Welcome to Concrete First – Your resource for all your concrete projects. We provide tips and resources to help you finish your concrete projects. We will help you find qualified concrete service professionals in your area.
Let’s begin first with answering many common questions:
What exactly is concrete? Is it the same as cement?
Concrete consists of paste and aggregates
The “paste” is cement and water. When combined, there is a harening reaction called “hydration” which is what the strength of the concrete comes from.
Aggregates are added for volume, they are not active in the hydration process. They can be coarse aggregates such as crushed rocks and limestone. They can also be fine aggregates like sand.
Some other items might be thrown in to vary consistency and quality and of course price.
Since concrete has many different uses, different types of concrete are made. The concrete in your driveway will be different than the concrete in your garage, which will also be different than decorative concrete in your kitchen.
What is it used for?
Concrete has been used for construction as far back as various ancient civilizations.
Concrete is often used in projects for
- residential driveways
- foundations for buildings and homes
- paving surfaces
- decorative paved surfaces
- curbs and gutters
- walkways and driveways
Because it is in a more liquid form when mixed and hardens later, it concrete can be pre-molded for specific projects like drainage piping. Or it can be poured to create hard slabs such as when you create a parking lot or driveway.
What do concrete service professionals do?
Both new construction and repair of anything concrete related. The use can be decorative, functional, or both.
Many common residential projects include repairs for cracks, concrete replacement, or concrete leveling
How do I know if I need repair?
You can for the most part use your common sense here.
- Uneven surfaces (not just floors: doors, windows, and other surfaces that should be flat)
- Anything leaning (a leaning chimney)
- Anything sinking (sinking foundation)
- Doors that stick (shifting)
Anything that seems to have “changed”, even if it’s gradual, will likely be noticeable.
Can old concrete be replaced?
If it was improperly poured or maintained then it is likely to have shifted or cracked over the years.
Or it could also have sustained damage. If this is the case, then yes concrete can be removed or replaced.
Replacement can be poured concrete or stamped concrete.
In some cases, you can use concrete leveling instead of concrete replacement. Concrete leveling is a procedure that attempts to fix uneven concrete surfaces. It is cheaper than concrete replacement and is common with small business buildings and homes. Typically it will cost 2/3 less, completed more quickly, no old concrete disposal needed, and no building permit required.
See video for example of concrete leveling:
“Professional Virtually Dust Free Concrete Leveling For Maximum Flatness”
How much do concrete services cost?
Naturally this is a very open question: it really depends on what kind of work you need done. That will drive the type of concrete, the amount of concrete, equipment needed, workers needed, and more. Is disposal needed? Is there easy accessibility to the work space?
Just like any other project, getting it started is the largest proportional upfront cost.
An easy analogy is print jobs: Getting your first business card printed takes some customization work and so they say that is why the first is the most expensive. Once everything is set up, it is much cheaper to print the rest
Setting up for a concrete job can take quite a bit of work. Once the job is underway, the actual proportional costs are cheaper. So with concrete projects, as you can imagine the larger the job, the lower your proportional rate is (rate per square foot of concrete).
Very small jobs may even charge a “set up” fee (a.k.a. loading fee or “small load” fee).
A good reference point: new concrete in driveway with standard materials may cost somewhere around $5.00 pe square foot.
However, to get the best idea, you want to contact several concrete services professionals and ask for an estimate. All projects are unique, and the estimates are often free.
Use our resources here (coming soon!) to find the best concrete services professional in your area. Contact many of them and get estimates for your job!
If you’d like us to research concrete service professionals in a specific area, contact us!