Author Fu-Tung Cheng has opened up the idea that concrete isn't just something you skinned your knee on when you were a kid. His first book "Concrete Countertops" was a great instructional book, aimed obviously at amateurs, on how to use the massive substance and form it into any desired shape. Albeit, it leaves you learning from your own mistakes on a few things left out in the book, but all in all, it introduces the reader to concrete and gets them pointed in the right direction.
With his sophomore release, "Concrete at Home", Cheng has assumingly done it again. However, what appears to be an instructional book on how to take your concrete forming ideas to the "next level", just isn't quite up to par. The book shows off over a 1000 pictures of Cheng's work, and while the work is phenomenal in design, the summarized procedures that go along with them, are hardly enough for the reader to mimic the process. Granted, it is safe to say that Cheng doesn't want to give away all of his secrets, but his procedures skip important areas. For instance, he tells the reader that they inserted rigid foam into their countertop to drastically lighten the weight, but what he fails to mention is how exactly they form rounded angles with it, and how they place it in the mold for the pour. Rigid foam isn't the easiest of materials to manipulate into a rounded shape if you're not familiar with it. Another example is Fu-Tung shows you a rough blue-print for a fireplace surround designed to go around a zero-clearance firebox. However, what he neglects to mention is whether or not you are supposed to strip your walls to the studs, insert bolts into the studs that will protrude out into the surround, and then put up green board before you pour your surround, or if you proceed based on what he shows you, assumingly pouring against your existing textured wall, with nothing to anchor it to the wall. Timber!
"Concrete at Home" is a great photo-filled marketing deliverable for Fu-Tung Cheng's business. He purposely sends the reader in the direction of creating something extravagant, but intentionally leaves out key issues so that the reader will become frustrated and in turn, give up and commission Cheng's services.
If you are a professional in the field of concrete, this book is a great visual addition to add to the rest of your concrete books.