial carpark?

If you’re thinking of undergoing a concrete construction project such as a commercial carpark, then why not consider Prestige Concrete Services. We have years of experience and specialise in such concrete construction projects. We use only the best contractors that are friendly and highly qualified.

If you would like to know about what we can do for your concrete construction project, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website.

7 Plants That Are Perfect For A Winter Garden

With winter fast approaching you’re not going to be able to tend to your garden in the same capacity that you have been for the last few months. You’ll have to plan around the rain which can be hard to do when you’ve got other things to do. That’s why our concrete contractors have prepared a list of the seven best plants for your winter garden. Not only will these plants in the cold and damp weather, but they’ll also be colour appropriate for the dull season.


1.   English Primrose

These flowers are ideal as they come in almost every colour making it versatile and ideal for a winter garden. They’ll grow between 20cm and 30cm high and can expand 23cm outwards. Even in the cooler climates, they can soak up the full force of the sun and just need a regular watering – which is helped by rainy weather.


2.   Calendulas

These flowers concentrate on a more yellow/orange palette with colours such as apricot and cream – as well as orange and yellow. They can reach up to 60cm high and 45cm outwards, taking on a much smaller presence than the English primrose. They have a tolerance for many types of soil – provided the drainage is good.


3.   Pansy

Ranging from 15cm to 25.5cm tall, the pansy is a five-petaled flower that blooms over a long period of time consistently. It comes in a wide range of colours so you can pick the type that suits your garden best. Unlike the name suggests, the flower is very resilient and will bloom throughout winter.


4.   Winter Jasmine

This flower can reach quite large heights when left to grow, with a vine reaching anywhere between 122cm and 213cm tall – and that’s when it’s unsupported. If you secure it against a wall or fence, it can grow to 457cm tall. This is sure to be a feature piece in your winter garden as the bright yellow flowers will draw attention from visitors – especially if the winter jasmine grows to its full potential. Whilst good soil and full amounts of sun are preferred, winter jasmine will still grow through the winter time.


5.   Viola

These flowers are smaller than pansies but have more flowers per plant. They can come in blue, yellow, white and cream. They’re also available – similarly to the name – in violet or bi-coloured varieties. Because of their colourful variations, they’re great as border plants and to be put in edgings. These plants will thrive in the winter over summer so keep an eye on them when the warmer weather comes back as they may have run their course by then.


6.   Hellebore

This flower is most commonly known as the “Winter Rose”. It can bloom during the darkest times of the year when everything else seems to be freezing up. This is because of their deep roots. Their available colours feature plum, yellow, white and variety of pinks. They also contain patterns on the petals which look even better with the darker colours. This flower is unaffected by frost. It is one of the best winter flowers that you can plant.


7.   Camellia

There are a variety of different species of camellia that you can purchase but they are all – for the most part – great for winter gardens. They typically have a pinkish colour palette and can grow from 70mm all the way to over 130mm. Camellias are fairly resistant to pests and diseases and predominantly establish extensive root systems close to the surface. Though, it is not uncommon for deep roots to be established by the flower if it is watered properly and regularly. The bright pink aesthetic could be just what your winter garden needs to contrast against something like the hellebore’s darker tones.


Are you looking for concrete contractors in Melbourne?

If you’re after experienced concrete contractors to work on your yard or lay down your driveway, then Prestige Concrete Services is the right company for you. You’re going to want your beautiful winter garden to be paired with fantastic and durable concrete.

Our highly qualified and veteran concrete contractors will be able to help you establish exactly what time of concrete suits your yard best and explain to you the pros and cons of each. We offer a variety of services spanning across the residentialcommercial and local government sectors.

If you’re looking at hiring some concrete contractors for their services, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website.


Landscaping In Winter – A Guide

Winters in Melbourne can get pretty rough. We may not get snow like some other parts of the world, but we do get low temperatures and heavy rain regularly. But just because these things occur, doesn’t mean you should ignore your garden. Even if it becomes harder to deal with, your garden should not be neglected during the winter time solely because of the weather. So, as well as taking care of your exposed aggregate driveway you should strive to take care of your garden in the winter time as well – and thanks to our handy winter landscaping guide, now you can.


Pruning and weeding

Use this off-season time to tidy up your garden. By pruning plants you’ll be encouraging a larger number of big shoots to come out in the next season. This is also a great time to remove any dead plants and weeds.


Mind the leaves

Falling leaves combined with rainfall can spell trouble for your gutters. Be sure to clean them on a regular basis, especially when you have a large number of trees standing above your gutters. The last thing you want is for the wet leaves to pile up in your gutter and restrict the water flow.

This similarly applies to leaves just on your exposed aggregate driveway and front yard area. Try your best to rake them away and keep the area clear when you can. Keep in mind that the leaves can be used as a mulch or as a composting base.


Aerate your lawn

Lawn aeration is the process of poking holes into your lawn to let water, air and vital nutrients down into the roots of the grass. The grass will then become more resilient and healthier because of this. The reason this is so effective during winter is because the soil is generally less effective at retaining moisture. It’s because of this that lawn aeration is more important in winter than ever.


Plant the right stuff

If you’re looking at planting in winter, then you’ll want to pick the right plants and veggies that’ll not only survive the season but also thrive in it. Cabbage, lettuce and spinach are just a few of the many examples of vegetables that are perfect to plant in the winter time.

Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons will also thrive in the winter time. So, if you’ve been waiting for that perfect time to plant a lemon or lime tree, then why not have a look at getting one started just before winter kicks in.

When it comes to the actual veggie garden, a good idea is to raise it up. If you’re expecting a lot of rainfall, then you don’t want your plants or veggies to be flooded with an overabundance of water (or just flooded for that matter). So, why not build a raised patch? This will lift the garden patch off the ground, pushing it slightly higher to the sun and protecting it from any potential water build-ups.


Mowing the lawn

With an influx of rainfall, your lawn will start to grow quite a lot, meaning you’ll have to cut it more often. The thing about maintaining your lawn though is that it’s easier to cut when the grass is dry. Not only because the process is easier, but also because the mower itself will encounter fewer problems. So, you have to be smart and plan your mowing days. Check the weather and make sure there’ll be no rain for at least two days prior to mowing the lawn.

If there doesn’t seem to be a long enough gap in the weather then you may have to put the mower on the higher setting and do the whole lawn two or three times, using a lower setting on each run. You should never mow the lawn in the rain.


Are you looking for an exposed aggregate driveway?

If you’re thinking of upgrading your driveway to something a bit more stylish, then why not consider an exposed aggregate driveway with Prestige Concrete Services. Here at Prestige Concrete Services, we only use the highest qualified concrete contractors that will work with you to craft your dream driveway. We specialise in a range of services encompassing residential, commercial and local government level projects.

So if you’re looking at having an exposed aggregate driveway built, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website here.

How To Transform Your Front Yard On A Budget

If you’ve had the same old front yard for a while, then you may have considered upgrading at some point. The wonderful thing about working with gardens is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a fabulous looking garden. You can do a lot with recycled home appliances or even just spending a little bit to achieve a wonderful and unique looking front yard that will compliment your exposed aggregate driveway perfectly.


Start with borders

If you have a flowerbed in your front yard, then it’s a great idea to add a border to it. You can buy cheap options for this or even use recycled items such as glass bottles – which will add a unique flair to your garden. Using glass bottles can also be a great environmentally friendly option because not only are you recycling glass, but the open bottles will collect rainfall and fill up over time. That rainwater can be used to water the garden instead of using water from your hose.


Cheap plants

There are a variety of plants you can purchase on a budget that can look amazing and can add a lot to your front yard. You can even purchase a number of tall plants with thick leaves and put them at the front of your yard – that way they can act as a visual barrier. This is a great alternative for if you want some privacy but don’t want to fork out to have a large fence or wall built. Also, spreading flowers throughout your front yard adds colour and character to it. This can also encourage a healthy gardening habit.


Water features

You can use old items such as watering cans or basically anything else that has an opening to create a water fountain without purchasing an elaborate pre-made product. You can even combine two items and use something else as a base. Old barrels, tins or pots are all great examples of the types of items that can be used to create water fountains.

You can also create a pond in your front yard by digging a hole and purchasing some polyethylene lining to put in. Whether you want to put a fountain in the middle of your pond or not is entirely up to you – but if you decide to go without then you add stones at the bottom, lily pads to float on top and even plant flowers around the edge to decorate it.


Add a bench

An antique looking bench can be picked up from a garage sale or antique shop at bargain prices if you’re lucky. Adding something like this to your front yard will instantly transform it. Even if you don’t actually use it, it’s the aesthetic tone that matters. That being said it can also be used on sunny days when you just want to relax outside. Add some cushions to it for that extra layer of comfort.


Keep your lawn in shape

Even something as simple as mowing it regularly, pulling out weeds and trimming hedges can greatly improve your front yards image. Keeping it neat, tidy and minimalistic is just as good as adding impressive features to it. It really depends what you’re going for. Even if you want something more eccentric though, it’s still important to maintain upkeep of your front yard.

Clearing your exposed aggregate driveway of leaves or dirt on a regular basis counts as maintenance as well. This keeps your concrete in good condition as well as improves the tidiness of your front yard. Creating edges and clear distinctions between your exposed aggregate driveway and grass or even between your grass and flowerbed – if you don’t already have a barrier – is another fabulous way to transform your front yard, giving it a clean and contemporary look.


Looking for an exposed aggregate driveway in Melbourne?

If you’re after an exposed aggregate driveway, then Prestige Concrete Services is the company for you. We offer a wide variety of services and have proven experience with residentialcommunity and local government projects. Our highly qualified contractors will work within the set time constraints to get the job done in the most efficient way possible, working around your schedule as not to inconvenience you.

If you would like to know more about getting an exposed aggregate driveway in your front yard, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website here.

The Concrete Backyard

In our last blog, we spoke about how concrete furniture may be the future. Well, today we’ll continue to ride the concrete machine but this time switching our attention to the yard. With neutral colours becoming fashionable and desirable for homes, concrete is taking over the backyard setting more and more as nothing is more neutral than grey – the natural colour of concrete. As concrete contractors, we believe that having a backyard made up entirely of concrete is a 2019 trend worth having, here are some reasons why.


The aesthetic

You want your yard to look nice, don’t you? Well, concrete can have a variety of aesthetic effects and impacts depending on which type you go with. If you’re looking for a more industrial look then your traditional concrete with neutral tones is an easy way to go. For a more modern look, you can try out exposed aggregate with its endless material and style combinations.

Our concrete contractors will be able to help you with the different type of aggregates you can combine to find the look you’re after. Finally, you can jazz things up a little and opt for coloured concrete which will add a fun aesthetic into the mix, and you can match it to your home or garden or even contrast it. There is a huge array of possibilities and outcomes that can be reached with concrete making it ideal for almost anyone.


The benefits

The reality is that Australia is dry climate, having a garden with grass is a lottery as it will probably end up being dry most of the time unless you’re going out of your way to water it. With concrete, you don’t have to worry about that. It will survive the heat and the wet. Its maintenance is very little in comparison to maintaining grass as it only needs to a good sweep every now and then and – depending on how much it is used – re-sealing every 2 – 5 years.

As opposed to grass which needs mowing typically once a month, depending on how much it grows, and of course, mowing the lawn only works effectively if the grass is dry so you have to factor that in. If you have a pet, then you can always consider having some fake grass for them to do their business on.



Unlike with grass where you must essentially rely on the natural lay of the land – apart from when you dig downwards to create depth – you can form structures with concrete. This means that as well as giving your backyard some depth by digging down you can do the opposite and create an elevated area. Whether this is a small gazebo-like area where you can enjoy a nice tea in the afternoon or a large area to play some sport or have open for a large gathering of people.

You can also craft your perfect a firepit, and with all the concrete around instead of grass, the fire risk is reduced drastically. You can also mix different types of concretes together to create your ultimate backyard aesthetic, for example, exposed aggregate with a stamped concrete border, or even separating different areas of your backyard with different coloured concrete. The possibilities really are limitless.


Does my entire backyard have to be concrete?

No, of course not. You can combine the concrete with the natural lay of the land or even create little gardens off to the sides. A popular option is having a concrete patio and fake/real grass for the rest of your yard at a de-elevated position. Whilst the 2019 trend seems to be moving towards entirely concrete backyards it is not uncommon to have garden patches within these concrete-scapes.


Are you looking for concrete contractors?

If you need some concrete work done, then you should go with trusted and experienced contractors. Prestige Concrete Services uses fully qualified contractors that only produce the finest quality of work and cater to the clients’ needs and schedule. Our concrete contractors’ operation areas cover the residentialcommercial and local government sectors where we excel in a variety of different concrete services that will be able to meet whatever criteria you’re after.

If you would like to know more about some of the projects we’ve undertaken in the past or would like to know more about what we can do for you, then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website here.

The Future Of Concrete Furniture

Trends are a constantly evolving thing in today’s society. Everyone is looking to separate their style and design and make it stand out amongst the masses. A new trend that is taking 2019 by storm is concrete furniture. Furniture made from concrete holds a myriad of benefits both aesthetically and practically. These pieces can be made by concrete contractors or purchased from a store, depending on what exactly it is. In today’s blog, we’re going to go through why concrete furniture is so great and some of the concrete furniture that would go great in your home!


The history of concrete furniture

Concrete furniture dates back to Ancient Rome where the majority of their furniture would actually be crafted out of concrete and stones. This didn’t just apply to their homes but also their public theatres and forums as well. Their grand halls would be made of marble and contain marble benches within as well.

It wasn’t until the early 20thcentury where Thomas Edison – through his company ‘Edison Portland Cement Company’ – envisioned a world where houses would be made of concrete and contain concrete furnishings such as refrigerators and pianos. Whilst his company never made any concrete houses, he did donate the patent which was later used to construct concrete houses.


Outdoor uses

There are a lot of parks around the world today that have concrete benches and seating arrangements. This is something that’s starting to seep into home design nowadays with things like concrete tables and chairs being put into backyards. A nice stone feature that combines both practicality and aesthetics is not only very useful but can be a great conversation piece as well for when guests are over. One of the defining factors of concrete furniture is its durability and ability to brave harsh and diverse weather.

A long concrete bench is also a popular option for an outdoor setting. Whilst you may think that this sort of thing sounds uncomfortable, if made correctly then it will be the opposite. And there’s always the option of adding extra cushions or blankets to the piece to give it that extra comfort. Whether or not this bench is built into the side of your home or it is a stand-alone structure can be up to you. The great thing about concrete furniture is that it is a versatile material.


Indoor uses

Whilst Edison’s dream of concrete refrigerators is not exactly being followed today, concrete furnishing inside houses is growing more and more popular. The most prevalent trends involve the kitchen being made of concrete. As opposed to a wooden or marble kitchen, some people prefer a more rustic look and will opt for a grey concrete look instead. Other than durability, a concrete kitchen can offer many other benefits such as:

  • Heat resistance
  • Variety of styles
  • Value from a real estate perspective as it counts as a premium material
  • Custom dimensions due to the material’s versatility
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Concrete kitchens can be poured and made on-site or made in a store after measurements are taken and installed later – that latter of which works best for kitchen islands but is still applicable for against the wall kitchens. It is essential to know exactly what you want to be done for your kitchen as the appropriate cutouts must be made for the sink and cupboard positions, with appropriate space for the plumbing to be left.


Concrete finishes

Now, just because furniture might be made out of concrete, it doesn’t mean that it has to be a dull, industrial-styled grey. Concrete can be made and finished with many different styles and this still applies to furniture. Whether you want exposed aggregate or coloured concrete, your concrete contractors will be able to help you reach a decision. The benefit of coloured concrete in this instance is that you’ll be able to match the furniture to the rest of your house or go the opposite way and make it stand-out.


After concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services offer premium concrete contractors for whatever your concreting needs are. We offer a variety of services that span across the residentialcommercial and local government areas. Our concrete contractors are fully qualified and are ready to take your concreting ideas to the next level.


If you would like to know more about the services we offer or have any questions for us then please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0411 440 157 or contact us through our website here.

The Steps For Laying Down An Exposed Aggregate Driveway

Exposed aggregate is a very popular type of concrete nowadays. Its wide array of styles and colour/pebble combinations makes it very attractive to suit both classic and modern homes. As opposed to other types of concrete, exposed aggregate is both a decorative type as well as practical. It is highly durable and slip-resistant, adding an extra layer of ease for the wetter seasons. But what is actually involved in the process of laying down an exposed aggregate driveway?


Selecting the aggregates

As I’m sure you’ll want your driveway to look the part as well as work the part, this is an important stage. The aggregates are the minerals that will give the concrete its colour and aesthetic. You can basically combine an endless amount of minerals to achieve the look you’re going for, whether it’s to match a certain part of your front yard or to just completely contrast it.

This is when you’ll also be able to choose the shapes, how smooth they’ll be, their opaqueness as well as their texture. Remember, there is an almost countless number of combinations that you can utilise when it comes to exposed aggregate driveways, so take your time and think about what you want because chances are it’ll be able to be done.


Pouring the base

Now that you have your aggregate selected, the base can be poured and spread. This is a standard concrete pouring technique except you’ll want to leave the top inch unfilled for now. Continue to fill your concrete forms up to a ¼ of an inch from the top layer. The reason we leave an inch on top is for the aggregate and stones to be put in later.

You’ll want an even surface on top. This is a process that involves a lot of patience and careful work – if you overwork it then it will result in an uneven surface. So, make sure you screed the surface very carefully to achieve a smooth and even layer.

Thick, soft cement is the aim of this part. You’ll want the surface layer to be mostly hard, but not too hard that you won’t be able to press the aggregates into it in the next step. All moisture must be cleared from the concrete forms to be able to move on so keep an eye on moisture build-ups. If your concrete is uneven, then it will show when the water builds up more so in the lower area.


Forming the top layer

Now it’s time to start making the real magic. Grab a bucket full of pea gravel and lay it over the cured cement. The desired outcome should be for the gravel to simply sit on top of the cement, it should not sink without applied pressure. Spread the gravel using a brush. The gravel must be spread across the entire form and cover the cement entirely.


Pressing the stones

This is when you start to see the decorative side of the exposed aggregate driveway come to life. Take a piece of wood and begin pressing and tapping the gravel into the concrete gently. This is the stage where you’ll visibly start to see that some areas do need more gravel so don’t be afraid to add some.

The concrete will have hardened much more by this point. You can start laying down the mortar on top of the pushed down stones now, but it is imperative that there are no build-ups of mortar and that it is all evenly spread across the concrete form. Use brushes with hard bristles to distribute the mortar whilst still tapping the stones further into the concrete.

You will need to use a gravel rolling machine to then roll the gravel over the forms. As long as you don’t stamp your feet hard on the surface or twist your heels, you’re able to walk on top of the forms at the stage. The purpose of this is to compress the gravel and mortar as much as possible in preparation for the final stage.


Exposing the aggregate

This final step will utilise a combination of water pressure and brushes/brooms to achieve the desired outcome. Use a broom or brush to go over the concrete form, exposing the aggregate beneath. Using a hose at a low angle is the other part to this. The pressure of the water will chip off the mortar, leaving the aggregate to be exposed. If any of the pebbles are dislodged, then stop and wait for a while before continuing.


Need an exposed aggregate driveway?

Prestige Concrete Services offers a variety of concrete services or all your needs. Our experienced contractors specialise in exposed aggregate driveways and paths.

If you would like to know more about what we do – or would like a quote – then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website.