Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Ormeau

Misconceptions and Doing It My Way

Ok. So first off, this blog entry could go either way. It’s bound to end with a bang as we just completed another version of our Stormy Skies design for an ongoing client at Ormeau, so stay tuned for that. But, apart from that, it’s 730am and even though I’m a borderline alcoholic, even I have standards in starting times that coincide with BWS trading hours. So here we are, sober and thinking relatively straight. This could all go very, VERY wrong.

So what I’m going to do here, is make this blog a bit longer than usual, you see, it’s basically my last blog for 2020. Yes yes, it’s only the start of December, but I’ll get into clarification on this in a bit.

So far, we’ve managed to finish off on a great design project, I’m going to try and finish off on a half decent, non intoxicated read for my audience (pending how long it takes me to write and how quick 900am BWS hours cometh). I’ve also something else to go into as well and basically, everything here is going to give a little perception into how I live my life and how I see things around me.

1: Hard work and dedication brings choice in down time.

Choosing destiny

I, like just about everyone in the trades, started out thinking my busiest and most productive time of the year was the lead up to Christmas. The phone is running hot, lots of jobs on and 7 days a week on the tools is a must. After going ass up in 2009, then restructuring the business to how I wanted it to fit into my life, not the other way around, along with actually going through the figures, I soon found out Christmas was just a rush period that wasn’t overly productive financially, and with this, the extra effort put into the tools was not rewarded.

So basically, several years ago, I decided to change things around. Most contractors, will work right up to Christmas eve, then take 2-3 weeks off. For me, I hate this for several reasons, but mainly just for two main ones.

First, what I explained above in regards to extra work put into the tools, for less reward financially. Everything we do leading up to Christmas is small and fiddly and because we basically charge per SQM, this makes most jobs not overly profitable. This see’s us having to do 3-4 jobs a week on different sites, running around town like a bloody plumber with a million times more stress and anxiety, whilst not really making the kind of money return that our larger, more complicated projects bring to the table.

Second, I hate taking holiday’s when everyone else is on holidays. I’m from the bush. I don’t like crowded places and everywhere I like to go, others like to go to as well, in big numbers after Christmas.

So basically, we take off at the end of the first week of December after finishing a few days of paperwork and catching up, then come back the first week of January, giving us roughly a 3 week break and enough to reset, whilst giving us a head start in January on our larger projects that are always booked in start of the new year. January and February are always our most productive months, and we hit them head on, fully rested.

If you’re one of the two people over the past 10 years who’ve given me a bad review for not being enough of a robot to service you, please keep in mind if I don’t service myself first, I’m not at my best to service your project. Have patience. Thank you for it.

2. Copy cats and competition.

Copy cat

I used the picture above here, to portray that although these cats are very different in colours, contrasts and even size, they both look amazing in their own regard.

Last night, I had one of my peers contact me letting me know of another young contractor starting out in the Brisbane area, who was kind of copying our designs along with naming them the exact same design names of our designs. Now this peer, contacted us thinking I would be upset with this, but on the contrary, I love seeing what other contractors are coming up with.

Jump over to Facebook and check out Sands Concreting and see what they’re up to.

Now keep in mind, this is in no way calling them out, in turn, I’m trying to give them a plug. I’ve been in their shoes before, starting out and getting things moving, I will enjoy watching them build and grow both in business and their artwork.

Maybe, I would reconsider what I called my designs if in their shoes, not through plagerism, but through originality. Half the reason why we’re booked for 6 months in advance, is that everything we do is honest and original, both in context and creativeness. But, apart from that, good competition only promotes business, not hinders it. Let me explain more.

A lot of contractors in our industry, although maybe skilled trades people, lack severely in how a business should operate. They see someone copying their work, or using their photos of the copy cats website, under cuttinig their prices and they get upset.

We’ve spent many years building our business here at Walker Concreting and Resurfacing. We have put ourselves in a position where, if a prospective client is interested in getting some work done, more likely than not, they will find us first through their searches.

What this means, is that other good, quality contractors who are trying to push our industry along and build the reputation of the products, only means more phone calls and enquiries coming our way as well.

Keep up the good work guys, if you want to chat about the artistic side at some stage over a beer, give me a buzz. I’m also always open to chatting about structural quality of installations, we should all aspire to keeping the standards high for a good reputation. All these designs also allow for true creative, artistic freedom, keep working towards that and a quality install and you’ll keep growing.

The next topic here, is exactly about that, I’ll detail that a bit more specifically there.

3. It’s about fluid creation, not just substance.

Flow design

I used the picture above to start this section off because, depending on your artistic veiwpoint, you will either see this picture in one of two ways.

First, it’s a city scape with lots of different buildings put into it, then some abstract curved structures to add to all the buildings, and finished off in contrasted colour to give it some life.

or….

Second, the curved, modernized structures add a seamless transition from new to old into a dated back drop of standardised buildings and although the colouring is contrasted, they have been chosen to flow well naturally in a viewpoint more directed towards a feeling of the city, that exists in this time, but reaches towards the future. The colouring also portrays dim, dull buildings of the past overpowered by the ultra shiny and gloss of the new futuristic buildings that await. It’s two different time periods clashing.

Something I’ve always strived for with our custom designs, is not to fall into the trap of just adding things for the sake of adding things. Some of my early work, has taken inspiration from older contractors like Mick and Rod from CCI and Tuff respectively. They have some really cool work and they were inspiring, but when I looked at their work, I thought it was just overly complication for the sake of adding more, instead of doing more, with less (if that makes sense).

Take this next photo for example, it was completed by Mick at CCI, to be fair, one of the pioneers in this finishing and I love his work.

CCI Sample

But for me, when I look at this, it doesn’t suit my style of artistic creation. It seems complicated and over the top just for the sake of, adding more “things”. I like complicated too, but if you look at my work, my individual design style, is adding complication to each detail, rather than just adding more detail. There is plenty of pictures below for examples after this.

One last thing. Custom designs are about colour flows. It’s about what colours work with each other. Even to the point, on our sandstone designs, we adjust the secondary colouring to tone them down so it all flows better.

Sands Concreting that I linked before, has used our design name Stormy Skies and completed a version of it in their design style, in somewhat the same colouring. Apart from in my personal tastes seeing a little bit too much “adding things for the sake of more things”, I think you’re overlooking the artistic side of this design with your colour choices and flow.

Don’t get me wrong, you do you and please, keep up the good work, as I stated before, good competition promotes more business. But instead of using Black and White for your detailing, I use Midnight Blue and Natural from the #CCS colour range, because the design is based around a magenta green to heavy blue visual perspective that mother nature provides us everytime a severe storm passes through. It’s not just things added to the concrete canvas. There’s a reason for each bit.

I would lean your design more towards a feeling of being in outer space, amongst the galaxy and stars, going forth where no man has gone before. I like this. It breathes to the complicated design you have completed, it gives it a feeling and takes it out of just being visual.

Can you see why using other peoples design names doesn’t really work now? The feeling is off. But, the design isn’t. As I said before, keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing what else you come up with.

4. The finale, my lastest rendition of Stormy Skies.

Custom stormy skies concrete resurfacing Ormeau

Last year we completed for our client here, a full theme you could say in our Stormy Skies flow design. You can find those Articles HERE and HERE.

So we returned this year to install the concrete for the second driveway onto the property, along with resurfacing it and the patio area again, in our Stormy Skies finish.

This really is a design that’s close to my heart. It’s about firstly a solid installation, smooth with just enough even texture to make it non slip. It’s about the grey to mid tone blue back drop of a beautiful sky, with dark blue undertones as mother nature intertwines a beatiful day with a summer storm approaching. Finally finished off by Thor’s hammer beating heavily through the skies causing lighting to crash sporadically, over powering throughout highlights of the chaos behind.

As you can hopefully see, although this design is complicated, it’s not complicated through just adding more substance for the sake of adding other “things”. I take care in each swirl. Making the most out of each trigger pull from the hopper gun. Like a Japanese Sword Smith, everything completed has a reason, being thoughtful to leave enough space for the Midnight Blue blending.

This is my art work. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to display it.

Please enjoy the latest photos and finally, please everyone take a little step back from stress on the lead up to Christmas. Whatever time you get to take off and where ever you end up taking it, enjoy every second of it to the best of your ability.

Life is short and we’re all required to work hard to succeed. But don’t forget yourself in the process. You’re a long time dead.

As for me, it’s 900am and BWS and I just synced up. Cheers everyone. See you in 2021.

 

Exposed aggregate refurbishment Parkwood

Brand New Everything

Honestly, I’ve sat here for a fair while now, slowly sipping 500ml Asahi beers pretending not to be reasonably drunk while I type out several different blogs for our last project.

I submit though. I’ve tried. I just can’t come up with the flow of paragraphs to make enough sense that people will actually try and continue reading for more than a few sentences. So I’ll keep things to point and try a little less. Sigh.

Our clients here have just given birth to their wonderful new baby boy. Really cool to see a young couple taking the steps into parenthood. It brought me back a few times to my early days and my daughter….before she was a teenager and entered a new realm of WTF.

Hell, I even found myself giving some advice. Dad comes out one morning, bags under the eyes and stress because mum and bub have been in hospital last night vomitting. Everything from the doctors was fine, which allowed me to actually sound relatively intelligent and let them know that new babies are tougher than new parents, try not to stress as much although I know it’s hard. It’s all part of learning.

I sounded mature. I sounded…..grounded. WTF right?

Albeit for about 12 seconds before I coughed and burped and got back to hand sanding a concrete surface….fml.

The next brand new thing on this project is, apart from their relatively new home, we were onsite to complete resurfacing to all their concrete surrounds to get rid of that old shitty texture, and create something a bit nicer under foot for when the new little fella comes of ages and starts cartwheeling down the driveway tripping over his own feet. (He’s a red like me guys, that boy’s going to be trouble).

Add to this new texture going down, we were lucky enough to get our hands of Concrete Colour Systems new colour for 2021 in “Storm Grey”. We must be good clients of CCS, who knows.

We completed all this in a relatively simple, blanket design with flecks of White and Midnight Blue, along with an 18mm single border around the permiter of the driveway.

I’m sorry Nicole and Josh that I couldn’t get anything more entertaining to write about your project, you guys are awesome, I’m afraid I’m just old, tired, worn out and completely shit faced. I’m doing the best I can. Google’s even having trouble with auto correct.

Apart from that, you guys aren’t just great clients, but like many of our customers, as people, we got along with you very well. New mums and dads need a break every now and then, even just a coffee to break up the home life. We’ll give you and Josh a call soon and pop by for a coffee and see how you are going, at your convenience of course.

All the best with your new family. There will be ups and downs and lots of stress. It’s all VERY worth it though, enjoy the ride.

Exposed aggregate refurbishment Parkwood
Exposed aggregate refurbishment Parkwood
Girl Power Concreting

True Feminism

Here goes nothing. End of our second murder week for the year and I’m two (large beers) down and about to open a kettle of fish I’m not sure I should be getting into. Fuck it though, I’m not shy in speaking my mind.

You see, I hate the modern system that revolves around, and is only really advertised by main stream media selling tickets to their show, personilty polictics segmenting individuals into racial and sexual divides, which just isn’t necessary to any sane, level minded individual. Let alone proved irrellevant by none other than my awesome wifey.

At the risk of sounding like I’m insensitive, I hate hearing people crying out for equality. There is nothing worse than standing in the back ground and screaming at the top of your lungs that you deserve better. For fuck sake. I agree. We all agree. You don’t need to make it a big issue. Just close your mouth and get to work, I think you’ll find everything in the modern system is setup for you to succeed to the degree of effort you’re willing to put in, especially in a free and wonderful country like we have here.

I have never at any stage, not given anyone a fair go in our business or in life. Colour. Sex. Age. Whatever. Put your hand up, the jobs yours. Display you can do the job to a high standard, the money follows regardless of any of the aforementioned stereotypes. Whinge, sook or be a lazy son of beer keg, hit the road baby, this train doesn’t carry passengers.

I was left with no other option today but to buy my wife flowers. Man has this woman been working her ass off. I’m 20+ years in this industry and I have not seen many men who have been willing to put in the effort and hours that this beautiful lady does.

It also got me to thinking…is she the true poster person for equality?

Abso-fucking-lutely.

She doesn’t sit back and just talk the talk, she puts her ass to the grind and fucking takes equal rights by the throat like the true Viking Shield Maiden she is. Inspiring.

If you want something in life, take advice from experience. Take it. Because no one will willingly give it to you. She is the perfect example of this.

Good for you honey. We kicked ass this week and you worked hard enough to keep up with a simpleton bush kid, full of ADHD and even took on a day on your own and completely nailed it. So proud.

Women should look up to Camilla and see what a lady can accomplish. It doesn’t matter the industry. See the heights you can reach by just gritting your teeth and trying harder. I’m so damned proud of her.

This project we completd here, is murder week, take 2.1

18mm single tape border. 12mm x 700mm internal diamonds. White lines with Coal main and White / Graphite flecking. Awesome transformation.

Thank you Ian and Felicity if you read this, it was as always, our pleasure doing business with you .

Keep up the kick ass work Camilla, you really are inspiring.

Girl Power Concreting
Driveway resurfacing Pacific Pines
Home Refurbishment Project Concrete and Resurfacing Pacific Pines

An Ode to Ollie

Hey old boy, how are you today? Just pushing through another murder week and got to thinking of you. It’s been a while since you’ve been onsite with me….

15 years we’ve ground through the toughest industry around. Gritting our teeth while I quietly tried to keep up with you. Learning from you while I was younger. Been through some wars haven’t we?

We’ve battled together less and less over the past few years. Each time I ring, you’re letting me know you can do less and less. Your back is getting worse and I understand. I owe you a lot, so I get you in from time to time for minor duties, on full pay because you deserve it my friend, for being one of the very few in life, who’s been by my side when the going got really tough.

Remember that war at Gilston? 40 degrees. No water and concrete that went white when it hit the dirt. We nearly died that day. Sacked the labourer and cursed Odin himself. But we pulled through with sheer determination. Not many others would have.

But I rang you for this job I’m on now. Just light duties. Help me tape up and hold the hose. Make fun of me for struggling and throw a few German jokes in the mix to lighten the mood.

But you’re not here because you’re back is worse. The arthritis and calcification has broadened around your central nerves at the base of your spine, to the point you literally can’t walk more than 10m before callapsing. They won’t operate. They refuse to touch it.

It makes my heart bleed hearing you in such pain with no option, at least at present times. Do not think of horrible options for yourself. Hold on. This is your murder week. They’ll come around and try to operate. Even if it cripples you, better in a wheel chair then enduring the pain anymore.

I’ll pop out and see you soon for a beer and we’ll share some strong pain killers, I’m sure yours are better than my panadol and fucking voltarins……

For now though, this projects for you.

11 hours of non stop work today getting done what needed to be done. Day 2 of murder week. Wish you were here. I hope it pleases you to know that Camilla is stepping up to the plate and “nearly” doing what you used to do. It’s a hard standard to live up to.

For your viewing. An offset tile in Fossil, with Riversand main and White / Coal flecking. 100 odd sqaure meters, double wall tape ups, pool fences, a dodgy gate and a fucking barking dog. Man the beer went down quick this afternoon.

Maybe one summers day we’ll share a beer again after going to war. I’m looking forward to it.

For others keeping up with our workload. This is finishing off our Pacific Pines refurb project. 75sqm of new concrete and 100 od squares of resurfacing, completely transforming this lovely home at Pacific Pines.

Thank you Boosie family. It was sincerely our pleasure. 

 

Custom Stone Concrete Resurfacing Ormeau Queensland

Murder Week. Digging Deep.

As I’ve done a few times now, a little writeup for each project completed until we finally set sail aboard “HMAS Not Answering the Frigging Phone” for our Christmas break.

Starting out this week, which I’ve dubbed “Murder Week” annually, is a complicated mix of our natural stone / artistic flow finishes to suit the customers requirements and pool surrounds of the installation.

A little bit on Murder Week though to begin with….fuck this week. Honestly. It happens every year, hell, I think I’ve written a bit of about it each year. It’s when I’ve completely overloaded the schedule, (much to Camilla’s torment), and we simply have no option but to work excessively hard, for excessive time frames. This week separates the men from the boys. It’s do or die and if we fail, Christmas is delayed. But, upon successful completion, the stars align and our projected salvation in the Whitsunday’s is just that little bit more within reach.

After a week or so of prepration on a few projects, we took a little chance today with 50% predicted showers and thought bugger it, I’m spraying. Not even Thor himself banging his chest can bring storm clouds large enough to deter my goal. Fortune as it seems, favours the brave. The rain did not come.

Our client here, after a detailed sit down, decided on a mix of our stone design and our artistic flow design. Which is cool, but a little hard to pull off all the same. The plus side, is we got a chance with their colour tones of the property, to portray our mid grey to brown scale application of these designs.

I love the result personally. Mind you, I always get a kick out of these designs. Taping up a random, oddly shaped pattern, bending seemlessly around the pool surrounds, then finishing off with Shale, Off White blends and Coal decorations.

If you follow our work, you’ll see it’s a firm blend, right in the middle, between our two styles of designs in this fashion. Pretty cool. Our client here, to be honest, kind of let my little Smeagol go wild…..and man did he enjoy it. Albeit with broken hip, knee’s and a solid limp Smeagol himself would be proud of.

I have to say once more, I’m such a satisfied adult. I worked so hard for so long learning my trade. I never thought I’d get there, let alone be in a position customers are seeing our artistic designs and allowing us to ply our trade, and third eye, to their lovely properties.

So humble. I’m on top of the world at the end of these projects yet so heavily grounded, because without our customers and peers, I wouldn’t be half the man I am.

Thank you.

Tomorrow brings another large, semi custom spray that will complete our full refurb project at Pacific Pines.

Then the remainder of the week see’s us installing a custom, two tone stamped driveway for another customer waiting on us. Having already completed the pool surrounds, we’ve just been waiting on good weather for the driveway.

If we get through this years “Murder Week”, I will take a few days off. A few days just to reset before finishing the remainder of our work load, before those crystal clear Whitsundays waters cushion my fall off the boat as I land and float into complete submission of mother nature, hopefully with a few trophy catches aboard as well. Instagram will tell the tale upon completion.

Stamped concrete resurfacing Buccan Queensland

The War

All throughout this year has been busy for us. We’re typically always pretty steady to busy, but since the government took it’s foot of the throats of small business, cut the red tape and told us “Be Free and Prosper”, our schedule has been absolutely mind blowing, back aching rediculous. But thats definitely a first world problem and I’m so happy, blessed and humble to be busy while so many others are scratching their heads waiting for their flood gates to open. Patience friends.

As you probably noticed from my last post / project report, I’m kind of combining the two at the moment. Instead of just reporting a project in boring fashion, I’m trying to open up and vomit out some paragraphs. I guess I enjoy writing, and work is so damn busy, I’m vaguely trying to find some sort of balance in my life between the two.

The Christmas rush for us is always crazy, as it is with most contractors who are worth their salt, but this year, is just fucking stupid. We’ve been booked for roughly 6 months for most of the year, and are currently booked until April next year. We haven’t quoted properly in 2 months now. So friggin awesome. But we have made promises. Months in advance. To amazing clients who are terrific people and we are determined to not let them down.

I feel like a boxer. In the ring, arms are tired, feet arn’t moving as quick as they were 6 rounds ago. I’m up against the ropes begging for a reprieve from the onslaught punching into me. My grinders are broken. Dust vac in for maintenance. Concrete saw clutch is gone. My hopper just shat itself and I dropped the damn compressor off the ute yesterday….not sure how that thing is still running.

I’m talking Ali vs Fraser. Hearns vs Hagler. Sheer grit your teeth and commit to the cause. 7 days. What’s a Sunday again? Arrrgghhh! We’ll take a day off when the war is won.

ADHD is a funny thing, you kind of live you life in sections. Your brain runs through the 101 things that need doing before you can take a rest, for the most part, that’s a daily thing. “Today, I need to do X amount of things and I can knock off” (300kph until done).

But at the moment, with a seemingly insurmountable volume of work in front of us with so little time before Xmas, I’ve decided to expand that daily ADHD dilemma into a block of work that will last 7 days a week, 12 hours a day until that block of tasks is complete and I can take my break. Most likely broken to my core needing a month to recover, but I will not fail gritting my teeth and find the last ounce of energy to keep punching until the job is done.

This project here we just completed today, was a big task. We were faced with 220sqm of old stamped concrete, extensive structural cracking and gernerally horrific condition. Just to top it off, we were on a deadline for our clients who had Real Estate photographers booked in tomorrow and some of the worst storms of the year right in the middle of their installation.

  • 1000kg concrete demolished and repoured
  • 900kg resurfacing products
  • 55L epoxy patching
  • Twice floor ground
  • Once hand ground and bevelled
  • Fossil main colour with Coal lines and White and Coal flecking

My back is broken, knee is swollen and achillies is aching. But we’re still punching. 6 Sizeable projects to go before I rest.

Bring it on…..

Custom stained concrete resurfacing pool surrounds Arundel

Into the Deep End – Pool Area Refurbishment

Section 1 of 2 Part Project.

Not going to lie, I feel good…GREAT even. Man does my whole being react so positively when I get the open my creative side up and complete something custom and one of kind. I feel like I’ve been in the ring for battle after battle, working my ass off on some really good paying projects, albeit projects with a different type of satisfaction at the end of them.

This one here though, is one of the rare times a client gives me a direction and the freedom to create my version of it, in the process, ending up with something really unique.

This next picture, is the photo my client gave me of a Hollywood home from the internet. “Create me this, in your style!” He says.

So basically the challenge was set, with only one set back…..it didn’t start for 5 months and all the projects in front of it, although very technical, large and great in their own respect….wern’t custom and I hated them all…..Joking of course.

So the first few days was full of grinding the old product off, patching the cracking, getting everything ready to make sure that the fancy stuff we’re doing at the end, is all going to hold together.

From there, we taped down a custom, modernised Flagstone styled pattern and proceeded with our overlays. A full trowel down coating was completed, followed by textured, skip trowel toppings to create a stone like appearance, perfect for staining to multi tone blend when finished, which we started to complete by hand with sponge / brush technique, to each individual tile surface.

After all the hands and knee’s, hard work all day, a full acrylic sealing was applied to give us our absolutely outstanding final results here.

I’d like to say I’m trying to be modest here, but I’m so fucking excited to be doing something creative and custom again, I just can’t hear everyone telling me I’m up myself from on top of cloud 9, I’ll be back down soon…maybe.

Hopefully we can keep this feeling going now with a few more custom designs booked in before Xmas. (Fingers crossed).

Thank you Len for your hospitality, kind nature and the opportunity to create. You really have picked me up out of the hole I’ve been in lately. Cheers!

Checklist Article

Considerations Before Contracting Us

There’s an ongoing battle for us at Walker Concreting and Resurfacing, we have a hard earned reputation that’s taken years to develop and this gives our clients confidence in hiring our services, that their project is in the hands of a contractor who actually cares about the outcome, even if you have to wait for us to get there.

I was going to write up a list of different things to consider, but to be fair, I think our reputation preceedes us. I don’t need to toot my own horn and talk myself up, those who can, don’t need to talk about it. If you’re having your project priced by us, I’m sure you’ve already done your research and know that we’ll take care of it to the best of our ability.

I do however, just have one, major consideration you need to take into thought, before pulling the trigger in waiting for us.

Time frames….

We are a small business. There is literally myself, my wife and a full time off sider who to be fair, has more experience than me (been together longer than my wife and I too, good ol’ Ollie). This information is detailed, literally, on the front page of our website explaining what our business is and how it operates.

We are not a business with dozens of employees. We do not sub-contract our work out because our clients trust us solely to complete their work, not others. We also, cannot magically make more hours appear in every day / week to get more work done…I think our 70+hrs a week is pushing the boundaries as is…please don’t ask me for more 🙁

Our small business mindset is very deliberate. I hate modern economics. Big fish eats the small fish and controls the market share. It’s disgusting. We are small by choice and will remain that way, so our clients know exactly what they are getting.

There are also all types of things that cause delays. Rain. Other services not completed their part of the deal (plumbers for instance). Project took longer than expected. Many many things can cause delays, but I promise you it’s never us not putting in enough hours or effort.

Typically, we run off a schedule anywhere from 3-6 months, changing with the economy and other times of each year as is.

Now, just before you pull the trigger, imagine you’re pencilled in 4 months from now to get a start with your project and there’s 5 projects to be done before I get to yours. Now imagine 3 of those projects take an extra 2 days to complete, which is not abnormal and is always unforseen and can’t be planned for. We have then magically lost a full week before we get can get to you.

March comes around for example and we get 2 weeks of rain delays….the marbles keen rolling down hill to trip someone else up.

Now imagine I can’t work 70+hrs a week for months on end without at least taking a week off here and there. Even just one week off. You’re project could lose a month without even trying before we can get there.

There is of course the more “typical” outcome, where everything runs on time and everyone is happy, but I’m just trying to advise potential clients of a worst case scenario, that “sometimes” pops up.

The majority of our clients who do contract our services, are very aware of this fact and are quite happy waiting as long as it takes because, our hard earned reputation provides security in their decision to have us complete your work, in an industry that has a bad repuatation to begin with.

I have a favourite saying with Camilla when she tells me someone is complaining about the time frame for waiting, as happened today from a client we were simply trying to communicate with, attempting to be as professional as possible through our communication, about any potential delays. My response to her every time, is…

“I’m sorry, it sucks, but I can’t give them what I don’t have”.

We look forward to pricing and meeting with each potential client and take extreme pride in every project we complete. We really look forward to completing your work each and every time as well.

But please, don’t book our services knowing our wait times, then abuse me and accuse me of being unprofessional by simply giving you notice of our (unforseen) delays.

Burnt out article

I’m Busy!

15-20 years ago, a young man started out with the goal of getting as busy as possible. Chasing the dragon and making that mullah baby! Work booked in a month in advance, my chin held high, a sense of accomplishment.

After ups and downs, nearly in clasp of said dragon, I pondered my aching joints thinking, “man, only a month worth of bookings would be a nice break from this shit I’m knee deep in”.

I pushed to mid 30’s. More skilled and building a reputation. Three months bookings ahead. Although the joints didn’t ache any more yet, the brain struggled to keep up as I tumbled and stumbled along my path….still the dragon eludes me…bastard.

I’m now facing 40. My body is fucked and my head is mush. Six months. Not 1, 2 or even 4. We’ve been working on a 6 months schedule for such a long time now, I forget even what job we did last week, let alone a month ago. Where the fuck did that dragon go? I swear I saw him yesterday…..

It’s funny how you consider yourself “busy” in life. At any given time, a person or contractor can consider themselves busy. But there’s always another new, crazy level of “what the actual fuck is this” you tumble into, (if you’re trying hard enough), that just makes the last section of busy look like a sunshine and lollipops.

I love what I do. I really do. I’m a bush kid full of ADHD and had basically no chance at what “normal” people would consider a productive life through education. I grit my teeth, worked through my problems and figured it out for myself. Every penny and accomplishment earnt, through blisters, blood, sweat and tears.

I’m also so damn thankful these days that our clients, and people in general, can look past my personality disorder, look beyond the small things that make me hard to deal with on a social basis, but then take notice in the hard work I put into my trade and business, see what I am working my ass off trying to acheive, so my client, who has taken the time to show faith in my abilities, has something truly wonderful and inspiring installed in thier home.

It’s a funny game though in my line of work. You seem to be struggling early on, not keeping up with the rest of your peers throughout life as we’re learning our skillset. Then we start to make progress, start to see something moving forward as we get better. Then by the time we really get bloody good at what we do, we’re burning out by all the hard work it took for us to get here. A viscious cycle. But one well travelled all the same.

Myself, and now my wife since she came on board, have been running into brick walls for a long time now. Working our fingers to the bone until we physically and mentally can’t push any harder, then taking a week or so off to reset again, before jumping back in the deep end. But, those little resets are not working anymore.

We’re only back a week or so after a reset and I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m not enjoying what I do. All I can see if tough bloody jobs in front of us…that dragon so far from reach at the peak of the new hill that seems steeper every month.

You see I’m the guy contracting the $50k project, 6-8 employees onsite, concrete pumps, supplying all materials, thousands of dollars on the line if anything goes wrong, and be calm as a fucking cucumber, having a laugh with the lads and getting shit done. She’ll be right mate.

But recently, I’ve been snapping over absolutely minor, stupid details of everyday work. Things like a skip bin hasn’t been arranged. Dumb frigging things. It’s time to step back.

I guess maybe, have we reached the absolute pinacle of what “busy” can be? Maybe we can’t push “busy” any further? 6 months bookings with 70-80 hours a week trying to stay on schedule for months and months and months on end, without end. I never knew busy until it finally slapped me on the ass as I fell back down that hill, exhausted, watching the dragon fly even further out of reach.

Either way, we’re stepping “busy” back and taking back control of our (my) life. I am quite aware in a modern society, I will be working (to some degree), until I’m frail and old. If I don’t slow down a bit now, I will not make those old, frail bones to begin with.

I think the hardest thing with having a 6 month schedule ahead, is that even if you only have minor delays here and there, it’s nearly impossible to stick to a date given to a client. Imagine trying to take some personal time off in there as well? Taking even a week every 6 months just to reset and keep the quality of work to our typical standards? Impossible. Almost as stupid as trying to catch a fairytale dragon.

Clients from here forth, will be given simple a month in which we expect to start their project. At least that way, WHEN we’re late, it’s still (hopefully) at least in the same month that we advised them of (lol).

To maintain a small business. Maintain work standards. To not become an Ogre and want to rip peoples heads off on a daily basis….exceptions need to be made. Money is the only thing driving us to push the extra hours. I will still make the money, just over a longer period of time and who knows, maybe I’ll rediscover the reason I love my decorative industry as much as I did a few years ago. Maybe I’ll finally find those hours to put down a few new artistic designs I’m always thinking of……

Maybe.

Maybe is better than never, at any cost.