Due to the complicated nature of most Decorative Concrete Projects Tom Ralston started taking copious notes to document materials, procedures and results of various techniques and projects circa 1989.
Tom has a Bachelors of Arts in Political Theory having once entertained the idea of going to law school. "I had seriously considered law school but moving to Kauai to surf and work sounded much more enticing at the time...besides I needed a break from school", Tom says with a smile adding, "I probably have one of the biggest vocabularies of any concrete contractor I know."
An education at Cabrillo College and at the University of California at Santa Cruz CA helped Tom hone in on writing skills and finds writing about concrete rewarding and enjoyable. "I don't think I will ever get rich writing books about concrete but they will provide a great service to others in the decorative concrete industry and have been personally rewarding."
Tom's first book on concrete countertops was published by Schiffer Publishing in 2008 and has completed his second book "Sculpting Hillsides with Decorative Concrete" was released in June of 2014. "I probably have a half a dozen books left to write but running a company of 30 employees in conjunction to trying to design & manage projects leaves little time to write books."
"Sculpting Hillsides" was inspired and written during the Great Recession that began in 2007, when contractors were in fierce competition for jobs and many difficult projects, like hillside work, were grossly underbid. The author explains design development, bid building, and suggest how to translate those into contracts. Also emphasized here are ways to make projects profitable by keeping them in line with the initial bid. Also reviewed are ways to keep clients happy by involving them throughout the project, and how to document your work as you go.
If you buy a book from Tom don't forget to ask for an inscription. "It is such a thrill and honor to have someone buy my books."
Sculpting Hillsides with Decorative Concrete
Over 250 inspiring images and engaging text cover the techniques necessary to successfully sculpt concrete. Contractors will feel empowered to unleash their inner artists. Designers will become inspired to create hillside expanses. Among the projects explored are beautiful, curved stairways, lit walls, raised patios, firepits, and built-in seating that will transform bland backyard slopes into view-commanding getaways. Further inspiration is provided by a gallery of spectacular completed projects. For the contractor, Ralston shares wisdom from years of business experience and training to help readers navigate the various challenges they face. Available now! Get it on Amazon or Contact Us.
Cast in Place Concrete Countertops
The book should be a great inspiration to anyone interested in concrete countertop fabrication. Designers and lay people alike can use this book to learn of the detailed process involved in creating amazing concrete countertops. Get it on Amazon or Contact Us.
To order this book call our office 831-426-0342. The cost is $39.95 plus tax (CA only) and shipping. Or, order on Amazon.