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Barnsco Decorative Concrete Supply

Vol. 16 No. 5 - July 2016

Ben Ashby, StoneCrete Systems

Ben Ashby, 53, got an early education in concrete from a father who he says was “stubborn as a mule and tough as nails,” but who also provided the young Ashby with the drive and motivation to succeed. His father, who recently passed away last December, was an “old school” concrete worker who taught hard work. “I remember my first day on the job because I was 5 years old carrying around a 4-foot level,” Ashby says. “I don’t think he actually used the level I was carrying around but it gave me something to do and my father wanted me to do it because that’s how you learn to work hard.”

By Vanessa Salvia
June 29, 2016
Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries. Instead, potential customers must look up “concrete contractors” or “concrete products” and hope to find an ad or two detailing services among the dozens of company names.

By Victoria K. Sicaras
June 29, 2016
A Great Outdoors: OMG Backyards features Green Scene creation

In Los Angeles, and in particular the Beverly Hills area of the city, there are many OMG backyards. This one, though, created by Scott Cohen’s company, Green Scene Landscaping & Swimming Pools, was over-the-top enough to have been featured last summer on the television show “OMG Backyards” on ReelzChannel. Cohen worked with the Zahabian family to create a tranquil backyard fit for entertaining with a full outdoor kitchen, while also carving out space for a basketball court for their children.

By Vanessa Salvia
June 29, 2016
Earth-Centered Projects Pavilion Links to Natural History

embedding fossils and other prehistoric artifacts in decorative strips in the wallsAt Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, California, learning sometimes takes the form of a hands-on experience. And there’s no more powerful example of this approach to education than the school’s special projects pavilion, part of the recently completed Science Education and Research Facility.

By Joe Maty
June 29, 2016
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. If you’re selling decorative concrete as no-maintenance, you could be missing out on tapping into the same sort of profit center those cartridges represent, either through selling products or providing maintenance services — or both.

By K. Schipper
June 30, 2016
What Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Vacuum

large vacuum with dust collecting featureThe philosophy behind purchasing industrial vacuums for controlling airborne dust is changing in the concrete industry, especially with new federal rules now in place concerning worker exposure to these particles (see sidebar). The industry’s top manufacturers of dust-collecting vacuum systems are more than capable of helping folks meet regulations, advising what equipment is best for a job, and providing top-notch warranties, customer service and training.

By Debby and Keith Davis
June 30, 2016
Environmental Issues Can Impact Exterior Acid-Stain Projects

concrete that's impacted by environmental aspectsAcid-stained concrete has been popular for decades. The process of acid staining is well documented, as are the key precautionary items to look for before and during application. When I first started troubleshooting decorative concrete problems around 2001, I got a lot of calls involving acid stains. oday, I might get these calls a few times a year. Thanks to real-world experience, continuing education and better specifications, issues with acid stains have been greatly reduced.

By Chris Sullivan
June 30, 2016
Making Safety a Priority on the Job Site

For years I’ve enjoyed learning from the pages of Concrete Decor. The pictures of amazing design and craftsmanship, detailed techniques, new products and sound advice on how to improve business have all helped me stay connected to the decorative concrete industry. So, it was with great anticipation that I packed up my 2001 Ford Escape, promised my kids I’d bring them back something cool (concrete Star Wars figures courtesy of Blueconcrete) and headed to the 2015 Concrete Decor Show in Indianapolis to take part in some very hands-on workshops.

By Phu Nguyen, CSP
June 30, 2016
Dealing with Delaminations in a Concrete Surface

cracks all over concrete surfaceConcrete placement is never easy, with many variables such as wind, sun, ambient temperature and humidity to consider as they all affect each pour. The mix design and consideration of the actual makeup of the concrete and possible additives are just as important. In today’s world, ready-mix suppliers tweak the mix designs in thousands of small ways with additives to assist the placement and offset some of these considerations. Sometimes these modifications have unintended consequences.

By David Stephenson
June 30, 2016
Concrete Artisan Reflects on Series Focused On Design Elements

concrete countertop top with textured back wallThis represents the last column in my design-focused series, “The Elements of Style for Contractors.” Before I bid you all good-bye, I’ll summarize the main points. Concrete Decor posts complete archives of past issues, so you can check out the topics of the previous 10 articles. The series kicked off in January 2015 when I described the five composition ‘tools’ concrete artisans should have in their tool kits — Line, Shape, Value, Color and Texture.

By Gaye Goodman
June 30, 2016
Old World-Style Concrete Countertops That Look Like Italian Granite

In 2015, homeowners who had traveled throughout Italy contacted Darryl Bates of Excalibur Surfaces in Simi Valley, California, about wanting Old World-style concrete countertops that looked like the Italian granite they had admired on their trip. Using products purchased through StoneCrete’s Ashby System, Excalibur delivered 52 square feet and 1,660 pounds of beautiful 2-inch-thick countertops in three sections that look as if they were hewn from a cliff.

By Vanessa Salvia
June 30, 2016
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