Author: Beatrice Scott

How To Make and Use Your Cement

There are many adventurous things that you can do as a homeowner yourself. These things usually save you some money and, in most cases, make for a fun memory. One of such things is making your cement. Although many people use one word for another, cement is not the same thing as concrete. In reality, it is part of the materials for making concrete. It is virtually the core material. While you cannot make cement on an industrial scale, you can still make enough to use for your little projects around the house.

The materials and equipment you need for this work include limestones, a shovel for breaking, kiln or oven, and protective gear like gloves, boots, goggles and nose masks.

Step 1

To make cement, the first thing you’ll need to get is limestone which is the raw material used to make industrial cement. There are many options for getting limestone. You can choose to buy or collect it naturally. You can collect limestone naturally if you live in an area where limestone is common. If you collect and you’re unsure whether it is limestone or not, a coin scratch should reveal the truth. Limestone id soft and will be easily scratched. However, if buying is your choice, you can find it in landscaping supply stores.

Step 2

After acquiring the limestone, the next step is to break it down into smaller pieces: the smaller the pieces, the better.

Step 3

Now that you have broken the limestone, the next step is to heat it in the kiln or oven. The heat should be up to 900° C, and the limestone is expected to bake for between 4-5 hours. When using the oven, make sure you protect yourself by wearing gloves and a nose mask.

Step 4

After 5 hours, remove the baked material, also called quicklime, and let them cool over. Wearing a nose mask is essential here as fumes and dust are harmful to the lungs. 

Step 6

The next step is to break the quicklime into dust. Since it is baked, the quicklime will easily crumble into dry powder. This dry powder is cement. You can always store the powder for later use, make sure it is in an airtight container.

Cement uses

Now that you have your cement, you can decide how you want to use it. There are various purposes you can use your homemade cement for around the house. They include:

Mortar

Cement is the binding instrument in your mortar. With it, you can do minor masonry work around the home, such as plastering, patching up cracks in the wall, laying bricks, building retaining walls, and other construction tasks.

Concrete

You can also use your homemade cement for mixing concrete. Concrete usually consumes more cement than mortar as it is required to be much more sturdy. So, if you intend to use your homemade cement for this purpose, make sure you make it in large quantities. However, you can always mix it with industrial cement.

How Concrete Steps Are Made

Whether you’re building a staircase or just a few steps leading to your front door, concrete is the best option. It is everlasting, can bear a heavy load, and can withstand different adverse conditions. While it is advisable to use a professional for staircase construction, you can make the concrete steps leading to your front porch by yourself. This article systematically explains the processes involved.

Design

This is the first stage for any concrete construction project. Unlike stairs, concrete steps do not require many technicalities. But you have to consider details such as the length of the steps, rise, run, tread, width, etc. It might be necessary to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary of such construction. This will help you with all the required measurements and calculations. You must be exact with your measurements to get the right calculations, and there are online calculators to help you with this.

Preparing Foundation

The next step is to lay the groundwork for your steps. This usually starts with a concrete foundation that the steps will rest on. Making the foundation involves digging the ground to a certain depth and filling it with concrete. 

Building framework

This is one of the most crucial stages in making your steps. Use the calculations to create a skeletal framework of your steps with wooden boards. Ensure that every measurement is correct, as this will have a significant impact on the project. Also, use wood that is strong enough to hold the concrete.

Placing reinforced steel bars

Using steel bars to reinforce the concrete is essential. You can use wire mesh as well to strengthen the steps and hold the concrete together. The number of steel bars to use will depend on the load-carrying capacity of the steps.

Pouring Concrete

Once the steel bars and framework are in place. It is time to pour in the concrete. The concrete should be made of 30% cement, 40% stones, 20% sand, and 10% water. The concrete pouring should start from the lowest step. Before pouring the concrete, you can fill the framework with solid rubbles or stones first. However, don’t fill to the brim. There must be sufficient space for concrete to fill in and glue everything together. Ensure that every gap within the steps is filled. Use a screed or trowel to flatten the concrete and tap the sides of the frame with a hammer to fill the concrete’s air pockets. Once you’re sure it is filled up, run an edger along the inside edges to minimize chipping. 

Remove the form

Give the concrete some time to set and harden within the form; this usually takes some hours. When this has happened, gently remove the form from the steps. Start by removing the riser forms and smoothen the corners. The side form should be left for a longer period of up to 24 hours before being removed. 

Finishing

Fill the gaps on the sides with concrete. Then finish the steps as you desire. You can add tile, carpets, rugs, or leave it bare. If you are leaving it bare, roughen up the surface with a broom or brush to make it slip-proof.

How a Granite Countertop will Make Your Kitchen Better

The kitchen granite countertops are man-made and built by nature. Used for kitchens and baths, they are a stunning, durable, and cost-effective option. The name granite is derived from the Latin word granum, meaning “rock.” Granite is also imported from Europe, Africa, Brazil, and other parts of the world that are rich in natural stone. This is an appealing natural stone that adds color and vitality to your kitchen but doesn’t blister, scratch or crack. Granite toughness is only rivaled by diamond hardness. Diamonds are in turn used for cutting and polishing granite.

Growing Popularity

The kitchen granite countertops have become popular with homeowners over the past 10 years. Tones of brown and beige are the most popular. Granite countertops, such as pots and pans, can withstand hot items. This makes them ideally suited to the kitchen. Granite has a cool polished surface that is not going to wear away. This makes it the ideal roll-out surface for pastry dough. Kitchen granite countertops are unique in that there are not exactly the same two granite parts. It offers a fascinating design feature and brings some complexity and texture not found in other surfaces to your kitchen. 

Kitchen Countertops

Granite countertops will produce beauty and elegance which is found only in nature. We have a natural elegance that can complement any tone of the wood, or cabinet style. If you’re planning on making additions or remodeling an existing kitchen, the granite kitchen countertops can be sure to add value to your house. The market for kitchen granite countertops has boomed among kitchen remodelers and home builders. Although putting in granite countertops can be more costly, they remain the odds of a favored option for more affluent homes, because they hold their value better than most home improvements. 

Investing

The investment you make in kitchen granite countertops will pay you back at least three times your investment. If the construction of new cabinets is part of your kitchen remodel, ask the granite supplier what cabinetry they suggest. If you’re using such a superior product, you should find the right kind of drain. Definitely, you should be going for a stainless steel sink to mount under the drain. Besides having the right type of sink installed, it’s also necessary to choose the right faucet to go with the sink. A faucet of stainless steel will go well with a rich countertop of granite in the kitchen. The next significant area is to update the equipment at the cabinet. The handles and knobs should be of high quality so that the overall look of the kitchen is given a good accent. 

Conclusion

Granite countertops will provide a world-class addition when it comes to kitchen remodeling and improve your home’s resale value. There are very few downsides to improving your kitchen.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén