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Concreting Cost Guide

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For a quality concrete project, you need a reputable concretor for the job. This is not the kind of task the average homeowner should attempt because there are too many things which can go wrong, and it can lead to serious problems in the future. Plus, a professional concretor can do much more than simply install concrete. In order to give you a good idea of what to expect, let's look at the many different services you can receive, approximate costs and some important tips on hiring the right contractor.

What is a Concretor?

Concretors are professional contractors who work with concrete for many kinds of construction and building applications. They take materials like cement, sand, gravel, and water and pour this mixture over steel reinforcement supports. Concretors also build forms to keep wet cement in place until it is set and becomes hard.

To create some concrete projects, the concretor may need to do a considerable amount of excavation and may add materials like rock or sand to provide a footing or additional support for the concrete. Many concrete forms are made from timbers and once the concrete is hardened, the forms are dismantled and removed.

After pouring the concrete mixture your contractor may need to add water and use tools to ensure the cement hardens evenly and once it is partially set, they may brush the surface to apply a texture. This helps to keep walkways, driveways, and floors from becoming slippery when wet.

What Projects Can a Professional Concretor Perform?

The things a good concretor can do are almost limitless and here is a list of some of the services:

  • Retaining walls - a concrete retaining wall is an external structure which helps to keep the land from washing away. It can also support a building.
  • Foundations - all homes and structures need a firm foundation to build upon.
  • Slabs - many houses, workshops, and garages are built on slabs laid by concrete contractors.
  • Footpaths - when you need a walkway on your land, concrete is one of the best materials you can use, when done properly.
  • Swimming pools - pools require a great deal of digging and planning and an experienced concretor can give you a pool which perfectly matches your property.
  • Concrete spraying - some of the most beautiful concrete work is done with decorative spraying techniques.
  • Concrete sawing - with special equipment your concrete contractor can cut and form cement.
  • Cleaning concrete - when concrete becomes stained or very dirty it may need a professional cleaning.
  • Reinforcement - suppose your home foundation has formed cracks. Your concretor can make a number of repairs and reinforce the structure. He can also repair water leaks.
  • Sealing - many concretors also provide concrete floor sealing services. They use epoxy materials to seal areas like garage and commercial floors. This provides a bright and decorative finish which is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Coloured and decorative concrete - all kinds of designs and colours can be created to give your concrete surfaces a unique appearance.

How to Hire the Right Concretor

The most important thing to consider is licensing. Your contractor must have a building contractor or concretor license to perform work in Australia. The only exceptions are the Northern Territory and Tasmania. When you interview contractors here are some questions you can ask:

  • Are you insured to do this work? This will cover accidents where the contractor damages your property. It can also cover mistakes made in the process of construction.
  • How many years have you been in business? Experience matters a great deal in concreting.
  • Can I talk to previous customers for references? This is very important because concreting is a craft and not just mixing and pouring materials. It takes people with skill and talent to do the job right.
  • What kind of guarantee do you provide with the work? If something goes wrong after the job is completed, you'll need to call the concretor so he will make it right.
  • Can you give me a written estimate of the costs? Make sure the estimate is on paper, to make it easier to compare estimates from other contractors.

Determining the Costs

You can sit down and come up with a reasonable estimate for the costs before talking to a concretor. However, it's important to take several factors into consideration, such as:

  • Size and type of job
  • Thickness of the concrete - a driveway may be 100 millimetres thick but a concrete garage floor can be 125 millimetres.
  • Excavation work - some jobs require a lot of digging.
  • Drainage needs
  • Location of your property - is it easy to access or not?

Average Concrete Square Metre Cost

For standard concrete work you may be charged as low as 55 dollars or as much as 85 dollars per square metre. Here are approximate costs for other services:

  • Coloured concrete and reinforced pathways - 65 to 90 dollars per square metre
  • Spray on - between 50 and 75 dollars per square metre
  • Decorative finishes and exposed aggregate - expect to pay as little as 100 dollars and as much as 150 per square meter.
  • Labour rates - around 68 dollars per hour

As you can see, there are considerable variances in the average costs. This is why it is important to get estimates from more than one concretor for the job. Plus, you may receive a lower estimate if you choose a contractor who specialises in the kind of work you need. For example, a swimming pool contractor has all the right tools and equipment and can usually build you a pool cheaper than a general concretor.

Helpful Tips for Lowering Your Concrete Costs

You may save on costs if you combine several small jobs into one project. It costs your contractor to operate equipment, pay labour and other costs, and small projects can be very expensive.

Talk to your neighbours. If any of them need concrete work, your contractor may provide you a discount on the costs, especially if it is the same type of work. For example, you and a neighbour may both want a new driveway.

Don't let price be your main guide. If you receive one estimate which is far below the others, there may be something wrong. A professional concretor has many costs to consider and cannot afford to give you quality work at a steep discount.

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