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Dying for Decorative Concrete

Man dumping concrete mix into a hopper with a dust mask on.There is not a comforting way to say the word “cancer.” Even in this day of strong chances of recovery and survival, it is a word that gets our attention every time. Although the products we use turn normal concrete into extraordinary works of art, some of those products are carcinogenic. Are you taking the proper measures to be safe?

Sorting Out Responsibility When New Work Fails

Problems with stamped concrete can be a challenge for contractors.When a problem occurs with a recently installed decorative concrete job, who is responsible? I understand that this is a loaded question, and there are lots of factors to consider, but the question still stands.

How to Get Your Decorative Concrete Projects Noticed by Editors

Trade-magazine editors are always looking for great projects to cover and they love to hear from contractors who have a story -- and great photos -- to share.Trade-magazine editors are always looking for great projects to cover and they love to hear from contractors who have a story — and great photos — to share.

Presenting to Architects? How to Get Their Attention and Keep It

A successful presentation requires more than just showing up with lunch and a slide show. A successful presentation requires knowing your audience, offering them value, preparation, passion, focus, visual aids and follow-up.A successful presentation requires more than just showing up with lunch and a slide show. A successful presentation requires knowing your audience, offering them value, preparation, passion, focus, visual aids and follow-up.

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 to Take Jobs Beyond Decorative Concrete

concrete contractors installing water featuresThe phrase “decorative concrete” means many things. Depending on your operation, it may mean specializing in one facet, such as concrete countertops, or it may mean everything from stamped concrete to polished concrete.

Net Benefit and Increasing Your Value to Customers

Valuable products get your customers to see thatYour product is valuable. You know it. You hope your customers know it. But how can you be sure? How can you ensure that your product benefits your customers and, in so doing, benefits your company?

Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business

relationship marketing venn diagramDecades ago our country moved from an industrial economy to a service-based economy. More recently, that service-based economy has further evolved into an experience-based economy. Customers are wanting — and businesses are providing — an added experience and feel to compliment customer service.

Identify Goals and Tactics to Marketing on a Budget

yellow and black target with bullseyeIt’s time to plan and put together the marketing plan and budget. While you may be trained in the latest technologies, processes and equipment, chances are you don’t have any formal education in the latest marketing trends and techniques.

Successful Construction Training Requires Commitment and a Plan

smoothing out concrete with a trowelTraining in the construction industry seems more daunting than some other professions. With all of the moving parts of our industry, we not only need to train on skill and leadership, but also safety and technology.

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.

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.

Researchers Uncover the Secret Ingredient to Roman Mortar's Strength

Why is Roman cement so strong?Interesting explanation for why ancient mortar has lasted long.

A Canadian Perspective of Concrete Countertops

Canadian flag with a concrete treatmentIf you’re a concrete contractor in Canada and are considering expanding your business to include countertops, you may appreciate the insights shared by Judy Mead of Concrete Countertops Canada.

Light-emitting Cement Could Light Roads Without Electricity

Light emitting cement Phys.org announced research that could lead to a way to light roads, highways or bicycle lanes without electricity.

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.

Self-Cleaning Concrete using Photocatalysts

Strong sunlight or ultraviolet light decomposes many organic materials in a slow, natural process. You have seen this process, for example, in the way the plastic dashboard of your truck fades and gets brittle over time.This photocatalyst reacts to light and breaks down dirt, mold and pollution. It keeps concrete clean and cleans up the air at the same time!.

Marketing and Selling Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.

This should affect your marketing and selling techniques. If you understand how countertops are most commonly and most effectively marketed and sold, you will be much more successful at marketing and selling concrete countertops.

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.

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.

The Art of a Successful Concrete Business Rebranding Campaign

removing stencil backing from a decalsLike people, businesses often need a reset of sorts to re-energize and better position themselves for the future. For concrete contractors and suppliers, rebranding their company name or product logo can provide this fresh start.

How to Market Your Decorative Concrete Services to General Contractors

How to Market Your Services to General ContractorsPitching to the GC is relatively direct — enjoy a free lunch and explain what decorative concrete is all about. A sampling of opinion from a handful of other contractors turns up some interesting — you might even say unorthodox — approaches to this matter of communication with the general contractor.

4 Tips for More Effective Portfolio Images on Your Website

PC showing recent work on the screen and hands on the keyboardLooks are just about everything when it comes to a decorative concrete company’s website, so make sure you have quality images that will help drum up business.

Hashtags: What They Are and How to Use Them Effectively

Hashtags: What They Are and How to Use Them EffectivelyDo you remember the last time you saw a hashtag? Chances are it was in the last hour but at least sometime today, and it may not have even been on a social network. Hashtags are everywhere these days, from your favorite TV show to highway billboards. As such, they can and should be a part of your social media strategy. The key is using them effectively.

5 Things Decorative Concrete Contractors Wish Architects Would Do

things decorative concrete contractors wish architects would doAll joking aside, the designer-contractor experience very often does prove to be positive and stimulating. But contractors can have hopes and dreams for a world where they are more in sync with designers.

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