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Concrete is one of the most common building materials in the world, used in homes, commercial buildings, outdoor areas and even roads. Concrete is made up of cement (the main binding ingredient), sand, water and aggregate. Aggregate is simply sands and stone.

Almost all residential homes utilise concrete in some form, and whether you’re renovating or building new, engaging the services of a professional will ensure that your concreting project looks as good as possible while fulfilling its function.

Types of Concrete

There are several different types of concrete that are available, with some including:

  • plain
  • coloured
  • stenciled
  • stamped
  • spray on patterned concrete
  • pebblecrete
  • exposed aggregate
  • grinded aggregate
  • polished concrete
  • Spray on patterned concrete is a concrete coating that is cement based and can simulate several different patterns, such as cobblestones, pavers etc. stenciled concrete is where a cardboard stencil is laid over existing concrete and a coating painted or sprayed on in order to give a patterned look. Stamped concrete gives the concrete a three-dimensional look and can recreate several different paving effects. The advantage of all these types of concrete is that you get a sophisticated paved appearance without having to worry about the weeds or dirt that are associated with traditional paved areas.

    What type of concrete you choose depends on what you will be using it for. For example, coloured, stamped or patterned concrete or exposed or grinded aggregate can be used for driveways while plain concrete can be used for walls, footings or foundations. Polished concrete looks great indoors. Speaking to a professional will allow you to select the correct concrete for your project.

    Concrete Uses

    Concrete can be used almost anywhere in the home. Some examples are:

  • foundations and footings in houses, sheds etc
  • walls
  • structural elements such as beams
  • driveways
  • paths and patios
  • outdoor entertaining areas
  • pool surrounds
  • landscaping
  • as the floor of a pergola
  • as paving
  • What Concretors Do

    Concretors perform a variety of tasks including but not limited to:

  • mixing sand, cement, water and aggregates on site to make concrete
  • using concrete pumps to put concrete into position
  • putting concrete into formwork, spreading and levelling it before compacting it (formwork is simply a mould that is made from timber or steel to contain the concrete as it dries)
  • the operation of paving and trowelling machines
  • polishing concrete
  • creating different concrete surfaces through the use of stencils, stamps or hand tools
  • cutting joints into concrete to allow for expansion and shrinkage
  • digging foundation trenches
  • Selecting a Professional Concretor

    There are several things to consider when selecting a concreting professional. The first is to ensure that the concretor is licensed and has insurance (necessary for larger concreting jobs). You should also ask if the concretor will provide a warranty, and what the warranty will cover. Some forms of concrete such as stamped or stenciled concrete will need to be resealed periodically so check if your professional is willing to do this for you. Also gain several quotes before choosing a concretor and ask for a timeframe so that you know how long the job is likely to take

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