Each estimate we prepare will carefully detail what we are bidding and how much it will cost. Our goal is to provide all critical details so that there are less uncertainties. The process typically includes the several major activities; nevertheless, the exact process varies between projects. Here are the typical steps:
Removal: If an existing slab exists, we will break it up, cut out rebar and/or wire mesh, and haul the old product away for disposal. At this stage, it is important that all organic materials are removed (sticks, paper, etc.). Rocks and nails are fine.
Form Setters: At this stage, a crew will move into setup forms that will hold the concrete in place while it dries (or cures). A 6″ x 6″ welded wire mesh will be put in place during the concrete pour for reinforcement. If rebar is used, it will probably overlap the next piece by 2′.
Compaction: Once the area is formed, we will work to compact the ground to create a solid surface for our concrete project. Once compacted, we will typically bring in road base to compact further and create a stronger base. In some instances, we will remove soil to make room for the road base.
Pouring: The key to strong concrete is ensuring that the concrete cures evenly throughout the entire thickness. Problems can arise when conditions are not favorable for the process. The following elements can have an impact if not properly adjusted for: cold, heat, rain, shade, and wind. The technician will try to mitigate these risks. For example, the freshly poured concrete may need to be covered with blankets (thermal protection) if the temperature is expected to drop below 32 degrees within the next 48 hours. In addition, the concrete mix will include the right amount of calcium. Accelerators will be added if the cure time needs to be shortened. In contrast, retarders will be added to slow the curing process. Ensuring concrete cures are uniform is more of an art than a science and comes with experience and can’t always be controlled.
Concrete with a 2,500 PSI (pounds per square inch) will generally meet most building codes. That said, we always quote, order, and install concrete with a 4,000-psi attribute. The psi will be specifically identified in the quote. This means that the concrete should be able to withstand up to 4,000 pounds in a one square inch area without compromising. A large SUV or truck can weigh up to 5,500 pounds, and the weight is spread over way more than a square inch. A more expensive option is to order concrete with fiberglass mesh embedded in the concrete. Many builders will recommend just using fiber mesh without wire mesh. We feel that wire mesh should always be installed regardless.
The Pour: As the concrete is being poured it is a good idea to lift the wire mesh up. When the pour starts, it is a race against time to ensure that the concrete does not set up too fast. Concrete is not self-leveling; hence, the technicians will need to work the concrete to have the right angles for proper drainage.
Finishers: The finishers should smooth out high and low spots and fill holes. A lot of attention is directed to mending surface imperfections. Finishers will work to get the surface as smooth as possible, without overworking the cream. The floats are used to bring the cream to the top. Sides are then sometimes vibrated to avoid the honeycomb look on the edges. We will wait for all the “bleed water” to disappear from the surface of the slab before troweling. The bleed water will rise to the surface during the curing process and will reabsorb into the slab or evaporate from the surface over time. Finally, one will drag a broom across the surface for a final finish, depending on the application and/or finish desired.
Stress Lines: Control joints are put in place during the finishing process by hand when the surface is large enough to warrant them. For commercial floors, we wait 24-48 hours, and then cut 1/2 to 1″ deep stress lines with a diamond blade going deeper at the edges.
Starting about 15 hours after we leave, keep the surface moist for the next seven days. Most of the concrete curing will occur over the next 21 days. Otherwise, shading the slab with burlap, straw, or a plastic blanket will help. The goal is to slow the curing rate of the surface to match what his happening in the middle. This will reduce the chances of cracks rising to the surface.
Payment: Once a 50% deposit is received, we put the customer on our schedule. The remainder is due upon completion of the job.
Warranty: All material is guaranteed to be as specified in the estimate and we will attempt to complete the work in accordance with industry best practice. We strive to take the appropriate precautions to mitigate cracking and spalling risk and to maximize the life of our work. Colorado rapid weather changes, expansive clay soil, salting, mag chloride, misuse of the surface, failure to properly seal on an annual basis, add-ons to existing concrete where we could not properly compact the surface, delivery delays, factory problems, and an assortment of other things outside of our control can cause concrete to fail or weaken. It is commonly stated that there are two types of concrete: “concrete that has cracked and concrete that will crack”. Our goal is to do to do things that mitigate and delay that risk. Properly installed and cared for concrete has the potential of looking beautiful for a long time, which is why we believe concrete is a good choice. Click here to learn more about our warranty.
Adjacent Landscape: We will do our best to protect adjacent landscape; however, please understand that forming sometimes requires the adjacent landscape to be disturbed. We will do our best to put things back in place. That being said, we are not landscapers and you may be required to hire a professional at your own expense to get things perfect (i.e. flagstone, sod, bricks, etc.). When pouring in the backyard, we will typically utilize a line pump to avoid wheelbarrow traffic that is hard on the lawn and potentially the home if misguided. Nonetheless, the construction activity can still stress existing lawn. Please be sure to water well after we leave to bring the lawn back to its former glory. Grass is extremely resilient. We will do our best to minimize it’s disruption. If the owner decides that grass needs to be replaced, that must be completed at the owner’s expense. Pouring concrete also requires us to remove roots from the pour area. The removal of roots can negatively impact trees and bushes. We do not take responsibility for the potential impact on adjacent trees and shrubs due to the root removal. This is a risk that the owner must accept.
Survey: It is the owner’s responsibility to survey and mark property lines and setbacks in regards to the project placement. Counties and cities have property setbacks – meaning structures must be a certain distance from property lines. If unknown or unsure, it is the property owner’s responsibility to get a survey completed to ensure setbacks are protected. We will rely on you for the placement of retaining walls and other structures relative to property lines and setbacks.
Structural Engineering: We are not structural engineers. If you are engaging us to build a retaining wall or something structural, it is your responsibility to hire a structural engineer to design the structure. The structural engineer will build a design based on soil samples, use, and placement, and will design the rebar structure in the wall and wall thickness and height. We will build the retaining wall or whatever structure that is in the plans in accordance with the specifications provided.
Personal and Real Property: Concrete is commonly referred to as “mud” because it’s messy. Our crew will be hustling during the pour/finish process to help ensure the concrete does not get ahead of us. During this process, there is the risk that the concrete will splatter on the home, deck posts, fences, adjacent concrete or whatever is in the vicinity. This may result in the need for touch up painting. The spatter (if applicable) might not wash off the next day. The restoration of adjacent items will be the homeowner’s responsibility. Alternatively, the homeowner can choose to self-install plastic to protect their property or move items away from the pour. The downside of plastic is that there is a risk that it could fall down. If the plastic were to fall, there is a risk that it could damage the concrete finish. The homeowner accepts this risk if they choose to protect their home with plastic. The removal of the plastic after the pour is the responsibility of the homeowner. Our focus will be on forming and finishing the concrete to the best of our ability.
Communication: We have one crew and two ways to manage the crew. The crew is directly managed by Angel who is native to Mexico. His English is not too bad; however, it is definitely his second language. In most cases, we send Angel out to bid on the work, win the job, mobilize, and complete the work. Angel tends to provide lower bids than our competitors and he is willing to do any size job. The downside of this process is that Angel tends not to communicate the greatest. This has been our experience with all the crews we have found and managed. This can be frustrating to a customer that is expecting excellent communication. As a result, we have a second way to manage Angel and his crew. This is where Mark Fightmaster does the job site visit, puts together the estimate, and project manages the job. In this instance, communication is excellent. The downside is that the bids will be much higher to cover the value provided by Mr. Fightmaster. We recommend requesting Mr. Fightmaster if you put a high value on excellent communication. Without Mr. Fightmaser’s involvement, Floy from the office will do her best to communicate on Angel’s behalf and coordinate start dates, etc.
Free Estimates: We provide estimates throughout Denver and the surrounding area including Boulder and Castle Rock. After our onsite visit, we will e-mail your estimate for your consideration.
Type of Work: Our company installs driveways, stamped concrete, steps, curbs, and gutters.
Insurance: Best Denver Concrete carries a full book of insurance that includes general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, and commercial auto. Proof of insurance is available upon request. We can also add any additional insured language at no extra cost.
Business License: Our business license number is 17BS-FIRCO-223 and is dated 3/6/17.