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Concrete Maintenance Programs Can Cement Client Relationships

Concrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe itConcrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe it’s a maintenance-free product. But the reality is that no product lasts forever, not even concrete, without occasional maintenance.

Battelle Develops Self-Healing Smart Beads that Detect and Repair Corrosion

Battelle corrosion detecting microbeadsBattelle scientists have developed a tiny bead, the Battelle Smart Corrosion Detector bead, that not only detects corrosion but delivers a payload to help heal the microscopic cracks that rust creates.

Historic Mazza Castle Restored and Repaired for Next 100 Years

Mazza Castle restoration projectEmily McCloskey, the young wife of attorney and Irish immigrant Henry Harrison McCloskey, had grown deathly afraid of earthquakes after the “great earthquake” of San Francisco and the subsequent fire that killed 500 people and left 220,000 homeless in 1906.

CIM College Program Graduates Can Land Good-Paying Construction Jobs

students working on a concrete block - Collaboration between industry and academia has created a mix of in-class learning and hands-on experience that is helping to solve an ongoing challenge for the concrete sector -- adding youth to the workforce.Collaboration between industry and academia has created a mix of in-class learning and hands-on experience that is helping to solve an ongoing challenge for the concrete sector — adding youth to the workforce.

How to Get the Job Without Being the Low Bid

swimming pool surrounded by beautiful concrete floorWe’ve all had the phone call with a client where he lets you down gently, saying thanks, but some other contractor came in with a lower number. Sometimes it’s best to just write off those lost jobs, but how do you get the jobs you really want without having to be the lowest price?

Decorative Surface Solutions Group is First Buying Group for Flooring Industry

grey concrete floor in corridorSuppose your little decorative concrete flooring business suddenly could make deals as if it were a coast-to-coast firm?

Ten Tips For Setting Up a Concrete Countertop Fabrication Business

A workbench with tools lit up with an overhead lamp.Getting started in concrete fabrication can be overwhelming. Here are 10 solid pieces of advice that veterans from across the country have for artisans who are setting up shop.

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 Long Should You Guarantee Your Concrete Work?

How long should you guarantee your work? It all depends on who you ask. Four successful contractors from California to New York share their philosophy on warrantiesHow long should you guarantee your work? It all depends on who you ask. Four successful contractors from California to New York share their philosophy on warranties.

Disorganization Is Hurting Your Contracting Business

Paper clips scattered.When you put in years perfecting your decorative concrete craft , you start to consider yourself an expert in your field. Past customers appreciate your skill, courtesy and professionalism, and they refer friends and relatives to your services. But recently you have noticed something is changing, and this change makes you uneasy.

Planning for Success in Polished Concrete

Planning for success in the future with a clock face.There are new profit opportunities in polished concrete for the decorative concrete contractor. This is a fact, and every decorative concrete contractor should look into polished concrete. However, nothing ever caused more people to go broke than too much optimism and too little planning.

The Questions You Should Ask When Considering Decorative Concrete

Frequently asked questions about decorative concreteThere is nothing more stressful than deciding on the best path for your business. Making the right decision at the right time is very important in growing and in perfecting the decorative craft. I had to answer each of the questions below at some point in my decorative journey and I’m guessing so will you.

A Decorative Concrete Supply Store Dazzles With Its New Showroom

The front entrance of The Rental Branch has been transformed with decorative concrete.Mike Branch, owner of The Rental Branch in St. Joseph, Mich., had a vision to create the most concentrated display of decorative concrete anywhere. Mission accomplished. Mostly finished as of late 2010, it’s been nearly a year in the making, though it felt more like 10 years.

Processes that Ensure Quality Work Are Needed Now More Than Ever

Four stars on a concrete background.The lack of communication between owners and designers at the top of the building process and the workers at the production end, as well as the training needed for a seamless transition from client's conception to finished project can create a dysfunction in the industry that is in desperate need of fixing.

Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from http://historycooperative.org/ Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

The Four Fundamentals of Any Business Strategy

Ideas and brainstorming on paper.Business strategy is the conscience you need for effective decision-making as you wade through the ambiguous waters of entrepreneurship. You face a lot of uncertainty as a decorative concrete business owner, and having a coherent business strategy is fundamental to minimizing that uncertainty.

How to Go Green in Decorative Concrete

Workers apply Prosoco's Consolideck surface hardener.Decorative concrete often appeals to designers and building owners who want to minimize their impact on the environment, because polished, stamped or textured surfaces eliminate the need for coverings that perpetually need replacement.

5 Tips for Photographing Concrete Hardscapes

concrete waterfall modern styleThe beauty of decorative concrete comes from its versatility and stunning final results. Each project’s unique traits help sell the next project. However, your future potential clients don’t necessarily have access to your past projects, which is why photography is a crucial component of your marketing plan — regardless of your company’s size.

Tips for Polishing Preexisting Concrete Floors Profitably

Tips for polishing concrete and how to be profitable.If I were a contractor I would take “preexisting” projects over new projects every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

New Formula for High-Strength Shotcrete to Protect Tunnels from Fires and Terrorist Attacks

Fire-proof shotcrete Concrete Decor Magazine Phys.org reported that the science magazine Rubin published research conducted by engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum who have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions. The new formula enhances concrete with 140 kilograms of steel fibers per cubic meter, a figure that was thought to be impossible for shotcrete. The science magazine Rubin reports that engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions.

Concrete's Structure is Now Known

Microscopic Cement StructureThe website Phys.org revealed new research into whether the structure that forms when water, gravel, sand and cement powder are combined is a continuous solid, like metal or stone, or an aggregate of small particles.

Natural Networking Making Friends Builds Business

a woman and a man shaking hands - As high school students, most of us were encouraged to join a variety of extracurricular activities to build our resumes and make us more well-rounded people. As adults and business owners, joining an association, as well as attending conferences and trade shows, can have some of these same advantages, but they can also help grow your business.As high school students, most of us were encouraged to join a variety of extracurricular activities to build our resumes and make us more well-rounded people. As adults and business owners, joining an association, as well as attending conferences and trade shows, can have some of these same advantages, but they can also help grow your business.

You Owe It to Yourself to Make Time for Training

training course at the Solomon decorative concrete fairGrowth, increased profits, value and quality are a few words I hear thrown around in the decorative concrete industry these days. It seems, and rightly so, many want to grow their business and increase their value and sustainability in the marketplace by providing quality work.

Automated spray system from Fas-Trak Industries
Sustainable Construction Techniques Earning LEED

Simple decisions you make and little things your workers do, such as protecting the existing landscape, recycling or reusing materials, and choosing the right materials, can impact the site and the building for years to comeSustainable design is a big part of what makes a building green - especially in terms of earning LEED points - but sustainable construction techniques can add a few points and can also prove to an owner or designer that your company is serious about the issue.

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