You need to read less and think more!

This blog is about getting stoked and getting worthwhile things done. There is a sea of useless information bombarding you, and this is a desert island where you beach your boat and build a hut. There are also some clever little construction tricks to be presented.



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Example of element7concrete

Element7concrete is concrete with a dollop of creativity infused in it.  Here is a great example of someone using masonry materials in a very cool way:

http://www.viralnova.com/dream-dome-home-thailand/


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This guy is right.

I was just reminded to take personal responsibility, no matter what I or you are doing.  There is no greater mindset for you and everyone else.

Here's what reminded me:

http://profoundlydisconnected.com/mike-rowe-third-times-the-charm-or-so-we-believe/

He's absolutely right.  Providing PPE (personal protection equipment) is an employer's responsibility, and we should never encourage dangerous behavior.  We should chide our guys when they are not wearing respirators, or glasses when appropriate, but I think back to every time I told my guys their safety was my concern and cringe now.  Carelessness is the real enemy.  The way to fight carelessness is to point out who is really gambling the most with safety.  I can't wait to re-address this with my crews before they go out tomorrow.  The takeaway for you?  Whatever you are doing, take personal responsibility.  There is no greater mindset for you and everyone else.  Encourage this with others, and maybe we will all do less stupid things and live better.  Amen?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Profile of a successful project.

My team and I recently completed a 4450sf stamped concrete project and it could not have gone better.  Here are some counterintuitive things that may have contributed to our success:


  1. Use cheap concrete. Johnny Maldonado of Epic Concrete made the call to just get a 5" slump 3000 PSI mix over lots of steel.  This is wise because a huge house slab will usually crack because of a lack of substrate preparation or tensile strength rather than a lack of compressive strength, and high performance mixes tend to set up faster and less predictably than these.  Also, welded wire mesh is less expensive than "fatty" concrete and can impart tensile strength towards the top of the slab while the heavier steel bears the engineered loads towards the bottom. 
  2. Two big crews.  Epic Concrete had at least 10 guys to place and finish the concrete and Element7concrete brought 12 to stamp it.  Both of these jobs are hard work, and the stamping requires a high attention to detail, so having a fresh set of guys to take over and finish strong is worth the labor costs.  You only get one chance to really do it right.
  3. Two separate crews.  Sometimes the things that make a guy good at placing a lot of concrete make them bad at decorative work.  Similarly, the attention to detail that the element7concrete guys have makes them bad at big placement jobs.  Put negatively, we are slow and they are sloppy.  Go sloppy first and finish slowly and it is very good.
  4. Pray, tithe, and give thanks.  At the end of the day, 40% or so of this game is luck.  Nobody gets hurt, nobody woke up sick, the weather held, the bleed water evaporated at just the right time, the pump didn't break, we all just got really lucky.  We are all lucky to be here.  Make great stuff and enjoy your days.  Thank you for reading.