Concrete Installation

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What do paving contractors do?

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.

What is the best sealer to use on concrete?

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.

What do concrete contractors do?

Hire concrete contractor services for projects such as concrete foundations, concrete driveways, slab floors and other concrete work. A concrete contractor builds structures from concrete, often handling every step of the process from mixing ingredients to building the retaining structure to pouring and settling the mix. This individual or team supervises delivery and pouring to ensure that it’s done correctly. Many states require concrete contractors to have a license.

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 concrete 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.

How much does it cost to redo a concrete driveway?

 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.

Does a concrete contractor need to enter my home?

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.

Do concrete contractors offer remote or virtual services?

Concrete contractors must be present to pour concrete. If you come across a profile that states the concrete contractor is offering remote services, message the contractor to see what those services include. 

In any case, contact local concrete contractors to ask whether they can perform the job under current guidelines. You can also discuss other strategies to stay safe, like virtual payments and video consultations.

How can I find out if a concrete contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

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. 

Is a concrete floor cheaper than wood?

Yes, concrete floors are generally more affordable than hardwood floors. Generally, a concrete floor costs between $2 and $15 per square foot, while hardwood floors cost between $12 and $20 per square foot, according to Floor Critics. While concrete requires preparation and pouring, its ease of finishing makes it a very affordable flooring option. Choose between finishes like acid stains, epoxy and more. While hardwood is not cheap flooring, it offers warmth and durability with infrequent maintenance.

If you're stuck between installing wood floors or concrete floors, reach out to a flooring installation professional near you

What's the difference between masonry and 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.

Call a concrete contractor near you to replace or repair concrete floors. You can also find concrete masonry contractors in your area to help you with other projects.

Can I use digital payments to pay for concrete installation?

It is increasingly common for concrete installers to accept digital payments instead of cash or check. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only served to encourage this practice. Look for payment options like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay or others when you compare concrete contractors online. When you contact a concrete contractor, ask whether the contractor would be willing to accept.

Reviews for Ashburn driveway professionals
Thumbtack Customer
Mark Jones Sr. and Mark Jones Jr. were both on site during the job - it's nice that the owners of the company take a personal interest in getting the job done right. We had our driveway repaved and our front walk reshaped and replaced with pavers. Both the driveway and the walk look fantastic. Very pleased with their service and the final product. I would recommend them!
Nova paving industriesNova paving industries
Yanelys G.
USA Asphalt is the way to go. Joseph was very professional and responsive to all our questions. He was able to accommodate our service same day and took the time to properly do the job. Our driveway cracks were filled and sealed in a blink of eye, garage doors were protected and no corners cutting. The value of this company is not just in their impecable job but, the honesty of their owners.
USA Driveway SealcoatingUSA Driveway Sealcoating
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