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How to Start Your Decorative Concrete Experience

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A new book, published by an experienced contractor, shows the path to creative decorative concrete projects.

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For almost 2 decades, World of Concrete attendees have been wowed by the craftsmanship the artists and contractors who have displayed their creations first at Artistry in Decorative Concrete, and now at Decorative Concrete Live. Both hands-on events have created a small, but dedicated community of contractors who are pushing the surface treatments of hardened concrete to new levels of design and durability.

Each year, thousands of attendees walk through the displays, often thinking to themselves “I could do that!”. And as a result, I receive follow-up questions from attendees who want to know more. Fortunately, I can direct these inquiries to the many World of Concrete exhibitors who offer seminars, workshops, and demonstrations throughout the year. Their offerings range from countertops to vertical wall treatments, and everything in between.

But now I have another great resource to which I can direct the question of how to join the decorative community that doesn’t require travel.

Karen Keyes, a decorative concrete contractor from Denver, CO recently published Designing with Concrete. The spot-on content guides readers through the process of how to transform plain concrete into decorative features.  

A Passion for Decorative Concrete

Keyes brings her experience as the owner of Art of the Concrete into each page of the book. She shares her enthusiasm that concrete is an exciting medium for design and construction. She outlines how this versatile material can be colored, shaped, formed and finished into unimaginable possibilities.

But what’s more important is the passion that Keyes brings to the table. She sees a concrete slab as something more than a surface on which homeowners can display their cool new patio furniture without sinking into the grass.

Keyes believes that sidewalks transform the neighborhood and family experience. Concrete surfaces bring people together, and when design artful, creates a peaceful environment. “When sidewalks link people and places together and do it in a calming manner I would consider it a piece of the artful landscape,” said Keyes.

A Primer for Success

More importantly, Keyes helps the reader focus on how to get started. She breaks down what can seem to a very complex project into simple step-by-step processes. This guide enables the reader to plan through some of a project’s crucial factors before signing the contract. This is not a technical document, but an idea book meant to inspire, inform and intrigue.

Keyes explains why considerations, such as access, sub-grade requirements, reinforcement, radial forming, and steps, impact on your project’s budget. And in doing so, helps improve the reader’s entry or expansion into the decorative concrete industry.

You can purchase Designing with Concrete on Amazon. 

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