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Local concrete contractors helps region grow

Chad Ohnstad, owner of All Finish Concrete. (photo by John Kary/NDAREC)

Chad Ohnstad, owner of All Finish Concrete. (photo by John Kary/NDAREC)

Chad Ohnstad is a local guy. He grew up in Harwood and went to high school in West Fargo. If his name sounds familiar, it might be because he used to be heavily involved in the local dirt-track racing scene. If you paid attention to racing around town in the late 90s through the 2000s, you probably recall Ohnstad’s name. Since then, he has moved onto a new passion, but he is certainly no less local than he ever was.

Today, Ohnstad is keeping busy as the owner of All Finish Concrete, a West Fargo-based contractor specializing in “pretty much everything but roads.” He stayed in the area when starting his company, and if you were to take a drive through town, you wouldn’t wonder why. New businesses, houses, and apartment complexes seem to be popping up like dandelions across a green yard in late spring. Even though construction has been especially heavy as of late, there was never any doubt as to where All Finish Concrete would be based.

“[I had] zero thought toward moving out. I’m a big fan of the Fargo-Moorhead area so I can’t really foresee myself going anywhere else,” says Ohnstad.

The region has been good to All Finish Concrete. Even during the economic downturn around 2008, Ohnstad says his business fared well compared to some. Home foundations are the projects keeping crews the busiest today; Ohnstad says his company builds about 400 foundations per year for area homebuilders. However, they also handle commercial projects, townhomes, apartments, and some grain bin foundations.

There isn’t a whole lot that All Finish Concrete can’t do when it comes to concrete work. They offer a full slate of stamping designs and color options to add an extra touch to flooring projects. In addition, they offer grinding and polishing services and can handle floor coatings. 

“We pretty much do everything except for roadwork. We don’t do any interstates or street projects. You won’t see us doing 13th Avenue [in Fargo],” Ohnstad says.

Local work has been plentiful enough that crews are required to do virtually no travelling outside of town, a benefit for employees with families, and a benefit that Ohnstad greatly values. Indeed, the work of All Finish Concrete can be seen throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area, and their equipment is a fairly common sight at new residential and commercial construction sites.

All Finish Concrete was founded in 2005. Ohnstad spent the first few years getting things going from a rented location in West Fargo. After that, All Finish Concrete moved to a more permanent location in south Moorhead and called the space home for several years. In early 2016, the company relocated once again, and if you have driven along I-94 through West Fargo recently, you know right where it is.

The brand new, eye-catching headquarters of All Finish Concrete, served by Cass County Electric Cooperative, is a roughly 30,000 square foot facility located right along the interstate at the Sheyenne Street interchange. A large pond lies just outside the main doors — in the near future, it will have a 50-foot fountain in the middle. Massive decorative lava rocks adorn the front lawn, and the unique touches do not stop once you step through the doors.

The concrete lobby floor, which is stained the colors of the company logo and polished to a reflective gleam, greets you as you walk inside. A massive 140 square foot concrete conference table (which Ohnstad says weighs around 15,000 pounds) has the company logo engraved in the center. A few North Dakota State University Bison logos are hand-engraved in concrete in the breakroom. There is certainly a theme about the place, and any joke about “the home that concrete built” would have both figurative and literal connotations.

The new facility features an in-house maintenance shop and mechanic. Outside the shop is a stamped concrete patio, which serves as a display of the various stamping capabilities available to clients. Beyond the patio, a fully paved yard houses the various machines and equipment needed to get the job done.

All Finish Concrete owns its own cranes, pumps, and belts, allowing them to offer a complete range of services in-house. Their three concrete cranes are used to place aluminum forms, which are used to give walls their shape. Two Putzmeister Telebelts are used to convey a variety of materials like sand, gravel, rock, and concrete into precise locations. The belt extends in four telescopic sections, providing convenient placement in tight and low-clearance sites. Two Putzmeister truck-mounted boom pumps offer high vertical reach, allowing crews to pump concrete over obstacles and into confined spots.

During the initial setup of foundations, the old method of using string lines is a thing of the past at All Finish Concrete. Crews now rely on Trimble total stations, electronic surveying instruments that measure angle, distance, and coordinates. These devices are used to set points for the initial dig, the footing, and the walls themselves.

The number of employees at All Finish Concrete varies throughout the year, but Ohnstad says the average is around 175. Though business has been strong, like many other companies in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Ohnstad cites the local labor shortage as a challenge, though if the issue has slowed things down at all, it isn’t apparent.

In a new housing development in West Fargo, just a few minutes south of the new All Finish Concrete facility, two crews are hard at work on two separate home foundations. One crew is busy setting walls, while the other mans a boom pump and pours concrete into forms. By the time you read this, they’ll probably be long finished and on to the next new home. Ohnstad says his company has a couple big commercial projects coming up as well, including a car dealership and a school.

Yes, the near future looks busy for All Finish Concrete. Nobody’s complaining about it, either.

Fast Facts:
What is All Finish Concrete? A locally-based concrete contractor.
How did it begin?
Chad Ohnstad started the business in 2005 and recently moved into a new 30,000 square foot facility in West Fargo.
Number of employees: 175 yearly average.
Products/services: Concrete work for residential, commercial, and agricultural projects. Services include stamping and coloring options, as well as grinding, polishing, and floor coatings.
Website: www.allfinishconcrete.com