Archive for Hiring A Contractor

How does Houston’s climate affect concrete?

For many, Houston has an enviable climate: hot in the summer; mild in the winter; and with levels of humidity throughout the year to make it a fertile growing spot. But how does the heat and moisture impact on Houston’s infrastructure and, specifically, its concrete?

We know that humidity, along with a wide temperate range, can significantly impact the performance of concrete. As with other materials, concrete can expand in the heat and contract in the cold, meaning that structures can shift and cracks can appear. Houston’s humid climate presents other challenges, increasing the pH levels of concrete and compromising its integrity, compressive strength and durability.  Moisture can also lead to the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria, which can weaken the material, and might even contribute to the worsening of a chemical reaction within the concrete that turns its inners to gel.

Yet concrete still remains a key construction material in Houston, not least because of its affordability, durability and thermal mass, slowing the passage of heat to keep buildings cool on the inside no matter how high the outside temperature soars.

The solution, then, lies in using expert concrete contractors who understand the highs and lows of Houston’s climate and its impact on all stages of the process, from producing the right mix for your construction project to the finished article. As we’ve seen with the bridge repairs across Texas over the past few years, regular maintenance and repair is essential for making concrete work in Houston. Please contact us at Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. at 281-443-0874 or houstonconcrete@sbcglobal.net for a consultation, we are always eager to share our knowledge.

BHCC, Inc.

Houston, TX 77041

A Glance at Screening Potential Construction Firms

When it comes to the building of a structure from scratch, the most important thing you should do is select an experienced Houston construction company. Screening potential contractors can be a project in itself. Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. wants to help you prepare for this important decision, so you get the best quality service available.

When considering a new project, one of the most common mistakes is selecting the first construction firm you come across. We recommend putting together a list of at least three solid contractors in your area that have the capacity to meet the needs of your specific requirements. Check the companies’ websites or contact them individually via phone or email to learn more about their level of expertise, and to gauge their commitment to customer satisfaction and professionalism.

It is important to have an understanding of the basics that are inseparable from a construction project, such as, soil testing, clearing, grading, stabilizing and permit requirements. An experienced contractor will recognize these needs and will provide solutions and advice for each, prior to starting work. Ideally, we recommend selecting a construction firm that doesn’t have to subcontract certain aspects of the job. Subcontracting can increase client costs and be less reliable.

Before making a final decision on which contractor to hire, have a couple of companies provide an estimate or quote for the scope of your project. By discussing price and specifics early, you will have an idea of which companies best fit your budget even as they present the highest quality craftsmanship.

Compare line items of the written estimates. Some companies, like BHCC, Inc. consider every minute detail; therefore, they are better prepared and reduce the chance of add-on costs during your build.

Lastly, as you near the end of the screening process, remember to request proof of liability insurance. Construction projects big and small can be dangerous. Ensure the contractor has proper certificates and insurance to protect yourself in the case of an unfortunate accident or other unexpected liability.

We at Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. strive for success, both in the safety of our employees and the financial stability of our customers. Now that you have the power to screen potential construction firms, contact us at 281-443-0874 or houstonconcrete@sbcglobal.net for a consultation.

Selecting the Ideal Houston Concrete Contractor for Your Project

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When choosing a company to help with your project, it is essential to enlist the services of a proven and professional contractor. Every project is different. How can you ensure success before you’ve even begun? Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. wants you to know what to look for and which questions to ask before you hire a contractor.

For most people, the easiest place to begin the hunt for a Houston concrete contractor is on the internet. Due to Houston’s large population, an internet search will return thousands of results, and the task of choosing the right one for a specific project can be a time-consuming endeavor.

However, you can narrow your results by looking for top-rated contractors, current websites, history and references. We suggest you put together a short list of 5-7 potential contractors that might fit the needs of your specific concrete project.

Once you have a list, look for customer reviews of services online. Were people satisfied with their final product, the customer interaction and the time frame to completion? Eliminate any contractors that have multiple complaints or negative reviews in the last couple of years as their services may not be the quality you deserve. Check online reviews as well as the Better Business Bureau.

Browse each contractor’s company website. Look for photos of past concrete projects as evidence of their work and craftsmanship. Check to see if they have any certificates or references on the website such as the Better Business Bureau’s Accredited Business stamp. Next, look for answers to the important questions. Some you might find online, others might require a phone call

  1. How long has the contractor been in business?
  2. Does the contractor carry general liability insurance and worker’s compensation?
  3. Can they provide a Certificate of Insurance?
  4. Can they provide job references or testimonials?
  5. Will they have a supervisor on site at all times who can answer questions?
  6. Do they provide a written warranty?
  7. How many days will be needed to complete the project?
  8. Will there be any down payments or deposits required to start?
  9. Does the contractor hire employees or subcontractors?
  10. Can the contractor provide soil testing, clearing and permits needed for the job?

These questions should help determine the ideal contractors to start contacting. Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. recommends choosing the three best candidates to start with. Contact each one by phone or email. This is a good way of judging what type of relationship can be expected based on the level of customer service received on the initial contact. Good companies with years of experience will have attentive and knowledgeable people willing to help you assess goals and set appropriate expectations.

Also, make sure the contractor has a deep understanding and thorough knowledge of concrete, asphalt and the effects of different weather conditions such as heat and humidity. As you know, the weather here in Houston is unpredictable and can create big problems for inexperienced contractors and their clients.

Now it’s time for the final decision, we suggest you meet with the concrete contractors that have made the best impressions. During this meeting, you should have a chance to view their portfolio or gallery of past work, and get a quote or at least a rough estimate of your project’s cost, scope and timelines. This will give you the chance to compare and judge the best working relationship and make the most informed decision.

Contact Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. at 281-443-0874 or houstonconcrete@sbcglobal.net for a consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]