Things to consider before making your concrete decision:
- A prompt response to a request for a concrete bid shows respect and importance to you by the concrete company you are contacting. If you have to wait for a return phone call or bid the company may not be reliable or may not care about the work you wish to have done. We at Creative Concrete and Design rely on satisfied customers to keep our business going and that begins by a fast response to your requests.
- There are two different types of concrete mixes. The first is known as "pea gravel mix" which uses a 3/8" rock. This type is used often in flat work because of the ease in workability by the finishers. However, ease for the finishers does not necessarily mean quality and value for the homeowner. Pea gravel mix is NOT concrete, it is grout mix. This mix is apt to crack because the concrete shrinks too quickly. In addition, 3/8" mix is often contaminated which can cause surface pop-outs on the finish. Increasing expansion joints cannot retard cracking nor can it prevent pop-outs. The second type of mix is what we are Creative Concrete and Design use. This mix uses ¾" rock making it structurally stronger. Because the rock is bigger, the concrete cannot shrink as quickly resulting in a lower chance of cracking and zero chance of pop-outs. It means harder work for our finishers but better results for you, the homeowner. DO NOT be fooled by a contractor who says that pea gravel is just as good as the ¾" mix. Vendors of concrete mix agree with Creative Concrete and Design that pea gravel in no way is just as good as ¾" mix.
- Preparation before a pour is as important as preparation of any home improvement job. A concrete contractor should:
a. Place 2" of compactable sand for sidewalks and 2" of Class II road base for driveways and patios.
b. Place #3 rebar 24" on center for a 4" slab
c. Saturate the ground (sub base) to aid in slowing the concrete's cure.
d. Tamp the surface of the concrete when pouring to make the rocks settle to the middle of the slab so they are not on the surface. This action adds to the strength of the slab.
e. When pouring concrete in the heat a retardant can be added to slow drying to allow more working time to finish properly and lessen cracking.
f. Post pour a curing compound is recommended to continue in the slow-cure process.
g. Be able to show pictures of previously finished work as well as offer on-site examination of finished jobs.
h. Provide a list of referrals.
Six Steps to Success
- Receiving a prompt reply to your request regarding concrete work as well as a prompt return of a finished bid.
- Get three estimates: that's all you need to get a feel for the range of prices.
- Make SURE the contractor is licensed: this is an absolute must!
- Get in writing all that will be included in the estimated cost of completing the job.
- Remember the lowest price is NOT always the best job!
- Price, Value and Quality…
Price, Value, and Quality:
It is tempting to take the lowest bid for your job - let's face it, we all want to save money. However this is a decision you and your family will be living with for years and years to come. Don't let price be your only consideration when choosing a contractor. Reliability in materials AND service is important to us and it should be important to you. The cost to tear out and re-pour after a job has gone bad will be 3 or 4 times as costly as doing it right the first time. Creative Concrete & Design DOES have extremely competitive prices but it's our QUALITY that makes us stand out from the rest. You will be satisfied!