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Beyond the Kit: Outdoor Kitchens in Cold Climates

An inviting outdoor kitchen with concrete countertops and a stamped concrete patio in a cold climate.Outdoor kitchens are a popular request no matter where you live, but typically when you read a book or see a television show featuring outdoor kitchens, the contractor is doing them in a warm climate.

Monterey Hillside Bay-Colored Swimming Pool

Swimming pool by Tom Ralston overlooking the Monterey Bay.Imagine this: You own an estate in the California hills overlooking Monterey Bay. You are a lover of art and natural beauty. You want a swimming pool complex with a large concrete deck and pool house. You want it to accentuate the surrounding landscape and incorporate the feel of the bay, but you’re not sure how you want to achieve that. Who do you call?

The Benefits of Decorative Shotcrete

Shotcrete is not a physical product. It cannot be touched or held in your hand. Shotcrete is a process or verb. It is the action of placing concrete to achieve high strengths and low permeability.

Dirty Job's Mike Rowe on a Decorative Concrete Job Site for a Day

Mike Row and Richard Smith pose for the camera after a dirty job spreading concrete color hardener.When Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs show called Richard Smith Custom Concrete about sending host Mike Rowe out to a decorative concrete job site for a day, Rick Smith rubbed his hands with glee, thinking to himself, "We're gonna get this guy filthy!"

Thinking Outside the Firebox: Fireplaces in Outdoor Rooms
How to Build Concrete Fire Pits Safely

Concrete fire pit displays in front of a smooth as glass swimming pool during a sunset.As a contractor with extensive experience with all types of outdoor fire features, and as an expert witness in situations where something’s gone terribly wrong, I’d like to share some of the basic guidelines I use to maximize both safety and enjoyment of buidling concrete fire pits.

LDS Temple Walkway, Windermere, Fla.

Honoring the beauty and grace of a Latter-day Saints church and making the work site respectable for a wedding was just another job well done for a Florida contractor.

Decorative Concrete Takes Center Stage in Westminster, Colo.

Decorative fountain in city center in Denver, Colorado

In a suburb located northwest of Denver a new park sits on 9 1/2 acres of open land across from its city hall. Built to give the community a gathering spot where children could play and families could stroll, take in art and view live performances, city planners in Westminster, Colo. looked to their sister city, Westminster, England for inspiration.

Concrete Tables Include Fiber Optics That Flow And Glow

A concrete table made with Lavacrete fiber optic lights An “outrageous” beach house on the French side of the Caribbean island St. Martin needed an anything-but-usual outdoor table.

Modern Mosaic Artwork Livens San Diego's Landscape

“It was back-breaking work,” says the owner of Brailsford Public Art in San Diego about placing colored aggregate piece by piece into wet concrete on a job site. She was working with Shaw & Sons’ Lithocrete system which incorporates a means to create a scattered aggregate pattern on a concrete surface.

Cascading Concrete Waterfalls and a Spa in a Concrete Glass

margaritaville themed concrete hot tub in a concrete glass

RicoRock Inc., a leading manufacturer of residential pool waterfalls in the U.S., has hundreds of dealers, but Margaritaville’s owners wanted to work directly with RicoRock because of the scope of the project and the company’s more than 30-year history of creating waterfalls.

Plaza Uses Decorative Concrete to Educate People About Water

Concrete Mosaic

Decorative Drain Covers Enhance Surrounding Concrete

decorative drain grate in concrete beautifies an area that is usually overlooked.Let’s say you’re part of a design and construction team that has settled on a stunning look for a high-profile exterior concrete project — the entry to a corporate office, a monument to fallen heroes or maybe a creatively upgraded pedestrian walkway for a downtown shopping district.

Nobody should have ugly concrete -Colin Hiday

Colin's interest in decorative started with exposed pea gravel, curved joints and other classic decorative elements, then grew to include new-school tricks like stamping and staining.Even on the thumb tip of northwest Washington state, decorative concrete is making its mark, thanks to this father-son outfit.

Planning Your First Hardscape?

 Nailing this balance project after project takes great effort, but the reward is far more than monetary. Concrete hardscapes last decades, and so do the reputation of the concrete artisans who successfully pave their way into decorative history. Nailing this balance project after project takes great effort, but the reward is far more than monetary. Concrete hardscapes last decades, and so do the reputation of the concrete artisans who successfully pave their way into decorative history.

Awesome Pool Side Concrete Hardscape

Award winning pool hardscape featuring stamped concrete patio, crystal clear swimming pool, custom concrete fire pit, and one of a kind retaining walls.East Coast met West Coast and “old school” joined up with state-of-the-art hardscape concrete work at an award-winning residential project in Andover, Mass. The three-level backyard spread, including patio, pool, fire pit and surrounding walls, earned project owner New England Hardscapes, of Acton, Mass., an ASCC design award.

A Round Concrete Chair Becomes Part of Design

Luna Loungers, round concrete chairsJustin Brown, owner of 2Stone Designer Concrete in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, had the idea for Luna Loungers for quite a while. “It’s basically a round take on a square chair,” he says. He finally made the idea into something tangible.

Jump in! Perfecting the Decorative Concrete Pool Deck

A cantilevered deck sits on top of the edge of the pool. It can be made of concrete panels as large as 8 feet square and is actually part of the deck. The edge can be rounded or fall vertically.Beyond the beauty of its surface, a well-made pool deck can keep your customers cool and safe.

Let it Shine: Installing Fiber Optic Light Effects

Whether you are embedding a shimmering logo in a front counter or spreading a galaxy of stars across a bar top, you need to master fiber optic lighting. Here's how some experts get the job done.Whether you are embedding a shimmering logo in a front counter or spreading a galaxy of stars across a bar top, you need to master fiber optic lighting. Here’s how some experts get the job done.

Artisan Jesse Escalera Creates Concrete Masterpieces

outdoor stained concrete floor 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.

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