Concrete is essential for constructing walls, floors, and more. Having reliable Colorado Springs Masonry can help ensure construction projects meet their deadlines.
Concrete contractors have diverse skills that extend beyond the job site. They must also be efficient at operating their business, which requires accounting, estimating and bidding knowledge.
Concrete is the foundation of the buildings and roads that we live in, work on and travel down. It is a highly specialized material that requires special training to be able to construct and repair correctly. Concrete contractors are the experts who know how to make sure concrete is poured and set properly. They are responsible for the site prep, forming, placing and finishing stages of concrete construction.
This type of skilled work requires a high school diploma or GED certificate along with physical strength and stamina to stand or walk for extended periods of time as well as to perform strenuous manual labor for long days on the job. Construction concrete workers also need to be able to interpret blueprints, code specifications and customer instructions as well as learn how to operate various tools and heavy machinery.
Site prep – Concrete contractors start each day by preparing the area where concrete will be poured. This involves clearing the area of rocks, grass, trees and garbage as well as leveling the ground to prepare for a base that will support the concrete. Depending on the project, they may need to dig holes, place forms or install footings. They must be able to read and understand the blueprints that are provided and be able to communicate with the foreman on the jobsite about their progress, needs and challenges.
Forming – After the site prep and concrete placement is complete, the crew starts to pour the concrete into the forms. This is an exciting phase, but it can be messy. The concrete must be poured, leveled and spread evenly to create a smooth surface that can be used as the basis for roads, sidewalks and buildings. Concrete contractors must be able to recognize and fix problems that arise during the pouring process such as air pockets or uneven surfaces.
Placing – This is the phase of a concrete contractor’s job that requires the most attention and detail. They must be able to follow the blueprints to ensure that the concrete is poured at the correct location and in the right size and shape. Concrete contractors must also monitor the weather and halt concrete pouring if there is a risk of rain or other adverse conditions that could affect how the concrete sets.
Concrete contractors need to have a good grasp of construction, and they should be able to follow blueprints, as well as written instructions. They also need to have a strong focus on safety, as working with concrete can be dangerous if it is not handled properly. Concrete workers need to have physical stamina, as laying concrete can be very hard work.
To become a concrete contractor, some people may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in construction or civil engineering. However, many contractors learn their craft on the job, starting as a laborer or concrete finisher and working their way up to foreman or superintendent. These positions often offer on-the-job training as well as classroom study.
There are also formal apprenticeships in construction that can be a good option for those who want to get their foot in the door of the concrete industry. These apprenticeships combine classroom study with on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Concrete Finisher or Journeyperson. Apprentices can earn while they learn, beginning at about 60 percent of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increasing over the course of their apprenticeship.
Those who want to become concrete contractors may also consider taking courses in business management. These courses can help them be more efficient at operating their own concrete businesses, from managing employee schedules to submitting smart bids to prospective clients. Business skills are also important for those who plan to work on government contracts.
In addition to education and experience, it is also important for concrete contractors to have a reliable source of materials and equipment. This includes a heavy-duty mixer and the proper tools for the type of concrete that they are going to be constructing. They also need to have a commercial general liability insurance policy and worker’s compensation insurance, which is required by most states.
A decorative concrete contractor also needs to keep up with new techniques, products and designs. This can be done through research or attending trade shows. In addition, they should be able to communicate effectively with their employees and clients.
Concrete is a very specific material that requires specialized knowledge and skills. Having several years of experience in the concrete industry will help a contractor develop these skills and become adept at their job. Concrete contractors can get this experience by working for concrete companies or contracting firms, completing internships or volunteering to assist in projects related to the building of concrete. These types of experiences will give the concrete contractor a firsthand look at the process involved with the construction and help them understand how to best serve their clients.
A good concrete contractor will be able to walk their client through the entire concrete project, from mixing and delivering the product, to finishing the work on time and within budget. They will also be able to answer any questions and concerns the client may have. Choosing a concrete contractor who will be open and communicative with their clients will result in a smoother project for both parties.
While a concrete contractor may have a great portfolio of work, it is important to make sure the company is licensed and insured before hiring them. This will protect the client in the event of a dispute over payment or quality of work. A reputable concrete contractor will be able to provide their customers with proof of licensing and insurance before beginning any work.
A reputable concrete contractor will also have strong relationships with their suppliers. This will allow them to provide their clients with a quick turnaround on estimates and ensure the concrete they receive is of high quality. Concrete suppliers will also often deliver the concrete directly to the job site, which will help reduce costs and minimize travel time for the concrete trucks.
In addition to a strong relationship with their suppliers, concrete contractors should also have an excellent reputation in the community. Whether it is through word of mouth or online reviews, the reputation of a concrete contractor can go a long way in determining whether they are the right fit for a particular project. Using an online resource management tool like Bridgit Bench can help contractors level up their workforce planning by eliminating manual spreadsheets. Book a demo today to see how you can streamline your business processes.
Concrete contractors must be licensed in their state to work in the construction industry. This requirement differs by state and typically includes passing an exam, completing a background check and providing a bond in order to be licensed. Some states also require concrete contractors to maintain certain safety standards on the job site and participate in continuing education courses.
When looking for a concrete contractor, it is best to choose one who has years of experience and has a positive reputation in the community. This will ensure that the contractor is competent in their field of expertise and can handle any challenges that may arise on a project. They should also be knowledgeable about the latest trends and developments in concrete and construction.
Most states require concrete contractors to be certified in a number of areas, such as placing rebar and cold joints, finishing, and pouring a foundation slab. They should also be familiar with the specifications for each type of structure, and they should be able to identify and avoid materials that will not work for a particular application.
In addition to the licensing requirements, concrete contractors must also be proficient in the business side of running a construction company. This includes knowing how to keep track of their financials and submit successful bids for projects. It is recommended that aspiring concrete contractors take courses in business management and other business-related subjects in order to develop these skills.
A concrete contractor must have a commercial general license to do any work on a building or other structure that is used for business purposes. This includes structures such as office buildings, hospitals, and retail spaces. In addition to this, a commercial concrete contractor must be capable of installing and repairing any embedded items that are essential to the overall integrity of the structure.
Some states have additional requirements, such as requiring contractors to attend continuing education classes on safety issues or to complete an OSHA 30 course in excavation, trenching and soil mechanics before their license is renewed. They must also disclose any criminal convictions, which may result in the denial of a license or the removal from a list of licensed contractors.