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5 Things Architects Wish Decorative Concrete Contractors Would Do

Architects and decorative concrete contractorsThere’s one key point on which architects and decorative concrete contractors agree: “The architect needs to have a contractor who knows what he’s doing,” says Marley Porter, AIA, who operates Living Architecture & Construction Management, located in Texas Hill Country at Cottonwood Shores.

How to Get Your Decorative Concrete Projects Noticed by Editors

Trade-magazine editors are always looking for great projects to cover and they love to hear from contractors who have a story -- and great photos -- to share.Trade-magazine editors are always looking for great projects to cover and they love to hear from contractors who have a story — and great photos — to share.

Decorative Concrete Imaging Software Helps Contractors Bring Ideas to Life

Here is a shot of a boy on a patio and it shows the difference between what the space currently looks like and what it could look like with a different color or pattern.When Depiction Software LLC adapted two standard types of construction software to fit the needs of decorative concrete contractors, it brought decorative concrete planning into the 21st century.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

How to Use Samples, Mock-ups and Models to Your Best Advantage

Creating models of concrete jobs - Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.

Researchers File Patent for Fire-resistant Concrete

fire resistant concreteScientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) have added polypropylene (PP) fiber to a concrete mix. The technique allows water vapor to escape, preventing pressure from building inside the concrete, making it more fire-proof.

5 Tips for the Stamped Concrete Jobsite

Five tips for a concrete construction jobesite.1. Handholding

2. County Permits

3. Electric Requirements for Lighting

4. Spouse POC (point of contact)

5. Submit Unique Jobs for Awards

How to Make Maintenance Work for You to Increase Profitability

guy on ride on polishing machineConsumers, often blown away with the low prices of desktop inkjet printers, forget to consider the additional cost of ink cartridges which put many of them on a first name basis with the folks at the office supply store.

5 Ways to Effectively Utilize Your Decorative Concrete Awards

Concrete awards laid out on tableA stack of award submission requests are sitting on my desk staring me down and deadlines are popping up all over my calendar. Many associations and local, regional and national companies and groups in the decorative concrete realm host award programs to help recognize the best of the best.

Marketing Your Work With Photos

Bank entrance stained with images of coinsIn today’s world, we tend not to listen anymore. There are so many of us, we are all talking, and our words have become background noises for the stimuli that really distract us. If you want to say something today, you have to use the language that transcends culture, geography, and time. You have to use imagery.

Making International Travel and Shipping Plans for Concrete Projects

Preparing a shipment for loading onto a truck.While in the course of business these days, you will sometimes be asked to travel outside the United States to do decorative concrete work. The pitfalls are many, but the windfalls can be huge.

How Do Successful Concrete Contractors Choose the Right Manufacturers?

Concrete Warehouse FloorChoosing the right manufacturer is a dilemma every contractor in our industry faces every day. I’ve heard many analogies used to describe the decorative concrete industry over the years, but two comparisons have always resonated the most: “Polished Concrete is part Art and part Construction,” and “The polishing industry is still the Wild West.”

Three Steps to a Successful Decorative Concrete Sample

Making a concrete sampleToday’s lesson is one each decorative concrete professional must heed: Creating the perfect project sample is the path to your artistic future.

How can we help the concrete industry thrive?

How can we help the concrete industry thrive?Years ago, there was a Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams,” which has now become a classic. While this movie was full of overarching plots and subplots, the main takeaway was: “If you build it, they will come.”

Successful Contractors Offer Good Customer Service

Man jumping on a graph with an upward arrow of improvement.Turning a profit in today’s construction industry is no accident. This is why it is essential — now more than ever — to practice the strong fundamentals that every successful business is built on. I witnessed a perfect example of such a business this fall and it made me rethink my effort as a decorative concrete professional.

Harnessing the Advantages of Your Small Company

A set of binoculars rests on a ledge at sunset.A leader with a vision and a visionary leader are not the same. It is not enough to simply have a vision and convey the vision to a group of people. You must be emotionally intelligent to understand how to emotionally convey a vision.

Small companiess are better equipped to be successful in this way and its time to harness it.

Taking Your Polishing Business on the Road

When to add traveling to your business model for concrete polishingI went through this transition as a polishing contractor, so I thought that I would give you a few helpful tips and things to think about before you embark on this journey.

Mastering Polishing Specifications for Success and Profit

Mastering polishing specs graphic.The time will come when a general contractor, architect or another flooring contractor will ask you to bid on polishing floors in a new construction project.

New Technique Could Make Cement Manufacturing Carbon Neutral

carbon neutral cement productionThe manufacturing process which produces ordinary portland cement, the ubiquitous ingredient in the concrete used around the world, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. New research suggests that portland cement can be produced with no carbon dioxide emissions.

Challenges of Working with Concrete in the Winter

A stained concrete floor in a high-traffic area can be affected by inclement weather, even indoors.If you live above the Mason-Dixon line, chances are your winter months are cold and snowy. It’s great weather for skiing, but not so much for those who work with concrete.

ACI Releases Long-Awaited Decorative Concrete Standards Guide

ACI Decorative Concrete Standards GuideMany years in the making and rigorously reviewed by dozens of experts in the field, the much-anticipated 310R-13 Guide to Decorative Concrete was officially published by the American Concrete Institute in December 2013.

Your Next Client Is Shopping Online

Computer with a shopping cartYour business may have the upper hand in finding new projects, at least if you’re willing to step up to online marketing.

The way this decorative concrete contractor sees it, the only way to land more projects is to increase your number of strong leads. Let’s take a look at exactly how you can add more solid leads immediately.

Grow Your Concrete Business with Customer Service

A red pen that is about to fill out a check.Referrals from satisfied customers will propel you to the top.

Turn a Connection into a Decorative Concrete Sale

Making good connections with people earn you higher numbers in sales.The decorative concrete industry is driven by fascination. Inspiring this fascination in customers is only possible when you connect first and foremost. Unfortunately, this is the number one aspect I see missing within our talented artisans today. Just like your ability to create with color and concrete, there is an art to connecting with architects, designers and owners.

New Faces: Fall 2013
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