The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

April 2, 2013

Unique Upgrades to Your Home Can Make it Stand Out


The Stanly News & Press

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 — Remodeling your home? Don’t just keep up with the Joneses. Go a step further by giving your home truly unique upgrades.



Experts say that one great way to be distinctive and add value to your home is by going natural.



So if you’re thinking of redoing your countertops, floors, walls or other key home elements like no one else on your block, think marble, granite and salvaged lumber.



“There is no way to duplicate nature in a laboratory or manufacturing environment,” says Garen Distelhorst, Communications Director at the Marble Institute of America. “Natural stone is quarried from rock beds formed over millions of years. You’re never going to find two pieces exactly alike.”



Here are some benefits of natural materials for you to consider



• Return on Investment: In many cases, marble and granite are less expensive than other premium materials and add value to a home when it’s time to sell. According to the most current data available, natural stone recovered between 80 to 86 percent of its remodeling cost at the time of resale.



• Durability: The ancient civilizations were onto something when they built their cities. Natural stone stands up to weathering and time better than any other building material, natural or manmade. Stone floors, countertops and wall cladding will last for at least 100 years in many cases. Likewise, salvaged lumber is old growth wood, which means it’s stronger and has tighter wood grains than new lumber and can give your home project historical value.



• Sustainability: Natural stone is an environmentally friendly choice because it’s nearly 100 percent recyclable and is not bonded by petroleum based resins or created in a factory. And because of its durability, it won’t need to be replaced for a long time.



• Versatility: The number of different colors, patterns and textures of natural stone is limitless. This may make finding the perfect cuts to fit your design needs a bit of a chore, but what you end up with will be unique to your home. And different finishes and edge treatments can lend the same kind of stone a different quality and look, making it ideal for various applications -- from floors to walls to fireplaces to roofing shingles.



• Cleaning: You can toss aside the heavy duty cleaners that irritate your eyes and nose. Warm water, mild dishwashing liquid and a soft cloth are all that is needed for regular maintenance of most natural stone surfaces.



For more information on making unique upgrades to your home and locating a qualified stone contractor, visit www.marble-institute.com.



By avoiding synthetic materials, you can give your home classic upgrades that are durable, beautiful and easy to mai