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A fireplace is not only the centerpiece of a room, but also a wonderful gathering place for friends and family. The elements surrounding a fireplace including the mantel across the top of the fireplace opening, the legs up either side of the opening, the sub-mantel or riser (a sort of lip on the bottom front), and the hearth (which can be on the floor or raised) can also complement and add to any rooms decor.

Sierra Concrete Design, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA Sierra Concrete Design, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA

Sierra Concrete Designs (SCD), located in Santa Ana, Calif., has built their business on fireplace surrounds and, as a result, has become one of California's largest and most reputable producers of precast and glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) products.

John Leeder, who formed the company in 1991, says they mainly work with residential tract builders, using GFRC for everything from fireplace surrounds, to columns, to landscape products and moldings.

Sierra Concrete Design, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA Sierra Concrete Design, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA

"Sierra Concrete Designs is an industry leader in residential, custom and commercial structures," Leeder says. "And we're expanding throughout the U.S. through our distributors."

SCD features innovative pre-cast amenity and exterior detail designs, both traditional and contemporary styles, in a wide variety of colors and textures, as well as their exclusive Sierra Stone finish.

Sierra Stone is offered in nine colors and three different textures, so customers can customize the best product for their needs. Finishes include Naturale, Travertine and Renaissance. Color options include Sandstone, Limestone, Carmel, White Sand, Navajo White, Pebble Gray, Bluish Stone, Terra Cotta and Moss Stone. (Paint-ready products are also available.) As for the use of GFRC products, Leeder recalls that over a decade ago it appeared to be (and is now) a material that's lightweight and perfect for products such as fireplace surrounds and columns.

Sierra Concrete Design, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA

GFRC is a cement mixture that contains alkali resistant glass fibers. The use of alkali resistant glass fibers is the industry standard for GFRC, as it demonstrates higher resistance to environmental deterioration and strength retention than the less expensive E-glass glass-fibers, which are used in polyester resins and gypsum.

Using fiber reinforcement yields a higher strength to weight ratio than unreinforced precast concrete. As a result, GFRC products are durable and lighter in weight, which significantly reduces the cost of freight transportation and installation. (Both of which are helpful for those buying SCD products over the Internet.)

GFRC's fiber-wrapped skin is also more resistant to environmental degradation and corrosion under the attack of chemicals, and it easily adapts to any shape of the concrete, allowing flexibility in design. GFRC is an environmentally friendly composite made of natural raw materials with low energy consumption.

"SCD uses only fine quality products known for high density and durability," explains Leeder. Since our inception in 1991, SCD has become one of California's largest and most reputable producers of precast and GFRC products. SCD has developed strong relationships with suppliers and has the resources to outfit a home or building with a level of craftsmanship beyond comparison.

As for SCD's product line, their fireplace surrounds can be made to match any style, whether its arched, crested, crowned or just a classic straight-line surround. The surrounds are made of lightweight and durable GFRC, so they are easy to install and transport, saving both time and money.

Most of SCD's fireplace surrounds consist of one piece and can be installed easily with the step-by-step installation instructions available in English and Spanish. Fireplace surround styles include Craftsman, French, Italian, Modern, Provencial, Spanish, Traditional and Transitional.

Leeder says, "Using GFRC has taken [some] projects from 30-plus pieces to two or three, and saved 60 percent of the weight. GFRC also took installing time from one day to one hour."

Adding that fireplace surrounds are the biggest part of SCD's business, Leeder says that popular styles include the "Provence" in colors such as Sandstone and Limestone.

"They simulate the real McCoy," he adds. Like any good craftsman, Leeder stands behind what he sells. "And all of our products are satisfaction guaranteed."

SCD's fireplace surrounds are available in various openings made to fit most common fireplace boxes, and they also offer less-expensive, small designs that can easily be painted or faux finished. All of SCD's surrounds meet Calif. fire codes, and unlike wood, they don't warp or crack.

Among the other products in the SCD portfolio are columns, which are a close second to the surrounds in terms of sales, with designs like scalloped that hide wood and steel poles. They also offer balustrades and architectural elements such as moldings.

Sierra Concrete Design, Inc. in Santa Ana, CA

SCD serves all of Calif.particularly residential tract builders. They also have about a dozen distributors that buy and sell products, and SCD is now selling their product line over their website.

"We offer new designs every year, as well as explore new textures and colors," Leeder says. "We just debuted two new colors, Carmel and Moss Stone."

"As for growth of the company," he adds, "We plan to grow our distribution on a need-to basis."

Because SCD is delivering high-quality craftsmanship, you can expect that need to increase very soon.

Sierra Concrete Design
John Leeder
2110 South Anne Street
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 557-8100 Office
(714) 557-8109 Fax