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.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Like Walter White, we make it, but we don’t take it.

Not methamphetamine. Market share.  Recently element7concrete started placing concrete, and it has made some of our friends uncomfortable.  Here’s why these kinds of things are good in general [that means in your world as much as ours]


There are two mindsets in the market: abundance and scarcity.  As a gawky 14 year old at Watertown High School in South Dakota I was told that “The basic economic problem is scarcity: unlimited wants vs. limited resources”. With all due respect, the real economic problem is having your ideas around money shaped by a government employee that makes around $30,000/year.  


Scarcity is a myth.  Man's creative work is what brings forth "Resources", and the limits of human resourcefulness is nowhere near known. It is bigger than you can imagine right now. 

In reality, the universe is expanding on all levels: planets, bio-mass, human population, human knowledge, and of course the markets. Remember the smartphone market before the iPhone?  How about the tablet market before the iPad? Anyone still seriously worried about us running out of sources of energy?

Back to concrete. For the better part of a decade, many local concrete contractors have recommended element7concrete to their customers because we break ourselves to make them look good. Before element7concrete flooring, plans specifying stained concrete flooring was bad news.  It meant their work would be scrutinized. Now it means their work would will be celebrated. Our customers learn to appreciate concrete for what it is, and everybody wins.

Before element7concrete placement, concrete was a commodity. Now it will become commissioned craftwork. We are detail guys. We will not squeeze out old concrete companies on parking lots and house slabs. We will attract customer they don't want - customers that want [and will pay for] attention to detail. We will create massive value in good work. Remember coffee before Starbucks? It sucked compared to coffee now. Howard Schultz was inspired by how good coffee could be. We are inspired with how good concrete can be. By the Grace of God, we will elevate concrete like they elevated coffee. Thank you so much for reading this. Please spread the word.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Adventure!

Last week, two future rockstars and I went to Padre Island for a decorative concrete adventure.  These "Young Guns" will be 1st class crew leaders in 2015, and I wanted to pour into them personally on an out-of-town job.  The 4 guys leading crews back in the Hill Country had things on lock, and frankly these guys are the only ones on the team without kids to raise, so it was all right-on.

This project was an unlikely recipient of the element7concrete experience. We don't normally go out of town to work, but the owner on this one was a childhood friend of my wife, and her and her husband are two of the coolest people I've met.  Remodel work is much harder than new construction, and we decline a lot of these projects when we are as busy as we are.  But, this beach house had great bones and bad surfaces. I guess I am a bit of a sucker for a chance to really contribute to a great space.

The builder warned us that the slab got tore up when they hammered the tile out. If he would have used phrases like "surface of the moon", it would have been more clear. Here's a shot of what we started with:

The 10 bags of Mapei M-20 we brought for patching covered maybe 10%.  The $150 of patching material covered another 10% of the deepest holes.  So, I dropped about $1000 on a floor leveler from Lowes and we spent 2-3 days patching, grinding, and cleaning before we ever dropped our first coat of EliteCrete ThinFinish.  Here is a quick video of the madness:

Our HTC 500 was priceless in grinding the floor flat before the ThinFinish.  That material is great, but it is so thin it does not hide much.  Here is the first coat being applied:


We started integrally coloring the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th coats of material (not counting the 2 coats of patching).  Here's what that looked like:

Kelly (the owner), collaborated well with us on this scoring design, and after sanding, scoring, sealing it looked like this:


Once the sealer cures out, the house is trimmed, painted, and cleaned, and the matte floor finish is applied, I would love to post some pictures of the finished work.  This is designed to be a mellow backdrop for the young family's furniture, art and life.  I am grateful for the chance to serve, and proud of how my team delivered.  Thank you for reading.