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Getting the Most Out of Decorative Concrete Educational Opportunities

Group of people learning from Fu-Tung Cheng in a training course.The cold truth is that our industry has seen its share of truly talented decorative concrete individuals fail, and it’s not because they weren’t good at their craft. Today’s artisans must be more than talented — they must be capable of overlaying talent with an entrepreneurial spirit. That's where training and education comes in.

Customer Service Continues Long After the Concrete Dries

three river rocks dressed upProblems two years later? The timeline for customer service has no limits.
In this age of customer service, you should never turn your back on a client with a problem.

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.

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.

How to Measure RH in Concrete

RH measurements in concreteHow valuable is 48 hours to you and your business? Can you put a price on it?

And does the price go up if you run into a moisture-related problem with a concrete slab in the later phases of a project?

The Benefits Of Entering The Construction Industry

Time and again, today's youth have been told that going to college is extremely important to their futures. Time and again, today’s youth have been told that going to college is extremely important to their futures. It’s been drilled into their heads that without a degree, they can only hope to attain low-level employment with low pay.

Carlton's Corner: Provide Free Extras Instead of Dropping Your Prices

Apples, give free extras instead of dropping prices.As more competition fights for fewer pieces of the pie, it will become increasingly tempting to lower your prices in order to stay competitive. I understand this completely, because I operate a decorative concrete company in one of the most competitive and hard-hit housing economies in our nation.

L. M. Scofield Co.'s 2014 Decorative Concrete Awards

turtle stained into concreteThe sixth annual Decorative Concrete Awards were announced recently by sponsor L. M. Scofield Co. The contest honors contractors and designers who use Scofield decorative concrete materials.

This year, for the first time, the contest was divided into six categories.

Benefits of Membership in an Industry Association for Decorative Concrete Contractors

A group of silhouettes in green on a yellow striped background.Membership in an industry association or society offers numerous opportunities for education, peer networking, and accessing a wealth of information that helps us grow professionally. There are several organizations that support concrete contractors and concrete construction.

Second Graders Love Decorative Concrete

Second Graders Love Decorative ConcreteThe way to homeowners' hearts is through their kids. So why not market decorative concrete to second graders?

Transitioning Your Concrete Business into Pool Construction

Pouring concrete pool decksThe success of your decorative concrete future hinges on one word: anticipation. The ability to anticipate where to find the potential buyers of services over the next year or two is one few professionals even consider.

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.

Carbon-based Concrete Additive Wins Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Environment Award

Eden concrete additive made from carbon nanotubes Architecture and Design announced last week that a carbon-based concrete additive won the Civil Contractors Federation environment award. The technology uses carbon nanotubes to give concrete a flexural strength 200 to 300 times that of steel.

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.”

What To Do When A Customer Is Unhappy With the Result

Pink piggy bank with coins around it.You will get complaint calls regarding your contracting, and this day needs to be planned for. Your customer may have a legitimate complaint or may need some educating. Nevertheless, not responding to the complaint will only aggravate the situation.

Trends and Problems in a Weak Decorative Concrete Economy

The number of questions dealing with low cost and easy ways to turn a gray slab into something decorative has increased significantly over the last few months.Today's trend has less to do with any certain product and more to do with a weak economy and saving money. Just like people are finding ways to make their cars go another year to save money, so too are they are looking for ways to make their existing concrete work another year.

Making Safety a Priority on the Job Site

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.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.

7 Basic Steps to Consider Before Starting any Concrete Project

The basic steps are as follows. Male lead in first bar: left foot forward step, right foot replace weight at same point, left foot back again to step beside from http://salsafundance.blogspot.com/2011/01/basic-step-in-salsa.htmlThis is where the seven steps to success before you start come into play. Problems with architectural concrete projects, real or perceived, can all be traced back to a breakdown of one or more of these seven steps.

Contractors Should Have a Resource Network in Place

Unrepaired concrete that is in desperate need of improvement.The air temperature is 97 degrees F, the concrete arrives late and it turns out it’s a hot load. A set retarder is added, which only makes matters worse. The concrete now sits for eight hours before you can do anything with it. Now what?

Are You Afraid to Seal Concrete?

Serene setting at a upscale hotel where luxurious lounge chair sit atop a stamped concrete pool deck.I firmly believe that the lifeblood of our industry is new and innovative products that continue to move the decorative market forward. A close second, the oxygen of our industry, is word-of-mouth advertising by satisfied clients who have had their expectations met.

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.

Decorative Concrete Makes Its Television Debut

Concrete wall with a square like tv in it.Taking concrete to another level with the introduction of a new television show called "Concrete Nation" that will begin airing on Fox television stations in October. The goal of "Concrete Nation" is to document the building of a house made mostly of concrete. The intent is to show the world the beauty of concrete when put into the hands of artists.

Adjusting Your Business and Mindset to the New Normal

Adjusting to the new normal of businessAdjusting the way you do business from this day forward is as important as accepting the fact that the "new normal" is very real. It has nothing to do with giving up. I have been lucky enough to be a decorative contractor for many years, and the new normal as I see it is as follows.

New Technology Delivers the Shine to Concrete Without the Grind

Multiquip's SlabArmor process showing a concrete construction working riding on a concrete polishing machine.Beauty may only be skin deep, but the performance qualities of an MQ Whiteman SlabArmor concrete surface are just as impressive as the strikingly good looks the SlabArmor system delivers.

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.

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