Staining and stamping concrete with Chris Duell
We initially built this blog post to help show Austin that we knew what was going on in the apartment world. But through a series of happy accidents and dumb luck, it became its own separate thing with 1000’s of readers every month. And we decided to use that to help the things and people that need it.
Chris Duell is one of those people. Up until the other day, I thought concrete was just something you put other heavy things on, be it cars or houses. Chris very quickly corrected me and let me know that concrete can be as pretty as any other surface (and way cheaper). You can see what he can do with it at Austin Concrete Pros. Please enjoy my conversation with Chris Duell.
EAA: Chris, how did you get into concrete? Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
Chris: Not at all. I think I wanted to do the standard things boys wanted to do growing up. Astronauts and baseball players and so on. When I went to college I think the plan was to be a doctor, maybe. I ended up not liking chemistry that much, and I got a job doing construction to make ends meet and I took to it.
EAA: Interesting. What exactly did you take to?
Chris: I loved how tangible it was. I loved that there was a thing I could point to at the end of the day and say “Hey I did that.” It was a lot more satisfying than a good chemistry assignment for sure. (laughs)
EAA: And what made you strike out on your own
Chris: The guy I was working for took me under his wing a little. He taught me how to do some of the not-manual labor pieces of the puzzle. He eventually retired. Construction was the one real skill I had and I thought I had seen plenty of opportunity to do the business better so it seemed pretty natural to just keep doing it when I graduated.
EAA: What is the biggest surprise most people have when it comes to concrete?
Chris: I can make any design or color you can imagine with concrete. Most people think it is something your drive on or play basketball on, but it can be almost anything you imagine.
EAA: OK, we like to get all of our people’s opinion on different Austin topics. What is the most overrated thing and underrated thing in Austin?
Chris: Despite what some of your previous interview topics have said, Torchy’s is not at all overrated. This feels meaner than I mean it to, but I’ve never quite understood the fascination with Magnolia Café. I understand the line at Franklin’s. I don’t understand it at Magnolia.
EAA: Harsh but fair. What is your advice to someone new to Austin?
Chris: You do have to think about traffic. But I guess that is boring advice. Look, this city is still changing. It’s a teenager. It isn’t going to be what you thought it would be when you decided to move it here and it won’t be what it was when you got here. If you can’t handle that, you should go to someplace that is already finished.
EAA: Perfect. Thanks for your time Chris.