Planning Your Concrete Project
How Do I Get An Estimate?
Getting an estimate with Bulldog Concrete is easy. You can simply fill out our estimate form or text us at 250.581.0714
Once we have discussed your project, gave you a ballpark estimate and decided whether or not we’d be the right concrete contractor for you, a member of our team will come to your property to provide a more in depth quote.
How Much Is My Concrete Pour Going To Cost?
5Due to the fact that there are so many different variables when it come to pricing a concrete project this is a difficult question to answer on a website. Prices can range from $1 per sq. ft. up to $20 per sq. ft.
For argument sake though, an average broom finish or steel trowel driveway, basement or garage, just place and finish (no prep work) you can expect to pay between $1.20 to $2.50 per sq. ft. depending on location, size and complexity of the job.
For a more decorative finish like stamped or exposed, just place and finish, you can expect to pay $4-$6 per sq. ft.
If you’d like a more detailed estimate please fill out our estimate form or text us at 250.581.0714
How Long Will My Project Take?
This is obviously going to depend on the size and or the complexity of your project. Here is a typical timeline though.
- Removal of old concrete or ashphalt: 1-3 days
- Excavating and subgrade prep: 1-3 days
- Setting up forms and rebar: 1-2 days
- Placing and Finishing: 1-2 days
- Site cleanup: 1-2 days
Are You Licensed and Insured?
Yes, we are a fully licensed and insured concrete contractor.
Do I Have To Order The Concrete?
Typically we do not include the price of the concrete in your quote. It is a pretty standard practice that you pay the cost of the concrete separately.
Once we know how much concrete you are going to need and when we will be pouring, we will instruct you to contact the Ready Mix company with your information and payment details. When you contact them you can let them know that Bulldog Concrete will be pouring your concrete and they can make any further arrangements with us.
What Are Your Payment Terms?
Typically we will charge a 50% deposit upon booking your concrete project and then the remainder is due once the project is complete.
However there are a few exceptions to this rule:
1. If you are a reputable contractor we can work out an agreement for payment terms.
2. If we’ve completed work for you in the past and know that you are a reputable client we may be able to work out alternate arrangements.
3. If the project is a rather large job we may require 50% upon booking, 25% once the project is 50% complete and the remainder upon completetion.
Prep, Place and Concrete Finishing
Do You Do The Ground Prep?
Currently Bulldog Concrete does not usually offer excavation/bobcat work as a service. However we do plan to offer this service in the future. In the meantime, we have a handful of contractors we can recommend.
The main reasons that we do not offer this service are;
1) Labour and Time Shortage – We do not currently employ anyone that can take on these projects, other than the owner. So, due to how busy we are with forming, pouring and finishing time does not typically allow us to offer this service.
2) We Do Not Own Equipment – Renting equipment can be costly which will result in your costs being higher than if another contractor does excavating, grading and compacting for you.
Do You Set Up The Forms?
Yes, if you desire, we can come in and prepare the forms for your concrete project.
Do You Tie The Rebar?
Yes, if you choose, we can certainly include installation of rebar, wire mesh or fiberglass v-rod in your project.
How Thick Will My Concrete Be?
In most cases residential concrete including patios, sidewalks, garages, driveways, and carports are 4 to 5″ thick. However, if you plan to drive on or park RV’s, or commercial trucks or place larger, heavier items such as a hot tub then we’d recommend you go with a 6 to 8″ slab.
How Will You Get The Concrete To The Installation Area?
Typically we’ll unload the concrete directly from the truck, by wheelbarrow, or with a mud buggy. However, wheelbarrows may not be the most practical method in cases that involve a longer distance, steep uphill/downhill slopes, or a lack of access or that are large in size. In these cases, we may employ concrete pump trucks.
How Do You Prevent Concrete From Cracking?
Unfortunately, there is no way for us to prevent your concrete from cracking but we use various different techniques to control and minimize cracking.
- Strategically placed control joints while finishing or within 12-48 hours after the finishing process will control where the cracks will take place.
- Expansion joints placed anywhere that concrete could expand, causing unnecessary pressure on the concrete.
- Minimizing the amount of water we use by pouring as stiff of a slump as possible or using a water reducer when a lose slump is needed.
- Adding reinforcments such as rebar, wire mesh, fiber mesh (in concrete mix) or fiberglass v-rod will prevent substantial cracking in the event that cracks occur.
- Proper curing techniques. This is where we may need your help by keeping the slab wet for a while after your concrete project is complete.
Do I Need To Be Home When You're Pouring My Concrete?
Most time we do not need you to be present when we are pouring your concrete but on occasion we may need access to your home. For example, if we’re pouring your driveway we may need access to your garage in order to finish in front of the garage.
In the event that any access is required we will plan it with you beforehand.
Your Concrete Is Complete, Now What?
Will My Concrete Crack?
There is a saying that goes like this… “There are 2 things in life that are certain, the first being that we are all going to die one day and the second being that concrete is going to crack”.
Unfortunately there is nothing that anybody can do that will prevent concrete from cracking. However, when we are placing and finishing your concrete we take the neccessary steps to both minimize and control the cracks in your concrete pad.
Do I Need To Seal My Concrete?
In short, YES?
We think that sealing your concrete, especially outdoor pads like driveways, patios and sidewalks is very important in order to increase its longevity and keep it looking spectacular. Typically, we include the first seal in the price of our decorative concrete. However, for average sidewalks and driveways we do not, unless we’ve agreed to include it for an additional fee (15-25 cents per square foot).
Concrete is a porous material that readily absorbs liquids. In freeze-thaw climates like in the Kootenays, the expansion of frozen liquids can destroy the surface of unsealed concrete. Oil, salt, fertilizer, and other household chemicals can discolor and damage unsealed concrete as well.
It is best to reseal your concrete every 1 to 3 years depending on what type of abuse your concrete pad is subject to. The types of things to consider are foot traffic, vehicle traffic, salt, sand and elements such as water, snow and sun.
Can I Use Salt On My New Concrete?
Salt is best avoided, especially for the first winter after concrete is installed. Salt can cause a chemical reaction with the concrete and cause issues with the surface. Sand is the best alternative to provide traction.
How Long Do I Need To Stay Off My New Concrete?
For foot traffic we recommend at least 24-48 hours before you are walking on your new concrete. If we are returning to seal your concrete we will request that you try to stay off as much as possible.
As far as driving vehicles or equipment on your concrete, we recommend at least 7 days but if possible we’d prefer if you wait 28 days for it to finish its curing process.
Should I Keep My Concrete Wet While It's Curing?
This is going to depend on a few different factors like weather and whether or not we used curing compounds. If yopu are required to keep your concrete pad wet, we will instruct you to do so.
Concrete strength depends on the growth of crystals within the matrix of the concrete. These crystals grow from a reaction between Portland cement and water-a reaction known as hydration. If there isn’t enough water, the crystals can’t grow and the concrete doesn’t develop the strength it should.
Failure to properly cure your concrete can result in cracks or spalling that could have otherwise been prevented.