Concrete's strength and durability make it the world's number one construction material. It's also very versatile. You can shape it, write, and draw in it, not to mention creating aesthetically pleasing colors inside and outside your home. Concrete uses vary widely from foundations to floors. It's also economical, costing less than $100 per cubic yard. It's important to gain all the "know-before-you-go" information before hiring a supplier or contractor for your construction project.
Why Choose Concrete For A Home Construction Project?
Depending on its application and locale, the type of concrete that you would use varies. Bags of quick-set used to anchor patio footings has a different aggregate to binder ratio than a supplier dropping off ready-mix for your new driveway. Keep in mind that the more water that is used in your mix, the weaker the concrete. Know your project; know your ratios. Your concrete professional can help you with understanding what's in your mix and what's best for your project.
Timing Is Everything: The 90-Minute Rule
As a rule, once mixed, concrete needs to be used quickly as its malleability lessens with time. Consider it a perishable material that needs to be used within 90 minutes (or according to manufacturer's directions). When ordering concrete for delivery, the closer the location to its intended use, the better. Curing time depends on the project, weather and your locale. Concrete's durability increases as it hardens, making it a top choice for consumers.
What Projects Can You Use Concrete For?
Concrete's versatility makes it perfect for yards, garages and home interiors. Where will the project be located on your property? You will want to make sure that city ordinances and any association bylaws allow for property modification. Before you order any concrete, make sure your permits are in order and in hand. Also, make sure that you know exactly what you want regarding your project's scope: size, shape, thickness, and aesthetics.
Here's a sampling of projects:
- Yard: concrete fire pits, outbuildings, hardscapes, pools
- Driveway: short or long driveways, shaped driveways, customized concrete driveways
- Sidewalk: residential, customizable
- Patio: pavers, stamped concrete, multi-level concrete patios
- Floors: garage floors, kitchen floors, takes well to color and stain
- Countertops: poured concrete, great for island tops, easily customizable
Concrete allows you to put your personal stamp on your project by staining, adding color or pattern work. If you are having a professional personalize your concrete for you, have the agreed upon design, stain, pattern or color scheme spelled out in writing.
Get at least three bids for your project. Find contractors in your local area within that 90-minute mix-to-pour window and your home construction project's on its way.