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The Beautiful Masonry Of Europe

In this article, I want to talk about the beautiful stone and concrete construction that is so heavily favored in Europe! But mostly to show you the beauty you can possibly add to your own home.

As you may already know, European homes are typically made of stone and brick walls. This leads to much sturdier construction (America take note, you need protection from those hurricanes!), and also more energy-efficient homes, as explained in my previous article.

Many homes use stone to collect rain and river water. Decreasing their need of man-made energy.

And don’t forget about the beautiful castles! Some still stand today, lasting for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Many of these castles have been ‘remodeled’ (if that’s what you wanna call it), to withstand another 500 years. To maintain the uniqueness of the castle, the owners have polished concrete floors inside. This also leads to easy maintenance and a one-of-a-kind look that your guests will love. I highly recommend this type of flooring!

On the outside, the finished concrete is just to die for! The architecture is just wonderful pieces of art that I just can’t get enough of. I can spend hours and hours watching videos and looking at pictures of European style homes and castles.

Imagine having some of these concrete and stone structures in your own home. The detail of the sculpting is incredible. If you know of anyone who can do this type of sculpting, I would love to know! 

Whenever I visit Europe, I’ve always noticed the old bridges (see below). Just think of the time and creativity put into that, and it was created hundreds of years ago! It’s absolutely breathtaking.

See the pictures below for some inspiration.

Energy Efficiency Of American Built vs. European Built Homes: Which Is Better?

While it’s clear there’s a noticeable difference in European homes compared to American homes. Everyone enjoys a little “infusion” of Europe into their US homes.

But in this article, I wanted to show you the major differences of energy efficiency, and maybe some ideas for you to add to your American home—to maybe make it more unique, or to even help you save money!

Difference #1: European built homes are extremely energy efficient due to a higher standard of construction. So this means sturdier woods, a lot of stone or concrete walls, and heavy insulation. It’s typical in European built construction that the exterior walls are made out of insulated concrete blocks on rebar frames, or poured concrete walls.

Also, European homes install the plumbing and electrical first, before they pour the concrete floors and foundation. This means less chance of ever needing to repair these things (that is if they get it right at the beginning!).

But this is understandable as America is still growing and is building homes as fast as possible!

With that said, European builds end up saving you money in the long run due to less repair and just being more energy-efficient.

Difference #2: Europe homes tend to use radiant heat built into the polished concrete floors and walls, rather than forced air. For air conditioning, they use water systems in the concrete as well. This, unfortunately, can lead to increased humidity. So while cheaper than American HVAC systems, not as ideal.

Difference #3: Many German homes have special windows called Rolladens that can control sunlight, affecting the interior temperatures. Somewhat similar to American ‘skylights’, except more functional. 

Difference #4: Most European toilets have 2 flush buttons on their toilets. One is for a 1-gallon flush, the other for a 2-gallon flush. In America, you’re seeing these, but even so, their ‘low flow’ toilets still use about 1.6 gallons.

Difference #5: European appliances such as the refrigerator and oven are typically smaller than Americans. Also, kitchens aren’t as important in Europe compared to America.

So as you can see, European’s pay much more attention to their energy use compared to Americans. A major reason for this though is because Europeans are charged about 24 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy compared to Americans who only pay 9 cents… That is a dramatic difference!

Thank you for reading my first article! Please come back as I plan to update the blog monthly!

CeCe