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Hot New Markets in Decorative Concrete

New markets in decorative concrete are open and ready for business.The best training and the best products mean nothing if we can't find projects to prove our talent, right? I'm not going to sugarcoat our plight - I have been peddling decorative concrete for nearly 20 years and have never seen as many challenges as the ones we face today. Having said that, my goal is to have the best year possible, and I'm going to let you in on a secret as to how this will be done.

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.

Controlling Customers' Reactions to Reactive Stains

happy customers after a good transactionExpectations of what a floor should look like will vary from client to client. A client’s views will be shaped by other stained floors seen in person or in photographs. Although all of these things can affect a client’s expectations, the greatest influence on their flooring decision should come from the concrete professional.

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.

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.

The Concrete Decor Show's Legacy of Giving Back at The Julian Center

concrete sidewalk that looks like racetrack at a daycare center in IndianaSince the first Concrete Decor Show in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2010, the goal has been to provide world-class training opportunities for decorative concrete professionals while also leaving behind something tangible for the hosting community.

Giving Your Concrete Business the Flexibility It Needs to Thrive

Contractor using a power trowel to finish a concrete slab.In the free enterprise system, competition selects out businesses that don’t adapt to change or events they can’t plan on. To thrive within this system, your decorative concrete business must maintain a high degree of flexibility.

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.

10 Milestones in the History of Concrete

As Southern California contractors,
Rod Sadleir and his brother, Gerry,
were among the first to resurface concrete
with a very thin polymer-cement overlay.Concrete is a remarkable material with origins stretching back to antiquity. Concrete and its primary ingredient, cement, have changed a lot over the years, but the following timeline helps bring the history of this important material into the present day.

Six Fresh Ways Decorative Concrete Contractors Can Sell Themselves

man with an ipadNo matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s massage therapy, concrete staining or stamped concrete, you have to consider yourself as being in sales.

Solid Branding: Tips on Video and Content

Context, in other words, is engagement. It's scaling interactions and associations with your company or product to a point where trust is developed with your brand. Decorative concrete can be complicated, and there is a lot that goes into a successful installation. But at each project’s finale, you move onto the next job where you’ll save the day for another customer.

Automated spray system from Fas-Trak Industries
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.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
Researcher Uses Microwave to 'Bake' Concrete

Concrete thermography is a way to "bake" concrete with MicrowavesAn electrical engineer at Missouri University of Science and Technology is using microwave energy to test concrete and rehabilitated aluminum, and in the future her work could lead to safer bridges and aircraft parts.

How to Use Samples, Mock-ups and Models to Your Best Advantage

Creating models of concrete jobs - Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.

Public Works Projects: Start Your Bidding

Hands bidding at an auctionTo bid or not to bid? That is the question. And it’s one more and more contractors have been asking themselves lately, especially as public works departments are increasingly incorporating decorative concrete into municipal plans. But where does one begin?

Concrete Industry Slowly Incorporating Software Programs

Concrete industry slowly incorporating software programsLet’s face it. People who go into the trades aren’t the types who want to spend time sitting in an office in front of a computer. It’s no surprise that construction, along with agriculture, has been one of the slowest segments to adopt technological innovations into the workplace.

Recognize and Respect the Value of a Good Concrete Worker

Keep a good concrete crew going - Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker's comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker’s comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?

Building Relationships with Architects

Building relationships with architects in the construction industryAn underutilized opportunity for potentially creating more jobs and visibility for your company exists within the design community. Architects and landscape architects are key members of the project team for commercial and high-end residential installations.

How Did the Extreme Winter Affect Exterior Decorative Concrete?

Affects of extreme winter weather on decorative concreteLarge parts of the United States recently experienced a brutal winter of cold temperatures and record snow and ice accumulations.

Concrete's Structure is Now Known

Microscopic Cement StructureThe website Phys.org revealed new research into whether the structure that forms when water, gravel, sand and cement powder are combined is a continuous solid, like metal or stone, or an aggregate of small particles.

Which Type of Decorative Concrete is Right for You?

Which type of decorative concrete fits you best.You have, are or will make decisions on your decorative journey, and they will affect you and your family. Our industry, decorative concrete, has so many layers and many types of overlap. This magazine makes it obvious your choices are vast, but make no mistake, each decorative type requires different kinds of training, investment and manpower.

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.

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