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The CSDA's New Concrete Texture Standard and What it Means for Polished Concrete

ST115 is a new standard for the concrete polishing industry that was adopted in fall 2013 by the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA).ST115 is a new standard for the concrete polishing industry that was adopted in fall 2013 by the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA). The standard explains in detail how to measure the texture of a concrete surface by using a texture meter.

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.

Tips and Hints from the Concrete Pros

A well trained dog holding a ball on his nose. a small sampling of helpful hints shared at demonstrations sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council during the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Concrete Contractors.A small sampling of helpful hints shared at demonstrations sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council during the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Concrete Contractors.

Small Marketing Tactics Make a Big Difference In your Concrete Business

Photo courtesy of Tamryn Doolan Once you complete a job and you know the client is happy, follow up over the phone or through email to ask for a testimonial or quote for your website or a brochure. To make things even more convenient, send a stamped postcard they can easily mail back to you.

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.

Managing Your Decorative Concrete Business for Profit

Manage Your Decorative Concrete Business for ProfitBy my estimation, nearly 80 percent of all decorative concrete businesses fail to reach full earning potential, thanks to some form of mismanagement. Don’t feel bad. This percentage elevates when we combine all other construction trades into the equation.

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.

A Tip of the Hard Hat to Safety on the Construction Site

decorative concrete live hard hat and super etch plusThe debut of Decorative Concrete LIVE! at the 2017 World of Concrete in Las Vegas was met with resounding approval as job site safety took center stage in the annual event's Silver Lot.

Define Your Decorative Concrete Business Goals for 2015

Polished Concrete Archery Range - Concrete Decor MagazineMany experts believe the decorative concrete industry will experience large amounts of growth in 2015. That will come from new products and techniques, and a growing awareness of the versatility of decorative concrete.

Pricing a Polished Concrete Job

Two people doing paperwork at a desk with computersPricing a polished concrete job is hardly cut and dried. There are many things to consider. There are more obvious factors, such as labor, fuel (diesel will probably be your largest expense next to labor), tooling, and travel expenses. There are also various factors about the floor itself that must be considered.

Three Ways to Drum Up New Concrete Work

Gain more jobs by marketing to the local crown.Eight times per year I look at this magazine from cover to cover, amazed at how our industry has been hijacked by true artists. This level of skill, along with a few creative marketing ideas, should keep fresh money coming into your bank account.

Decorative Concrete Dangers, Part 1: Surviving the Slowdown

Caution - "Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it.  Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown."Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it. Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown.

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.”

Scientific Principles of Concrete

Schematic illustration of the pores in calcium silicate through different stages of hydration.The importance of concrete in modern society cannot be overestimated. Look around you and you will find concrete structures everywhere such as buildings, roads, bridges, and dams. There is no escaping the impact concrete makes on your everyday life. So what is it?

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.

Does Marketing Green Concrete Work?

Contractor planting trees to call attention to their green practices.All across the country leading decorative concrete contractors are going green — no matter what colors their clients request. Some contractors are emphasizing green marketing messages in their advertising, brochures, Web sites and sales presentations. This article examines two leading contractors to answer the question: Does green marketing give you a competitive advantage that wins business?

The Art of Bidding and Estimating a Decorative Concrete Job

If you do quality decorative concrete work, more work is sure to come your way. But what should you be charging?Protect your business with these proven techniques for pricing jobs.

WOC 2018: Mall of Concrete is Shaping Up

WOC 2018: Mall of Concrete is Shaping UpVisitors to World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas Jan. 23-26 will have a chance to get better acquainted with a unique form of, well … concrete forms. The Omaha, Nebraska-based Fox Blocks, a division of Airlite Plastics Co., will provide the wall system for the Mall of Concrete at Decorative Concrete LIVE!

Turn a Connection into a Decorative Concrete Sale

Making good connections with people earn you higher numbers in sales.The decorative concrete industry is driven by fascination. Inspiring this fascination in customers is only possible when you connect first and foremost. Unfortunately, this is the number one aspect I see missing within our talented artisans today. Just like your ability to create with color and concrete, there is an art to connecting with architects, designers and owners.

Taking Great Project Photos with Your Smartphone

Taking Great Project Photos with Your Phone CameraIphoneography — or “i4neography” — is a term that has been around for a few years, and as you may have guessed, it pertains to photography via iPhones.

Marketing Your Work With Photos

Bank entrance stained with images of coinsIn today’s world, we tend not to listen anymore. There are so many of us, we are all talking, and our words have become background noises for the stimuli that really distract us. If you want to say something today, you have to use the language that transcends culture, geography, and time. You have to use imagery.

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?

UV Cured Coatings for Concrete are Back in the Mix

 UV Cure Coatings for ConcreteConcrete artisans and contractors are always searching for the ideal coating, but end-users and equipment manufacturers are behind the latest push for one specific coating formulation — UV-cure.

How to Keep Your Business Up in a Down Market

A graph of arrows going up and down.Analysts have been dissecting the residential and commercial construction industry for months, and though some predict a rebound soon, no clear end to the rollercoaster ride is in sight. But as many in the decorative concrete sector have discovered, a change in the market doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic decline in business.

5 Things Architects Wish Decorative Concrete Contractors Would Do

Architects and decorative concrete contractorsThere’s one key point on which architects and decorative concrete contractors agree: “The architect needs to have a contractor who knows what he’s doing,” says Marley Porter, AIA, who operates Living Architecture & Construction Management, located in Texas Hill Country at Cottonwood Shores.

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