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Wednesday
Jun042014

Building Foundations

LIVE from Katy, Texas where we completed the buidling foundation for the new addition at HUB Hyundai West.

 

Tuesday
May202014

St. Clare Monastery

We have begun constrcution of the new prayer garden at St. Clare Monastery in north west Houston.

Please support them by visiting their web site above or click on the photo left. St. Clare Monastery is an urban monastic residence for a small spiritual family situated on 2.04 acres with over 7,000 square ft. and 5-6 bedrooms. This allows us the privacy for a peaceful and unobtrusive setting for contemplative prayer, and necessary space for monastic residents, vocational guests, a weekly cell group meeting of members and friends, and those making days of recollection.

We are blessed to support ministries in Houston and surrounding areas.

Tuesday
May132014

The Value of Supervision

We hear it all the time, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Proper supervision and coordination between the office and the field is vital to completing a project on time and in budget. Leadership is what all of our crews need and what customers expect!

A crew without proper leadership is just a bunch of guys meandering around with no direction. We have been blessed over the years with great leadership. We have foreman that have been with us for over 25 years. They understand the value of keeping the laborers on their feet and abreast of what the next order of action is to come. They have high expectations for the completion of our projects because our customers have come to expect only the very best from us. We have set the precident over the last 30+ years in business. It is up to our leadership and our foreman to continue to pave the same path that we have set in our shadows all these years.

I have heard customers complain for years about other contractors not supervising their work! From a business and profit point of view, supervision can make or break a project. A lot of times a contractor will start a job and then quickly move on to another or just coast by! Coasting is meandering in one direction, down hill, who's destination is inevidable... a complete stop. Human nature is such that leadership is imperative!  A project with out a leader or a supervisor is just a social event and a bunch of guys hanging out until payday!

Bottom line, if you want your future paved in success, supervise those involved to get the job done on time and in budget; it makes the customer happy and a business profit!


Written by an old man in concrete boots!

Mike Green

Tuesday
Apr152014

Weather vs Concrete

Early morning building foundation pour at Hub Hyundai WestWeather has been and will forever be the enemy of a concrete contractor. We always want a perfect day, no rain, mild wind, humidity and moderate tempatures. Well as we know that is a rare occasion; unless you live in San Diego.

 

Houston, Texas is a place where the heat requires early summer morning concrete pours to avoid the 100 degree heat. The heat effects not only the concrete itself but the people who place it. If concrete is not placed fast enough it can over heat and is then no longer suiteable for use. At the cost of $1,000 per load, this is not something  a contractor can afford to loose. The responsibility is normally, if not always on the concrete contractor to get the material(concrete) down before it becomes unusable. Cold weather also effects the work, if temps are below 45 degrees and not rising then it's wise to hold off pouring. There are additives to help in both accelerating set time in the winter and retarding it in the summer. These of course are not added for free!

 

The weather is a variable that really plays havoc with schedules and people's temperament. So far as I know we are not able to control the weather; we just work with what the Good Lord gives us! General contractors and property owners always want a good job at a fair price. The weather variable is something that irritates them to no end! They will complain about not pouring when it's cold, complain about staying late due to slow set time in the winter, complain about early pour times in the summer , which can often be at 2 and 3 AM. Yet rarely is there an offer to pay additional for such a service.

 

The concrete business is somewhat like farming with out any Government subsities. I have fought the weather for 35 years as a concrete contractor and as to this date I have never won the battle. Wise men try and schedule around what the weather man says, make few allowances and push the job when it needs pushing, pray always and just use common sense! Weather is as fickle as PG woman. Always changing and can be dangerous if not given due respect!

 

The weather has me second guessing myself again!
Tuesday
Apr082014

Driveway Disrepair

We get a fair number of calls from customers with driveway problems. The normal problems are from tree roots lifting the concrete and expansion joints rotting and allowing water to penetrate the base. In both cases the soil below the concrete is the problem. Normal slight cracking in concrete over time is to be expected. However, if the movement in the concrete has opened a crack wide enough to allow water to the base, the problem will only get worse.

So what is the remedy? 

  1. Remove the existing concrete and replace it.
  2. Route out the cracks and fill with a joint filler. This can be done when there is no variation in levelness. 
  3. In some cases if the concrete has sunk uniformly it can be lifted with mud jacking or urethane injection.

Should the concrete be replaced?

It is important all roots are cut back. Concrete people understand concrete. While we may like trees, they offer us a shady spot during the hot summer months, we generally don't love them. It's wise to get an expert to look at your trees and give advice on cutting your tree's roots back. At the direction of an expert we provide these service to you during the repair or replacement of your slab. After breakup and haul away your soil should also be compacted with a vibratory plate. This is necassary to prevent shifting and problems occuring in the future.  

It is our opinion that your concrete should be a minimum of 5 inches thick, reinforced with #3 rebar (3/8 diameter reinforced bar, about the size of your little finger) at 16" on-center. The concrete mix is to be a minimum of 5 sacks per yard and 3500 psi. The main reason to thicken your slab is because we don't want you to be back in the same situation you are in now just a couple of years down the road. 

Expansion joints should be placed in no more than 200 square foot blocks for residential and 1,600 square blocks for commercial concrete. Depending on the size of the replacement the new concrete can be pumped, power buggied, or wheel barralled; no way would you allow a concrete truck to back into your good concrete. Common sense is always the rule of the day!

If you believe that you have a driveway problem due to root or water damage call us today at 713-692-2291 or shoot us a quick email for your FREE no obligation quote. We'll be happy to discuss with you your option for repair or replacement.