The Advantage of a Concrete Driveway

Concrete is more expensive than asphalt but lasts longer and requires less maintenance. It is also a versatile material that can be used in many ways. When the water sheen has disappeared from the concrete but before it becomes stiff, float with a magnesium hand float. To reach the middle of large slabs, kneel on boards.

Concrete ContractorsChoosing a quality concrete construction company for your concrete driveway installation can reduce the risk of cracking. Concrete Contractors Dallas TX can lay the proper foundation, subgrade, gravel, rebar, and formwork before pouring the concrete, which helps prevent future cracking. They can also install expansion joints and grooves formed across the wet concrete at prescribed intervals to allow for natural shifting and settling of the slab without causing it to fracture.

Concrete is an extremely durable material that can withstand much weight. It is also a non-flexible material, which means that trucks and other heavy vehicles are less likely to damage the driveway than they might if made of a softer paving material like asphalt. A properly installed and maintained concrete driveway can last up to 30 years and even longer, depending on installation methods, environmental conditions, and temperatures.

Although a concrete driveway can cost more upfront than other types of paving materials, long-term savings can offset this expense. In fact, a well-maintained concrete driveway could last up to 50 years or more, and will still be in good condition when it is time for your family to move out of the house.

A properly installed concrete driveway can last for up to 50 years or more, and will look better than a paved driveway that was not constructed properly. In addition, concrete is an environmentally friendly material that can be recycled and reused to build other structures in the future.

Today’s concrete can be formed into a variety of shapes, textures and colors to enhance the kerb appeal of your home. For example, you can have a concrete driveway that is textured and stamped to mimic the look of brick or cobblestone, which is sure to impress your guests and neighbors. Moreover, concrete can be stained in a wide range of colors, which makes it possible to create a driveway that complements your home perfectly. So, if you are looking for a beautiful and long-lasting driveway that will boost the resale value of your property, then consider getting a concrete driveway installed in Melbourne.

Easy to Maintain

Concrete is a very hardy material that will hold up well to a lot of use. If you take the time to properly maintain your driveway, it will stand up to many years of heavy traffic and weather conditions with minimal damage or deterioration.

The light color of a concrete surface makes it easy to see oil and other fluid spills, so these should be cleaned up immediately to reduce the chance of stains. Likewise, it is important to mop up any large pools of water that form on the driveway after rainstorms, as these can also cause staining and may be an invitation for moss and other unwanted plants to grow.

A concrete driveway can be finished in a number of ways, including adding texture and coloring for a unique look. A stamped or stenciled concrete finish is popular for homeowners who want the look of a traditional brick driveway but would prefer a more durable and low-maintenance material. The design possibilities are endless and the results are stunning.

If you have a concrete driveway, you should be sure to use a quality penetrating sealant on it twice a year to keep the surface protected and looking new. This is a simple, inexpensive step that can greatly extend the lifespan of your concrete driveway.

Like asphalt, concrete can crack over time if not properly cared for. However, if you have your concrete driveway installed by an experienced contractor who ensures the correct steps are taken, this will be avoided. This includes the right mix of cement, optimal weather conditions when the concrete is poured, and strategically placed contraction joints.

It is best to avoid using salt or other ice-melting chemicals on your concrete driveway, as these can cause it to deteriorate over time. A deteriorated driveway can be very difficult to repair, so it is best to prevent this from happening by keeping up with routine maintenance and repairing any cracks or other damage as soon as you notice them. This will keep your driveway in good condition for as long as possible and will help you save money on repairs in the future.


Concrete is one of the most durable materials available, and when properly maintained a concrete driveway can last 50 years or more. This durability makes it an attractive choice for homeowners and developers alike, as well as anyone who wants to avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future.

Because they are made of a solid material, concrete surfaces require very little maintenance to keep them in good condition. A few quick sweeps with a broom are enough to remove any dirt and debris, while the occasional pressure wash removes deeper dirt or moss. Concrete driveways are also relatively resistant to cracking and can handle a variety of weather conditions, including freezing and thawing.

The durability of a concrete driveway is directly related to its thickness. While a 3- to 4-inch driveway may work for light vehicles, most concrete contractors recommend 10 or more inches of thickness for heavy traffic areas. This is especially important if you plan to store heavy equipment or parking your truck, RV, or other large vehicle in the driveway.

In addition to thickness, concrete also depends on the underlying material for support. For a long-term, durable concrete surface, the contractor must prepare the soil properly to reduce shifting or cracking as it settles. This includes removing any large rocks or other debris, adding soil amendments, or, in some cases, using steel reinforcing.

In addition to its functional benefits, a concrete driveway can add beauty and curb appeal to your home. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of decorative staining, stamping, and engraving options to complement any architectural style. If you are looking for something more unique, you can even have your concrete driveway customized to look like brick, tile, stone, or exposed aggregate. Regardless of the design you choose, a concrete driveway will give your home a beautiful, timeless appearance for years to come.


Concrete is a popular choice for driveway construction because it’s durable enough to hold a vehicle. It also comes in a variety of colors and textures, making it easy to customize your driveway to match the style of your home. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other construction materials.

Concrete driveways are versatile and can be formed into different shapes to accommodate any type of vehicle. They can also be stained to achieve a wide range of styles. In addition, they are durable enough to withstand freezing and thawing conditions and can be cleaned with a pressure washer. Concrete is also eco-friendly, as it requires less energy to manufacture than asphalt.

In contrast to paver driveways, a concrete driveway is easy to maintain and won’t require any replacement or repairs over time. Although pavers can be more visually appealing than a plain concrete driveway, they can also be difficult to shovel in the winter and create tripping hazards. In addition, they can become loose and need to be re-installed every few years.

A concrete driveway can be installed in a variety of ways, including as a precast slab or poured on-site by contractors. In either case, the proper preparation is key to ensuring that the concrete will last for a long time. If the driveway is poured over dirt, it should be well-compacted before laying the concrete to avoid settlement and cracking. If the driveway is to be on a slope, a geotechnical engineer should be involved in the site preparation process to ensure that the soil can support the concrete.

A well-designed concrete driveway will include control joints at regular intervals to prevent random cracking. It is also important that the concrete be poured with a slump value of not more than 5 inches. The presence of these joints can help to reduce the amount of water that is trapped in the surface, which can lead to a build-up of ice and waterlogged pavement. It is recommended to install a drain at low points in the driveway to remove standing water and direct it away from the pavement.

How to Properly Install a Roof

If you are looking to install a new roof, you will need to follow a few simple steps. The first step is to determine the condition of your existing roof. Next, you will want to make sure you have all of the necessary materials before starting. This includes starter shingles, sheathing, underlayment, and drip edge. Click Here to learn more.roof installation

Starter shingles are an important part of any roof installation. They serve as a barrier between the field shingles and the seams, which prevents leaks. These shingles are also an essential part of wind resistance. In high wind zones, they prevent uplifts from strong winds.

Starter shingles are made from fiberglass-reinforced asphalt shingles. They are usually rectangular and are topped off with natural roofing granules. The tar strip on the bottom of the shingle is also important since it serves to help keep the edge of the roof down.

Starter shingles are typically a bundle of 18, which yields 118.1 linear feet of coverage. This is enough to cover about half an acre of the roof. If you’re installing a new roof, it’s a good idea to measure the area before you buy.

The best starter shingles have at least two-and-a-half inches of headlap. The self-sealing strip that’s installed on the bottom of the shingle is a good sign, as it will stop blowoffs.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to install the starter shingles on the outermost roof edge. This will allow the shingles to be nailed down evenly across them.

The proper placement of the shingles is a critical factor in ensuring your roof will perform well in all aspects, from rain to wind. It’s a good idea to use the corresponding nails for every course and to place the nails at least 1 1/2 to 3 inches from the edge of the shingle.

There are a few other things to remember. You should also ensure that your foundation is solid. Installing a shingle without a base is a surefire way to cause damage, which can cost as much as $300.

It’s important to choose the right underlayment for your roof installation. Choosing the wrong material can cause problems and result in a lower-quality job. In addition, it may void your warranty.

There are two main types of underlayment available for roofing projects. These include felt paper and synthetic underlayment. Both provide protection from wind and moisture, but each has its own advantages.

Felt underlayment is made of plant fibers soaked in bitumen. It’s lightweight and provides superior tear resistance. While it’s more affordable than other roofing materials, felt isn’t always the best choice for your project.

Synthetic underlayment is a newer option that offers benefits like durability and wrinkle-free performance. They are a good alternative to the felt paper underlayment, but they are a bit more expensive.

Rubberized asphalt underlayment is another option. Unlike felt, rubberized underlayment is waterproof. This means it’s ideal for areas where you don’t want to leak. But it’s also very heavy. You’ll need to lay out the material and use a ladder to install it.

Whether you’re installing a metal or shingle roof, you’ll need underlayment. Underlayment is designed to protect against water and wind, and it acts as a barrier between your roofing materials and the inside of your home. Roofing underlayment comes in rolls or in smaller pieces. Depending on the size of your project, it’s recommended you purchase a roll that covers about one hundred square feet.

Generally, it’s best to install synthetic underlayment on a flat roof deck. However, depending on the type of underlayment you buy, it can be installed on sloped roofs as well. If you’re not sure which product to buy, ask your contractor or a manufacturer for a recommendation.

When it comes to installing a drip edge on your roof, it is best to rely on a professional. Doing it yourself can lead to mistakes that will cost you money in the long run. In addition, improper installation can cause damage to your home’s framing.

Installing a drip edge is a good way to reduce the risk of damage to your home. This piece of metal redirects water away from your home’s fascia, shingles, and other vulnerable areas. It is also a nice decorative addition.

To install a drip edge on your roof, remove any existing shingles from the roof’s edge. Then, loosen the lower run of the roof so you can access the tools and materials you need.


Concrete Repair – How to Do it Yourself

concrete repair

When it comes to Concrete Repair quality is key. You want to ensure that you use a material similar in elastic modulus and thermal coefficients to the original mix. It should also resist freeze-thaw cycles, and allow water vapor to pass through. Using the right material is essential to making sure that the repair does not break or crumble.

The first step is to determine the extent of damage. Cracks and uneven concrete are telltale signs of damage. If you find them, call a professional to repair them. It can often be more affordable to level the concrete, as opposed to replacing it entirely. A professional can evaluate the extent of the damage and decide how to proceed.

The next step in concrete repair is to prepare the area. Typically, this involves scraping off crumbling areas. You can use a heavy duty trowel to remove small areas, or you can use a cold chisel to remove larger areas. After you’ve removed any crumbled areas, sweep the area well to remove all debris.

If you’re repairing a large vertical area, you’ll want to use forms. Make sure that the form is strong enough to support the new concrete. The form should be made of mortar-tight material, with a low water-cement ratio. You’ll also want to make sure the concrete that’s receiving the repair concrete is completely dry. You’ll want to use a bonding agent if the repair is too thin. However, if the repair is thicker, you don’t need a bonding agent.

There are two types of concrete repairs: partial-depth repairs and full-depth repairs. Full-depth repairs involve removing the damaged concrete and replacing it with fresh concrete. Partial-depth repairs, on the other hand, involve cleaning and cutting around the edges of the damaged concrete. If you’re looking for an affordable repair, Midstate Concrete Leveling & Lifting in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida can help you. And it’s easy to do!

Using the right concrete repair technique can save you a lot of money in the long run. By identifying the underlying causes of a crack, you can avoid spending more money on the repair later. This will also prevent the damage from worsening. With the right techniques, you can prevent a concrete slab from cracking in the future. And it’s a cheap way to prevent damage from spreading. But you must be aware that cracks will eventually require a more permanent solution.

A repair should look as natural as possible. The repair material should have a consistent appearance, and it should be well-matched to the rest of the product. If you’re planning to fix a large area, you should consider hiring a professional. Whether you’re looking for a new driveway or a patio, concrete repair will be much easier when you have an experienced team on your side. And if you’re not confident enough, you should always seek professional advice to make sure your project is completed to your satisfaction.

Concrete repair requires careful evaluation to determine the underlying causes of deterioration and select the best concrete repair method. This evaluation can include reviewing available design documents, structural analysis of the structure in question, and inspection of test data. In some cases, you may also need to conduct a chemical analysis of concrete samples to determine the level of corrosion and damage.

Chemical damage to concrete can include water, acids, leaching of salts, and organic substances. These factors all contribute to deterioration of concrete. In some cases, the damage caused by these factors is the result of a production fault or an environmental influence. For example, exposure to abrasive materials like salts and gravel can cause rusting of steel reinforcements. This can be especially harmful when the reinforcements are insufficiently covered by concrete.

In other cases, cracks may not be structural and only appear cosmetic. In such cases, you might want to consider resurfacing the area. A resurfacing product will apply a thin repair layer over the crack. Using a resurfacing product can make a large area look better. If your driveway or patio is cracked, a resurfacing product may be the best option.

Great Tips For Your Home Improvement Project

There is a lot of advice out there to help people with their home improvement projects. The following article will give you some great tips for doing your home-improvement projects.


The more personal your renovations, the less likely it is that someone else will want to buy it for enough to cover the cost of the work.


Your air conditioning filters should be kept clean. A clogged up filter can really use a lot more energy. It also result in the unit running longer than it really needs to. You need to change the filter once a month before it gets clogged.


You can find hinges at different hardware store. Just take apart and simply attach every side to the frame and the door.


Use aluminum foil to cover your wall outlets before you paint. It’s less time intensive to use aluminum foil to protect covers from spills and splatters. And it makes cleaning up is a snap!Just make sure the paint dry before removing the foil.


You can renew the appearance of your walls by using paint and spackle to cover up holes.You can find spackle at any home improvement store. You only need a little spackle to fill small bit. Use a bobby pin to spackle over the smallest holes. This process will eliminate wall holes vanish in single night!


When placing screws and nuts into storage containers, glue one of them to the outside part of the container. It will make finding what you are looking for in even the most organized tool shops. Written labels do not provide the parts that you need.


After reading these guidelines, you are now ready to tackle your home improvement to-do list. There is a great deal of information out there, and you must know the right way to apply it. Keeping this in mind, it is possible to improve your own methods and get the house you always wanted.


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Is it Worth Hiring a Concrete Contractor?

concrete contractorsIf you’re considering building a new building, you may need to hire a concrete contractor. This type of contractor will have the skills and experience necessary to finish your project on time and within budget. You may be wondering whether it’s worth hiring a concrete contractor. You should be aware that a concrete contractor is responsible for providing you with a beautiful finished product and ensuring that it’s safe. While hiring a concrete contractor, you should consider their level of expertise and experience.

A competent concrete contractor will know the ins and outs of concrete construction and ensure that the finished project meets your requirements. If you’re unsure about the kind of work you need, you can check online reviews to get a feel for their level of competence and expertise. A contractor  should also work with different methods, including using stencils or stamps. While a great contractor will be able to do any of these tasks, you should make sure to find one that will match your budget.

In the case of decorative concrete, you can use the services of a professional to enhance your home’s decor and style. Whether you’re looking for a modern or traditional look, you can choose from a variety of textures, colors, and patterns. Using a concrete contractor will allow you to enjoy the results of your remodeling project without worrying about any foreseeable problems. In addition to this, your contractor will also help you with insurance questions.

Concrete is an essential part of any building and requires skilled, experienced contractors to ensure a great result. It’s a tough job, but it can also be rewarding. A concrete contractor can help you improve your home’s appeal. With a little help, you’ll be able to get a fantastic finish. There’s nothing better than knowing that you’ve made the best choice in the construction field. You’ll be happy you did.

As a concrete contractor, you should ensure that your project is done correctly. You should hire a concrete contractor that will meet your expectations. A good contractor will not rush into a new project. Rather, he or she will take the time to prepare the site. If you’re not comfortable with concrete, you should hire a concrete contractor with the expertise and experience necessary to finish your project successfully. It will make your construction more attractive to your clients.

While concrete contractors are essential for your project, you should also pay close attention to the edges of your forms. A concrete contractor should make sure that the base is leveled and that the concrete is leveled. A concrete contractor should also pay special attention to the edges of the foundation, since they affect how the cement will cure. If you’re using a concrete mixer, it is important to get an estimate of its costs and how much it will cost you.

There are several factors to consider before hiring a concrete contractor. First of all, they should be able to read blueprints. Secondly, they should be able to follow written instructions. Having a thorough knowledge of your local area will help you decide who will work best with your project. Additionally, they should have the patience and knowledge to properly manage a construction. And thirdly, they should be able to communicate well with the client.

If you’re considering hiring a concrete contractor, you should consider the type of project you want to build. If you’re planning to build a house, concrete contractors should be familiar with the specifications of the home you’re building. They should be able to explain how their projects will be constructed. Then, they should be able to answer any questions you may have. And the final step is to choose the best type of concrete for your project.

While the process of hiring a concrete contractor is essential, you should also keep in mind the importance of the decision. You should always choose the best contractor for your project. For example, you should never hire a contractor who lacks experience. A qualified concrete contractor will be able to meet the specific requirements of your project. A good one will be able to answer any questions you may have. The right contractors should have the experience and the knowledge to perform a great job.

An SSA student’s perspective on working in construction and practical workshops

Women in South Asia have long been doing intense physical labor in building sites and brick industries for relatively low pay. And, yet it is discouraging to be a part of a heavily male-dominated construction industry. Whenever I passed by a construction site, I felt powerless and afraid of the tools that men carried effortlessly, as if to prove that gender disparity in the labor market exists for a reason. In other words, the construction world felt unattainable in all its toughness.

Image Source: Women at work © The Record Nepal

As an aspiring architect, the dichotomy between architecture and construction seems nonsensical, particularly in the ever-evolving realm of sustainable architecture, where prototyping and experimenting are at the core of design processes. There is also an assumption that architects are above construction workers – a dynamic that sustains social and class imbalance. While there are many structures to criticize about, luckily, there are also associations like Critical Concrete who facilitate three-weeks of intense, hands-on workshops to understand the material, building techniques, and teamwork as part of the post-graduation course in sustainable architecture. The workshop positively shifted my perspective of the construction industry and further expanded my own personal boundaries.

“Let’s get our hands dirty!” architect Hanno Burtscher, instructed a team of ten women who came from different professional backgrounds, race, and geographical locations. Hanno introduced himself as an earthman, with an Austrian sense of humor, quick wit, and great teaching style, he grouped students in pairs to use all four senses except for sight to identify the local materials used for raw earth construction. This is how the welcome ceremony to the workshop began and it had already set a higher bar for the rest of the workshop. The joy of sharing stories moved the conversation from endless banter about cheese and food to serious topics like what sustainable construction means and how the uncertainty during the time of pandemic has affected our lives. In short, the day exuded a sense of togetherness. 

*Sketch by Charlotte Schneider, Alumni, Post Graduation 2020-2021


The first week of the workshop was a battle – a battle to make proper earth mix to build a heated earthen bench and flooring for the kitchen at Critical Concrete. From the start, we learned that the key components of earth mix are clay, small gravel (0-5 mm), big gravel (5-15 mm), sand (0-4 mm), and water.

Most of us were already aware of the composition elements through our Raw Earth online course, but what made the difference in the practical workshop was the experimentation and improvisation in the mixing process since the excavation materials were available in limited amounts. The question constantly surfaced during the workshop – how do we make the most use of what is available around us? And this was a revelation in itself because theoretically, we learn the ratio – 40% of excavation, 20% of small gravel, 20% of big gravel, 20% of clay, and water – to achieve the desired mix. 

In practice, however, there had to be adjustments in the ratio based on the materials that were available to us. The way we integrated the composite materials together also made a big difference in the quality of the earth mix. So, at times we had to find creative ways of using what was available to us.

“While nearing the end of the earth mix for the floor, we ran out of the large size rocks. My typical mindset is to say, “Let’s just go buy more.” However, with the mindset of Critical Concrete to use what we already have, we were not going to buy more. To finish the mix, we scrounged throughout the construction yard looking for proper sized rocks and were able to get the right volume,” Mary shared her experience. And this was the general experience during the workshop – how to find sustainable solutions when we hit a roadblock.

In our earliest days of the workshop, we dropped a fist-sized earth mix balls from 1 meter height to see whether they stuck together or crumbled. We concluded that the ball should drop in larger pieces rather than completely shattering or sticking together. If it’s too sticky, either the clay or water content is too high which will result in a mixture that won’t be suitable to create a form. The same logic applies for the dry mixture as well. After a process of trial and error, we realized that there was no concrete recipe to achieve the perfect mix. But there were a number of factors that determined the quality of the mix. One of them is the clay content, which is normally 20 percent in total but depending on the situation, it could range from 5 – 30 percent. The purpose of the clay is to bind the materials but the more surface area we have in the mix, the more clay we require, from which we can derive that the smaller the surface area of excavation, the higher clay content would be required to bind it. Simple physics!

Many construction sites are not inviting spaces for women. Women’s work is often considered too frivolous to the degree that they are rendered valueless in the number-driven capitalist economic system. During the workshop, this dynamic was challenged. A team of mostly women and Hanno prepared the foundation for raw earth flooring and built the formwork for the bench. As I was lifting heavy stones and using power tools, I occupied a space that was not ‘normalized’ for women. I quickly realized that the problem wasn’t these too feminine, delicate hands but rather it was the devaluation of women’s work that put women in confinement of patriarchal ideas.

“We either put 100 percent into this or we don’t do it at all,” Hanno remarked while we were putting earth mix into the form work. The workshop was fueled by this exact mindset but was also filled with laughter and leisure in between our hard work. Overall, during the first week with Hanno, he guided us by observing the way we were interpreting the materials. We were able to experiment with the materials and make decisions based on our judgement.

Week 2 | Esposende Building Site | Hugo Dourado, Pietro

Degli Esposti, Martina Eandi

Esposende was roughly a forty-minute drive away from the city of Porto. And when the drive is long, conversations of past, present, and future start bouncing around.

“How do you say it?” Bara from Czech Republic asked.

“Vastu Shastra,” I repeated.

“And that means harmony of energy through design? That is how I would like to design the interior of my place one day,” remarked Charly from Germany. 

The conversation moved in such a way during the Esposende trip. The practical workshop as a part of the post graduation course merged people with similar ideologies, dreams, and passion of bringing social and political change through architecture and urban planning. The workshop also meant more than fulfilling a part of the course. Some of us had flown miles away leaving their usual life to come to Portugal to venture in a new journey.

*Sketch by Charlotte Schneider, Alumni, Post Graduation 2020-2021

The building site was under construction, so there were different tasks that the students could choose from such as fixing the board and batten cladding system, wood charring station, tiling the roof, or constructing a rocket stove.

The name rocket stove in itself made me curious. On top of that, I had also done some research on rocket stoves in one of the Participatory Design courses. I started my second week with Pietro, our Raw Earth course instructor and Martina, Mycelium course instructor, to complete the stove that could be used for both cooking and heating the entire house.

The making of the rocket stove involved lots of earth mix, it didn’t involve knowing rocket science at all. First, a stone wall had to be built to lay an exhaust pipe with an inclination of 30 degrees. The purpose of this was to carry the smoke from the rocket stove out of the house. For the stone wall, we prepared Argamassa (mortar) to attach stones of many sizes together and this alone took days to finish. As soon as the wall was completed, we started to make the exterior of the rocket stove with earth mix. The earth mix was ¼ part lime, 2 ½ part excavation, and ½ part straw. Since we were working with materials that were locally available, the excavation we were using included large stones. We wanted the mix to be a combination of lime, earth, and straw, so we sieved the stones out.

At times building with raw earth felt like cooking, in a sense that there is a process to achieve the result. You cannot skip a part to make the process faster, there is a procedure that you must follow otherwise the mix will not be suitable for construction. Therefore, while making the earth mix, it is important to completely let lime and excavation combine before putting any water. Once lime and excavation are completely mixed, giving off a grey-brown color, you slowly add water and straw to make a mixture. We used the cob technique to compress and compact fist sized balls, smashing it to attach them onto the pre-existing walls.

Slap slap slap!! We were hitting the earth mix on the side with a board to pack it down together. Another important thing that Pietro shared with us was that the cob technique allows us to build 30 cm per day. Since the earth mix is massive and wet, it needs time to dry and be compacted to build another layer on top of it. To keep the layers of earth mix interconnected, we created a vertebra-like structure at the end.

​​The rocket stove workshop made me realize how earth as a material is flexible. I could mold it in any shape I wanted and working on it with hands felt therapeutic. With the rocket stove, we were trying to achieve a dome shaped exterior to give it a character of its own. We molded the earth mix into long tiny sausages to create a curve on the upper part of the stove. It was interesting to see how earth could be shaped into any form with the right formwork which is also one of the big advantages of working with this natural material.

Life on Site

The Esposende building site was located between the ocean and mountains. In the early morning, you could see the tip of the mountains covered in fog and in the late afternoon during those early hot, summer days, you could see the blue ocean in the distance. With our cup of coffee that the Critical Concrete team prepared for us every morning, the day started with division of tasks and the students always got to pick first which task they wanted to be involved in.

After our coffee we all got into the groove and the site came to life again. Some of us were carrying heavy stones, using power tools, hanging on the roof putting tiles while others were listening carefully to what Hugo, our Vernacular Architecture course instructor, with immense knowledge and a sense of perfection, had to teach about board and batten cladding systems. It was fascinating to observe how everybody worked individually and in teams and clearly I wasn’t the only one who thought this. The neighbors in Esposende would walk by observing, commenting on our work, with their hands clasped behind their backs!

“It’s called umarell in Italian,” Linda shared jokingly.

Apparently, in Italian slang, umarell is when elderly people gather to observe construction sites and comment on how to do the work, often with holding their hands behind their back.

I became a umarell when it came to food. The Critical Concrete team prepared big batches of healthy, colorful vegan food during lunch time and we would all observe in awe. The variety of food made from simple ingredients that Critical Concrete provided us inspired me to be creative with food that we eat on a day-to-day basis. How many times do we actually think about eating in a sustainable manner? How do we creatively use leftover food in our diet? These questions among many others helped me unlearn and learn new ways of looking at sustainability.

Week 3 | Furniture Workshop | Samuel Kalika

I noticed how different building materials can be. Whereas with raw earth, exactness is not so important, with wood each millimeter is important. Building beautiful furniture requires many steps, patience, and exactness,” Viviana shared. After working with flexible material like earth, wood seemed like unlocking a whole different dimension. Samuel, our Participatory Design course instructor, understood this well and he made our work easier by giving us instructions on every powerful tool we were using.

Precision was the key. While cutting wood, if it’s 1 cm off, what could we do? We could not undo a cut once it was made neither could we adjust it, so a big part of the furniture workshop was to find a solution on the spot. We used many different tools to achieve the desired finish and construction: a universal machine to obtain desired thickness, sizes, flatness, and straight surfaces; the meter saw; the sander. Gradually the counters for the kitchen in Esposende house began to take shape. “As soon as I started approaching the work, I understood the importance of being precise in all the small details. Once we developed a good flow in the process, the work became easier and faster,” commented participant Linda Tonin.

*Sketch by Charlotte Schneider, Alumni, Post Graduation 2020-2021

While trying to achieve precision, mistakes are bound to occur but this is part of the learning process and that made the experience lighter and took away the fear of judgment. 

“To assemble the pieces, in particular for the bigger elements, we set up a strategy, naming the pieces of wood and measuring the different thicknesses needed for the joining beams. Since different people worked on the cutting process, sometimes the joints’ holes had different sizes. We took these mistakes as an occasion to add different colors of wood to fill the spaces: the mistakes, at the end, added aesthetic value to the furniture pieces,” Linda reflected.


During the whole workshop, each one of us were sharing our experience of working in different environments. We were trying to understand what our preferences are, what materials, tools we like to use, and which instructors’ teaching style catered to our learning approach.

“Beyond the excitement, time passing and the verge to finish, it was necessary to maintain a safe working space, making sure you and everyone around is comfortable and don’t cause any danger. Having this in mind, I learned how to remain calm and careful with all the tasks, machines and my colleagues. This atmosphere brought a lot of awareness and future-thinking into my habits,” Agnieszka described her experience.

“Starting with the fact that the workshop took me out of all my comfort zones, I can say that the first learning was that the “unknown” can be very good. And the learnings went beyond practical. Being in contact with such an international and so human team certainly awakened in me my best version, my confidence in a more correct and viable future and made me reflect and work on my limiting standards. It was definitely a great achievement to be in a healthy work environment,” shared Júlia.

I resonate with both Agnieszka and Júlia. My experience with working in a group was liberating. It taught me how everybody in a team works differently — how each individual works, thinks, coordinates and cooperates while working on a project. On top of that, our group was very diverse, so learning from each one of them and getting to interact with everybody in-person felt special during this uncertain pandemic time. We were able to transfer our expertise and learn from each other’s skills. At the same time, we were a group of women doing construction work, realizing our own potential and that was empowerment in itself.

On a personal note, the workshop also altered my relationship with the construction industry and my perception of emancipated women. Historically, women have existed within the confinement of domestic space therefore women who occupy space outside of the predictable situations are labeled ‘modern’. And if the working conditions are healthy and their work is comparable to the status of a male, they are given recognition and visibility. But are all women able to get the same visibility and prestige as the emancipated, educated women? Women from lower class and caste in South Asia have been working in extreme conditions in construction sites and brick factories out of economic necessity. They have to go through daily work toxicity in a largely male-dominated workplace. While reflecting back on the practical workshop, I realize the utter importance of an equal workplace environment in the labor industry and greater recognition of those women who have paved the way.

The post An SSA student’s perspective on working in construction and practical workshops appeared first on Critical Concrete.

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What is a Boom Pump?

Have you ever come across a concrete boom pump before? Unless you work in the construction trade, you may be forgiven for not really knowing what a boom pump actually does. However, for commercial and residential construction projects alike, it’s one of the most useful concrete pumping and layering tools out there.

What Exactly is a Concrete Boom Pump?

A concrete boom pump truck is an item that will help to deliver and pour concrete to projects which might have work being undertaken high off of the ground. For example, you may be working on a high-rise building or a block of flats, and it might otherwise be tricky for you to get concrete or cement up to such a height.

Boom pump on construction site.

A boom pump offers a hydraulic arm, which stretches up from the vehicle’s base level to pump concrete directly to the project area. A boom pump can arrive via truck, so that you have a mobile unit at your disposal, or you can also invest in static systems, too. Of course, there are no right or wrong answers as to which system works best here – it’s all a case of considering your individual needs!

You’ll likely want to invest in a concrete boom pump if you are struggling to get those trickier bits of your construction or building project layered in concrete from a standing level. In many cases, this type of pump will take away plenty of time and effort and will make sure that there is less labour involved with concrete layering.

How Else Might a Boom Pump Device be Helpful?

As mentioned, the boom pump system is great if you have high-level concrete pouring needs. It’s also a fantastic asset if there are obstacles or obstructions in your way, and normal concrete pumping or pouring systems are unable to support you.

You might also find that this type of concrete pump is ideal for pouring mix from above down onto a project. Ultimately, you’ll find that a boom pump is going to give you easier access to some of the trickier points and fixtures which traditional concrete solutions just can’t handle.

The best news is that a boom pumping system is very flexible, meaning that while you can generally expect a stretch of around 72m at basic length, you can also invest in extensions or ask for additional help from concrete suppliers.

Is a Boom Pump Right for my Project?

If you are finding laying foundations difficult due to tricky to reach spaces, then a concrete boom pump vehicle could make all the difference. Why not take a look at the pump options available and take a chance on a more flexible system and operation for your building and construction needs?

There’s no need for you to be doing more work and taking on more hassle than you need to. A fantastic boom pumping system could save you time, money, and energy. Take a look at what’s available and compare! If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, get in touch today on 07812 182778 or head over to our contact page for more details.

The post What is a Boom Pump? first appeared on Base Concrete.

What is Reinforced Concrete?

A lot of you will be familiar with reinforced concrete as a building material, but may not be aware of the finer details. Commercial concrete is often a good solution for building work, we will be discovering a bit more about why this is the case, and the best ways to go about using the material for your building projects.

Everything You Need to Know About Reinforced Concrete

Commercial Concrete

This is concrete used as part of a building project, often used to create or enhance business facilities, industrial buildings, warehouses and retail stores. In an average building, you will find commercial concrete in plenty of spaces, such as the walls, floors and even some architectural details. A large majority of commercial buildings would have been put together with heavy use of commercial concrete. Like domestic concrete it has many benefits when used on a building site, durability being one of the most obvious.

Domestic Concrete

Domestic, or residential concrete usually has less demand placed on it in terms of structural performance and durability, but in itself, it is still considered a durable building material. Domestic concrete floors and pavements usually require a lower strength mix design and lighter reinforcement than commercial concrete.

reinforced concrete floor

Concrete Pumps

The purpose of a concrete pump is to have a tool that can convey liquid concrete. This works by having one piston drawing liquid concrete into a cylinder from a hopper while the other piston simultaneously pushes concrete out into discharge pipes. There will be a valve which can determine the cylinder that is open to the concrete hopper and the one which is open to the discharge pipes, which gets switched over each time the pistons reach an endpoint, with the process continuing with the first cylinder now discharging and the second drawing fresh concrete from the hopper.

Concrete Services

If you need to deal with reinforced concrete there are a couple of things that are crucial to consider. You need to make sure that if you are laying the material yourself you know what you are doing with it. You must also make sure that the concrete is of a high-quality standard. You must have the facilities to mix it correctly as well as an appropriate skill/strength level to physically handle it/the required machinery.

Alternatively, you may need to use the services of a professional concrete company, like Base Concrete, to prepare and lay the concrete and get your building project completed. Commercial concrete can be a great asset to all sorts of projects and can be purchased with some very good deals, just make sure you are only ever involved in using the services of professional and trusted companies. It is almost a guarantee that your area will have quite a lot of concrete services operating in your area where you can purchase your desired amounts of commercial concrete or have a service bring around the material and lay it on your behalf.

So, for all your concrete needs, contact Base Concrete today on 01442 389105. For more details, visit our contact page.

The post What is Reinforced Concrete? first appeared on Base Concrete.

Why Concrete is a Great Choice for Floors

You may just see concrete as a flooring option that is a pretty standard arrangement, one that places tend to opt for if they can’t think of a better choice. But some noteworthy reasons make concrete a great choice for flooring, it can elevate a stepping space to the next level… Let us take a look at 6 great benefits of concrete flooring and how it can transform the look of your property.


If you know anything about the strengths of concrete, you will know that it’s a very durable mixture indeed. We’re talking about a material that can withstand very high volumes of weight, with strong pressure presenting no issues whatsoever. Heavy equipment and vehicles would not be enough to make a dent on a concrete floor. So a concrete floor can easily take all the foot traffic and moving of furniture that the average household is likely to take part in regularly without any issues!


This durability means that the concrete will hold up and last for years to come. Especially if the concrete flooring is well looked after and sealed, you can expect it to last for a very long period before it becomes anywhere near being worn down. And even when the texture and colour begin to change with age, a long way down the line, that adds a bit of ‘character’ to the style of the flooring and is not a practical issue unless it actually becomes damaged in any respects.

Plenty of design options

Concrete does seem to be stereotyped as a boring flooring type, but that is quite unfair. Designers have come up with a wide range of options, with absolutely loads of different colour and textual effects to choose from. And don’t forget you can stain or paint the surface of concrete for your desired effects and also opt for other specialities such as polished concretes.


If you’re cost-conscious, whether you’re looking to purchase domestic concrete or require flooring for office space, it remains one of the more economical options available. The clever aspect is that you can choose a faux floor pattern that resembles the style of a much more expensive flooring type for a fraction of the cost.

Easy to Maintain

Another big benefit of concrete is that it’s very easy to maintain. As mentioned, it will keep even better with a seal of some kind, a protective sealant that should be reapplied every 3-9 months on average. Regular sweeping and mopping will help keep the concrete looking fresh and new, but other than that, not much maintenance is required. Polishing your concrete is also a great way to keep it looking its best.

Good for Indoor and Outdoor

A final benefit of concrete flooring is it’s a reliable choice for both indoors and outdoors, so you can have it set up in your home or garden area.

You should enjoy selecting a great looking concrete flooring style, but there is also an alternative option. Consider hiring a mini concrete mixer which for a very small daily fee can produce your required amounts of concrete from the comfort of your garden! This can work out to be a very affordable way of getting the job done! So, for all your concrete needs, contact Base Concrete today on 01442 389105. For more details, visit our contact page.

The post Why Concrete is a Great Choice for Floors first appeared on Base Concrete.

The Many Uses of Concrete

Where would we be without concrete? It’s one of the most versatile and essential products for almost all construction projects across the world. It’s a substance that fills our world and can be seen in almost everything we see, but also one that is so easily overlooked.

There are so many uses for concrete. Its applications and uses are more varied and more widespread than you can imagine. There are over 20 different types of concrete that are used in a multitude of construction projects, but what are the most popular applications for it? What is it that makes concrete such an advantageous material to use, and how is it used in both domestic and commercial developments. Let’s take a look.

Origins of Concrete

Concrete, in one form or another, has been with us since 6500 BC. It can be traced back to what is now, the United Arab Emirates, where Nabataea traders created concrete floors, houses and even underground cisterns.

The Egyptians were using it to build the pyramids in 3000 BC, where they used mortars of lime and gypsum to create their version of cement. It was also used, not surprisingly perhaps, to help construct the Great Wall of China. It didn’t become concrete, at least what we recognise it as today, until the 1800s, but since then, its uses have grown more and more.


For any of us living in a house or working in a building, it’s likely to be made from brick and mortar to some degree. In the UK, it took off after World War II as part of the rebuilding efforts. Nowadays, it’s probably the most popular application of concrete in the modern age and will be for centuries to come.


Even if the building itself is more steel and glass, its foundations will be made from or secured in, concrete. Concrete is so popular because it won’t burn or rot, which means that the foundation is going to maintain its strength and rigidity for many years.

Roads and Bridges

As we move up in the world, the very streets you walk on and the bridges you use to cross those roads will also be made of concrete. Again, concrete wins against other materials because of its durability and safety. It might not be obvious, but another advantage of concrete in these environments is that it offers better reflectivity at night. Of course, it’s not just pedestrians it has to support, but because it can hold heavier weights, such as cars and trucks, it’s the perfect material to use.

Why Concrete has so Many Uses

The applications for concrete don’t stop there. They are only the start. Concrete is so popular in different projects simply because of its adaptability. It’s not sensitive to moisture, can be shaped and moulded into almost any design, affordable and is recyclable.

It has a very long lifespan, doesn’t release any dangerous organic compounds and is just as safe for inhabitants. It’s easy to forget the difference concrete has made to our world, but just look around and you’ll see that it’s everywhere.

Contact Us

Thank you for reading this blog post. Should you be looking for any mixes or perhaps ready mixed concrete itself, then we can deliver it straight to your door. So, if you have any upcoming tasks, then get in touch today on 01442 389105 or visit our contact page for more details.

The post The Many Uses of Concrete first appeared on Base Concrete.