Imagine building your dream home. All of the right elements are in place: hardwood floors, granite countertops, marble tile in the bathrooms and kitchen, exterior brick siding, flagstone pool deck, rock retaining walls and exposed aggregate driveway. Now imagine taking that plan and replacing all those elements with concrete.
That’s what the new TV show “Concrete Nation” is all about. It shows people who are building or remodeling that there is another way to build that will last longer, look better and ultimately be more cost-effective. In Season One of the show, we will go through the step-by-step drama of building a home with those concrete elements, making concrete the star of the show.
To be built in Fountain Hills, Ariz., the “Concrete Nation” house will feature many types of creative styles of concrete and decorative concrete. Strong. Safe. Beautiful.
Because of the steep slope of the building lot, one of the first episodes will showcase a concrete retaining wall that is made to look like desert rock. The strength of the concrete wall will hold back the massive backfill, and the look of desert rock is beautiful and blends better with the surrounding landscape than would a plain flat concrete retaining wall.
The next several episodes will show forming and placing the concrete for the foundation. At this stage we will be slab-stamping (slab-texturing) the same day the slab is placed. The concrete will cure for three to five days, and then we will clean and seal the decorative areas. We will take extraordinary precautions to protect the slab, safeguarding one of the most important decorative features of this home.
The “Concrete Nation” producers will then capture the craftsmanship and expertise of installing the interior and exterior wall systems. The exterior walls will be coated with decorative products that create the effect of desert rock to match the retaining walls, while the inside walls will have a coating that resembles traditional plaster.
We will feature a “Wow Wall” in the entry foyer that is a one-of-a-kind hand-sculptured art deco masterpiece by renowned concrete sculptor Nathan Giffin of Vertical Artisans. Nathan will also sculpt intricate wine racks in the wine cellar and create decorative features around the outdoor living and kitchen areas. The remaining floors and patios will be stained, dyed and polished by some of the best manufacturers and contractors in our industry.
In almost every episode of “Concrete Nation,” decorative concrete expert Wes Vollmer, one of the show’s founders, will expose the viewers to unique methods of designing, building and installing decorative concrete sinks, bathtubs, countertops — and the Diamondback Bar. The Diamondback Bar countertop will start inside the home and wind in and out of the indoor and outdoor living areas like a snake. It will be a single-pour piece featuring imprints of desert dwellers and plants. Imagine a scorpion and snake imprint with exotic cacti and palm foliage impressions that dot the length of the countertop and are highlighted by fiber optic lighting.
Moving toward the back of the property, you will find the concrete swimming pool surrounded with stamped concrete flagstones that feature cool step prints for bare feet when the summer temperatures top 112 degrees. The pergola by the pool will feature decorative concrete posts and be surrounded with stained planters.
As you will see, “Concrete Nation” is a TV show that showcases the passion for concrete home building and remodeling while inspiring transformational thought about how concrete can be used in modern times. Look for the show to debut this fall on Fox and affiliate station groups.