If you want to make a dramatic improvement to your home, consider installing a new concrete driveway and sidewalk system. Or, maybe you are thinking about a new patio or installing a pool. All remain as popular residential concrete projects. But to do the job right, hire a professional concrete contractor or concrete company. Today, concrete has many options like texture, pattern, color,staining, and much more. There are a lot of options to consider when installing concrete. To hire a concrete contractor, ask detailed questions. To make an informed choice, talk with several concrete companies and obtain a few written estimates. Before making a final choice, perform thorough research. The prospective candidates should provide a written estimate that includes a reasonable timeframe to complete the entire job. To allow the newly installed concrete driveway to reach maximum strength, wait a few weeks before parking on a new concrete driveway. Most professionals will recommend a waiting period of two to four weeks.
The prospective concrete contractor should have thorough knowledge about installing concrete. They should know what causes concrete to crack and how to prevent it. The contractor should know about water and also about weather and how both affect concrete. The correct ratio of water in the concrete mix should be used to prevent the concrete from shrinking and cracking. They should be aware that joints also aid in preventing cracking of the concrete. Depending upon the depth of the poured concrete, i.e., five inches, the joints should be placed every 10 to 15 feet. The joints allow the concrete material to be flexible without cracking and breaking. Without proper installation and proper placement of joints, a long unbroken stretch of concrete will crack during the first winter, if not before, after a concrete driveway is installed. The contractor should know about the importance of site preparation and the use of the proper materials and tools to install the concrete. As well, they should know that weather plays an important part of installing concrete. Choose a dry day, an acceptable temperature, and it should not be raining nor extremely cold. Nor should the ground be frozen. They should be aware of the weight of the vehicles that will be driven upon or parked on the concrete driveway. Vehicles weighing over one ton or more will likely cause a concrete driveway to crack.
Ask for written estimates, references, check for licenses and certifications. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Read the fine print in the contract, ask about warantees or guarantees, product quality, and get all of the contract details in writing. Installing concrete takes knowledge and skill. Ensure that the cost or price is fixed. Never pay the full price upfront. Use a credit card which can help with a guarantee and that you will not be stuck with a poor job. You want the best return on investment and hiring a skilled concrete company is crucial to receiving the best product. If you want a properly installed concrete driveway, patio, or sidewalk system, hiring a skilled professional is the best way to go.