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Building an extension for my mother-in-law

I love my mother-in-law but I never planned on living with her permanently. I have been enjoying her living with us now that we have kids but I feel like we all need some extra space so I am getting a granny flat built at the back of our block. This should allow us to have some extra space to make sure everyone has the privacy that they need whilst we can still be a family. This block has some tip on the process of building a granny flat including how to choose a contractor and how to get the council approval for the build.


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Building an extension for my mother-in-law

Join It Up: Blend Function and Form with Decorative Concrete Joints

by Chloe Cooper

While concrete is a very versatile and durable material, it can sometimes struggle in the intense Australian heat. It expands and contracts with the temperature changes from day to night, and this is likely to lead to cracks over time.

It's not possible to entirely avoid this problem; cracks are part of natural wear and tear. However, your concrete floor should last for up to 25 years if cared for correctly, and making sure that it's installed correctly in the first instance should help to extend its life to this full potential. So — what exactly can you do?

Use Concrete Joints

Rather than installing a solid patch of concrete, laying concrete with joints allows you to break it up into several much smaller segments. These are easier to maintain and repair if they do get damaged — but crucially, the joints give the concrete some 'breathing space' in which to expand and contract with the temperature. This should severely reduce the amount of cracking that occurs in the flooring.

Plan Ahead

These lines can't just go anywhere! Your concrete contractor will need to design a pattern for the joints in advance to ensure that they're spaced out evenly. At this stage of planning, you can also work with your contractor to arrange these joints in a way that is symmetrical and visually appealing. This allows you to kill two birds with one stone; not only are you protecting your concrete, but also it will serve an aesthetic purpose.

Don't forget that you can also add to these designs by stamping or engraving the concrete; not every line in your overall pattern needs to serve as a joint.

Seal the Deal

Joints are created by simply removing sections of concrete after it has been poured. However, you can't just leave these gaps empty. Your contractor will fill them with a specialist sealant designed to protect the concrete from harm. It will also prevent these joints from turning into trip hazards. You should ensure that this sealant stays in good order; if it starts to degrade, it will need to be repaired or redone, or you could risk damage to the entire concrete floor.

Knowing where to place these lines is a specialist task, so you'll need to collaborate with your contractor in order to produce something that both works and looks great. However, the end result will seriously extend the life of your concrete flooring — and keep it looking unique and interesting for the duration. For more information on concrete repairs or maintenance, contact a local professional.