By Cory Grant
It’s a nice thought if you could do the concrete work around your home all by yourself but the reality is, in most cases, this type of work is best left to a professional. Sure, you know someone who did a decent do-it-yourself concrete patio, but the phrase “If he could do it, I could too” doesn’t always work in this case.
For starters, laying concrete requires not just knowledge about the material and concreting practices but also skill in using both basic and specialized tools from chalk lines and tape measures to concrete edgers, groovers and such. Aside from practical skills, a concrete project is like any other project in the sense that it also calls for skills in planning and organization to be successful.
There are so many things you have to plan for and do even before placing the concrete like securing the proper permits. If you are not strong in project management, it would be best to hire a concrete contractor for your project or you’re setting yourself up for a real headache.
Concreting is Very Hard Work
Also, you have to realize that concreting is laborious work. You would likely need to get other people to help you. The job involves securing the necessary building permits, excavating the site, preparing the subgrade, then building and setting up the concrete formwork, placing the concrete and finishing it. Most people wouldn’t find any of these tasks easy. It would probably be the hardest physical work you’ve ever done.
Concrete is a Difficult, Complex Material
One factor that contributes to the difficulty of working with concrete is the fact that it is a heavy material, weighing about 150 pounds/cubic foot. Not only that, you work with it in its liquid state. If you have no experience using or handling concrete, it’s difficult to place and consolidate this heavy, liquid material.
Timing is also crucial to the project, particularly in finishing concrete. If finishing is started too early on a concrete slab that is still bleeding, the finished concrete will have numerous problems such as scaling, dusting and cracking. Timing is acquired through experience and even experienced concrete contractors are sometimes challenged by concrete’s varying bleeding characteristics.
DIY Doesn’t Always Mean More Savings
The most common reason why people attempt to do their own concrete work is to cut down on costs. However, the lack of knowledge and experience in concreting can result to poor quality work that can lead to structural problems in the concrete. And if this happens, you would have to spend a lot more money to have the slab repaired or worse, have it removed and replaced. Also, you may need to rent concreting tools and equipment.
One Mistake Could Ruin the Surface
You only get one shot at it, so they say. If you have no experience in using concrete, you could easily make a mistake that can’t be undone and end up with a surface that is simply unattractive and could be used as an example for why you shouldn’t try to do concreting yourself.
Wouldn’t you want to ensure the job is done right?
Of course, you do. It’s your money and your space, after all. Hiring an experienced and reputable concrete services contractor is the best thing you could do to ensure that the work you need to be done will be worth your money and something you could be proud of.
Cory Grant is a second generation Decorative Concrete Professional. He is an enthusiast and enjoys sharing his knowledge on what he learns in the industry with other professionals and those who are seeking advice for their Decorative Concrete Project.
Take the time to visit his site http://www.corygrantconcrete.com.au and visit his blog to keep up to date with all the latest stuff happening in the industry.