Continuing on from our last articles for our top 3 decorative resurfacing projects, here we are with our top 3 concrete projects that we have completed.
I’ve selected the following projects somewhat due to the size of the project, but also because of the methods in which they were completed, overcoming obstacles and having everything run smoothly through solid organisational methods.
Exposed Aggregate & Plain Grey Unit Surrounds Paradise Point
Location: Paradise Point
I’ve chosen this project not due to the size of the work, being only 140sqm it is considered a relatively small job, but the extent of manual labour required to complete the project was exhausting.
Upon original inspection of this project we were confronted with both sides of the unit complex sub-grade being extremely low, along with the rear section where the new water tank was to go. Also the front driveway was at a high rise from the road to the garage entries, also having an existing driveway in place that needed to be removed before pouring the new driveway.
First things first on this one, we ordered 20m.cub of 20mm road base to the front of the property, due to the limited access up the sides, (just enough room for a wheel barrow), we proceeded to hand wheel in all 20m.cub of fill to raise the side sub-grade the required 300mm~ higher ready for new concrete. Given the area was so skinny and long as well, we also needed to accommodate for garden areas and falls on the concrete to take the water to the garden beds, where drainage was installed to remove the water from site.
After some heavy days and lots of sweat and swearing, the sides were filled up and we brought in the machines to remove the old driveway and sub-grade it ready for the new pour.
We pumped in the side pathways first in plain grey concrete, along with the rear water tank. Surprisingly this pour went very smoothly. Typically when pouring areas like this it is difficult getting access, especially considering the multiple fall points that needed to be leveled every few meters to make sure of water run off. With a nice soft brush finish we then returned the next day to tackle the driveway.
The driveway was a relatively simple pour, but given the gradient a lot of care needed to be taken to keep both sides looking symmetrical, which of course we accomplished with some due care. We finished off here washing off the salt and pepper exposed aggregate nicely and saw cutting the control joints right through with an acid clean on the aggregate.
This project being 140sqm would typically take us 2 days to complete on a regular project, however, we were on this project for just over a week. That gives a little idea of just how much extra manual labour was required. We don’t mind working hard as concreters, in fact, we welcome it a lot of the time, but I have to admit this project was above and beyond what we’re used to.
Exposed Aggregate Driveway & Surrounds Helensvale
Second on our top concreting project list is the exposed aggregate driveway and surrounds we placed at Helensvale a while back. I’ve chosen this project due to it’s size, limited and awkward access, along with the time of year and weather that we encountered.
Our client was required plain grey concrete to the rear and side of the property in 2.0m wide pathways, along with a salt and pepper driveway with 4 car wide parking at the top, slowly bending back around and tapering down to the property entrance.
The rear of the property was retained behind the house and at the bottom of a hill, which received large amounts of water when it rained. We decided to install 5x pit drains through here and basically fall all of the concrete in “wash pit” fashion towards these drains. Once we got to the side of the house, we installed a ramp tapering down the hill, then finally all the way around to join the new exposed driveway we were to place.
The plain concrete at the back for the paths needed to be pumped as there was no other access, and given the amount of falls that needed to be hand done throughout the pour, we decided to break it down into 2 pours. After everything was prepped ready to go, the rains started. Having delayed a few days with bad weather and falling behind schedule, we had booked concrete on a Thursday morning to pour the first section, only to have horribly wet and hot weather the night before continuing into the morning. We postponed the first pour until midday, which is something we basically never do, but we had to do what we had to do. With the hot and stormy weather, couple with concrete from Hytec which has a habit of going off very quickly, myself and the boys busted our tails and only just got back onto the concrete in time to give it a nice brush finish.
We returned the next day to complete the side path of the house with the ramp and decided to call it a week to return the following and get started on the driveway.
The driveway was a somewhat easier affair, with the only problems being the actual size of the project. We broke the driveway down into 3 pours over the next week, wanting to make sure we broke the pours off with construction joints as we went due to it’s expanse.
Finishing off the project with saw cutting the control and acid cleaning the aggregate, our clients were grateful enough for our work to buy a very nice bottle of scotch, of which we opened it up and enjoyed it with them for a few good stories and tall tales.
Plain Concrete Hinterland Driveway Molendinar
Finishing off our top 3 concrete projects was our plain grey hinterland driveway at Molendinar. I’ve chosen this job because it was one of those projects that had a good amount of size to it, but also displays what good concreters can achieve when things go well.
Faced with a 125m long gravel driveway leading from the road to the house, our client was requiring a 3m wide concrete installation that they had been waiting 15 years to go ahead with. With only a few sharp corners, it was one of those projects that you just start at the house and keep working your way out.
After spending a few hours with the machine to sub-grade the existing gravel making it smooth and ready for concrete, we proceeded to box up the first pour of this project which would be around 90Lm long. All the steel was cut to size and left beside the job all the way along, we then returned the next day to begin pouring the concrete.
As we reversed the trucks along the driveway, we proceeded to shoot out the concrete over the steel that we were placing as we went, having 2 men in the concrete screeding and raking, 1 labourer on the shoot and two men falling back finishing. We finished off the first pour with a trowel machine finish with a light broom for some traction and found ourselves with beer in hand setting up the next days pour by around 12pm.
The second days pour was much shorter, but being up a relatively steep incline it still made us work quite hard for the result. Finishing off this pour up the hill, this time no trowel machine as it was too steep, the boys had it edged, troweled and broomed for a going home time around 1pm.
I returned the following day to run our saw cut control joints right along and pick up all the timber from site, leaving it a nice little 4 day project that ran as smoothly as you can get it.
If you’ve got a project coming up, we’d love to hear from you. We take a lot of pride in our work and you won’t find a more professional outfit in the residential sector. Give us a call today for an obligation free quotation and advice on your job, you won’t be dissapointed.