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]

Commercial Concrete Slab Foundations: Process and Specifications

Foundations are often called a concrete slab or even just “slab,” but no two slabs are alike. With such a wide range of foundation/slab designs, it is important to know the proper specifications for each project, such as, adaptation based on the soil test report.

A solid soil support system below the concrete, otherwise known as sub-grade, is essential and critical to a successful foundation. The first step is to complete a soil test to examine the characteristic make-up of the existing soil. A geotechnical lab will perform a soil boring, which will provide the structural engineer with the information he requires to design an appropriate foundation slab to support the weight of the project.

Depending on the test results, the sub-grade might require stabilizing. This often means using lime or cement, then excavating the soil 12 to 36 inches as well as placing a new select fill material.

Once the sub-grade is ready, the structural engineer will also design the slab/foundation, based on the soil test results and load anticipation. In addition to the geotechnical soil test, there are other critical tasks to perform before laying a foundation. These include creating engineered stamped drawings and of course, acquiring municipal permits and paying any necessary fees.

The list below provides an overview of the main steps involved in laying a new slab/foundation:

  1. Perform a geotechnical soil test and analyze results.
  2. Stabilize the existing sub-grade.
  3. Form and pour a 5-inch thick slab.
  4. Place ½-inch rebar at 12-inch centers.
  5. Drill piers with the dimensions of 12” x 36” x 8’ with rebar.
  6. Install a concrete-grade beam with the dimensions of 12” x 24” with rebar.
  7. Spread footing/pier caps with the dimensions of 24” x 24” x 24” with rebar.
  8. Install a vapor barrier to prevent water vapor from getting into the slab.
  9. Complete a trowel finish depending on the anticipated level of skid resistance.
  10. Saw the expansion joints.
  11. Spray on a curing compound depending on the engineer’s recommendations.

A foundation or concrete slab involves many critical tasks to prepare, design and execute in a way that will support the structure eventually placed on top. Bill Houston Concrete Construction, Inc. demands competence from its team and provides guidance to clients every step of the way. The positive outcome and number of successfully laid slabs is undeniable evidence of expertise. Contact us at 281-443-0874 or houstonconcrete@sbcglobal.net for a consultation.