How to Find a Good Patio Contractor
Have you decided you want a flagstone, limestone or concrete patio for your Washington home. Wondering how to get it done and who you should use? Well, I’m going to tell you how. I’m going to give you a step by step process stating the 3 red flags that signal a bad or uneducated [tag] contractor. These 3 things will ensure you get it done the right way, by the right licensed concrete contractors contractor in Washington .
Steps To Finding The Right Concrete Contractor in Washington
First step, first things first. Every Stone Installation Needs A Concrete Footing which might also be called a concrete foundation . This is not opinion but fact. If you want it done right and want it to withstand the test of time, this is the way it’s done, no exceptions. A red flag should go up when any contractor is offering bypassing a concrete foundation as a cost saving option. Unfortunately 85% of the licensed concrete contractors contractors out there will tell you they can lay the stone right on top of compacted granite or base material. This type of contractor is exactly who you want to avoid. While what they are recommending to you gives the appearance of a patio, it won’t withstand the climate, erosion and soil movement beneath the patio in Washington .
BEWARE OF CONCRETE CONTRACTOR SCAMS
You might get a few crackless years at best, until it begins to fall apart. This method is the most recommended scam or shortcut of trying to lower pricing and still get the job. Notice the price came down because the concrete footing was removed from the job cost. This option of ” no concrete necessary” is most often offered to those with strict financial limitations. The contractors offering this solution don’t care about your patio or home, they just want your money.With no concrete foundation you get a type of patio, but it’s really just a veneer laid on the ground.
How much concrete do i need?
A concrete patio or sidewalk slab or footing should be a minimum of 4 inches thick. This is sometimes reduced to around 3 1/2 inches due to preexisting structural limitations for licensed concrete contractors in Washington . If you encounter space limitations, you really do need a good masonry contractor to resolve the issues with other options. this leads us to our next step.
The 2nd step is hire a knowledgeable masonry contractor in Washington . Do a little research before you start getting pricing. Most good masonry contractors will be able to talk concrete chemistry and technology with you. Yes, I said technology. In the last 10 years there have been some really cool advances in concrete additives and mixes. These advances have provided solutions for the problems and limitations of old. A true patio or masonry professional will be able to talk shop with you, it’s his livelihood. A contractor who can’t do this or doesn’t seem comfortable is more than likely a novice at best. This should be the other red flag that goes up. Basically, Concrete slabs and mortar are like a cake mix. Correctly mixing the ingredients and correctly letting the slab or masonry product cure, are the factors that determine a good solid installation. Again, Talk with your contractor and Make sure he’s knowledgeable about the chemistry, additives and curing process of concrete & masonry. If he is this will ensure the likelihood of a great patio. 3rd step and last but definitely not least, Check references, check reviews and ask to see work they’ve done. Really check this stuff out and try to look at at least 1 job they have done. Ask point blank if the previous client is related to the contractor. Any resistance or confusion in this process would be red flag number
3.So, in order from 1 to 3. All masonry installations need a concrete footing. Make sure your patio contractor is knowledgeable about masonry chemistry, additives and enhancing solutions. Check references, reviews and stay away from the dirt cheap deals of a lifetime from any concrete contractor in Washington .If you get even 1 red flag, get another contractor. There are enough guys out there that do know what they’re doing.
How To Choose Concrete ContractorsThe type of concrete that you order can be the difference between having a successful project or ending up with something that you will be tearing out in the future. If you're building a concrete patio, and it's going to be built In expansive soil, you might think about using a stronger concrete mix.The concrete strength will usually be determined by the amount of cement that will be used, water, sand and rock. The size of the rock and the type of cement will also play an important role in the strength of the concrete. A typical concrete strength that can be used for almost any project, will be around 2500 psi and we need to pay attention to these numbers as they get larger. The mixtures strength usually goes in 500 PSI increments and these increments are usually increased by adding more cement or larger rock, for each cubic yards of concrete.In other words, a 2500 PSI standard concrete mix usually has 5 - 90 pounds sacks of cement, where a 3500 PSI mix, wIll have 6 - 90 pounds sacks of cement in it. This will also depend on the rock size that will be used, to create the specific concrete mix.The size of the rock, will also help in determining, how strong the concrete will actually be. Let me give you an example: the smaller the rock, the more cement that will be required to create the same amount of structural strength, per cubic yard.With all that said, if you're just pouring a sidewalk or a driveway, you can contact your local concrete supplying company for a recommendation. I have been doing this for years and they haven't let me down yet. Usually the concrete companies have plenty of experience and know exactly what kind of concrete mixture you need for your area and project. If your neighbors have large cracks in their concrete driveway, you might want to hire a professional, to get some advice. Large cracks might mean there are problems with your soil and will require additional construction methods.
Concrete Contractor Makes a Big Mistake Ordering Concrete
This isn't going to be the first time that you hear a story like this, and it definitely isn't going to be the last. Concrete contractors make mistakes just like everyone else, the only difference between these mistakes and other mistakes, is that they can cost the contractor a small fortune.
Here's a true story and it actually happened to the person writing the story. I was working on a job that required a lot of concrete, during a construction building boom and I couldn't get concrete from anyone. I finally called one of the ready mixed companies who delivered concrete to jobs like mine and asked them if there was any chance that I could get any concrete, at any time.
I couldn't get any more concrete from the concrete company, because they were closed. I had to go down to the local home improvement center and get 120 bags of concrete to mix on-the-job with me and two other workers. We finished the job at 11 o'clock in the evening.
I don't really know if I missed figured the concrete or if the concrete company actually shorted me on my concrete, but I do know this, I learned a valuable lesson that day. If you really want to save yourself a lot of frustration, it's always going to be better to order more concrete than you think you will need.