Whether the objective is keeping water in — like a pond, tank, pool or reservoir — or keeping it out — such as a foundation or entire building — waterproofing looms large in concrete installations.
Just as a good cook knows when to use a stand mixer with bread hooks and when to get out the hand mixer with a whip, there are a mixer — and a paddle or blade design — for just about every size job in the decorative concrete industry, as well.
T.B. Penick & Sons is accustomed to getting its way.
When taking on pervious paving contracts, the San Diego-based contractor’s mix design is typically accepted by clients following mock-up, as custom blends can significantly increase a project’s difficulty. Yet, there are always exceptions, with the most recent being the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
For a guy who started from the bottom up, Jesse Escalera has managed to make a name for himself over the years through his backyard masterpieces.
Borders can be used in many ways, not just to frame a room and make our engraving easier than cutting all the way to a wall. Usually 6-10 inches wide around the edge of a space, they can also be used as their own design element.
5 tips for photographing hardscapes
The 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.
In the previous two articles, I discussed my bread-and-butter designs. I probably do one of those designs every other week and sometimes twice a week. They’re quick and easy once you become familiar with them. Practice drawing them on your warehouse floor a couple of times until you get used to the routine.
“Graceful Curves.” That’s what Scott Cohen and his team at Green Scene Landscaping and Swimming Pools call a recent backyard masterpiece in Malibu, California. Cohen describes it as the ultimate entertaining backyard that has everything and then some — including a pool that makes you feel like you’re in a giant lake.
Concrete Decor Show pro bono endeavors brighten stay for families of the ailing
At the seventh annual Concrete Decor Show in San Diego, California, world-class instructors and eager students from around the globe joined their talents and enthusiasm to breathe new life into the outdoor surroundings of the Bannister Family House, which provides a home-like environment for people with family members in long-term or critical care at the nearby UC San Diego Health.
When EnnisArt was contacted to install a map of the Connecticut River Watershed for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, Massachusetts, it was up for the challenge — specifically the Living Building Challenge. Based in Asheville, North Carolina, EnnisArt specializes in custom concrete flooring and concrete innovation, with a penchant toward artistic projects that maintain a green focus.
Over all the years I’ve worked in decorative concrete, I’ve done a lot of basic tile patterns. That’s all I did almost every week for three years as I learned to use my tools. I got so bored doing these that I had to find a way to design something a little different but still easy to lay out.
Let’s face it, working concrete is a hard job. It’s hard on the hands, the back and especially the knees. Fortunately, for some contractors there’s an option that allows them to stand upright and still complete their jobs.
Perhaps it was a throwback to his old “smoking in the boy’s room” days but a homeowner in Zurich, Switzerland, yearned to have his own private smoking pavilion in his backyard. Instead of a crowded room filled with rule-breaking teenagers, he wanted a quiet, relaxing place where he could sit back and smoke while admiring a newly sculpted garden, a lake and mountains without bothering anyone else in the household.
Lately, I feel the industry has created a very busy design world. Many times I think people do too much design and they need to simplify things. Many interior designers want simple stain-and-seal floors because they want to focus on the furniture, lights and wall decor.
San Diego County is known far and wide for its beautiful weather, interesting people and endless summer atmosphere. So it was with great anticipation when San Diego was picked as the site for the 2016 Concrete Decor Show Sept. 25-29 that it was destined to be one showstopper of a show. And all indications point to that premonition coming true.
When weary travelers pull or carry their bags across the plaza and into one of the lobbies of the Consolidated Rental Car Center at Lindbergh Field at the airport in San Diego, they probably won’t give much thought to the decorative concrete and terrazzo beneath their feet.
What started out as a once-in-a-lifetime hunting adventure turned into a friendship and a trophy-worthy job where contractor Matt Villella, owner of Sierra Concrete Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota, bagged one of his most memorable projects to date.
Many concrete professionals who are asked how they got into the business of concrete say they sort of “fell into it.”
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.
This 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.