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.
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Local Articles in Eastland
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 Eastland
The job came out AMAZING! And as you would expect they handled everything from permits to clean up.
I highly recommend
install an extended driveway and dog run. I thought the price was
excellent so I hired them. Prior to getting the work done, we had to
reschedule a few times due to weather, and
to you right away. Sometimes it was a day or two before he responded back.
The day of installation, he and his crew just showed up and started
work without notifying me when I expressed to him several times that I
wanted to be present. Once we discussed what was going to be done, they
continued their work. He uses a bobcat with tracks to push the dirt
out. The tracks destroyed my backyard after consenting to leave the
dirt behind, which I regret doing! Now I have to reseed and get the
backyard back to normal thanks to all the ruts he created! The crew
seemed like experienced guys except for one guy who clearly was not.
After the job was about finished, I gave
he returned to tell me that I still owed him another $350 for the dog
run, which was supposed to be included in the original price quote he
gave. He had the price scribbled on a yellow notebook pad! He then
asks me if he emailed the quote to me, which he obviously did not!!
Learn from my mistake and get his quote in writing!!
The third day, they came to get their equipment and left an atrocious mess!
There was mud and large concrete chunks left in my neighbors yard,
driveway, and street! They DO NOT CLEAN UP at all! They even used my
hose and water to clean their equipment off without my consent and did
it in my yard, which left residue of concrete in my yard! Who the fk
does that! No respect at all for your property! The following morning,
at 0500, the guy showed up blaring his music as he came to get the 2x4
frames and bobcat. They have no respect at all for you or your neighbors
who are sleeping!
As for quality: my driveway has
spaces and cracks along the sides/
concrete to fill these areas up. So there is a higher potential for
future cracks in those delicate areas along the
attempted to create a ramp that leads to the back yard which looks very
amateur. I could have probably done a better job then that with no
experience! The dog run/pad they made is not even leveled. I get a
large puddle towards the front every time it rains or gets wet.
I had several buddies and family members that were ready to use this
company, but after my experience, I have told them to look elsewhere. I
can not recommend this company to anyone, because of their lack of
quality service, lack of respect to your property and neighbors, they
don't stay true to their quotes, and the clean up is just a headache!!
Do yourself a favor and keep looking!
As soon as the work was complete our firepit was making a loud whistling sound. After several trials and error, he found out that the wrong tubing was used to install the gasline. Our newly laid stamped concrete had to be cut open and the tube had to be pulled out and replaced. The key for the firepit was also put in the ground (as opposed to in the side of the firepit) so it constantly fills up with rain and gunk and is very difficult to turn on as well as a hazard for tripping on.
The following Spring 2013, just 9 months after the patio was poured, it started to crack and crumble off in several areas. They did come back to look at it and put a “patch” on the crack and resealed the patio. The patch has since cracked and crumbled and looks worse than it did in the first place.
Spring 2014, the firepit bricks started to come off and the patio continued to crack and crumble in places.
We are now in Summer 2015. The patio continues to crack and crumble and the top appears to be “peeling” off in certain areas. I have tried to contact
I can’t tell you how disappointed we are. We truly liked the owner and thought he was a
good guy but now my husband and I are left with a crappy looking patio and it
will cost us twice as much to have it ripped up and re-done, money that we
have right now. We thought we were paying
extra for something amazing and it is nothing but junk. We are truly sick about it.
Concrete Contractors in Eastland, TX
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