Blog about Concrete used in foundations, constructions, patios, buildings and anything requiring a firm foundation.
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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 american concrete company 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 american concrete company 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 american concrete company 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.
Weaknesses and Strengths of Masonry
Cement or concrete is one of the most common materials used for building patios. Cement patio designs offer various advantages: it's durable, versatile and relatively cheaper than other materials such as stone.Start creating your design by first determining what purpose your patio will serve. Patios are essentially outdoor extensions of rooms. So, if you want a patio that will serve as an extension of your living and dining areas, a 12 by 12 foot patio offers enough space for furniture as well as room to walk around in. If you want a patio that will visually connect your house to your garden, then you will have to incorporate more landscaping features into your patio design. Some great ideas include plant boxes, alcoves for shrubs and small trees, and maybe a trellis where you can grow flowering vines. The design ideas you can choose from are limitless. Some homeowners build patios that connect with other features in their yard such as a pool or a gazebo. You can also do this by creating a concrete path from the main patio to the said feature. If you already have an existing pool you can introduce a relaxing resort feel to your yard by creating a cement patio design that evokes the look and feel of resorts. Concrete is a versatile material and you can choose from different looks and add-ons to create the look that you want. A network of walkways will surely add to the beauty and functionality of your patio and yard. You can also add furniture such as umbrellas, rattan or wicker chairs, and lounges for that genuine resort ambience.When designing your cement patio, an important consideration is the size of your property. The patio should be proportionate to the size of your house and yard. A large patio can overwhelm a small house and will look out of place. Similarly, a small constricted patio will look awkward in an expansive yard. You should also check with your local building codes and zoning laws. Another important factor is of course, your budget. If you are working on a tight budget, then a cement patio design is the better choice for you. Concrete patios don't have to look grey and boring. You can always perk it up by using your creativity and usefulness. For example you can use blocks of wood, pieces of ceramic tiles, and even sea shells to accentuate the patio floor. Take a quick look at some online resources for patio design ideas and you can find a wide range of creative solutions for cement patio designs.
What Does a Concrete Contractor Do?
It is important to note that masonry is not just the pouring of concrete to make a foundation of an edging mortar around the cracks of bricks. Materials commonly used by masons include brick, travertine, granite, limestone, glass, tile, concrete, and stucco. Masonry is highly regarded as a backbone of construction and its two commonly types used include brick and concrete.One of the main benefits of masonry is the good use of materials that increase thermal mass of a given building. Mortar and brick, usually do not need painting or any form of secondary covering. It is a great protection since it has high resistant features. The walls are designed to hold against many elements and therefore can withstand forces from tornadoes and hurricanes. A mason notes that most of the buildings that were constructed by use brick and limestone have lasted more than 500 years. It is important to note that there are some limitations in the use of masonry work. For instance, areas with extreme weathering are not ideal for masonry structures. This is so because they are likely to deteriorate with time. It is advisable to use other means of construction in such areas. Also mortar and brick are unlikely to survive intact for a long period of time in areas with frost and ice. This is so because the cold weather will chip away at the building structure. Also these areas have been reported to be difficult for masons and other building professionals to deal with. Reinforced concrete, brick and other materials may be heavy and therefore difficult to use since they need strong structural foundations.One of the greatest weaknesses of masonry is weak tensile strength though they are used in bolstering an impressive and great strength of handling heavy vertical loads. Any building that is constructed though this process is likely have problems arising from stretching and twisting unless it is reinforced by use of stable materials such as iron. This explains why solid masonry is probably becoming obsolete nowadays. Nowadays, solid and reinforced masonry is used or reserved for structures used in landscaping. The different types of masonry include dry set masonry, concrete block, veneer, solid masonry, brick and even serpentine. Masonry must have modern architecture and it's likely to be so for many decades to come because it is a link of the past and our future. Therefore hiring a great company is always a better option.