Full flake epoxy garage floor Helensvale

Flake Epoxy Floor Installation at Helensvale

Project Location: Kingsholme
Project Size: 320sqm

Managed to slide in this full flake epoxy floor this week at Helensvale in and around our other projects. For a small garage, we had a lot of work to complete with lots of minor, superficial cracking that needed tending to.

If you follow what we do, you’ll soon seen I’m a bit of an “old schooler” and with 20+ years in the game, I don’t mess around with modern systems of installation. There are many product applications these days to make these jobs much quicker, even completed in a single day sometimes. I believe however it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I take my time, tending to each section as it is required. Making sure all the materials and products that I am using are tried and tested in the industry for decades. Each project has it’s steps to follow to ensure a quality result, and our results speak for themselves.

Thanks Barry and Lyn. Look forward to seeing you in October for your driveway resurfacing.

Time article

Losing Time

I remember the times when I used to have time, to watch the sun set. Ponder the colours as they intertwine over the top of the great dividing range, turning bright blue into off tone shades of grey to black, leaving me with a dulled blue, almost purple in between the night and day, that tells me the day is done and the dark night is about to begin.

That dark night breaks into speckled light, a deluge of stars and galaxies, nebulae of new born brightness in the galaxies above. I would spend hours simply watching the stars and how they moved across the night sky. Often I would bring out the telescope, gazing upon Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. Delving deep into my mind about our existence and where I actually fit in. Wondering what all this means, always with more questions than answers.

I find myself now, in the present, wondering where that time has gone. Wondering why I now seem to miss all the sunsets and by the time I get the chance to look into the night sky, I’m too tired and it’s time for bed.

I wonder is it just because I’m at that time in life where everything is so busy. I’m at the stage where work and progress must come before the simpler things, even family to some degree. For the modern world dictates this. It drives me with no other choice but to keep pushing. For to stop, and take time, only brings more pressure from society to push even harder next time I start again.

I want to see my daughter more often. I want to spend time with her and teach her of the Orion Nebulae and the beauty in the birth of stars. I want to show her the Centauri system and how beautiful they are in the sky each night, how in time, they may all be drifting apart, but still appear so bright to our eyes each night.

I want to take more time with my mother to sit, quietly and just listen to Pavarotti’s “Ave Maria” while I watch her Dementia filled brain float into his lyrics. I want to hear the memories she still has left come trickling back about her childhood with her own mother. Just sit. Take time, and listen.

I want to grasp onto one of the few fond memories I have with my father and dive into that aqua blue water to pull a crayfish out, start our fire on the beach and dine like we’re kings of Babylon and simply forget, about time.

I want to share those childhood memories with my sister before the world started to stretch and skew from much too young of age, turning children into adults before their time.

But for all these things I want, I simply cannot take. For a tall, strong adult man in this modern world of ours, there is no ground for failure, no soft cushion for our fall. There is no spare time, only lost time to push harder and sacrifice everything that makes us, us.

So for now, in this middle part of life, where time is at it’s lowest, we must keep pushing harder. Maybe one day I’ll find time to gaze upon the stars again. Maybe my lack of time will not keep me from fond memories for when I’m old.

If only I had more time.

 

Major concrete works at Kingsholme in preparation for resurfacing

Major Concrete Works Kingsholme

Project Location: Kingsholme
Project Size: 320sqm

Getting the first stage of our Kingsholme project finished yesterday with all the concrete finally getting poured after what seems weeks, if not months of damn rain. We ended up with 900mm x 3500mm steppers with 400mm breaks to the front door, then big sweeping bends from roadway to house, then bending around the house to side parking areas, not to mention the pathways as well. Nothing fancy for the finish on this, just tighten up the surface and a quick broom as we’ll be back in 2-3 weeks time to wash off and start our resurfacing process. Stay tuned for stage 2.

Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel

Stamped Concrete Overlay Transformation Arundel

Finally getting a project finished in and around the wet season this year. I’ve made a decision not to whinge too much about the wet weather, but damn it feels nice to get something finally completed.

This is our stamped overlay project at Arundel. Lots of work in resurfacing stamped concrete and to be honest, not many contractors are prepared to take it on, especially not to the level or workmanship we put on in the final results. Not trying to blow our own trumpet here, but I like to give myself a pat on the back after all the hard work we put into this one….even if it is just a single colour with flecks in the end.

Main colour was French Grey, with White and Midnight Blue flecking.

Thanks Neil and Sophie. Like last time, it was an absolute pleasure doing business with you and all the best for the remainder of the year.

Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Stamped concrete resurfacing Arundel
Reflection

A Year in Reflection – Our Evaluations

Can you guess why I’m sitting around again this morning? Surely it’s not because of another rain day today….We’ve had our share of them this year so far for sure. But it’s given me some time to reflect on last year. Covid. Increase in trade demand. Massive increase in our services. I touched base on this slightly in my last article recognising an area that needs improvement after receiving some bad feedback, then sitting down with Camilla and doing some self evaluations on our business to understand the problem and try learn from it.

You see, I’ve been around a long time now, over 23 years in fact in and around the Gold Coast concreting. The business has been operating here for about 16-17 of that, at a rough guess, and we’ve always been at worst steady, leaning towards very busy at any given time. But last year was something I’ve never seen before and to be honest, something I’m only coming to terms with now since we’ve been a bit slower from the constant rain delays.

I’m always someone who tries to look further into situations, evaluate them as a whole and not just what I’m seeing or hearing on the surface. Analytical I suppose. But the whole Covid debacle had me completely confused. I saw so much of the country going into a recession, similar to what I saw in 2008 with the GFC, but then for us, business kicked along running at probably 150% greater capacity then normal. I really couldn’t make heads or tails of it, all we could really do is put our heads down and asses up and make hay while the sun shines. We went from being booked for around 3-4 months at a time and getting maybe 10 calls a week for quotations, to having to stop bookings at 6-7 months because anything after that was unrealistic, while we were still getting 40+ calls a week for new work.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining about being busy while a large chunk of the world had slowed down dramatically, or stopped in a lot of cases, completely first world problems. But it had me in a position where 70 hours a week on the tools was common place. That amount of work hours on the tools is no problem, I’ve done that hundreds of times, but it was the consistency throughout the entire year of doing this that I nearly broke down from, both physically and mentally. This reflected back through our scheduling and some clients at times, getting long delays in their bookings, which of course caused frustrations to them as well, which we completely understand (although didn’t appreciate being yelled at on a few occasions because of it.)

I wrote a few articles about this at the time throughout the year as well, but feeling as though we’ve finally settled down a bit, I can reflect and try and make heads and tails of what was happening, trying to improve our booking and scheduling process in the future.

It’s a really difficult situation, because although mentally I wasn’t at my best last year from stress and burn out, some of the work we put out was by far our best overall. The quality of work remained, that did not drop away, which I suppose I can take a positive from doing everything I can to keep my standards high. But it was the back end of the business that dropped away. Camilla did a great job holding things together, she really is my rock, but we just inevitably found ourselves with scheduling problems throughout that we just couldn’t overcome.

The funny thing is, this is exactly what I didn’t want the business to become when I moved away from commercial work and into the mind set of, “quality over quantity”. We want to be the “little guy”. We want to provide residential customers with something that isn’t overly available in this industry. We have worked really hard over the years to deliberately not grow and not be the business who simply takes on mountains of work and throws sub-contractors at it to complete it. The quality of work and customer service goes completely out the window when that happens.

I guess you could say last year though, that exact thing crept back into my business that we don’t want where we simply just took on too many jobs and Camilla and I couldn’t realistically handle everything effectively. Something had to give and on this occasion, it was our customer service on a several occasions.

Although we are still heavily booked for a long period, we have stretched our schedule out with more room in between jobs, which not only helps with the rain delays we’re getting at the moment, but also helps with us coming back into the business model that see’s our customers receiving the best of us again, on all occasions.

I really do enjoy still learning hard lessons at 40yo. Or am I just dumb and have already learnt this lesson? Camilla thinks I’m just dumb. :p

Hope you’re having a great 2021 everyone and if you got this far, thank you kindly for reading. Take care.

Thinking

Room for Improvement

Room for Improvement

Just thought I’d write up a little blog on something I’ve been noticing over the past year since the economy kicked along around the start of Covid (sounds weird to be saying it like that for sure).

As with most of our followers and anyone who comes across our website really, they know that we’re a small business by choice where Camilla and I are onsite and in charge of each project. We’re not a business that is looking to expand and grow into an entity that simply throws manpower at projects trying to make as much money as possible.

We’re a small setup focussing on quality. We want that job satisfaction in our lives and in our clients lives. We want our clients to know we care about the outcome of their projects. But we’re running into some negative feedback because basically, we’re just not keeping up with demand.

I can use the excuse that working seven days a week is taking it’s toll, and it is, but at the end of the day, there’s a shortfall from us that we need to figure out a solution for.

I’m going to be sitting down with Camilla over the next month or so and figure out how we can combat this problem. We’re still in the position that we do not want to expand, but the rapid influx of new enquiries that are never ending and the large demand for our services, is starting to take it’s toll.

Kind of the opposite of what we want to achieve. Previously working towards good reputation by staying smaller and keeping the quality of work high….but we’re at present refusing to grow and getting bad feedback because of it. Where is the balance I suppose?

There is the other option of just riding this out because it will slow down again, I just don’t want keep having our clients let down by our time frames that seem ever harder to control.

The best I can do for now, is learn something from this feedback and work hard to improve ourselves so we can keep moving forward.

Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh

Pastel Stormy Skies at Burleigh Waters

We took a chance and came out on top

It’s such a love hate relationship sometimes in my industry of work, especially this time of year in the rainy season.

First off, this project was such a slog getting her ready to be coated with one of our custom designs. The old stamped concrete has a few layers of colour sealer on there, which needed to be removed before we could even think about any other options. Some contactors like to use sand blasting for this process, but I find it much too messy typically getting all the neighbourhood covered in dust, so we go about it differently, more old fashioned and get stuck into it with the grinders.

We started giving the whole area a good grind down with the floor grinder, then followed by the hand grinder, then finally by the angle grinder making sure we got into all the nook and crannies to make sure our new products would hold properly.

After this, a dirty mix flood coating was applied, then ground back again nice and smooth, completely taking away all visibility of the old stamped pattern, leaving us with a flat surface to work with. A final base coating was applied before dodging around the weather and getting our design sprayed down.

With all of our coatings, not just our custom designs, we are well known for airing on the side of caution with the weather. We always put the money / profit aspect second, making sure we make the right choices for our customers so they get the best possible result from us, doing everything we can not to get rained on during our installations.

This project was roughly about 2 weeks actual working hours, but took us over a month to complete, in and around other work, making sure we made the right choices for the final coatings.

We did take a chance today however, but with rain booked in at 5pm onwards and bright sunny skies, we went like a bat out of hell and got our work done, much to the delight of our client.

This is a version of our Stormy Skies design which over several sit downs, customised the colour toning to suit our customers requirements. We wanted to tone everything back a bit and bring it into a more pastel appeal, but still keeping the the creative aspect of this particular design. If you have a look through our previous work for our Stormy Skies, you’ll see our normal version is very contrasted, more heavily toned and certainly has the fierce aspect of Thor smashing his hammer at the after skies as they erupt into storm. But this version, is more the calm before the storm. More mellow. More tame….but still very cool (if I can say so myself with all my modesty).

I am my harshest critic with everything I do, but I also like to give ourselves a pat on the back when we get it right.

We got this one right. Every piece flowing to intention. Every tone intertwined into each other. Very few mistakes.

I really love what I do.

Thank you McNab family. You’re patience and hospitality was outstanding and it was truly lovely to do business with you.

Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Burleigh
Concrete resurfacing Pimpama

Patio Concrete Resurfacing Pimpama

Working in around the rains

We’ve been bashing our heads against a wall for the last month trying to work on several projects in and around the rains, getting a few of them now ready for finishing. Even though today was no different, out little project here at Pimpama was mostly under cover, so the small showers throughout the afternoon didn’t bother us too much.

I love see how our scheduling goes. We completed a custom sandstone project for a customer around 18 months ago, who in turn got their daughter here to also get us to complete their work. Surprisingly, we were actually kind of on time for this project. Kind of. Maybe a week or so out…but who’s counting.

We finished this project off with French Grey over a Storm Grey offset tile, with White and Storm Grey flecking.

Thanks Amanda and Nick. Hope you like your new patio. Take care.

Concrete resurfacing Pimpama
Concrete resurfacing Pimpama
Concrete resurfacing Pimpama
Defeat - Too much damage

Defeat

Carindale Project on Hold

Unfortunately for now we have had to suspend work on our Carindale project. We have completed the first section of the project in removing the tiles ready for resurfacing, but as you would know if you follow our works, NBN has installed their cabling to a very poor standard and will not re-attend to rectify it, along with the side section of concrete also requiring a major overhaul before resurfacing can be applied.

Simply a case of not being able to overlay something that is not going to hold together. Once the overhaul has been completed by others to the NBN part and side sections, we will return to this property to complete our works.

Pictures below for damaged areas that are awaiting fixing by other contractors.

Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Defeat - Too much damage
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin

Exposed Aggregate Demo and Pour Bonogin

Exploring before repouring

First off. It’s so humbling to us having our customers giving us their faith and trust, waiting for us sometimes for more than 6 months, knowing that we’re there to do the job to the best possible outcome, regardless of difficulties. No excuses, just getting the job done. If you’re one of these clients, like Rebecca and Colleen here, thank you.

We started out on this project last year with the client removing the existing pavers, that were already falling off and down the steep hill, by attempting to explore the concrete with floor grinding to see if there was an option of resurfacing what was there. After a few hours grinding and hitting what is possible the worst section of destruction I’ve come across, some being about 30mm in concrete depth, I pulled the pin and gave the bad news that it would need to be ripped out and new concrete poured, resurfacing was not an option.

I did not charge for the exploration grinding, simply provided a new price for demo and new concrete. Given our experience as well, after working out some heights, we managed to save out client quite a bit of money here, not having to demo all of the concrete because, as it was at a lower level than the surrounding grass, we could simply go straight over the existing concrete in places, avoiding the expensive cost of full demolition.

So we basically just removed several key sections that we needed to to account for cold joint entries, along with council regulations at the cross over.

The main problem we had with the project, throughout all the works, was the steepness of the hill. You can see it a little in the photos, but it is definitely a problem child at best. But, we’ve been here many times before, so certainly not an obstacle that was worrying us too much.

I decided to break this project down into 3 pours because firstly, I don’t like pumping exposed if I can help it. If I must, then that’s a different story, but if there is another option, we eliminate the risk of segregating the aggregates, keeping the mix as even right through in colours as we can.

Secondly, the steepness of the driveway saw me wanting to put in two main construction joints at the weakest spots, the first being the initial step from top pad to the steep section, the section being at the bottom of the steep section as it levelled out on the main road again.

These are both areas that always cause cracking and concern in an installation like this, so eliminating a monolithic hold there and replacing with a construction joint, is a far better outcome overall.

I went old school on this install. I brought a bobcat in to place the concrete up the hill for us as wheel barrows and truck access were impossible. Kind of brought back a few memories, having not used a bobcat for installation for probably 10-12 years…..was pretty fun watching the bobcat slipping up and down the hill as we went.

All in all, our client went with a Salt and Pepper variety of concrete in 75% black stone 25% white stone and we think it went really well with their house colourings.

Thanks Rebecca and Colleen. Again, your patience and kindness is very humbling. We appreciate your business entirely.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Installation Bonogin