The ever-expanding spectrum of residential concrete will be the focus for many attendees at the 2008 World of Concrete this Jan. 21–25 in Las Vegas.

One example where ideas evolve is the sixth annual Artistry in Decorative Concrete scheduled for Jan. 22–25 in the Silver Lot in front of the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The concrete industry's leading decorative concrete artists will demonstrate a wide variety of concrete applications and techniques available to the industry, including some residential concrete applications.

In recent years, the incorporation of concrete in residential applications has increased—everything from countertops to sinks to fireplaces to bathtubs. As these unique applications become more common, I can attest that the contractor's role in managing these projects will evolve as well. Based upon a number of discussions I have had in recent months, the contractor's role in residential concrete has moved far beyond the foundation and into areas such as concrete countertops and decorative stamping. As homeowners continue to look for ways to make their homes more unique, concrete contractors have been filling this niche by providing a wide variety of residential and decorative opportunities. The benefits of this niche market are twofold—not only does this work supplement the contractor's business in a stagnant residential market, it also helps the homeowner increase the value of their home in terms of customization and salability.

The contractor's role in residential concrete has moved far beyond the foundation and into areas such as concrete countertops and decorative stamping.
Lauren Coleman The contractor's role in residential concrete has moved far beyond the foundation and into areas such as concrete countertops and decorative stamping.

If you are attending the 2008 World of Concrete, I encourage you to visit the Artistry demonstrations. Not only is it an opportunity to view unique decorative and residential concrete applications, it is also a chance to network with the artists and others in attendance in order to gauge the pulse of current trends in the industry.

In addition to Artistry in Decorative Concrete, there are a number of technical sessions scheduled at World of Concrete 2008 involving residential and decorative concrete.

The residential concrete seminars focus on the many different uses of concrete in the residential applications, specifically focusing on the use of concrete in areas in addition to the foundation. Specific covered topics include how to use and how to install insulating concrete forms, removable concrete forms for above-grade homes, residential waterproofing, and a problem clinic involving residential concrete applications.

As for decorative concrete, a total of 16 different decorative seminars are scheduled throughout World of Concrete 2008, with topics covering troubleshooting decorative concrete, design trends and techniques, and precast and cast-in-place concrete countertops, to name a select few.

Again, I urge you to attend these seminars as part of your continuing education in residential and decorative concrete.

On a related topic, the editors of Residential Concrete decided to profile our Top Five Most Influential Industry Leaders in this issue (see Five Who Are Influencing the Concrete Home Building Industry). The people we have chosen have not only shaped the residential concrete marketplace as it is today, they also help to determine the direction of the industry. A broad range of professionals representing the engineering, manufacturing, research, as well as contracting side of residential concrete have all contributed to help make the residential concrete industry innovative, creative, and successful.

Tim Gregorksi
Editor in Chief
tgregorski@hanleywood.com