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.
Sturdy, durable and economical, concrete is one of the most frequently used construction materials in the United States. Called pourable stone, it was once used by the Egyptians to build structures that still stand more than 3,600 years later. The standard concrete used by most Minneapolis general contractors combines sand, gravel and water with Portland cement.Different Concretes and Their UsesMany different varieties of concrete exist and a Minneapolis construction company generally chooses a particular variety for its purposes based on its particular compressive strength, a quality expressed in terms of pounds per square inch (psi) and megapascals (MPa). Some of the different types of concrete are:Regular Concrete - Standard, or regular concrete, comes in a variety of pre-mixed packages that vary in their water-absorption and setting qualities, depending on the specific aggregates used. For the most part, regular concrete mixes offer a compressive strength in the range of 1450 psi (10 MPa) to 5800 psi (40 MPa). As such, it is not recommended for heavy, load-bearing structures. Minneapolis general contractors commonly use regular concrete for basic installations in residential buildings, for lining curbs and for strengthening sidewalks and driveways. Pervious Concrete - Studies show that the use of regular concrete adversely affects groundwater supplies as its compact nature prevents water from reaching the ground. One solution for a Minneapolis construction company is to use pervious concrete, which allows a small amount of air or water to pass through the material. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages the use of pervious concrete when other methods of preventing storm water runoff prove impractical. Although this type of concrete has a reduced strength when compared to regular concrete, a number of formulations nevertheless provide enough strength to meet the requirements for a range of applications.Stamped Concrete - Stamped concrete is concrete that is treated while still wet to mimic the outward appearance of other materials such as brick, cobblestone, wood or other materials. Typically, builders use concrete with a compressed strength of 3000 to 4000 psi for stamped concrete applications. Also known as architectural concrete for its decorative nature, it is most commonly produced by adding a primary color as well as an accent color to the concrete mix. The wet concrete is then poured and stamped with a polyurethane stamp. Nowadays, it is common to see a Minneapolis construction company use texturized stamps to create a look that is closer in appearance to natural brick and flagstone.Stamped concrete is ideal for decorative purposes as it is easy to clean and offers superior durability when compared to materials such as brick or slate. Most Minneapolis general contractors recommend it for landscaping purposes as it does not have any cracks or edges and will not allow any vegetation to grow through it. Shotcrete - Also known as Gunite, shotcrete is generally used where formwork is unnecessary, such as when building against rock surfaces or vertical soil. It is also used for rock support, especially while tunneling. In some cases, additives such as fiber reinforcement and accelerators may be added to the mix.Concrete, in its myriad of forms, has become an indispensable part of our everyday life. All forms of concrete have to undergo the correct hydrating and hardening process to optimize their unique physical and chemical properties. In particular, care should be taken to mix the cement blend thoroughly in order to produce uniform, high-quality concrete. The right Minneapolis general contractor will be able to use a variety of types and styles of concrete to make your construction project the best and most cost-efficient that it can be.
The 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.
Washington patio concrete contractors