PORT CHARLOTTE, FL -- Rather than spend thousands on stone, bricks or pavers at a big box retailer, John Panagos, founder and CEO of TheMoldStore.com, encourages a DIY approach. His family-owned company provides both the how-to expertise and the concrete molds to empower homeowners to add thousands to their home's value - without breaking the bank.
"DIY concrete molds can trim the cost of a project by 90% when compared to buying finished products," explains Panagos. "And, people are always surprised by how simple and rewarding it can be to cast their own stone, pavers, tiles and brick veneer."
Handmade stone products offer a degree of personalization that cannot be matched by ready-made products, no matter how vast the available inventory. Four years ago, Panagos set out to prove this fact, asking for customers to submit photos of their completed projects. The response was overwhelming - choosing a winner of the first Customer Project Contest was an understandable challenge.
"I was so impressed by the quality and beauty of our customers' projects that I wanted to share them with the public," he adds. "I saw a great opportunity to communicate the value we offer at TheMoldStore.com. Even someone who has never worked with concrete or molds before can create amazing things, all at a reasonable cost."
The eventual winner, California resident Kevin Brandon, filmed a time-lapse video of his patio project. The video was so well made that it's become part of TheMoldStore.com's training materials. Another contest participant, Scott Sellers, discovered the enormous savings potential in finishing his project by hand. What might have cost upwards of $7,000 only cost him about $350 at TheMoldStore.com, plus the cost of concrete. More to the point, Sellers was able to create the backyard he had always wanted while increasing his home's value and attractiveness substantially.
Panagos and his team want homeowners to have all the information needed to make perfect concrete products the first time. The company sells "kits" for individuals with a single project to tackle, as well as "packages" for more ambitious DIY types and contractors. Kits include all of the materials necessary to produce completely custom stone tiles, veneers and pavers - all that's needed from the homeowner or contractor is concrete, water and a willingness to learn.
For those new to this type of DIY project, TheMoldStore.com has an entire website dedicated to training and instruction. Pages cover everything from the basics of concrete and chemistry to coloring, sealing and installing. The company even provides business-related tips for those who want to explore the profit potential of doing mold work on the side or full time.
TheMoldStore.com currently offers more than 200 styles and sizes of molds, with more continually being added. The company creates all of its molds locally, with raw materials sourced from the U.S.
TheMoldStore.com is the Internet marketing arm of Olde World Stone & Tile Molds, Inc. - a 23-year-old, family-run company that designs, manufactures and markets concrete building product molds worldwide via the Internet. In addition to their own websites, they operate eStores on Ebay, Amazon, Bonanza, Buy.com, Etsy, Artfire and other outlets. Their 5,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility is located in Port Charlotte, Florida.