When it comes to rebuilding some structure, concrete is one of the most durable building materials that you can use. However, it’s not completely invulnerable, so it’s going to need to be replaced at some point. Instead of jumping headfirst into a replacement project, however, it’s important that you plan ahead so that everything proceeds smoothly and without any hassle.
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Creating A Budget
Before you can start on your project, it’s important to first figure out how much you have to spend on it. Concreters in Ballarat will tell you that you don’t want to start and then realize midway through that you can’t afford to complete it. Examine the square footage of the area that needs to be replaced and also consider the kind of concrete that you’re going to be using.
This is because different concrete can vary greatly in their costs because they fulfill different purposes and have different strengths.
In addition, you have to keep the cost of labor into account if you’re not going to be working on the project yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid To Shop Around for Contractors
Compare the costs of several contractors who you are interested in working with. You don’t want to spend a fortune but you also don’t want to go with the cheapest guy on the list because they’re cheap for a reason. Instead, compare their history of work and their portfolios, and consider whether their work is comparable to the price they want to charge.
You also want to look at where contractors are located because it’s going to cost them more to bring the materials out to your location, and whether they’re familiar with the codes and zoning laws in your area too. Lastly, it’s important that the contractor you go with is fully insured and bonded as well.
Working Out The Details
Once you’ve settled on a contractor who you will like to work with, it’s important that you hash out all the details of the project before any work starts. Ask how long the project will take or whether you want it to be completed by a certain deadline. Ask them what the best materials are for your kind of project and how much it will cost. A good contractor will be able to provide you with the pros and cons of the different kinds of concrete that could be used so that you can make the most informed decision.
Once you’ve discussed all the details, make sure that they are all down in writing and signed by both parties. The last thing you need are details left out of your project and there’s no record of them anywhere that you can enforce.
Removing The Old Material
If you’re looking to save a good chunk of money, then you can take on the demolition of your old concrete by yourself. But first, you should follow some very important steps before you can start demolishing. First, make sure that the concrete you’re removing is not near any gas lines, electrical wires, or plumbing pipes that can become easily damaged in the process.
Secondly, ensure that the slab of concrete is not too thick for the equipment you have at home. If it’s more than four inches thick, then you would be better off allowing a professional to take care of the demolition job for you.
Lastly, you should figure out where you’re going to put your broken pieces of concrete. You can hire a dumping hopper for you to chuck your concrete into so that the site of the concrete replacement is kept safe.
Preparing The Area for The Replacement Job
Projects involving concrete take several days to complete, so you’ll have to plan ahead in order to make things easier for the contractor. The kind of preparation you need to do is dependent on what you’re replacing. If it’s a walkway, then you need to close off access to that door so that you don’t make the mistake of going out and getting in the contractor’s way.
If you are repairing a driveway, then you’re going to have to move your vehicle and park it on your lawn or by the curb, ensuring that enough space is left for the contractor’s vehicles to get in and out.
Keep children and pets inside away from the work area, clean up any leaves or debris on and around the area that’s going to be worked on, and make arrangements to be home as much as possible if there are any questions that need to be answered.
Inform Your Neighbours
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, it would be a good idea to inform your neighbours of the work that is going to be done on your house. This is because the work is going to cause a lot of traffic, noise, and smells that can become irritating to them. Give them plenty of advanced notice so that they can adjust their schedules accordingly so that they won’t be surprised by the sudden ruckus coming from your yard.
Conducting A Final Walkthrough of The Plan
When the contractor arrives, be sure to go over all of the details of the project again, just to make sure. You want to ensure that both of you are on the same page and nothing is being left up to chance or assumptions on the part of either party. Every single detail should be accounted for.
Learn About The Maintenance Process
In order to protect the new concrete being laid down, it would be a good idea to ask the contractor what you can do to ensure that it remains in good condition for as long as possible. Ask about the proper ways to keep it clean throughout the year, how to seal it to keep moisture out, and what to do if cracks start to form.
It is important to do the necessary research, planning, hiring, overseeing, and maintenance on your concrete replacement project so that you get it right the first time. The more work you put into preparation, the longer your project will last so that you won’t need to do a replacement in the near future.