Did you know that even the ancient Romans used concrete in their construction? They valued it for its strength and for its ability to be molded into different forms. They formed concrete from volcanic ash and lime, which were a bit different from the materials used today, but the substance was very similar and used for similar purposes. Today, concrete contractors carry on the ancient Roman tradition, making everything from patios to counter tops from concrete. These creations last for years and require little maintenance. We think concrete is amazing, and we hope you'll share that opinion after reading the articles provided here.
If you're planning to add a small concrete structure to your backyard, then you have a decision to make. Whether you're building a patio, a retaining wall, or some other feature, you need to decide whether you're going to have the concrete poured in place or if you're going to opt for precast concrete. Precast is concrete that is formed by pouring it into a reusable mold in an off-site location. The concrete item is then brought to your home, either as one piece or as several pieces that your concrete contractor assembles on-site. So, what are the pros and cons of going with the precast method?
Pros of Precast Concrete
The contractors don't have to be on-site for long
When you choose precast concrete, most of the work is done off-site. Your concrete contractors will probably come out to see the site one day. Then, they'll return a week or two later to install the concrete element, which will usually only take a few hours. If you're crunched for time, this approach can make scheduling easier.
The quality of the concrete may be better
Precast concrete is poured in a consistent environment under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. This can lead to stronger concrete than you'd get if the concrete were to be poured directly in your backyard, where the contractors don't have control of the climate.
Cons of Precast Concrete
Heavy equipment is sometimes needed
Lifting the already-formed concrete items into place is not always easy. Your concrete contractors may need to use heavy equipment to do so, which means you ― and maybe your neighbors — will need to move some vehicles and clear a path. Of course, if you have a wide-open backyard and lots of space, this is less of an issue.
Modifying the concrete is tough
If the concrete contractors deliver your item and it is not to your liking, there's not much they can do. Most companies try to prevent such problems by showing you renderings of the item before they make it and by taking careful measurements. However, there's still not as much room for last-minute changes as there is when concrete is poured on-site.
So, is precast concrete the right choice for your project? Consider the pros and cons above, and decide for yourself. You can also talk to your local concrete company for more insight.
For more information, contact a concrete contracting company in your area, such as R. Pepin & Sons Inc.