On this episode of Chat with the Experts, we talk with Tony "The Concrete Man" Johnson about the benefits of a concrete driveway and how to install a patio.
Find Top-Rated Fairmont Concrete Contractors
Angie's List helps you hire the best - and avoid the rest!
Concrete Contractors to Avoid
Top Rated Concrete Contractors
Prevent buyer's remorse with us
- Over 3 million people trust Angie's List to help make the right choice
- Be informed to avoid costly mistakes
- Shop with us to ensure a fair price
- Our complaint resolution team will help if a project goes bad
Over 629 reviews for
Fairmont Concrete Contractors from people just like you.
Over 2 million people trust Angie's List.
- Your Membership Includes:
- Instant access to top rated businesses covering 700+ services
- Our Complaint Resolution Team to help when a project goes bad
- On-the-go access to our iPhone, Android, & iPad apps
Access to trusted reviews, the best Concrete Contractors and exclusive discounts!
Real Member ReviewsMemberships allow Angie’s List to certify that all reviews are real reviews from real members—no fake, bogus, or anonymous reviews here!
DealsAngie’s List is a Community that you’ll use time after time. Research who to hire, learn tips and tricks, and consult with your neighbors
Instant Community AccessMembers can choose from tons of deals and discounts for projects they need to do, like 30% off exterior home painting!
Complaint ResolutionIf a project goes badly, Angie’s List has a complaint resolution team standing by to help you.
Local Articles in Fairmont
Repairing concrete can be a cost-effective way to maintain your driveway.
Over time, your concrete is susceptible to cracking. Here's what you can do to prevent it and protect the look of your sidewalk or driveway.
You just had a fresh concrete driveway poured and it cracks. Now what?
Bids are NOT done based on a multiplier on top of materials cost to get labor cost. Think of the consequences in the example you gave - by that method using say plain home depot tile made in Honduras might cost $5/SF materials, so by your method $10 labor. Now, same floor, with Carerra marble or Barre Granite at $75-100/SF - so do you want him charging you $150-200/SF labor when it takes almost exactly the same time regardless of material ?
To put it in simple terms, contractors:
1) figure the amount and cost of materials and consumables needed from the plans and specifications, applying a markup (from 15-50%, depending on contractor and how fancy or specialized a job it is).
2) Then they figure the equipment needed and the operating time to be used or elapsed time to be rented or leased - either opperating hour or elapsed time, or combination of both, especially if it consumes fuel
3) They then figure the labor time for the various trades required to do the job, maybe add an efficiency or ease of work multiplier to those hours to fit the job conditions, multiply those hours by the hourly pay rates, then multiply that times the "load" or "Labor Overhead" to account for employment taxes, workman's compensation costs, health plan, etc, etc.
4) Then they add in the cost of any architect or engineer plans or certifications that are needed, government permits and inspections, etc.
5) Then they add in any subcontractor bids, with appropriate contingency amount for each.
6) All those above totals are added up, an appropriate overall contingency added if needed (typically 5-10%, but on remote site jobs I have seen as high as 200%), and (depending on how contractor figures his costs) at least all the "in-house" costs like his equipment, consumables, and labor costs have a percentage overhead and profit added to them - typically about 100-150%. Some contractors use a lower overhead percentage but apply it to the total estimated job cost, not just in-house costs.
This "company overhead" or "general overhead" or "G&A - General and Administrative Overhead" covers the costs of financing and running the company, management and secretarial and general supply and maintenance costs, buildings and equipment yards lease or mortgage cost, working capital cost, insurance, loan interest, general shop equipment payments, profit, etc. Some contractors use a lower overhead and apply it to every cost in the job, some (especially those doing government work so havingto adhere to government accounting rules) apply a "markup percentage" to materials and rental costs and outside subcontract services, and apply G&A overhead only to in-house costs.
That being said, for a general class of work it does generally (on normal jobs) work out that there is a general multiple of labor to materials cost. For instance, yard work and residential tree work is heavy on labor, so it might have a labor to materials ratio of 3:1 or even 5:1. Detail foundation hand excavation and underpinning can run to 5:1 or more. Many types of building construction like plumbing, tile, carpentry, etc. do end up with a very roughly 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of labor to materials cost. At the other extreme, high energy efficiency or hurricane rated glass installation or a fancy full-building computer and communications system or high-end entertainment center might have a labor to materials ratio of 0.25-0.5 because it is designed to go in pretty fast, but the materials cost a lot.
For your case, a hardscaping ratio could run from 0.5:1 or less to as much as 3:1 or more, for installations with very expensive imported stone and fancy woods and a lot of bought decorative items such as statuary, to the opposite labor-intensive landscaping with lots of sidehill terracing and hand-planted flower beds, hand-dug irrigation system trenches, and manual-placed concrete block or railroad tie walls. Each job should be figured on its own merits - using a "rule-of-thumb" is where people commonly get unpleasantly surprised. That is why you typically get 3 bids unless you have a contractor you trust from prior experience and are confident will give you a fair shake regardless of being sole-sourced. Personally, both for my own purposes and professionally in the design and construction business, I have found sole-source to trusted contractors you have experience with is, in the long run, a BIG money and time saver, as well as making it far more likely to finish on schedule and let you sleep at night.
You need a general contractor - prefereably one who specializes in additions, because you have excavation, waterproofing, concrete, concrete cutting, carpentry, door and window, etc trades to coordinate.
The cost will depend a great deal on your topography around the house - if the base of the window will be above ground level at least 6 inches, then could run about $500 for a legal egress window purchase and about $1000-2000 for installation, depending on how deep into the concrete you have to cut.
If the bottom of the window will be below ground level, then to call it a bedroom (which mandates legal sized second egress and usauully at least one window) then you will have two choices - bring it out into a solid watertight concrete storm cellar with collar to keep water out, stairs, and and weather and bug-tight cellar door that is inward-opening, which means a lot of space for stairs and landings top and bottom, or bring it out into an oversized window well at least 36 inches in diameter, and with steps to ground level, with adequate drainage and waterproofing to keep it dry. Either way, sometimes about as easy to put in an outside door as a window, and might raise property value more. Cost from $2-5,000 depending on how deep into concrete wall you have to dig, whether concrete wsall needs reinforcing with steel frame because of the depth of cut, how easy the digging is, and what your water conditions are near the foundation. The last thing you want to do is create an easy water or vermin ingress with your egress.
The cost to install the veneer stone has a wide range do to many factors. It can range from around $9 to $17 per square foot. It depends on the location, the stone being used, job access, skaffolding needs, wall prep and such. I would think you would be on the lower end of the scale. Your job is on a concrete surface so it eliminates one of the biggest problems they are having with this product, wall preperation. This one of the things that separates the high bidders from the low ones. There are million dollars homes being torn down because of improper wall prep. One a wood frame house a backing system that allows drainage is a must or the moisture absorbed by the veneer can rot the walls behind with alarming speed. Some have had makor damage within the first four years. On a concrete wall the veneer needs no such prep at most wire mesh applied if it is an older concrete wall.
Concrete Repair reviews in Fairmont
He added 3 in. of concrete to the existing slab (which was actually the roof of our garage), connected to the new pour. They hauled away all the debris, and kept a clean workplace throughout the project. It was necessary to remove a section of sidewalk that connected to the old patio, so he included a concrete ramp to meet the new (now higher) slab. They did a beautiful job.
It was obvious that
I never saw anyone just standing around not doing anything. The weather delayed my patio by about 10 weeks. The crew could have easily rushed through my job to move on to the next, but when I looked out my window to see the progress, I could tell that they were paying attention to details and trying to get things just right. My patio is only 2 days old, so I cannot comment on warranty issues or problems, but as of right now, I'd highly recommend Decker.
We put our deposit down mid/late-April and they were already scheduling 7 weeks out. Obviously this changes year to year, but if you want a patio done early summer, get on their list early.
He was awful to work with. At one point he said F%$K You to me. Do not hire him or you will be dealing with a major headache.
We were going to be out of town when they could come, but I figured it was a
However, they agreed to come out again and do the correct step at no additional charge--Score 1 for
When they worked on the correct step (and I was present at this time), they corrected it some but found that they could not raise it as much as it needed because something was snagging the step underneath. It needed 4 inches more. They tried various things, but couldn't do it.
They said that since they were unable to improve it as much as they said they would, they would not charge me for the job. Score 2 for
Two lessons learned:
1. Try to be very specific about what job you want done, and be present to supervise if at all possible. Even though I had sent pictures of the problem step and its location relative to the front door, the work crew didn't get those pictures.
Concrete Contractors in Fairmont, MN
New York Mills
Join Angie's List to get the best local reviews in Fairmont.
- Instant access to reviews for 700+ services
- Exclusive service discounts - up to 70 percent off!
- Top-notch support from our live call center