How We Work
STEP 1: We work closely with our clients to craft design solutions that reflect their personal style. We recommend exploring examples of our work to determine the features that you like:
- Peruse our portfolio to see an array of finished products, , and see all of our material and finishing options to identify solutions that meet your project’s needs.
- View examples of our work and pick up color samples at one of our showroom locations.
STEP 2: We can work with homeowners’ simple sketches and ideas, as well providing you a quick estimate onine. Be sure to include any drawings you already have. We frequently work with plans provided by architects, designers and clients in the design and planning stages. We provide CAD plan-view drawings for each proposal. If the project warrants it, 3D drawings are generated for a small fee to translate the concept into visual form, (e.g., for fireplace or other multi-piece projects). See Example Project Drawings
STEP 3: Call us to discuss your project. Whether your project is a fireplace or any other custom concrete installation, or if you have any questions at all, we are happy to discuss it with you. We will go over the choices available to you for color and sand mix selection, edge detail and grinding, establish a project timeline, and address any other questions you may have.
We can also set up a meeting for more in-depth planning if desired. We then provide a proposal for your project either by phone, email or fax. This acts as a contract which contains the price, timeline and description of your project, as well as, but not limited to, specifications for the color and finish selections, any custom options requested and any special structural bracing that may be required.
STEP 4: Once the proposal is accepted and your deposit fee is received, the scheduling begins and our Customer Pre-template Checklist is sent to you. All the steps that need to be accomplished by the customer and/or their building professional are delineated. This information is used in project planning and special ordering.
Upon receiving the first progress payment, we set up an appointment to visit the job site and create a template for the project, which gives us a model to work from back at the shop. Photos may be taken during this step and it may take anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on the project scope. It is important for the customer to be present or reachable by phone during templating.
2. FORM BUILDING
Using the template as a guide, a form is constructed in our shop.
3. MIXING AND POURING
The concrete batch size is accurately calculated, mixed and poured into the form where it rests for a short period. When removed from the form the slab cures for a number of days before artistic embellishments begin.
4. GRINDING AND POLISHING
After curing, the shaping and grinding process is next- the edges are shaped, then the surface is ground to reveal the aggregate within creating the visual texture specified by the customer, then filled and densified. To develop a consistent finish both wet and dry polishing follow up.
5. HARDENER & SEALER
We then carry out a two-step sealing process. Instead of just a topical coating, both our hardener and sealer chemically bond with the concrete. The low VOC sealer is very safe, both in our manufacturing and for your home, in accordance with USDA regulations for food prep surfaces.
6. DELIVERY & INSTALLATION
With the finished surfaces ready to be installed an appointment is scheduled. The concrete is placed with care at the customer’s site, typically by the same person who did the template, and a small crew of our craftsmen. We’ll need clear access throughout the site, with arrangements for parking locations, an open door, and floor protection around the install location. Once in place, the customer is left with our “Care and Maintenance” Literature.
*A note about Curing: The first two weeks in place is the most critical time for a concrete surface to cure. This means that there is some residual moisture contained in the cast stone which will fully evaporate during this period. The reactive sealer will continue to cure for up to 3 months while the concrete becomes denser and more impervious to liquids.