Monthly Archives: May 2019

Durability Matters: Choosing Concrete Over Other Materials

What Your Next Project Stands To Benefit From Using Concrete

When considering building materials, you always want to compare cost, sustainability, safety and durability, among other things. Building materials like steel may be strong and durable, but it comes at a higher cost and may not be necessary for every project. On the other hand, wood is cheap to use, but causes you to compromise on durability and safety.

Concrete, however, stands out against other building materials. It’s affordable, energy efficient, safe and durable—and a material that can work for almost any project.

We know the power of concrete, which is why we want to share the benefits of concrete as a building material. That way, when it’s time for your next project, you remember to compare—and choose—concrete over other materials.

Below, we discuss the advantages concrete has over other materials, specifically wood. We hope this blog gives you the information you need to make concrete your go-to building material in the future.

10 Reasons To Choose Concrete Over Another Building Material

1. Low Maintenance

In comparison to other materials, concrete is extremely low maintenance. In fact, concrete may never require maintenance at all! Materials like steel or wood, however, must be maintained over time.

For example, wood will need to be retreated and repainted over time, and potentially even replaced. The same goes for steel! Concrete, on the other hand, won’t ever require this type of maintenance. This low level of maintenance not only makes concrete a more simple choice, but also a less expensive one.

While concrete may be more expensive than wood initially, the cost you will save over time makes it a worthwhile investment.

2. Resistant To Wind and Water

Concrete’s resistance to wind and water differentiates it from other materials like wood, too. Wood is easily damaged by wind and water, making it less ideal and safe for construction. For example, a large storm may cause wood to snap or break, and the excess water may result in mold damage.

Either way, both potential outcomes are expensive and time-consuming fixes. Unlike wood, concrete stands significantly less of a chance of being damaged by wind and water. This level of resistance allows concrete to stand out against other, weaker materials.

3. Fire-Proof

Due to its ability to absorb heat, concrete is actually fire-proof. This capability alone demonstrates the power of concrete over other building materials, especially wood.

In fact, fires kill more Americans than any other natural disaster combined. In 2017 alone, fires cost the US a total of $328.5 billion. Knowing the threat that fires place on our homes, projects and lives, why would you not choose concrete?

Materials like wood are extremely vulnerable to fire damage. Wood burns quickly, making it difficult to salvage in the event of a fire. This isn’t a concern for concrete though. Concrete walls and floors will not only stand strong during the event of a fire, but it stands a better chance of protecting what’s inside unlike wood.

4. Energy Efficient

Concrete’s heat absorption isn’t only beneficial for fires! Its ability to retain heat makes it energy efficient as well.

How so? Well, concrete’s heat retention requires less work on the buildings HVAC system, which not only cuts expenses, but also increases the building’s energy efficiency.

In addition, the amount of energy required to create concrete differs greatly than that required for a material like steel. On average, steel requires roughly three times as much energy to produce than concrete. In terms of energy efficiency, this is a big deal! As more projects decide to go green and enforce sustainability efforts, energy efficient materials like concrete become even more important.

5. Extremely Durable

Concrete is a material that is built to last. In general, the lifespan of concrete is two to three times longer than other building materials. This level of durability is simply unparalleled!

Other materials like wood can’t compare when it comes to durability. Wood will need to be replaced over time. Concrete, however, stays strong!

No matter the project, you need a building material that will last for years to come, which is why concrete remains the obvious choice above other materials.

6. Doesn’t Rust or Rot

Building off of its extreme durability, concrete also will not rust or rot. Wood and metal building materials will, though.

Decaying, rotting or rusting materials can be expensive to replace or repair. This is an expense you won’t have to worry about with concrete! While concrete has many benefits over other building materials, its durability and inability to rust or rot make it a prime material choice for any project.

7. Can Be Placed To Fit Any Space

One of the many beauties of concrete is that it can be placed in any space, shape or design. If the space you need coverage for is large, no problem. Small, no problem. In a unique shape, you guessed it, no problem!

While wood can sometimes be cut to fit small or unique spaces, placing concrete is a more reliable, consistent and durable option. Additionally, concrete can even be stamped to resemble the look of other materials such as brick, stone and wood. Concrete designs are essentially limitless, so you can achieve the look you want without having to compromise on weaker, less reliable materials.

8. Minimal Waste

Concrete is a material with minimal waste as well. It can be produced in exact amounts, so you won’t have to worry about wasting an excess amount of concrete.

Additionally, when concrete has served its purpose, it can be crushed, recycled and reused for other projects. This reusability isn’t always possible for other building materials!

9. Reflectivity

Since concrete is light in color, it’s able to reflect solar radiation, rather than absorb it like darker materials such as asphalt.

This also adds to its levels of energy efficiency, since the reflectivity will help reduce the need for the building’s AC system to work overtime, especially in the warmer months like spring and summer.

10. Cuts Down on Noise Pollution

Concrete is known to reduce noise—and even soundproof walls and floors—unlike other materials. The thickness of concrete walls and floors won’t allow sound to travel back and forth.

When Choosing Concrete For Your Next Project, Don’t Forget To Partner With The Right Supplier

Now that you know how concrete stands against other building materials, it almost seems like a no brainer to choose concrete for your next project!

However, don’t forget to partner with the right concrete supplier.

Here at Concrete Supply Co., our mission is to be the premier supplier of quality ready-mix concrete to benefit our employees, customers, shareholders and our community.

When you partner with us, we promise to value the industry, teamwork, profitability and most importantly, you! We know choosing the right supplier isn’t always easy, which is why we want to share the same passion and outlook for your project as you do.

If you’re ready to choose concrete for your next project, contact our team to learn how we can benefit you! We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the limitless possibilities of concrete.

Speaking of suppliers, are you having trouble finding reliable partners? If so, download our free guide, Guide To Pre-Qualifying Suppliers, below!


building with concrete

Decorative Concrete Techniques and Design Ideas For Your Home’s Patio

How To Upgrade Your Home’s Patio With Decorative Concrete Designs

Summer nights are going to be here before you know it. It’s the time of year to have friends over, fire up the grill and eat dinner on the patio. But is your patio dinner party ready?

There are endless options to update your outdoor living space. From decorative decks, to pergolas, firepits and more, it gets difficult—and expensive—to decide what you want. This is when it pays off to use concrete!

If you’ve been thinking of sprucing up your patio, now’s the time to do it. And we’re here to help! You may not have thought about the different ways that concrete can give your patio the facelift it so badly needs, so we’ve compiled a list of three different decorative concrete techniques and four concrete design ideas to help transform your patio.

Why Choose Concrete Over Other Materials?

Many homeowners choose wood, brick or stone to decorate their patio. While these finishes give a nice touch, the same effect can be achieved with concrete while also achieving many other benefits!

It’s customizable

Concrete can be placed and constructed in a way that mimics stone and brick, and even have the same grain lines as a piece of wood. Plus, stains, pigments and antiquing agents can be applied to give concrete a completely unique look.

Additionally, concrete can be placed in any shape and size, allowing you to fully customize your desired design. The options really are limitless when it comes to decorative concrete techniques.

It’s affordable

Concrete is a much more affordable option than other design options such as stone, too. When you consider that you can get the exact look of stone, for a much lower price, it’s easy to see why concrete is a better option.

It’s durable

When you decide to use concrete for your home’s patio, you’re adding an extension to your home that will last for decades. Concrete is known for its durability, so you’ll be able to enjoy your patio for a lifetime! Not to mention, concrete is highly weather resistant, so it’ll be able to withstand the unpredictable Carolina weather.

3 Decorative Concrete Techniques To Transform Your Patio

Before deciding on what elements you want on your patio, consider the type of texture, finish and color you want your concrete to have.

1. Concrete Color

Concrete can be mixed to the color of your choosing through various pigments or stains.

Pigments can be added to the concrete prior to pouring, allowing the color to fully mix in. These pigments can be in liquid or powder form, and usually, only allow earthy colors such as brown and tan, but green, grey and blue can be added as well.

There are multiple types of concrete stains which can be applied at any point throughout the process. Typically, however, you want the stain to be added quickly after the pouring is complete so the final product is as vibrant as possible. Like pigments, stains come in more subtle, earthy tones. However, acrylic-based stains can add black or white coloring to your patio!

These decorative concrete coloring techniques allow your patio to perfectly complement the architecture of your home, while giving your patio a completely unique and custom look.

2. Concrete Finishes

Consider how much moisture exposure your patio will experience. Do you have a pool? Are you located in an area that receives a lot of rain? Maybe children running back and forth results in unexpected spills? If this is the case, consider a decorative concrete texture that adds more traction for the safest results.

One of the ways to add traction is with a broom finish. A broom finish is used after the concrete has been smoothed to give traction. This is done by dragging a broom across wet concrete, leaving small ridges to give grip.

If you have a pool, a salt finish would be the ideal finish for your concrete. Rock salt is applied to wet concrete, which is later washed away. Once completed, small pits are left behind that give some much-needed traction around the pool.

And remember, finishing your concrete surface with a layer of sealant provides a whole host of benefits!

3. Concrete Texture

While there are multiple different ways to achieve concrete texture, the one we want to focus on is decorative concrete stamping.

Stamping has three main steps: base color, accent color and stamping. Say you want to add a wood-like finish to your patio. You would first choose the color you want the wood to have. Once decided, these colors will be added to the concrete though powder pigments or stains. Next, the design will be stamped.

The concrete is stamped by using patterned “stamps”. The stamps are laid on wet concrete, and the pattern is softly pressed in, allowing the concrete to mold to the pattern. Finally, the stamp is carefully removed and the process is repeated throughout the rest of the surface.

Concrete stamping is a popular method because it can mimic the exact look of stone, brick, wood, tile and more. Plus, concrete stamping is a much more affordable option than using materials like brick, stone and wood.

Want to see stamping in action? Watch this video from HGTV to see how concrete can be transformed into wood-like pallets.

4 Concrete Designs Ideas For Your Patio

Now that you know some of the endless technique options for decorative concrete, it’s time to put them to the test! Here are four ways to transform your patio with concrete design:

1. Stamped Stone-Like Concrete

If you want the look of stone without the cost, go with concrete. Not only is concrete a much more affordable option, but it can be poured in any shape or size to look just like real stone!

The concrete can be manipulated by hand to mimic almost any stone you would choose. This stone-like look will upgrade your patio and give it a true one-of-a-kind look.

2. Tiered Concrete Steps

Decorative concrete steps will also elevate your patio. Adding steps can lead your family or guests to an element such as a pool or firepit, making your patio a directional feature of your home.

3. Colored Borders

Around the patio or walkways, add colored concrete borders to give your patio extra definition. These can also be poured with any texture or finish you want. These borders are a great way to add more personalized touches to your outdoor living space.

4. Concrete Fire Pit

A concrete fire pit can also be poured in any shape, design or texture you desire. A fire pit is a wonderful addition to any home because it gives an extra gathering area for family or guests.

Again, a concrete fire pit will be much more affordable than other options, but will still add a high-end touch to your home. Not to mention the level of safety of a concrete fire pit! The right contractor knows to line concrete fire pits with protective veneer, which may be fire brick grouted with fire clay or a steel ring. This extra level of protection makes a concrete fire pit and safe choice for your home and family.

Upgrade Your Patio With Concrete Supply Co.

When you’re looking to upgrade your residence or patio, trust the team at Concrete Supply Co. to help with your project!

Since 1958, we have been providing ready-mix concrete to projects and transforming areas—big and small—all over the Carolinas. When it comes to concrete, we are your source!

We are ready to help take your patio to the next level with our state-of-the-art concrete. Plus, we value sustainability, so we can keep your project eco-friendly.

Reach out to us so we can talk about the opportunities for concrete to transform your outdoor living spaces!

Want more information about concrete? Download our free guide, Concrete Checklist: Gets The Best Ready Mix For Your Project!

csc checklist guide

decorative concrete patio

Steps To Improve Productivity On Your Construction Site

11 Ways To Improve Productivity On Your Construction Project

Completing a construction project on time can be tricky. It doesn’t take much to throw off your timeline! Bad weather, limited crew members, and impatient property managers can make efficient and productive work difficult.

However, despite these inevitable obstacles, there are a few things you can do to make sure your project stays productive every step of the way.

Follow along below to discover 11 ways to improve productivity on your construction site.

1. Communicate Clearly

Any project will suffer without proper communication. After all, no one will know what to do and when to do it without solid communication.

Always communicate goals, updates and changes with your crew and with your suppliers. You don’t want any of your crew members or project suppliers to be in the dark, so be sure to involve them with any changes to deadlines or project updates.

When your team has strong communication skills, the project will be much easier to complete on time—and your team will work better as a whole!

2. Educate Your Team

Jobsite injuries can cause a lot of problems for your project—productivity being one of them. However, most injuries can be avoided with adequate training.

Before starting a project, make sure everyone on your crew is trained properly. If not, this could result in unqualified team members delaying your project.

These levels of training are worth it, and will help your project stay productive and (hopefully) injury-free.

3. Listen To Feedback

Part of having open lines of communication with your team is giving an opportunity for much-needed feedback. Your crew members are the ones executing the project, so listen to their opinions about what works and what doesn’t.

If they think a goal seems unrealistic, or they need new tools and equipment, don’t dismiss it. Instead, talk with your team to see if this is a shared opinion to determine what steps need to be taken next.

Listening to your team will build trust, allowing you to further improve your team’s overall productivity.

4. Set Reachable Goals

Improve your productivity by setting goals for the day, for the week, for the month, and so on. Communicate these goals daily with your crew so they know what is expected of them. If something seems unreasonable, discuss it quickly and determine a goal that works best for the team.

Remember to always plan goals that are realistic, relevant and timely.

5. Plan A Course Of Action

What do you need to get the project done, and get it done well? Make a plan before the start of the project to determine how big of a team you need, what materials are needed, what your goals should be, etc.

Think through the logistics and timeline of the project and plan a course of action. This will help you, the property owner and your team get an idea of what is needed to complete the project.

6. Check Inventory

To improve productivity, check your materials frequently. If you don’t have the materials required to complete your tasks, the project will likely be delayed for a few days or longer.

We recommend checking your inventory at least weekly to make sure you have enough materials to last through the week. If the crew notices materials are lacking, handle it quickly to stay on task.

Double check your current inventory against the number of materials needed in your initial plan. If these numbers continuously match up, your team should remain on-time and productive.

7. Reward Your Team

Your crew deserves rewards for their hard work every now and then! Give incentives for hitting goals, such as catered lunch, drinks after work, or whatever you can think of. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it.

It’s important to remind your team that their work isn’t going unnoticed. By rewarding them for their hard work, you will encourage them to keep hitting goals and moving forward. These rewards can be simple and can make a huge difference in productivity.

8. Delegate Tasks

Get to know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Cater to their strengths by delegating tasks that they can manage and excel in. This will remind them that you’re paying attention while growing their leadership and time management skills—both of which are vital for a productive construction site.

Likewise, make sure your employees and partners in management positions are fit for the project. More often than not, these will be the people communicating between you and your crew. You need to be sure they understand the goals that need to be hit, how to hit them, and how to communicate it to your team.

If you notice a disconnect between management and your team, check it out and see where the problem is coming from. If your team doesn’t respect management, or your management officers aren’t doing their job correctly, it could lead to issues with productivity. To stay on track, nip these issues before they grow into larger problems.

9. Practice Safe Techniques

As we mentioned earlier, safety plays a huge role in productivity. While it’s impossible to prevent all work-related injuries, you need to be sure your team is following the safety guidelines on the construction site.

Invest some extra time and money into safety training and make sure each project member attends. The goal is to remain productive and keep injury levels as low as possible, so don’t take these safety measures for granted!

10. Work With The End Goal In Mind

When communicating with your team, make sure you are all working together with the end goal in mind. Take the time to assess every step in the process. Are these goals allowing your crew to hit the end goal? If not, reevaluate.

Sometimes it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and start working on other ideas within the project. However, always remember what your end goal is. If these ideas help you get there sooner, great! If not, go back to the drawing board and create new ideas to improve productivity and work towards your final goal.

11. Choose The Right Suppliers

This is one of the most important steps to improve productivity. You need to be sure that your suppliers are on-board and on-target with your project.

If your supplies don’t have similar goals and values, there’s a chance they won’t be the right fit for your project. You should be able to trust that your suppliers will make an effort to complete the project on time and not delay your team.

Even Your Suppliers Can Affect Overall Productivity On Your Site

Here at Concrete Supply Co., we know how important it is to choose the right supplier. You need a team you can trust to join your project and maintain productivity with you—our team can do that and more!

No matter the project, we can help. We promise to value your employees, community, industry, and your timeline. We want to be an extension of your team by working together towards your individual goals.

Want to learn more about us? Reach out to us today to see how we can be a benefit to your current or future projects. We can’t wait to hear from you!

For more information about how to pick the right suppliers, download our Guide To Pre-Qualifying Suppliers!


construction workers communicating to improve productivity