Issue 04 September-October 2012

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Construction & Beyond Magazine

A woman with a strong foundation

THE ELITE FAMILY: A unique touch to the iron industry


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Construction NOW & THEN Un clásico regresa a El Paso

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Construction & HISTORY:

Tales from The Plaza Theatre


The Elite family:

A unique touch to the iron industry

Sandy McDonald:

A woman with a strong foundation

Construction & DESIGN:

Adapt & Reuse

Special thanks to:

Hommework 2603 N. Stanton 915-219-9041

Editor in Chief Monica Saenz Production Manager Alejandro Quevedo Editorial and Commercial Design: Innova Solutions Staff Writer: Saray Argumedo Special Contributors: Angelica Zuñiga Mena Ana Cristina Mendiola Enrique Tellez-Girón Paul Meza Austin Marshall, J.D., P.E Photography: Edward Louis Droutsas


Construction & FASHION: A different route to success




Marketing Assistant: Angelica Zuñiga Mena For advertising information please e-mail us at: or call: Office: (915) 584-5569 from 9am-1pm Monica Saenz (915) 726-7582 M. Monica Saenz (915) 726-7307 Clothing provided by: HOMMEWORK BOUTIQUE AGUA BOUTIQUE 5857 N. Mesa St. El Paso, Texas 79912 / cbelpaso

El Paso Community Foundation

Construction and BEYOND Magazine is published every two months by Innova Solutions. It is a free publication to the general public. If you wish to subscribe to the magazine please call 915-726-7582. The design and content of Construction and BEYOND Magazine are fully protected by copyright and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the editor and publisher. Construction and BEYOND Magazine is not responsible for claims made by advertisers. Query letters may be sent in care of our Executive Director at 105 Borderland Suite C. El Paso, Texas 79932

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decade is a significant period of time where many things can happen in a person’s life. Think back to where you were ten years ago. Perhaps you were starting college embarking in a new phase in life, graduating college thinking of the opportunities that awaited you, starting a new business eager to be prosperous, or enjoying life abroad. All these experiences made us grow as a person and through hard work, disappointments, and determinations made us the person that we are today. We like to think back and remember the good experience but what about when we had good experiences that made us grow and today we find ourselves in a slump in our careers. There are many factors that can contribute to that but one that seems to be in common with most people is the economy. Things have definitely changed from ten years ago in the business world and many business owners are finding ways to deal with the situation. In this issue of Construction & BEYOND Magazine we will take a look back at how the industry of construction was ten years ago. How the industry of construction was at its highest peak and how it is now and most importantly how local businesses are coping with the situation. What measurements are being taken to ensure their business is still prosperous and their take on the years to come. We hope that this issue will inspire you to not let roadblocks stop you from embarking or continuing your dream, your business, you life.

Monica Saenz

The Construction Industry Then Compared To Now 2012

Written By: Saray Argumedo


012 has been a rollercoaster within the construction industry. The city of El Paso has seen both an increase and decrease in employment throughout the years. The increase has been a privilege to construction workers being that El Paso is growing; therefore, there are more job openings within this field. On the other hand, for those who are licensed to be real estate agents and builders, they have found themselves struggling to take part in city projects. The city of El Paso continues to hire out of state builders which come with the entire package as far as having their own suppliers and benders. This is a loss for local companies and workers, compared to 10 years ago when the local businesses were blooming. Construction and BEYOND Magazine’s question

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is, how has the construction industry changed throughout the years? “As far as the real estate industry goes, it has changed dramatically due to constant changes in regulations, from new home construction to real estate, and lending,” stated David Acosta, a real estate agent from Sellers Buyers and Associates El Paso Real Estate. “Like any other business, you have to adjust and make changes when times are tough. You have to find your niche and work hard to be the best at it. When there are troubles or chaos there is always an opportunity, you just need to find it and act upon it.”

From 2007 until now has marked the awakening to the

global financial crisis in the United States but fortunately the city of El Paso did not sink as bad as other cities. “The financial crisis has impacted El Paso, as the rest of the country in a negative way; the good thing is that we have our own economy here in El Paso. We have the continuous growth of Ft. Bliss, Texas Tech Medical School, and the migration of people from Mexico, which supports our economy. Also El Paso’s housing market is still very affordable in comparison to the rest of the country.” Compared to other cities in Texas, El Paso has only seen a negative percentage in annual home price appreciation rates in the years 84’, 85’, 86’ and 08’, 09’, 10’, 11’. “It’s more complex now than


before and you have to be on top of things at all times. Lending has affected the way anyone can qualify for a home purchase and that puts the brakes on construction and sales.”


ccording to Acosta, both the real estate market and agent/broker memberships increased locally by mid-2005 beginning of 2006, to almost double from prior years and it went back to half by mid-2007. This occurred after the country’s economic meltdown. “In Texas, we were able to recoup faster than the rest of the country, and El Paso lead the way in Texas.” Yet another company that was affected by the financial crisis was Drywall Shop Building Supply. “Prior to this recession in 2007 we were increasing 20% as company but when 9/11 hit that was a little bit of a shock to the industry, luckily it

rebounded right away we had to become a little tighter with our budget, and unfortunately we had to let some people go,” expressed Sandy McDonalds, President and CFO of Drywall Shop Building Supply. DWS Building Supply had no other choice but to close their store in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both real estate and builders have seen the decrease in future agents attempting to hold the same title. “The requirements have become a bit stricter compared to when I started, a higher standard of education or preparation is now required to get licensed to become a real estate agent such as classes, approved courses, and more difficult validation of previous education or experience; but it’s totally worth it,” said Acosta. A job as a real estate agent was guaranteed after graduating with a degree ten years ago,

but today it has become a competitive field. “I think the kids nowadays should learn how to start from the bottom and enjoy the climb to the top, they expect to have a good paying job after graduating but there is much more to it,” shared McDonald. Regardless of the down fall in the construction industry and the increase in unemployment, El Paso has been improving throughout the years. As stated before both Fort Bliss and the migration of people from Mexico have not only helped the economy stabilize but they have helped El Paso grow. U ntil this day we still see an increase of new entrepreneurs settling in El Paso. Goes to show that living in the border is a privilege, we have two cultures that have emerged to give us a sense of unity and hope for future generations. 7 l C&B

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Setcon, LLC is a construction company that provides concrete, metal (carports, canopies, and structural steel), and pavement work; as well as general contracting services. Setcon maintains a highly dedicated group of engineers with great skill in construction management that take pride on their quality and profesional work. Setcon achieves this by always keeping its customer’s best interest as its top priority. 9 l C&B

¿Que es un plan de


Para qué sirve un plan de negocios.

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Esta y otras preguntas surgen cuando estamos en la posibilidad de emprender un negocio, es muy común escuchar por parte de los nuevos empresarios y sobre todo en los empresarios latinos decir que tienen su proyecto “en la cabeza” en el sentido de que ya lo han pensado todo; pero el inconveniente de tenerlo “en la cabeza” es que se hace muy difícil para los demás evaluar todas las variables que pudiesen existir en la constitución de un negocio, además que se corre el riesgo de olvidarse de cosas importantes, y que solamente podrían ser transmitidas por el propietario de la “cabeza”.


l plan de negocios o “business plan” es una herramienta fundamental para conocer mejor la empresa que quiero hacer, pone todos los elementos y variables de su negocio en línea, por ejemplo, su perfil de negocios, productos y/o servicios, análisis de mercado, marketing, operaciones diarias, administración, personal, consideraciones jurídicas, contingencias, finanzas, los retos que existen, el grado de inversión que se requiere, y en su caso encontrar posibles socios para emprenderel negocio. Un plan de negocios toma todas las áreas principales de su negocio y planifica en una dirección. Para los que hemos iniciado un negocio lo que menos nos gusta es sentarnos a escribir un documento donde plasmemos todas nuestras ideas, básicamente porque estamos acostumbrados a ponernos a trabajar y sobre la marcha ir resolviendo los problemas que se presentan en el negocio. La verdad es que en el mundo actual de los negocios, es imperativo contar con un instrumento de planeación en el desarrollo de las empresas, en donde se establezca en donde estamos y hacia donde queremos llegar. La importancia de un plan de negocios radica en las principales variables del negocio que tenemos que desarrollar.

Planificación y dirección

La planificación asegura que las prioridades se establecen en cada área del negocio, desde marketing y operaciones hasta administración y finanzas. Es decir establecemos nuestros objetivos de corto plazo que conduzcan el

negocio al futuro, lo que nos permite crecer y mejorar el negocio mientras lo administramos a largo plazo.

Mercado meta y las tendencias actuales

Un plan de negocios nos da claramente el mercado total disponible, nuestra ventaja estratégica de nuestros productos o servicios, debilidades, oportunidades y amenazas de mercado.

El futuro de la industria y del negocio

El plan de negocios es una guía a seguir para llegar desde donde estamos ahora a donde deseamos estar. Establece las tendencias actuales de la industria, que nos puedan ayudar a la expansión de nuestro negocio en el futuro.

Ingresos y costos

Como lo comentamos anteriormente, el plan de negocios ayuda determinar nuestros objetivos y saber exactamente cómo y cuándo se deben lograr esos objetivos. De esta manera se pueden medir nuestros ingresos, costos, flujo de caja y beneficios.

a responder a las valiosas pregunta: ¿Porque mis productos o servicios van tener éxito? ¿Porque los consumidores van a preferir mis productos?

Enfoque financiero

Cuando buscamos inversionistas es porque necesitamos dinero, entonces el documento tiene que estar enfocado en la parte financiera, balance general, estado de resultados, flujo de caja esperado, etc. Para que se pueda ver claramente el grado de inversión y el retorno esperado. El plan de negocios deberá presentarse en al menos tres escenarios posibles: el probable, el más probable y el menos probable. En resumen un plan de negocios es una manera efectiva de comunicar su “historia,” la historia de su negocio y el potencial de su negocio, es la herramienta que le permite al empresario emprendedor alcanzar los objetivos que quiere alcanzar. Por eso aquí en PAUL MEZA, CPA podemos ayudarlo en la preparación de su plan de negocios o futura expansión, porque entendemos que es mucho más fácil lograr sus objetivos, si primero sabe lo que quiere lograr.

Otro de los elementos importantes que tenemos que definir es a quien va dirigido. No es lo mismo enfocarlo en el mercado, que en los posibles inversionistas;

Enfoque de mercado

Cuando creamos un plan de negocios enfocado en el mercado, sirve fundamentalmente para detectar obstáculos y buscar formas de resolverlos, confirmar las primeras hipótesis y descubrir nuevas. Detectar la ventaja estratégica de nuestros productos o servicios, es decir

Escrito por:

Paul Meza CPA + 1325 Montana El Paso, Texas 79902 + Office (915) 544-1040

+ Fax (915) 544-1044 + Cel (915) 276-2949


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EMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities throughout El Paso and the Southern New Mexico region. We produce, distribute, and sell cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and related building materials in more than 50 countries, and we maintain trade relationships in approximately 102 nations. Our concrete and aggregate products are used in the construction of local roads and bridges, hospitals, schools, hotels and other commercial/retail projects. CEMEX provides the same materials to the local “do it your self”

homeowner along with decorative rock for their landscaping projects. CEMEX has several locations throughout the El Paso area as well as Las Cruces, La Luz, and Ruidoso, New Mexico. Visit a location near you to purchase materials for your next landscaping or remodeling project. • Concrete Orders and Information is at 915 564-1600 • Asphalt, Aggregate and Decorative Stone orders and information is at 915 564-8400 • Business and Main Office is at 915 565-4681

• CEMEX Vinton 8611 North Desert Blvd 915 886-4502 • CEMEX Toro (Westside) 3125 W. Paisano 915 532-8117 • CEMEX McKelligon Canyon (Central) 4701 Alabama 915 564-1629 • CEMEX McCombs (Northeast) 6101 Stan Roberts 915 821-1033 • CEMEX Section 10 (Eastside) 2050 Cherrington 915 856-0033

Asphalt • Sand • Gravel • Boulders • Bagged Cement • Landscape Stone • Ready Mix Ceoncrete

Un clásico regresa a El Paso ¿Se acuerdan del famoso tranvía que nos paseaba en el centro de El Paso? ¡Les tengo buenas noticias!


l Departamento de Transporte de la ciudad de El Paso está en el proceso de diseñar el tranvía que transportara entre dos millas a través de las históricas calles del centro. Aún no sabemos cuándo estará disponible para la ciudad, pero si nos platica Jane Shang, la encargada de Transporte y Obra Pública para la ciudad de El Paso que el Departamento de Transporte Publico tiene fondos disponibles para hacer este proyecto realidad, “el tranvía sería una forma de transporte pública y económica que hemos estado presentando a la ciudad de El Paso por muchos años, al fin nos tocó suerte y hay suficiente financiamiento en el Departamento de Transporte del estado de Texas y queremos aprovechar ese dinero para hacer el tranvía realidad”.

Escrito por: Saray Argumedo

Si la ciudad de El Paso aprueba el tranvía el plan será que el tranvía no viajara más de dos millas, se quedara ubicado en el centro de El Paso y subirá por toda la calle Stanton y regresara por la calle Oregon. El transporte público en El Paso a estado en muy malas condiciones desde el 2006, ahora la ciudad ha implementado nuevos autobuses al igual que anuncios televisados para promocionar el uso de transporte público. El tranvía será otra opción de transporte público para la comunidad. La diferencia del tranvía que teníamos hace 35 años era que pasaba a Ciudad Juárez, desde que ocurrió la tragedia del 9/11 la crisis inmigratoria ha cambiado.

El tranvía también será de beneficio a estudiantes que vienen de Ciudad Juárez, al cruzar pueden tomar el tranvía y ahorrar tiempo. Shang nos comparte que la ciudad de El Paso será responsable de pagar por el diseño ambiental para el tranvía y el estado de Texas será el proveedor de financiamiento para cubrir la construcción. “Queremos revitalizar a la ciudad de El Paso y estamos muy emocionados por ver este cambio”, nos opina Jane Shang. Construction and BEYOND Magazine se mantendrá en sintonía con más detalles y actualizaciones sobre el tranvía para su conveniencia. Para más información mande un correo electrónico a 13 l C&B


Tales from

By: Angelica Zu単iga Mena

The Plaza Theatre F

or most people going to see a movie is an experience. It is a way to leave the worries of the world behind and transport to a place where anything is possible, superheroes come to life, good wins over evil, and the sensible guy always gets the girl. Now a days we have our pick of movie theaters but before 1930 El Pasoans had not experience movie going quite like The Plaza Theatre brought. During 1929 and 1930 the city of El Paso witness the construction of what was to be the largest atmospheric theater of its kind between Dallas and Los Angeles. The person responsible for this magnificent building and bringing a new form of entertainment to El Paso is Louis L. Dent. He announced in February of 1927 that he intended to construct a 3,000 seat multi use theater and office building to be called Pioneer Plaza. The main purpose of this theater was to show motion pictures but also to play host to road shows and grand opera.

sion of floating clouds across a dark blue starry sky. The auditorium turned into a moonlit garden with trellised walls covered with blossoming vines and taller cypress. With its four-story vaulted ceiling, the auditorium created a sense of being in the courtyard of a 17th century Spanish hacienda. Even in the present day we do not have something that resembles the exqui-

W. Scott Dunne, an architect from Dallas, designed The Plaza Theatre and H.T Ponsford and Sons of El Paso built it. The Plaza Theatre opened its doors to the public September 12, 1930 with the movie Follow Thru.

site structure that The Plaza Theatre has. More fascinating than its structure are the stories of ghost and inexplicable events that happen late at night in The Plaza Theatre and some just before the curtain opens. Just in time for Halloween, here a few of the most popular stories told by former employees and theatergoers.

The Plaza Theatre was an atmospheric theater. The unique open-air effect was achieved by a vault blue plaster ceiling representing the sky dotted with a myriad of twinkling electric stars. Using a 1,000watt bulb, projecting light through a rotating disc, and clouds hand painted with a special luminescent paint created the illu-

The Plaza Theatre was an atmospheric theater. The unique open-air effect was achieved by a vault blue plaster ceiling representing the sky dotted with a myriad of twinkling electric stars.

Gentleman on water fountain Legend: When entering the lobby of the theatre there is a steep stairway to the left that leads to the top of the building.

An obese gentleman seated in the high balcony decided to go down to the lobby for a drink of water. At the bottom of the stairway, he headed for one of the fountains and just as he reached down he died of a heart attack. What theatergoers say: Many have sighted the shape of a man appear around the fountain area, but vanishes when theatergoers call him. Hopefully next time you are thirsty this gentleman will stay and discuss the performance of the night.

Construction crew linger on Legend: It is said that two men of the construction crew of the original theatre building fell from the scaffolding to their death. What The Plaza Theatre former workers say: Janitors whose shift often start late at night have heard strange noises in the basement and said wrenches falling off the wall by themselves.

A helping hand What The Plaza Theatre former workers say: A former sign painter apprentice recalls the tale told by his boss. His boss went to the basement to retrieve a heavy 8 foot signboard but was having trouble getting up the stairs by himself. Suddenly he felt the other side of the sign being lifted and was able to carry it up the stairs. After reaching the top he turned to thank the other person but no one was there. 17 l C&B

If you drop your purse or your wallet it is nice to know there is someone there willing to help you pick it up.

Salute to mystery Legend: During the 1940s a man in uniform fell to the orchestra section from the second balcony railing. What theatergoers say: A glow of a cigarette high in the darkest area of the theatre has been seen. When someone tries to approach the light it moves farther away and no one seem to reach it. Another place this sighting has occurred is by the former men’s restroom. We hope this gentleman is moving outside to the smoking section and perhaps next time you misplace your lighter he will be nice enough to lend you his.

Child’s Play What The Plaza Theatre former workers say: An old rag doll was found in the entrance of the popcorn area. The worker who found it thought it was odd since he was the only one who had a key to that area and had no clue as to whom put it there. After a while he grew accustom to seeing the doll; however, one morning the doll was not there. The worker could not explain the doll disappearance so he looked for the doll around the theatre. He went to the third floor, when his flashlight hit the projection booth there was the doll hanging in the window. Whether you are going to see Wicked, Plaza Classic Film Festival, or perhaps take a peek at the gentleman by the water fountain The Plaza Theatre is a magical place where not only we do forget the stress of the world but it is filled with history and are glad to have such a place in our backyard. Source: Plaza Premier Magazine presented by the El Paso Community Foundation Ghost and Goose Bumps by Myrna Zanetell and Atmosphere by Design by Cynthia Farah Haines.

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Photo taken September 12, 1930 / Pictures: Plaza Premier Magazine presented by the El Paso Community Foundation

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Picking colors to update your home can be daunting, stressful, and time consuming. If you paint all your walls to find out that you cannot live in a house with pink all around you, it’s time to start all over again. There is no easy solution in picking the perfect color that is right for you and your home, but there is a way to get you started before stepping into your paint store.


obert and Katherine Du Grenier used an application on their iPhone called Color Capture from paint maker Benjamin Moore. The app let them snap digital photos of the kitchen’s yellow granite counter top and red-and yellow wallpaper. It culled through the company’s database of 3,500 colors to find matching hues. Then, the couple uploaded a photo of their kitchen to Benjamin Moore’s website and digitally testpainted cabinets with the app’s color suggestions. The winner: pale sea mist. “It saved us a lot of time,” says Mr. Du Grenier, a glass artist and sculptor. “Otherwise we’d have bought 50 of those little paint samples and constantly have been saying, ‘What about this and what about that?’ “ When it comes to innovation, the paint industry has long focused on tweaking formulas and re-engineering brushes. Now, the manufacturers are trying iPhone and other smartphone apps to attract buyers

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before they step through the store door. Manufacturers, such as Benjamin Moore, offer free apps that let consumers photograph anything—a throw pillow, a piece of china, the ocean—and instantly find the company’s closest matching shade, as well as a palette of complementary accent and trim colors. What’s more, the images and color swatches often can be emailed or posted on social networks like Facebook for feedback. The apps often work on multiple devices, including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android smartphones, as well as iPad. They used Benjamin Moore’s app for iPhones to narrow their choices. It helps consumers get over their main hurdle when trying to paint, which is “What color do I choose?’” The other part is, “How will things match?” With a mobile app, if I’m at the local furniture store, I can quickly tell what paint color will match this pillow I found.

There are limitations. “Color accuracy will depend on the mobile device and how good its camera is,” says Amy Hamm, client director at Resource Interactive, the digital marketing agency that developed Sherwin-Williams’s ColorSnap app, “and a room’s lighting also greatly affects how colors appear both on the digital image and when painting the walls” she adds. Noting that customers should use apps to narrow choices but then try a sample before committing. Samples on the walls are the best way to pick the colors you can live with. All the technology in the world cannot substitute how we as individuals feel and see certain colors. We are the best judge of colors but at least we now have technology to start our search among the many color available to us. Paint makers are also tapping into a broader décor trend where consumers can visualize how newly decorated rooms will look before making any purchases.


enjamin Moore offers free website tools that let homeowners, architects, and designers test colors on room images they select on the site or upload themselves. Carl Minchew, director of product development for Benjamin Moore, estimates about two-thirds of visitors to the company’s website try its Personal Color Viewer program. In the future, paint companies are likely to team up with other décor providers to allow consumers to digitally decorate homes, says Igor Asselbergs, who runs a website called Colorjive that lets users digitally paint rooms. One potential model is where visitors can outfit rooms with furniture, rugs, light fixtures and more, and buy the items online. Mr. Asselbergs says “The consumer is interested in having a nice home, and that consists of not only paint, but flooring, curtains and the whole lot. We need software that can visualize everything.” DWS has been a Benjamin Moore Distributor for over 25 years; although, we have color matching equipment and tools we find that the best color matching is done by the human eye. We have over 25 years experience in color matching. Our Master Tinters are trained for 3 years in the art of color matching in different mediums, such as Synthetic Stuccos, Elastomeric Paints and, of course, all Benjamin Moore Products. Please visit the Benjamin Moore Website at to download your Personal Color Viewer Program for free. Or come by our store so a representative can answer any questions.





6050 Luckett Ct. El Paso, Texas 79932 Ph (915) 351-7300 Fax (915) 838-6159 1356 Lomaland El Paso, Texas 79935 Ph (915) 593-8686 Fax (915) 593-8798 Las Cruces / Lubbock

Monday - Friday 7 AM - 5 PM / Saturday 8 AM - 12 PM

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here are many remodeling stores in El Paso to choose from but there is only one you should choose. Parah Home Renovation Store is the only in El Paso that can renovate your kitchen and bathroom with green products such as concrete and recycled glass countertops. Now a days is important to be more ecofriendly and we can offer different ways for you to help the environment.

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Parah Home Renovation Store also offers water saving dual flush toilets, energy efficient windows, tile, faucets, pergolas, patio furniture, and much more selection. We are a locally owned family business who thrives to have the best personal service to give you exactly what your home needs. Come and see we are not the giant next door.

Come enhance the beauty of your home

Renovate your kitchen and bathroom with green products such as concrete and recycled glass countertops.

Parah Home Renovation Store guarantees you will love our products as much as the savings. We wish for your home renovation to be a true work of art! Parah Home Renovation Store, “Come enhance the beauty of your Home.” Visit us at 7410 Remcon El Paso, Texas 79912


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The Elite family:

A unique touch to the iron industry


lite Design & Productions has been providing service to the El Paso community for over two decades. There is more to this company than excellent service and undisputable fine wrought iron work. Many of you have seen their work displayed around the city, such in the Ronald McDonald Home and Las Palmas shopping center in Zaragoza Street. In the following interview conducted by Construction & BEYOND Magazine you will learn their secret as to why they are successful. Elite’s founder, Mrs. M. Monica Saenz, tells her story. C&B: Who is Elite Design & Productions? What do you do?

Written By: Angelica ZuĂąiga Mena 24 l C&B

ED&P: Elite is a 100% family company we focus on main entry ways (unique in design and with texture), staircases, spiral staircases, basic/elaborated gates, courtyard gates, commercial gates to include work in apartment complexes, balconies, exterior porches, fences, and much more work. This is just a few of the items that are more of demand by our clients. Some of our past and present clients include Winton homes, Saratoga Homes, Tropicana Homes, Mountain Vista, and many more, I wish I could name them all but it would literally take at least a page.

C&B: How did Elite come to be? ED&P: I worked for the television station Televisa, in their first El Paso office, as an advertising executive. This gave the opportunity to work alongside advertising agencies and it inspired me to have a business of my own. I partnered with a graphic designer from Miami and we started designing illuminated outdoor signs and 3D billboard signs. When our partnership ended my husband and I decided to go on with the project, soon after we also made furniture out of iron. After we saw the success it had we were drove to make gates, staircases, front iron doors, we started working with builders and we were pioneers in introducing fine wrought iron work, as we also call it forged. C&B: Why did you decided to make Elite Design & Productions a family business? ED&P: We are a hard working and responsible family. For us there are no better people to work with than our own family. I have always been in charge of sales but sometimes I needed help with some clients and I asked my daughter, Monica, to help me. She has a lot of experience in the industry because she been in it since she was 16 years old, she mostly handle clients like Tropicana Homes, Saratoga Homes, Pointe Homes etc. My husband is in charge of measurements and installation and my brother-in-law is in charge of production. This is our skeleton crew. C&B: Has it been difficult to work with family? ED&P: Working together and being part of helping someone obtain their ideal home is what gives me satisfaction. Through our company my family is united, it is not an easy task, but we manage to pull it off.

C&B: What sets Elite Design & Productions apart from other wrought iron work? ED&P: We pay very close attention to what our client needs are, turning in the work on time, and most important the quality of the work. Apart from that we work and form our wrought iron work at our warehouse, this is a great advantage to our clients because at the time of installation, well, that is all we do, install, it saves time and most importantly by not working at the site there is no risk of damage or mess to the property. C&B: Tell us about your participation in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2009 ED&P: The production team from Extreme Makeover contacted Desert View Homes and they were the ones who contacted us for the project. The owners of Desert View Homes knew first hand the quality of our work since we did and installed the wrought iron work for their personal houses. It was months before the production team came to El Paso but we started working on the project ahead of time. We attended meetings to know exactly the specifications for a staircase. When the time came we were ready. We got to install at 11pm and it was just a great experience seeing all the volunteers and members of the T.V. show, there were cameras all over the house. When we finished our team was very satisfy. We were happy to have been able to help out a family, we did not charge for our work, we were exited to see ourselves on television, and overall just proud that we were part of something special in our community.

The Parade of Homes was an event where most of El Paso’s home builders would showcase their best work. Since we worked with different builders we had the challenge of making the wrought iron work unique for each builder. Those homes were so spectacular it made our work shined even more, especially the staircases. I enjoyed the adrenaline from those events. C&B: What are the plans for the future? Where do you see Elite? ED&P: One of the plans for the future is for my husband and I to retire and for my children to take over the business. They are young and full of fresh ideas that will make the business grow and possibly take it national. We would like for the business to stay a family business. Well perhaps it was not a big secret Elite Design & Productions’ key to success. It just proves that family makes life sweeter. Family gave this company its support system and it is what keeps them together in and out of the work place. ELITE’S MANUFACTURING WAREHOUSE

C&B: What have you enjoyed most about your work? ED&P: I enjoyed working at the Parade of Homes in the early 2000’s. 25 l C&B

Competing FOR Contracts? Check Your Qualifications By Austin Marshall, J.D., P.E., Professor of Civil Engineering & Director of the Construction Management Program at The University of Texas at El Paso


onstruction contractors and managers today often compete for work based on qualifications. What does that really mean? It usually means some combination of references from prior clients, the contractor’s safety record, and the qualifications of their management personnel. Scoring contractors is then accomplished through some kind of point system based on those factors developed by the client. Increasingly the qualifications and credentials of management personnel are considered a significant factor in selection. Local companies often ask us at UTEP how can their management staff obtain more credentials? For their managers who have a Bachelor’s degree, there are two ways to pursue additional credentials. The first approach is to obtain a Master’ s degree in Construction Management, a program that is available at UTEP in the evenings. This Master’s program will also be offered completely online in 2013. The second approach is to pursue certification as a Certified Construction

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Manager (CCM) through the Construction Management Association of America ( This certification process requires documentation of experience and the passing of an exam on construction management concepts. Some clients now require their projects to be managed by CCM’s. Now, some construction companies require this certification when they hire new employees. Within five years, we expect most clients will require CCM’s.

Everyone wins when professional development and continuing education are part of a firm’s business culture. For construction managers, obtaining the CCM certification will enhance their career by helping their employers get qualification based contracts. It requires some effort to obtain the certification but it should also result in higher pay for management employees because it adds value for their employer.

Continuing education to stay on topics of interest enhances qualifications and help construction managers remain current with the industry trends and developments. The fact is increasingly contractors will need to demonstrate certifications and education as well as a strong construction track record to get the job. Everyone wins when professional development and continuing education are part of a firm’s business culture.

WE INVITE YOU TO: UTEP Professional and Public Programs • Construction Law Seminar Friday, September 7, 2012 9am – 4pm • Renewable Energy Technology & Cyber/ Energy Security Friday October 5, 2012 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Municipal Service Building, Training Room, 7968 San Paulo Dr For more information, price and reservations call 915.747.5142

M STERCR FT Painting & Remodeling Ltd, Co.

Bathroom Remodeling Kitchen Remodeling Interior Remodeling Interior / Exterior Painting Our professionals are experts in: Building bookshelves & cabinets Creating beautiful vaulted ceilings Building space-efficient storage Wall removal or repairs

Office (915) 351-7171 Fax (915) 562-5703

1107 Wyoming Ave. El Paso TX 79902 27 l C&B




nce upon a time when all there was, was a truck, a forklift, a trailer, and the unity of a family that help bloom one of the region’s biggest companies in the construction industry. Sandy McDonald is the president and CFO of Drywall Shop Building Supply. DWS Building Supply has been providing for the El Paso community since 1974. McDonald is the evidence that things do happen for a reason. After McDonald graduated from Hanks High School she decided to pursuit her education in Austin, Texas. She received her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Texas in Austin then went on to find the job she always dreamed of. Little did McDonald know she would be coming back to the Sun City to become the president of her father’s company, “I oversee everything that has to do with the financial and operations over view of the company,” stated McDonald. Along with her sister and two brothers, McDonald has managed to keep their father and mother’s dream alive.

Sandy McDonald: A woman with a strong foundation Written By: Saray Argumedo

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r. Manuel Moreno Sr. is the founder of Drywall Shop Building Supply that has been providing for the El Paso community since 1974. Mr. Moreno was the old school kind of business man, all he had was a pickup truck and his finances were filled in his brain, “He didn’t believe in computers, he didn’t have a cash register, he didn’t have anything documented everything pretty much was in his brain,” expressed McDonald. One day out of the blue McDonald received a call from her father asking her to come help him, DWS Building Supply was growing and he was in need of extra assistance. “I decided to come back, family has always been first but now I had to overcome a greater challenge,” expressed McDonald, “My challenge was to organize everything and pull everything out that he had in his brain and organize everything as far as inventory, his bills, his receivables, he had accounts that would be 120 days old and he would forget to pay certain bills unless they called to remind him.” “It was my task to bring in the first computer and put everything into the computer and organize and structure everything! That’s kind of how it began.” Unfortunately, Mr. Moreno passed away three years after McDonald came back to El Paso to help him, “This was something unplanned for but for whatever reason it was in God’s plan for me to come back, so it was kind of a blessing in disguise because I wouldn’t have known what to do or how to help the company.” McDonald had been gone for ten years after she graduated high school; she never planned on coming back to El Paso. While she was gone her sister Sabrina and two brothers Steve and Manuel Jr. had been helping their father expand the company. Her sister Sabrina was and

has been in charge of running the company’s stores, making her the general manager of the company. Steve and Manuel Jr. had worked closely with Mr. Moreno and absorbed the ins and outs of construction giving them the ability and knowledge to take over their father’s job after his passing. “My sister has always been a people person, she is a natural and my brothers worked with my dad since they were little so their heart falls into construction, as for my-

Even if the family all worked very hard to make what the company is today, they still managed to make the best and spend some fun family time together. self I had a degree in finance so that was naturally my area.” The Moreno brothers and sisters have had the privilege of working with their fathers customers, they now find themselves helping theirs father’s customer’s children. “We believe our company is a family environment and that’s what we feel about our customers, it’s great because the customers we have also met my father so now we are providing for their kids, it’s pretty neat to hear, ‘Hey your dad use to buy from my dad!’ That’s what is great about El Paso it is a very family oriented city.” Even if the family all worked very hard to make what the company is today, they still managed to make the best and spend some fun family time together. “My dad always took all of us to his deliveries I remember this one trip we took to Ruidoso and for some reason we couldn’t deliver the material until after

work on Saturday so we traveled at night to get to his customer, we dropped off the material and the next morning we were all asleep and my mom and dad drove us to one of the camping grounds and we woke up to find that they had already set up a tent, there was a camp ground and everything so when we got out all we did was camp, my parents were such hard workers but yet they always found the time to make it fun for the family even though they were going there to work.

Sandy with her dad and sister

Without pots or pans my mom still managed to cook us a great meal, it was a happy, happy time.” Besides having to adapt to her father’s company after being gone for ten years, McDonald also had to balance being a mother of two girls and a full time employee. “Luckily I had the flexibility of leaving whenever I had an emergency because it was my parents business, so that is what we embrace in our company with our employees. We understand that family comes first and we are absolutely okay with that.” Today, DWS Building Supply has expanded throughout West Texas and New Mexico. “Regardless of where the company goes this is where home is to me, I love El Paso and my two girls are very proud of being from here as well.” 31 l C&B

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índices accionarios


Escrito Por: Enrique Tellez-Giron

de Estados Unidos

MERCADOS- los principales índices

de acciones de Estados Unidos cerraron con caídas. Los inversores están a la espera de los anuncios de las autoridades la Reserva Federal y el Banco Central Europeo por nuevas medidas de estímulo. El S&P 500 bajó 0,43% hasta los 1.379 puntos, el Nasdaq 0,22% hasta los 2.940 puntos, mientras que el Dow Jones 0,49% hasta los 13.009 puntos. GOBIERNO- según informó The Wall Street Journal, el presidente de Francia, Francois Hollande, y el Primer Ministro de Italia, Mario Monti, tras una reunión en País, reafirmaron su compromiso de hacer todo lo que sea necesario para defender, salvaguardar y consolidar la eurozona. Los inversores aguardan atentos a la decisión de las autoridades del Banco Central Europeo, que se reúnen el próximo jueves. Hoy comenzó en Estados Unidos la reunión de dos días del Comité de Política Monetaria de la Reserva Federal, al cabo de la cual, y según el 88% de los encuestados en Bloomberg News, no se espera que el Presidente Ben Bernanke anuncie el inicio de nuevas medidas de estímulo. En un comunicado de la agencia Moody´s Investors Service se anunció hoy la suba de la calificación de Uruguay hasta ubicarla en grado de inversor, de Ba1 a Baa3 con perspectivas positivas. 34 l C&B

ECONOMÍA- en Estados Unidos se

publicó el índice S&P/Case-Shiller de los precios de las viviendas de las 20 principales ciudades del país. Este subió por segundo mes consecutivo durante mayo. Si bien la variación interanual (que compara este dato con igual mes del año anterior, y podría ser un mejor indicador de tendencias) mostró una caída de 0,7%, el retroceso fue menor al que esperaba el consenso de los analistas (1,4%). Resultando, además, en la menor caída interanual desde septiembre 2010. El Departamento de Comercio anunció que el gasto de los consumidores se mantuvo incambiado durante el mes de junio, luego de la caída de 0,1% registrada el mes anterior. Mientras que el Conference Board publicó su índice de confianza de consumidor para el mes de julio, que, inesperadamente subió, de 62,7 a 65,9 puntos, por primera vez en cinco meses. En Europa se publicó un reporte que muestra que la tasa de desempleo alcanzó el nivel más alto desde que comenzó la serie en el año 1995. Según la Oficina de Estadísticas de la Unión Europea, el dato revisado de mayo de personas desocupadas en el conjunto de los 17 países que integran la zona del euro es 11,2%, en línea con lo que proyectaban los analistas.

CORPOR ATIVO- de acuerdo a

información compilada por Bloomberg, de las 322 compañías que integran el S&P500 y han reportado sus resultados trimestrales hasta el momento, el 73% batieron las expectativas de los economistas.

Estados Unidos se publicarán varios datos interesantes, entre ellos el reporte del sector PMI Manufacturero así como también el dato ISM Manufacturero correspondientes al mes de julio. Por su parte, el FOMC en su reunión de política monetaria, dará a conocer la tasa de referencia para el mes de agosto. Finalmente, se conocerá el gasto de construcción y ADP presenta su informe de empleo correspondiente al mes de julio. En la zona euro se publicará el dato estimado para el mes de julio del PMI Manufacturero. En los países emergentes también se publicarán datos interesantes, como el de Producción Industrial del mes de junio en Brasil, mientras que en India, se dará a conocer la evolución de las exportaciones e importaciones de junio.

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C & F


e all have our set of goals and dreams, but only a few work hard enough to accomplish them. Construction and BEYOND Magazine went in search of inspirational stories within the construction industry, following are the voices of two individuals that are from El Paso and now find themselves serving their community. Construction and BEYOND Magazine: Hello Roberto! First of all thank you so much for this opportunity, we know you’re a busy man and we truly appreciate the time you are taking to talk to us. Roberto Lopez: No worries Saray, thank you and the Construction and BEYOND Magazine staff for taking me into consideration. C&B: You are very welcome. May I just say, this is quite a huge piece of land you have here Roberto! (about 1 acre) R.L: (Laughter) Well now it is, you should have seen it when I started! See that little corner over there by the fence? Only like 2 to 3 cars would fit there but that was the only little piece of this land I had, I remember renting it for 100 dollars a month. C&B: No way, Wow! The economy has treated you well then hasn’t it?

Written By: Saray Argumedo

roberto Lopez

Store: HOMMEWORK • JEANS: Style: New Riley 3D •Loose Tapered Color: Dark Cobler • DENIM JACKET: Style: ARC #D JKT • Color: 3D RAW

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R.L: (Laughter) Well we have had our ups and downs as any other business in El Paso but I could say I have been very fortunate. Roberto is the owner and founder of Lopez Scrap and Metal Recycling, his focus is to recycle metal, cans, copper, brass, and any kind of scrap to help El Paso be a little more environmentally friendly. Lopez started working in the business since he was a senior in high school. He found himself passing out little note cards with his information on it

throughout his community to see if they had any scrap they wanted to sell. From notecards to professional cards, today Lopez is 24 years old and manages his own business.

R.L: Yes, I enrolled in college after graduating high school, prior to that my friend and I had made and distributed little post cards with my information on it.

C&B: Good enough! You should be proud. Now where do you see yourself in 10 years or so?

C&B: Indeed! You have plenty going on for you at your age, and what you’re doing is really an excellent and smart idea.

I found myself having to step out of class to take phone calls or skipping class to pick up cars. I had to make a choice. It was either school or my business.

R.L: Thank you, thank you! It’s been a struggle but now we are here and I have great employees, what more can I ask for?

C&B: That’s a tough choice Roberto, and in your situation you wouldn’t have been able to manage both as smoothly as you wanted to. What happened then?

R.L: Thank you, I am very proud of my company and my employees. I honestly would like to go back to school sooner than ten years from now though (laughter) but ten years from now I would love to come back to my high school and be able to give workshops on how to start your own business. More so than giving workshops I want to be able to encourage and mentor young students to follow their dreams.

C&B: I agree, it fascinates me how you can make something so small grow this big! So please tell us a little bit about the creation of Lopez Scrap and Metal Recycling.

R.L: Exactly Saray, it was a tough decision but I decided to not give up on my business.

C&B: That’s beautiful. We would be more than happy to follow up with you in ten years!

C&B: What did your parents say?

R.L: Well, my dad gave me the idea of buying scrap and selling it. I was a senior in high school and I just found it embarrassing to go ask someone, “hey what are you going to do with that old washer?” So I didn’t pay attention and kept working at the arcade I had been working at, making 150 a week until one of my dad’s friends sold me a car for 50 dollars. I wasn’t as embarrassed because I had met him before so I went to the mill to sell the car and got 250 dollars for it! I was blown away! I couldn’t believe I had made 200 dollars in a matter of minutes, after that the rest is history.

R.L: My mom was devastated! I felt terrible but I knew this was something I really wanted and it had become a passion of mine so I decided to stick with it. I enjoyed doing it and still do.

R.L: (Laughter) That would be great! Thank you!

C&B: Wow! That’s impressive! So then what happened? I mean did you right then and there decide this was what you would do for the rest of your life? R.L: No, not exactly. My dream was to go to school to become an architect. I had it all planned but then I realized that maybe that path wasn’t meant for me. C&B: How so? Did you at least give it a shot?

C&B: Quite frankly, you sure did take a risk! Do you think an 18 year old today could do what you did? I mean being that the economy has changed drastically since you started compared to now? R.L: See, I am a firm believer that anything is possible if you are passionate about it. I have had my ups and downs with this company but I never gave up on it because this is something I love to do. C&B: Did you at any point feel as if you grew up and had to mature faster than your friends? R.L: Yes, I did. While they were worried about homework I was worrying about making enough money to pay my employees. Regardless I still feel I’m enjoying my twenties as much as they are. 37 l C&B


C & F


onstruction and BEYOND Magazine: Good evening Lydia, thank you for squeezing us in to your busy agenda. May I say you have quite a fascinating background! You received your bachelor’s and master’s degree from UTEP, have owned several businesses throughout the years, and are happily married. Please tell us your secret! Lydia Mlouhi: (Laughter) First of all, thank you for taking me into consideration, and yes! All that is true! I am a proud miner! I majored in marketing and received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Along with my husband Sam, we owned three western wear retail stores. One in El Paso, one in Midland, and another in Las Cruces, unfortunately we closed them due to the economy. My husband and I decided to buy Elmer’s Family Restaurant. Now we are proud owners of Crown Heritage Homes. C.B: That’s impressive! L.M: (Laughter) It seems like a lot now that I mention it! I am happily married and have three wonderful children, Amber, Lauren, and Connor.

Written By: Saray Argumedo

Lydia Mlouhi Store: AGUA • Black dress with abstract design from Agua

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Mlouhi was born and raised in El Paso. While growing up she spend her time working in her father’s plumbing and construction company, this is where she adapted and expand her knowledge of the construction industry. Today she is the CFO, Sales Manager, and Interior Designer of Crown Heritage Homes. C.B: Before getting into Crown Heritage Homes tell me a little bit about how you were introduced to the industry? L.M: While I was still in middle school I began working over the summer breaks and on the weekends for my father.

I continued working in the family business throughout high school and through most of college. While I was still working on my MBA, my then fiancée Sam and I opened the small western wear retail store you mentioned earlier. C.B: Was it difficult to balance going to school and owning a business? L.M: Definitely! I was fortunate to have my husband help me but soon after graduate school I accepted a job with a staffing company. During my time there, I managed one of the El Paso offices and was eventually promoted to account executive. I left the staffing company after the birth of my second child. C.B: That’s amazing! How did you end up working with your father again? L.M: By 1998, my husband and I closed the western wear stores and purchased Elmer’s Family Restaurant. In 2001, I decided to return to my roots! My husband, my father, and I established Crown Heritage Homes. C.B: Wait, so what happened to the restaurant? L.M: (Laughter) Don’t worry it’s still around! Within the next year after establishing Crown Heritage, we hired and trained managers to take over the operation of the restaurant. This allowed us to focus all of our efforts into the operation of the home building company. C.B: Good! You scared me there! (Laughter) So do you still work with your father? Did it bring back memories? L.M: (Laughter) No, by 2006 my husband and I purchased my father’s interest in the company and became the sole owners of Crown Heritage Homes. I loved working with my father it brought back beautiful memories.

C.B: You are lucky to have had your father and now your husband by your side in an industry that is “dominated by males.” I put quotations because I don’t know if it has changed, has it? L.M: I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be in the industry at a very young age, it is still very much male dominated. Rather than allowing these drawbacks to discourage me, I simply accepted them and looked for ways to overcome them. C.B: What was challenging? L.M: Imagine being young and inexperienced. Isn’t that enough of a challenge? (Laughter) I was also a woman in a male dominated industry. C.B: (Laughter) At least you have a sense of humor about it! How did you overcome this to be the successful woman you are today? L.M: (Laughter) I have to! Whenever I was confronted with an unfamiliar situation with vendors and subcontractors, rather than being ashamed of my inexperience I would let them know that I valued their knowledge as experts in their particular fields and I asked them to teach me. I paid close attention, took notes, and asked questions. I sought to further educate myself through industry literature, seminars, and trade publications, a habit I continue to this day, but most importantly I treated them with respect. C.B: Impressive! Did this help you gain their respect? L.M: Definitely, I really believe that being a woman in a male dominated field has been more of a blessing than a drawback because when people underestimate you it forces you to work harder and set higher standards for yourself.

C.B: Well said Lydia! You are a true role model to our future professionals, any advice to them? L.M: Thank you for the comment, we all have to work hard to achieve our goals! I highly encourage women to pursue careers in male dominated fields. As more women join these fields they will blaze a trail for other women in the future. Women should uplift, support, and mentor other women in their industries. C.B: Perfection Lydia! Tell us briefly about your company Crown Heritage Homes? L.M: On a business note! (Laughter) Crown Heritage Homes is a custom home builder who specializes in building quality affordable custom homes in the El Paso area for the move up buyer who is upgrading from their first home. C.B: What makes your company different from other builders? L.M: Sam and I operate and manage every phase of the home, this helps insure that our clients receive our full commitment and personal attention, it allows us to maintain our reputation as a buyer focused, quality home builder. It also helps us manage our overhead expenses and focus on cost conscious construction allowing us to offer our clients custom homes for the price of a semi-custom one. C.B: Nice! They sure are beautiful homes, you two make an excellent team! L.M: Why thank you, we have put a lot of effort into this company and we are proud of having such a great staff and customers. This was Saray Argumedo with “The Builders Talk,” till next time. 39 l C&B

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En esta Navidad 50% de descuento al anunciarse en nuestra edición de noviembre-diciembre si reserva su espacio antes del 8 de octubre.

As a Christmas bonus 50% off your ad in our November-December edition if you reserve before October 8th.

Oferta aplica SOLO a clientes nuevos. Aplican restricciones.

Offer ONLY applies to new clients. Restrictions apply.

Hable para más detalles

Call for more detail.

Office: (915) 584-5569 from 9am-1pm • Monica Saenz (915) 726-7582


Adapt &REUSE


he saying goes “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” but why discard furnishings when you can adapt and re-use them to rejuvenate an entire space. Whether your style is eclectic or traditional we all have pieces that are somehow out of place in our ever evolving style. With some of these easy projects using aquariums, wooden pallets, books, and jars we can turn them into beautiful works of art and functional conversation pieces.


Transforming a Classic TV Wooden Box set into an Aquarium Water features tend to emulate the relaxing sound of the ocean. Using the aquarium as a focal point in a room brings not only harmony but individuality to your design. Not to mention a great conversational piece. + Key Instruments TV wooden box set Fish tank (size according to TV set) Screw driver 1 qt. choice of any color acrylic paint


+ Steps Unscrew back of television “Gut” the inside, leaving only the skeleton Paint the interior and exterior of the television box Place the fish tank inside box

2 4

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Eco Friendly Bookshelf Wooden pallets can be found virtually anywhere and for free in most cases. Functionality is easy to obtain with this inexpensive idea. + Key Instruments Wooden pallet Coarse thread dry wall screw (1-5/8”) Books + Steps Lay wooden pallet against wall horizontally Trace top of pallet against wall (remove pallet) Place screws evenly along marking Fit pallets on screws Stack books in between wood


Bringing the Outside In Trends in high- end home design magazines have featured interesting and expensive containers filled with artfully arranged cactuses, lucky for us, we are surrounded by desert plant life. Even the most forgetful plant killer can keep this no fuss cactus alive! + Key Instruments Glass Jar (size optional) Soil Handful of small rocks 1”-2” cactus + Steps Pour rocks inside jar Layer soil thick enough to reach slightly higher than the midpoint of container Arrange cactus to your liking


Suspended Literature If you have vintage books lying around that are sweet to look at but no longer serve any purpose, you can quickly turn them into shelves, it takes a couple of easy steps to bang them out. All you need to do is glue, drill, and stack! + Key Instruments Stack of books at least 4” tall Liquid nail or other crazy strong glue 2” - 4” corner braces + Steps Choose the book you want at the bottom of your shelf Open it to the back cover, glue a corner brace at each end (so it will be hidden inside cover) With the outside of the brace pointing out perpendicularly close the outside of the book Glue the rest of the books together to form an attractive stack, set aside and let glue dry for 24 hours, hang the braced-up book on the wall, glue the stacks onto the base book Written By: Ana Cristina Mendiola, Interior Design El Paso Truss, 9931 Railroad Dr. El Paso, Texas 79924

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Come enhace the beauty of your home 7410 Remcon • El Paso, Texas 79912 • (915) 587.9800