Choosing a concrete contractor can be a tough decision. How do you know whom to choose? Are they qualified and competent to do a great job? If you are looking to install new concrete or repair previously laid concrete, we’ve got some tips on making sure that your choice is the right one.
Checklist: Check all concrete work proposals for rebar, wire, pumps, dumpsters, PSI levels (3000 to 4000 PSI is normal), gravel, etc. All of these items increase the cost of a concrete project. One company’s proposal can look much more attractive than another, but it may be lacking essential components. Don’t get stuck with these items as extras at the end of the project.
Choices: Concrete choices have increased to encompass many more options like decorative concrete, or colored cement, or painted concrete. There can be many different effects achieved today with new decorative applications. However, the more traditional gray concrete is still the most commonly installed option.
Subgrade: Make sure the contractor explains the importance of the subgrade on your particular property application and how the subgrade should be compacted and have an even thickness.
Driveways: Joints should be at least 1/4 the concrete thickness, so a 1” deep joint should be used in a 4” thick driveway. Joints should also be spaced 2-3 times in the feet thickness of the concrete. So, a 4” thick driveway should have joints in the 10-15’ range each way from center. If joints are spaced too far apart, cracks can often occur where the joints should have been.
Insured: Make sure your contractor is fully insured, can provide many references and do not make your buying decision on price alone.
Reinforcement & Drainage: Reinforcement of the concrete can be achieved with either steel bars or wire mesh placed in a grid pattern. Reinforcement will not prevent cracks, but simply holds them together. Drainage for Driveways - the concrete should slope 1/4” per running foot away from your home.
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