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.

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.

Tile removal and new concrete resurfacing Benowa

Tile Replacement Driveway at Benowa

Here’s another of our long standing, very patient clients who have waited god knows how long for us to arrive. Faced with a driveway with old tiles, that not only were coming up, but were also extremely slippery, our scope of works was remove the tiles, grind back ready for our new coatings, and make it look damn pretty.

With a little tongue in cheek, we really do exceptionally well with colour co-ordination. What a perfect tonal blend.

Cheers Black family. Thank you so kindly for your business and all the best for the future. Take care.

Covid Article

A Familiar Face

Hey everyone (anyone really who actually reads this rubbish). As always, it’s been a while since I have a chance to jump on and give an update. Ever since Covid hit, our already murderish schedule seemed to double, if not triple over night and my god I haven’t had a second to scratch myself in around 6 months….but….first world problems of course and we’re among the lucky who still have a regular income, so definitately no complaints and very thankful.

I guess the biggest reason why I’m on here this afternoon, apart from the several Crowns that seemingly didn’t touch the sides, is I feel the website / social media side of the business has been a little neglected. Certainly not through lack of projects, but it seems every project we’re on is long, difficult and tiring, so although the quantity isn’t there, the quality is….even if it is disguised by not having pretty swirls and blended tones throughout it’s textures. Plus, I’m freaking old and tired from busting my ass each day in a business I refuse to grow in man power, because we are about providing a more personalised, professional and experienced service to our clients.

After the original 4 months of Covid’s bullshit tentacles grasping onto our lives and restricting our breathing, we finally got a chance to take a week off….but seriously, after 4 months of 70hr+ weeks, a week doesn’t exactly work. It’s rushed, still tumble weeding down to the OK Coral for the daily stress shoot out, before heading back into the ferris wheel to appear to fit into the worlds reality of work work work at the expense of all else. Also, open the damn borders you wankers, I didn’t ask you to run up a $100B credit card bill in my name, pfft.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a hard worker. I’ve always been prepared to go the extra mile to achieve things that a lot of people just aren’t prepared to put in the extra effort for. Whether it’s seeing and experiencing places in the world only brought with my calous riddled hands, or experiencing satisfaction in the work place by accomplishing goals within projects that honestly and humbly, not a great deal of other contractors will achieve through lack of expereince only gained through hard work, over decades.

The last, “several” projects, have been nothing but nightmares. I have spent more time on grinders in the last 2 months than I think in the last 20 freaking years. Every single damn project has been ground back, layered, ground back again, so on and so on, trying to achieve the top quality we aspire to for our clients who wait months and months for us to attend their projects.

Such a humbling experience having people willing to wait so long for our services as well. We try to our upmost physically and mentally for you, exert all of our experience as well for each and every project to live up to every expectation by our lovely clients. Cheers to you all. You’re so appreciated.

But something that I need in my life, is the artistic, creation side of my decorative industry that gives me the biggest “ego boost” of all. It’s also something that we haven’t been doing a lot of lately…..

The projects we’re on and have been on, are all very, very complicated jobs. Going from the beginning of what we have to work with, and taking them to completion, is a level of workmanship that very few others in this industry can achieve, I guess that’s why most of our work these days is work that others just simply won’t take on. While our clients are getting quotes of “rip out and redo”, we’re offering a high quality, secondary option that works. Only offered from understanding of the products and what we are working with to every, minor detail, making it all work.

I guess I get a kick out of getting feedback from our spectacular projects, where multiple tones are blended to create realistic stone formations, or pure artistic creation is taking place through one of our one of kind designs. I guess maybe the feedback isn’t there for the projects we’ve been on lately. Although it is great feedback we’re getting, it’s more the little details that most people can’t see that goes into these jobs….kind of like quiet acheivment, name on the wall at Langely sort of setup. Sounds stupid, but credit from peers I suppose rather than WOW factor on Instagram.

At the end of the day, money plays the major roll in the direction of modern life. Long for the days where creation and artistic freedom was rewarded on a similiar frame of mind as the bottom dollar we all need to strive for. Money does, and always will hinder true creation in our modern world.

Completely not comparing myself on this level, not even in the same galaxy, but imagine Michelangelo scuplting David. Money has been offered and plays some part of course, enough part to not have simple, every day problems overcome what you are trying to artistically acheive. Only a financial gain for time spent.

But overall, a beautiful mind that is simply lingering at back of room, a third eye for the artist, allowing their hands to apply absolutes to the project that is beyond typical comprehension. The afternoon light through stained windows gives credence to the last few strokes committed upon that very day. Money is not the drive. Money is enough to allow more freedom to not stress about what the artist is trying to acheive. The goal is beauty. Beauty in it’s perfections…..and imperfections.

I love the money we’re making at the moment on these large, technical projects…..but I think I need to start redirecting the business again. Bringing money and creation back at least level pegging. I have so many new designs to put down that just keep getting put on the back burner.

One day I suppose. When the money doesn’t quite have the hold on life quality.

A few pics below, of the more “simple” design projects we’ve been on, but are heavily technical in our attempt at perfection in what we do.

I hope you’re all doing well out there. I read a sign as I drove through Mackay a few months ago.

“Tough times will never out live tough people”.

If you’re doing well, get at it and keep pushing hard. If you’re struggling, have a chat to someone and keep trying your best. My ears are open for any of my friends needing it. There is always someone who gives a shit. It’s OK to not be OK.

Decorative concrete resurfacing pool surrounds Coomera

Pool surrounds concrete resurfacing as new at Coomera

Next up finished today is our second exposed aggregate overlay, this time to a patio and pool surrounds at Upper Coomera. For those who don’t know, going over exposed is a tricky game and requires a lot of attention to detail and levelling, layering and strengthening to make it work. Looking over these last two projects completed, you could not tell what they were to begin with, just new concrete to finish off a refurbishment.

Cheers Garth, all the best buddy and maybe chat again some day.