King Gunite Adjusts, Flourishes With Homeowners’ Demands For Gunite Swimming Pools
As demand for swimming pools increases in 2020, King Construction Services in New Orleans relies on its Cemen Tech G Series volumetric mixers each day.
Tell us about yourself & who King Construction Services is.
My name is Sean King. We’re a local civil contractor and we also have a gunite company. We do swimming pools, a few new construction builds also, carpentry work so we do a little bit of everything.
What type of strength are you typically shooting for on pools?
We shoot between 4,500 PSI and 5,000 PSI strength all the time; we don’t deviate from the mix. We really like our richer mix, so we put out a good product and we don’t have any problems.
Tell us a little bit about the pool industry today and the market. Is it busy, slower, what do you see in the industry right now and what do you see coming up?
Before I got into the pool business, I never realized how popular and how busy it was. Once I got into it, I was pretty blown away. We really can’t even keep up now — before it was manageable but now it’s out of control.
What are some of the most important aspects of shooting a pool correctly? What does the end customer want or demand?
They want to see their umbrella holder’s straight. You want to make sure all your pipes are coming out level that way once they cut it flush off to the pool in the plaster, everything is lining up the way it’s supposed to be. You have to pay attention to detail and make sure all the little things are right because at the end, it could make a big difference.
Why do you prefer shooting gunite over shotcrete and what are some of those differences there?
I like the gunite because I’m able to show up with all my equipment and give them a one-time package. We’re able to give them a lot better product. We can control the mix way better — if it needs to be more Portland, we add more Portland, we cut our sand down. Being down here in the South, it’s important to have dry material but with the moisture in the air, it’s not so dry. With these Cemen Tech trucks, we’re able to adjust that and get a better mix.
How did you find Cemen Tech volumetric mixers?
I bought Cemen Tech concrete trucks about six to seven years ago and then I went into the gunite business. [But] I never realized Cemen Tech also made gunite trucks. I was in Texas, noticed one of your trucks then called and ordered two of them.
What are the biggest benefits of using this unit for shooting gunite?
I’d say that the biggest plus is that we’re able to adjust the gates for the moisture content of the sand. We can lower the gate, raise our Portland cement up higher so we get a richer mix which creates less rebound, less waste on the job, less material being thrown out of the pool. It works better for the guys in the hole and the customer because you don’t have any waste.
Tell us a little bit about the training that was involved when you got these units. How long did it take the operators to get comfortable using the unit?
Some of the guys I have operating these units are already familiar with y’all’s concrete units. Your guys came out for a few days, walked everybody through it, made sure they were comfortable then took it from there.
What has been your experience ordering parts, working with our Service department?
Service Department is great, quick response, really helpful. I’m not going to name other names but sometimes things don’t get shipped in a timely manner. You guys are on top of things, y’all get it to us. Very, very big plus.
What’s your secret to success in the gunite business?
First off, you’ve got to treat your employees good — without your employees you don’t have a company. You got to put out a good product to keep the customers happy. And you just got to grind it out and keep everybody moving.