Paving contractors can be hired to install a concrete or asphalt driveway at your home, office or property. They can also repave an asphalt or concrete driveway that has been damaged by time, weather or heavy loads. When you are looking for a driveway contractor, request quotes from at least three professionals who are in good standing and have great customer reviews. They should do a site visit and write you a bid, detailing the work involved, materials needed, approximate length of the project and estimated cost.
The site for your new driveway will determine costs and the work required for your contractor. First, the ground must be excavated to lay a clear path. This means removing any trees, bushes and stumps. Next, the driveway contractor will grade the area, making a level surface for the concrete or asphalt. To ensure proper drainage, driveway contractors should install a sub-base of compacted gravel (or similar) 4 inches-8 inches deep, depending on your soil type. Then the concrete or asphalt may be poured and smoothed over the top. Your driveway contractor should recommend an appropriate sealant for your climate and advise you on curing time. When hiring a paving contractor, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.
Because unsealed concrete is porous, it readily absorbs liquids, leading to unsightly stains and freeze-and-thaw cycle damage. For this reason, it’s important to seal concrete that will see spills or outdoor weather.
The best option for garage floors and other high-traffic areas is epoxy, which forms a hard and extremely durable surface on top of concrete. Epoxy, acrylic, and polishes are often used on indoor floors, while acrylic-resin sealers and reactive penetrating sealers are used on outdoor surfaces to repel water and salt. Locate a concrete contractor in your area to help find the best solution.
Here are some examples of average costs:
- The national average cost to hire a concrete specialist is $2,750, but that price can vary greatly depending on the work needed to repair and resurface your concrete driveway, the square footage of the project, current costs of concrete, and regional labor rates.
- Driveway contractors average $2-$3 per square foot to smooth and resurface your asphalt driveway.
- Resurfacing concrete driveways averages $3-$10 per square foot. Pricing can depend on repairs needed, project size and geographic location.
- Nationally, the average cost for resurfacing a 500-square-foot driveway ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
- Sealant for a concrete drive can cost $20-$80 per gallon.
- Sealant for an asphalt drive averages 25 cents per square foot.
The best finish for concrete floors depends on your personal taste. An acid stain is a bold, varied look with lots of texture and the potential for earthy tones and a natural stone appearance. A water-based stain might not last as long as an acid stain, but it gives you the choice of many different colors. Epoxy is great for high-traffic areas, kitchens, bathrooms, basements and garages. It provides a glossy, damage-resistant, non-slip coating on your concrete floors. To find out which finish is the best for your concrete floors, contact a concrete contractor near you.
If the concrete job is 100% outdoors, a concrete contractor will not need to enter your home. However, certain jobs may require a professional to enter your home, including pouring a slab floor or laying a foundation for a fireplace or other heavy object.
If a contractor needs to see the inside of your home during the consultation, you can ask to video chat and share photos through email and text messages to reduce exposure. Put a plan in place as you talk to local concrete contractors.
Masonry contractors build structures with smaller units like bricks and stones, binding them together with mortar to form a larger structure. Concrete contractors, on the other hand, only use concrete to form structures. This mixture of cement, water and other materials is poured into a premade structure and left to cure, forming a single structure made on one part.
Concrete contractors can build foundations, structures, driveways, concrete storm drains, raise or level concrete patios and much more. They can handle every step of the process, starting with framing the mold that the concrete is poured into. They then cut, assemble and tie together the rebar, giving the concrete its tensile strength. Finally, they pour the concrete in, mixing and conditioning it to ensure it cures properly. They will also take steps to ensure that no air pockets are trapped within it.
If you have a project that requires the help of a concrete contractor, reach out to one today to get a price estimate.
To find the best concrete contractors in your area, start by comparing concrete contractor reviews and ratings, which can give you insight into the quality of work you can expect from potential concrete contractors. When reading reviews, pay attention to details about how long the project took and whether the customer had any disputes with the contractors. The reviews often contain photos of past work, but if you don’t see any reviews, ask the contractor to share photographs of concrete floors, driveways and other projects they’ve worked on. Look for details such as clean edges and a lack of cracking. And finally, if a concrete license is required in your state, ask to see the contractor’s credentials.
In order to know if a concrete contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider in your city or state, you’ll need to visit your city or state’s official government website.
Another helpful resource is CISA’s website, which includes a guide to Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 that provides information on a national level. This guideline presents 16 categories of critical infrastructure sectors, which can help in determining whether concrete contractors are currently considered essential service providers. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
If you’re hiring a concrete contractor, stay safe by following the guidelines issued by your local government, as well as those issued by the CDC. Ensure that you, the contractor and the workers do not come within 6 feet of each other, wave instead of shaking hands, sanitize any involved surfaces and use virtual payment services instead of cash or check. Make sure to discuss a strategy in depth with your local concrete contractors before you start the project.