Visions-N-Crete Flagstone | Decorative Concrete Profile

Visions N Crete flagstone with deer prints 3Flagstone is a popular decorative concrete pattern around the world. The amazing thing is that no two flagstone jobs turn out exactly the same.

Color choice, shading, layout, grout line size…the list of differences goes on and on, making each installation one of a kind.

Brian Houghton of Visions-N-Crete with the Engrave-A-Crete Shark.

Brian Houghton of Visions-N-Crete with the Engrave-A-Crete Shark.

 

 

Brian Houghton of Visions-n-Crete, Keene, NH has learned that personalizing a flagstone pattern results in a beautiful installation and one the customer will love.

 

 

 

Visions N Crete plain concrete

 

A plain gray concrete walkway and front porch in Swanzey, NH served as a blank palette for Brian on this job.

 

 

Visions N Crete decorative concrete stain

After consulting with the customer, he applied Concrete Resurrection Mountain Road and Honey Oak Reactive Acid Chemical Stains to transform the concrete into an attractive surface.

 

Visions N Crete decorative concrete flagstone deer

 

While a simple flagstone pattern would have been beautiful, Brian added an engraved deer head pattern, using an Engrave-A-Crete template and the KaleidoCrete tools to up the “Wow!” factor.

 

Visions N Crete decorative concrete flagstoneThe remainder of the walk and porch were engraved with a flagstone pattern, again using Engrave-A-Crete templates.

The result was eye catching and outstanding.

 

Visions N Crete flagsone with deer hoof prints

But Brian wasn’t done. Next he engraved deer hoof prints meandering naturally along the walkway.

Can we say unique? And beautiful? Absolutely!

 

Visions N Crete flagstone decorative concrete finished

Outstanding work, Brian! We love seeing your installations that are a notch above the ordinary.

 

To see more of Brian’s impressive work, visit and Like his Visions-n-Crete Facebook page, or go to his website at http://www.visionsncrete.com.

To learn more about the KaleidoCrete system that Brian uses for his engraving, visit our website at http://engraveacrete.com/kaleidocrete.

You can view our template gallery here and learn more about Concrete Resurrection Reactive Acid Chemical stains here.

Concrete Revival | Decorative Concrete Success

Derek & Jared with decorative concrete Concrete Revival trailer.Everyone loves a decorative concrete success story! We’d like to say this success happened magically. Not so!

Concrete Revival, LLC, Irene, SD is indeed a success, but it’s the result of hard work, business acumen and a strong dedication to making their business the best it can be. Add to that a good helping of talent and design ability and the result is a company well known for excellence.

Jared Huber

Jared Huber and Derek Farley, co-owners and operators of Concrete Revival, have worked hard to build a positive company reputation by producing some concrete makeovers that are nothing short of amazing.

Derek Farley

 

Recently they shared with us their story of how Concrete Revival began, its growth and their thoughts about the future of the industry.

 

Q. How did you become interested in Engrave-A-Crete?

A. We first became aware of the engraving process by watching a home improvement show on television. After the initial discovery, we started researching on the Internet and soon found the Engrave-A-Crete website.

At that point, we started a discussion with Debbie (sales department) on what it all entailed. Her excitement for the process soon became contagious and we quickly found ourselves attending a seminar.Concrete Revival engraving

After receiving our (Engrave-a-Crete) training and certification, we ended up buying a turnkey package to start our business.

 

Concrete Revival came to life in the summer of 2012.Concrete Revival website header

Q. How did you market your business in the beginning? How has that changed?

A. Initially, our business marketing strategy began with word of mouth. Our first job was for Jared’s parents. We completed five different looks at their farm in preparation for their collaborative 50th birthday party. That first exposure helped us showcase our talents and show people what exactly we are about.Concrete Revival brick steps

From that point, we started to consider how we would gain additional interest. We developed our own website, created a Facebook page, printed business cards, logoed our vehicles and began running a small print ad in our local newspaper.

 

 

Concrete Revival home show boothThese were just stepping stones to one of our most lucrative marketing opportunities – Trade and Home Shows.

We have maintained all of the above and have incorporated a few new alternatives. Recently, our area was inundated with heavy rainfall and flooding. Recognizing an opportunity to do more interior work, we campaigned local towns and delivered information packets – attached to water bottles and delivered them to customers’ doorsteps by hand. This generated some positive interest and eventually led to some additional jobs.

Q. What’s the biggest challenge you face in your business? How have you overcome it?

Concrete Revival blog flagstone in circleA. Our biggest challenge has always been trying to educate people on what exactly we do. Our name suggests that we are miracle workers for concrete. Although we are capable of achieving almost any look, we are not able to help people pour, demolish or repair certain concrete projects. I wouldn’t say we are done fighting this battle yet and it will probably be an endless pursuit.

Regardless, by continuously making our presence known, getting in front of people, and explaining our processes and capability thoroughly , we are slowly gaining leverage on a captive audience.

Q. What’s your favorite part of owning your own business? Least favorite?

Concrete Revival flagstoneA. Independence to control and dictate a project’s development and execution is one of our favorite parts of owning our business. Adding aesthetic enhancement and creating a timeless piece of art is a very close second.

Our least favorite part of being business owners is the constant struggle to find new opportunities. With an audience that is unfamiliar with your process, or is already misinformed on what you offer (example: everyone thinks this is a stamp or overlay process) it can be quite challenging. The threat of not being able to put food on the table or keep the lights on is a good motivator to keep our noses to the grindstone.

Q. What are your best selling patterns?

Concrete Revival flagstone

 

A. A majority seem to gravitate to either a marble or flagstone pattern. We prefer to incorporate any engraved pattern into our work to help distinguish us from other flooring contractors.

 

 

Q. How have you seen the decorative concrete industry change since you’ve been a part of it? How do you expect it to change in the future? Why?

Concrete Revival blog stainA. In the brief time we have been in the industry, we have already experienced a number of changes. Prior to being in this industry, Jared managed a Fence & Deck company and I (Derek) was a Landscape Designer. Both of us were familiar with concrete, but not the vast number of products that enhance it.

Although we primarily use Concrete Resurrection products (from Engrave-A-Crete) for all our projects, we have had unique circumstances that require additional products.

Concrete Revival blog neutralizingWe always consult with Engrave-A-Crete before trying to incorporate third-party options. Their fantastic customer service has provided us with great guidance and continues to keep our mistakes and costs down.

Our forecast for future changes to the decorative concrete industry would be an increase in the number of colors available for acid stains, making longer lasting and more durable exterior sealers, and developing an epoxy system that tolerates hydrostatic pressure and consistently moist environments.

Q. Which Engrave-A-Crete tools do you own? Use most?

A. We own almost every tool Engrave-A-Crete has produced. When we purchased our turnkey package, we were provided the following: Sandroid, Blastin’ Betty, Mongoose, Cobra and the KaleidoCrete Shark, Barracuda and Wasp. We use the Mongoose the most and the KaleidoCrete system a close second.

We have been very impressed with the quality of the tools and their maneuverability. Their craftsmanship and reliability to complete our projects speak volumes.

Q. How do customers react to their engraved concrete jobs?

A. The old saying goes, “When you do something right, it appears that nothing was done at all.” We like to think our customers are happy after we complete their project and we’ve done our job right, but nothing is more satisfying than hearing them say, “Wow, I can’t believe this is concrete!”

Concrete Revival blog monochromatic flagstone brickWe have had many customers do additional work with us after completing one project already. Rarely, we have people say that they wish they had chosen a different color, done less enhancements, or had simplified their projects to keep costs down. We aim to please and let the occasional critics sing, it only makes our next project better and helps keep our game sharp.

 

Kudos from Engrave-A-Crete to Derek Farley and Jared Huber for outstanding workmanship and setting high standards for the decorative concrete industry. You make us proud!

Jared and Derek are 2012 graduates of the Engrave-a-Crete Discovery & Training Seminar. They offer a wide range of decorative concrete services.

To see more of their impressive work, visit and like their Concrete Revival, LLC Facebook page or visit their website at http://www.concrete-revival.com .

Down by the River | A Decorative Concrete Transformation

Concrete Revival Jared Huber flagstone 2Now and then some really great before-and-after pictures of a decorative concrete transformation come along. Such is the case with this project by Jared Huber and Derek Farley of Concrete Revival, Irene, South Dakota.

Round concrete pad cracked and ugly

 

 

Jared and Derek were faced with a customer’s ugly, extremely cracked, circular concrete pad.

 

 

Cracked and ugly concrete slab.

 

Situated near the Vermillion River and sporting a fantastic view complete with some great staging items, the concrete literally begged for a makeover equal to its beautiful surroundings.

 

Concrete ready for decorative concrete makeover

 

Cracked and rough concrete and an outdoor setting are perfect candidates for a flagstone pattern, so Derek and Jared got busy.

 

 

 

Concrete stained with Concrete Resurrection RAC stain

 

Rather than repairing the cracks, the guys decided to use them, and to draw in even more in a natural looking flagstone design. Grout lines were hand stained with a brush to make the design pop.

Decorative concrete flagstone

 

 

Jared and Derek applied Concrete Resurrection RAC stains in Western Saddle, Brownstone and Black Walnut to get the lovely shades of brown that give the stones look a realistic look.

 

 

Concrete Revival decorative concrete slab

 

The customers were well pleased, and it’s easy to understand why when viewing photos of the finished job.

 

 

 

Flagstone pattern on concrete

 

 

Engrave-A-Crete salutes you, Derek and Jared, for excellent work in the decorative concrete industry!

 

To see more awesome projects by Concrete Revival, visit and like their Facebook page.

To learn more about Concrete Resurrection stains, sealers and products, go to http://engraveacrete.com/shop/stains.html

Concrete Revival posted this response to this blog post:

Always a pleasure seeing our work posted to the Engrave-A-Crete Facebook page! We are truly grateful to be showcased on their site. The project featured in their latest blog “Down by the River” was a unique project for us. This exhausted slab was formerly the base pad for a grain bin and had seen better days. The concrete had some major cracks and distressed features that lent themselves to a flagstone appearance. Our clients were very happy with the end product and planned to use it as a patio space. Thanks for being such strong supporters of Concrete Revival; we wouldn’t here here with out Engrave-A-Crete!

 

What to do? Decorative Concrete Flagstone Part 2

Wes Fitzpatrick driveway cropLast week we showed you this battered driveway and gave suggestions for transforming it into a decorative concrete surface the owner can be proud of.

Darrel Adamson, our CEO, has more suggestions about how to make sure the job turns out well, pleases the customer, and earns you a profit without a lot of headaches in the future.

“First of all,” Adamson says, “make your customer aware that the job will be a challenge. They need to know their concrete is marginal and that issues may come up in the future. Make clear the limitation of your responsibility for future repairs.”

Educating your customer about the condition of the concrete, the process for staining and engraving it, proper care for the job once it’s finished, and responsibility for repairs can eliminate misunderstandings that eat up time, profit and good will.

Checking for Delamination and/or Voids

It can be tricky to tell what’s under the surface, but it’s important to know where there are possible voids or delamination of the patches since they are problems that must be dealt with.

“One good way to check is by dragging and lightly whipping a 1/4” to 3/8” chain over the surface,” Adamson says. “Voids/delamination will definitely sound different, with a hollow or ‘tinny’ sound.”

This method works well for large areas. If you suspect a problem in a limited area, give this a try.

“For quick void checks around a small area,” Adamson says, “I use my folded pocket knife or multi-tool. Use the butt end of the knife as a small hammer. Tapping around the slab, you’ll hear any hollows. Voids beneath the slab (not on the surface) will sound more drum-like with more ‘ring.’ If the slab is setting solidly on the base gravel, it will be quieter.

“There are other methods, but these have worked for me.”

Protection from Moisture

Moisture from below the surface is the enemy of decorative concrete stains and sealers, so it’s important to keep it out of the concrete.

“Build your grout lines off the cracks that are there,” Adamson says.  “That means you’re disguising the cracks by incorporating them in the design, while providing yourself with an opportunity to fill them. Use a limestone-colored, sanded/textured caulk so it doesn’t show.”

A crack that is filled with caulking and protected by a sealer is much less likely to collect moisture that may expand/contract with the weather and necessitate a repair.

How-To

According to Adamson, here are the abbreviated steps he would follow on this job:

1. Discuss the condition of the concrete with the property owner.

2. Pressure-wash the surface thoroughly.

3. Check for and repair delamination and voids.

4. Color (using proper methods according to the type of stain used.) Clean and neutralize if using acid stain.

(4a.) Wave and smile to pedestrians and drivers who slow to see what you’re doing. Great PR for you.

5. Lightly seal to protect the color.

6. Engrave

(6a.) Pause to explain the decorative concrete process to passersby who stop to watch. They might be your next customers.

7. Clean

8. Add additional highlights with Water Reducible Concentrate stain (WRC.)

(8a.) Continue to greet people. Great marketing practice.

9. Seal

10. Caulk the cracks

11. Collect your check

For more helpful hints on staining and engraving concrete, check our Groov-E-News blog and the Tips of the Trade section of our website.