commercial concrete

How commercial concrete projects are different

Councils and businesses tender commercial concrete contracts to refresh tired or unsafe spaces. Concrete specialists like Fenix get the call for projects like this because they have the right tools and experience. These in turn lead to short turnaround times.

Commercial concrete’ defines a project that’s not residential. It’s a broad area including office blocks, pathways, and even gully pits. Footpaths, roads, drains, and the like are the concerns of city councils. Footpaths need  some ‘refreshing’ every decade or so thanks to tree roots growing underneath, general cracking, and wear and tear.

Businesses put out contracts for commercial concrete projects of their own for any number of reasons. If they’ve bought an old property, for example, it’ll need some updating. Concreters can tear up and lay new flooring and resurface the car park.  

Commercial concrete projects are special because the footpaths, floors, and the like are subject to large amounts of stress every day. This is from people walking over it, as well as cars driving  and parking. The concrete needs to have a high psi count, usually 4000 and above, to last. Contractors never create slabs with just concrete mixture alone. Rebar, or steel mesh, is laid first and the mix is poured over it. The tensile strength of the rebar plus the durability of the hard concrete makes a near-indestructible slab.

Safety is also a concern when laying new foundations. Restaurants, shops, and event spaces with concrete floors need a surface that won’t leave staff or customers injured. There’s a need for smooth, polished surfaces that are easy to clean and resistant to stains. Each project requires a different finish, as well.

Commercial concrete is different from residential projects because it’s used to make or improve businesses and council areas. All over Brisbane, there’s need for contractors like Fenix to lay  new footpaths or resurface  driveways.  

concreting

How concreting adds value

Concreting is done before almost everything else  during a building project. It’s a base material that nobody pays much mind to, until something needs to get done. Concreting adds value to properties in various ways, not just monetary.

 

Tough as concrete

The material, when poured as a slab combined with rebar, withstands a lot of pressure. Domestic blends are typically 3500 psi (pounds per square inch) and won’t crack unless you plan on dropping a few bowling balls on it.

Concreting projects aren’t always large; sometimes all that’s needed is some resurfacing. Old slabs with a few cracks are due for a facelift, and your contractor won’t need a lot of time to get it done.

 

Designer concrete

When you renovate your house, having a concrete floor can add that ‘industrial’ feel that’s so popular in magazines and television shows. There’s also concrete countertops, concrete stairs, the list goes on.

Speak with your contractor about your ideas  and how you want the end result to look. Concreting and interior design actually go together quite well. There’s plenty of finishes and colouring options. Acid staining and polishing can give the impression that a slab is made of granite or marble. This is a great look in kitchens, bathrooms,  and outdoor leisure areas.

 

Patch-ups and coverings

Cracks and the like are trip hazards. You see these mostly on old footpaths. One wrong step and next thing you know you’re eating pavement. Commercial patch-ups are disruptive if they’re large scale, like a carpark or long stretch of footpaths. For safety’s sake, though, they’re necessary after a few decades.

Covercrete, or spray concrete, is easily and quickly applied to tired surfaces. When a space needs a facelift but the ground doesn’t need ripping up, covercrete is the way to go. This type of concreting adds value to a home because you can get a design stencilled in it. This is what you see in driveways and some patios. There’s plenty of ways to design covercrete, from ‘pavers’ patterns in red ochre to a fleur-de-lis in royal blue.   

concrete steps home

Concrete solutions for the home

Concrete for the home is nothing new. The “industrial” trend has seen warehouse conversions and new home build with entirely concrete interiors. It’s getting a better rap for its design potential, rather than its use for making council footpaths. We’ve listed some of the common uses for concrete in the home below.

 

Patios

You can’t walk into a backyard without walking on a patio first. They’re an essential part of the Australian way of life; where else will you put the barbecue?

Making a patio isn’t that much different from making a driveway. You still need to go over specifics with your contractor. This includes the size of the surface area, the type of finish you want and the required strength of the concrete.  

 

Floors

Warehouses that are converted into homes more often keep the original floor. A bonus of this is the psi strength of the concrete will be around 4000 – 5000 psi. This type of concrete is used in “high traffic” areas. Any lesser type would crack faster.  

Polished concrete floors are popular in new home builds that want to have a “modern” finish. Concrete floors are low maintenance and easy to clean with a broom or steam-mop.

 

Steps

Indoor or outdoor, concrete stairs are reliable and sturdy. They can withstand high amounts of foot traffic, unlike varnished timber. It is also waterproof. When high amounts of rain or flooding occur, the steps will remain standing.

You’re more likely to find concrete steps out the front of a home, but they’re slowly making their way indoors as a design quirk. An example of this is art galleries, museums or display homes.

 

Tips

Concrete is tough but is prone to staining, same as carpets or clothing. This is because concrete is a porous material. Penetrating sealants “plug” the pores and bonds with it at a molecular level. Topical sealant sticks to the concrete’s surface and is fine at resisting minor stains.

five-questions-concrete-driveways

Five Questions About Concrete Driveways

Home upgrades are important for fixing up a “dated” home and adding resale value when the time comes. Old, cracked or generally unpleasant-looking driveways are one improvement people might not give much thought to, but they really should. Driveways can turn into a money pit when not laid correctly.  

Do I need a base layer?

Any building needs a steady foundation and driveways are no different. Loose soil isn’t good for a construction project. This leads to cracking, costing you more than what you were originally quoted thanks to repairs. For base layers, the soil is compacted and crushed stones spread across the surface area to stabilize the concrete when it sets.

What concrete type do I need?

Different types of concrete exist for different jobs. The concrete will need to have a high psi rating, meaning it can withstand a lot of pressure bearing down. For concrete driveways the contractor would recommend a 4000 psi mix. This blend can withstand 281 kilograms per square centimetre.

Should I seal the driveway?

You can’t just have the driveway laid and leave it at that. Nature and lifestyle need consideration. Cars leak grease, things get dropped or splashed, and there are forces of nature to contend with. A penetrative sealant will protect the driveway from these, plus moisture absorption.

What’s the warranty?

Good contractors will have workmanship warranties that last for a year or more. If a contractor lacks a policy, it’s best to look elsewhere. Ask for a copy of the warranty to check what’s covered so that you’ll get the best value for money. Good contractors will take responsibility for their work during and after construction. This way if accidents happen, you won’t be out of pocket.

When can you start?

Of course contractors have slow periods, but if it’s perpetual then there’s a problem. One way workers get found is through word of mouth, and when they have a lot of recommendations they’ll be busy. If you sign with a reputable contractor, they might not be able to start work straight away. However, they’ll do their best to get to you as quick as they can.

questions-about-concrete

Three Questions to Ask About Concrete

Concrete is a necessary material to lay those first foundations when you’re building a home, resurfacing your driveway or even taking the first steps to building an alfresco dining area. But not all concrete is made equally; there are different types for different purposes. Before you call the contractor, ask yourself these three questions to make sure you’ll choose the correct materials.

 

  1.      What kind of work am I doing?

Concreting a driveway is a very different job from building a patio, and no two products will be the same for this reason. For outdoor work you need concrete that’s resistant to the sulphur found in soil. For common areas there’s a kind of concrete that’s resistant to cracks. There’s no “one type fits all”. Investing a little time in checking will save you money in the long run.

 

  1.      How strong does it need to be?

Next from the point above, it’s important to note that different concretes have different psi, or load bearing, capacities. 2500psi types are good for general construction like interiors and paving, but for strength some builders will prefer 3500psi blends. Rarely will a home need a 4000 – 5000psi concrete which is standard for warehouses, shops and other areas where there’s a high volume of traffic.

 

  1.      Is there a particular style or finish I’m after?

Finishing touches are just as important as the product itself! These last details can add value to your home and gives you a chance to personalise it the way you want. Concrete isn’t just grey anymore. There are various finishing touches to choose from. This includes exposed to polished, coloured to plain and stencilled to acid-stained.

 

Of course discuss the best options with your contractor, but knowing these questions will save time and money. They’ll help you find a product that will change your home, add value to your investment and even inspire a little envy among your friends.