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Umbrella For Patio

Umbrella For Patio

Outdoor Outdoor Shades Patio Umbrellas Patio Umbrellas Featured Categories All Patio Umbrellas Cantilever Umbrellas Market Umbrellas Drape Umbrellas Patio Umbrella Stands & Bases Patio Umbrella Accessories Patio Umbrellas Sale UP TO 65% OFF Patio Furniture Blowout Shop Sale Now Shop by Category All Patio Umbrellas […]

Reclaimed Wood Bench

Reclaimed Wood Bench

click image to zoomview full size image // Reclaimed Wood Bench $695.00 Description Our rough hewn Reclaimed Wood Bench is crafted from salvaged railroad ties. The table top has a waxed finish and is supported by a black metal frame. Our adaptable wood bench could […]

Epoxy Flooring Garage

Epoxy Flooring Garage

America's Premium Floor Coating Ideal for concrete & wood floor coating applications Epoxy Coat Garage Flooring Professional Grade EpoxyGarage Floor Coating Kits Epoxy-Coat garage flooring is the most durable and longest lasting 100% solids Cycloaliphatic epoxy floor coating kit on the market today. Our kits are ideal for garage, basement, patio, industrial or commercial concrete or wood floor coating. The applications are endless, and you can revitalize any floor to get a great new look with superior durability, giving you professional reliability and a great look in no time. When comparing the thickness after dried application between Epoxy-Coat and normal epoxies, you will notice that you need over 2.5X the gallons to equal the thickness of 1 gallon of Epoxy-Coat. Our product has been designed through extensive testing for years to ensure that it retains the highest durability while being easy to apply and use. This means that you can get the job done with one layer and do not need to spend days applying several coats for the same strength. You can do it yourself in an afternoon and get a beautiful finish on your garage floor, basement, indoor patio, wood floor and even commercial floor coating applications. This project is quick and easy and can be completed in no time, so you will be enjoying your beautiful new floors without needing to call in professional help and wait weeks. In addition to your outdoor applications, Epoxy-Coat garage flooring can be used in any room in your house safely, and is ideal for children’s play rooms, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, kitchens and mud rooms. Epoxy-Coat can be applied in a single coat with the thickness of 5+ coats of paint with no odor and a dry time of 12 hours. Epoxy-Coat is perfect for rough and pitted concrete floors due to the self-leveling nature and 100% solids non-shrinking formula. It will repair cracks and damage with ease, giving you a smooth floor that looks and feels brand new the moment it dries. A single use of Epoxy-Coat garage flooring will patch and coat all in one application. Our floor coating is the most durable and longest lasting epoxy coating kit of its kind, and it outperforms all other national brands. You will notice a huge difference in no time, and will enjoy a lifetime of reliability and great looking floors! • Lifetime Warranty• 10x more durable• 5x thicker This is Not a Sub-Standard Water Based Epoxy Kit; Epoxy-Coat® is the ONLY Industrial Grade Single-Coat Application of its kind!
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Professional Grade EpoxyGarage Floor Coating Kits Epoxy-Coat garage flooring is the most durable and longest lasting 100% solids Cycloaliphatic epoxy floor coating kit on the market today. Our kits are ideal for garage, basement, patio, industrial or commercial concrete or wood floor coating. The applications are endless, and you can revitalize any floor to get a great new look with superior durability, giving you professional reliability and a great look in no time. When comparing the thickness after dried application between Epoxy-Coat and normal epoxies, you will notice that you need over 2.5X the gallons to equal the thickness of 1 gallon of Epoxy-Coat. Our product has been designed through extensive testing for years to ensure that it retains the highest durability while being easy to apply and use. This means that you can get the job done with one layer and do not need to spend days applying several coats for the same strength. You can do it yourself in an afternoon and get a beautiful finish on your garage floor, basement, indoor patio, wood floor and even commercial floor coating applications. This project is quick and easy and can be completed in no time, so you will be enjoying your beautiful new floors without needing to call in professional help and wait weeks. In addition to your outdoor applications, Epoxy-Coat garage flooring can be used in any room in your house safely, and is ideal for children’s play rooms, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, kitchens and mud rooms. Epoxy-Coat can be applied in a single coat with the thickness of 5+ coats of paint with no odor and a dry time of 12 hours. Epoxy-Coat is perfect for rough and pitted concrete floors due to the self-leveling nature and 100% solids non-shrinking formula. It will repair cracks and damage with ease, giving you a smooth floor that looks and feels brand new the moment it dries. A single use of Epoxy-Coat garage flooring will patch and coat all in one application. Our floor coating is the most durable and longest lasting epoxy coating kit of its kind, and it outperforms all other national brands. You will notice a huge difference in no time, and will enjoy a lifetime of reliability and great looking floors! • Lifetime Warranty• 10x more durable• 5x thicker This is Not a Sub-Standard Water Based Epoxy Kit; Epoxy-Coat® is the ONLY Industrial Grade Single-Coat Application of its kind!
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Step One // How to Epoxy-Coat a Garage Floor Floor Finish Overview Illustration by Gregory Nemec Floor Finish Overview Applying an epoxy coating to a concrete floor is as easy as painting walls, but as with painting, the success is in the prep work. Once the calculations, color choices, and cleaning are taken care of, the actual application will seem like the easiest part. To bond well, epoxy requires an even, slightly rough, and totally clean surface. That means patching any potholes and cracks and allowing them to cure fully. Concrete must be at least 60 days old and not sealed for the epoxy to adhere. You can tell if your floor already has a sealer if water beads on it or if you get to Step 2 in this process and the etching solution doesn’t foam; if that’s the case, you’ll need to take off the sealer with a chemical stripper or a special machine. (Painted floors can be recoated if there’s no peeling.) Stripping the floor, however, does not clean it. Any grease or dirt will compromise the epoxy adhesion, so cleaning and etching is a step that should not be rushed. Different manufacturers offer different types of cleaners, so check out the ingredients before you choose what type is best for you. Chemical cleaners vary widely, from harsh degreasers and etchers to safer but less effective organics. You can cut down on the elbow grease by renting a machine called a floor maintainer for about $40 a day. Epoxy coatings typically come in kits with everything you need. Once you choose one, determine if you’ll need to order extra supplies. Manufacturers may suggest two coats of the epoxy paint and top coat, but most standard kits only supply enough for one coat. If you choose to add color flakes, which will help hide concrete’s inherent imperfections, determine how heavily you’ll broadcast them across the floor so you don’t come up short. Also, if your garage’s foundation rises above grade at the bottom of the walls, you may want to consider coating another few inches up the vertical surfaces to make cleaning the garage easier. Then decide if you want to include an antiskid additive, granules that give the finished floor a sandpaperlike surface. This may be a good option in rainy or ice-prone regions. Once the floor is clean and ready for its coating, it all comes down to timing. Choose a day to do the work when the concrete won’t be damp from rainy weather and when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees; otherwise the application can bubble and peel. Then, once you mix the epoxy paint and hardener, you only have about 2 hours to work with it, so you’ll need to plan out in advance how best to paint yourself out of the garage, starting in a back corner. The hardest part is waiting: The typical drying time between each step is 12 to 24 hours. And once the whole floor is done, you still have to hold off parking the car on it for another 72 hours.
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Floor Finish Overview Applying an epoxy coating to a concrete floor is as easy as painting walls, but as with painting, the success is in the prep work. Once the calculations, color choices, and cleaning are taken care of, the actual application will seem like the easiest part. To bond well, epoxy requires an even, slightly rough, and totally clean surface. That means patching any potholes and cracks and allowing them to cure fully. Concrete must be at least 60 days old and not sealed for the epoxy to adhere. You can tell if your floor already has a sealer if water beads on it or if you get to Step 2 in this process and the etching solution doesn’t foam; if that’s the case, you’ll need to take off the sealer with a chemical stripper or a special machine. (Painted floors can be recoated if there’s no peeling.) Stripping the floor, however, does not clean it. Any grease or dirt will compromise the epoxy adhesion, so cleaning and etching is a step that should not be rushed. Different manufacturers offer different types of cleaners, so check out the ingredients before you choose what type is best for you. Chemical cleaners vary widely, from harsh degreasers and etchers to safer but less effective organics. You can cut down on the elbow grease by renting a machine called a floor maintainer for about $40 a day. Epoxy coatings typically come in kits with everything you need. Once you choose one, determine if you’ll need to order extra supplies. Manufacturers may suggest two coats of the epoxy paint and top coat, but most standard kits only supply enough for one coat. If you choose to add color flakes, which will help hide concrete’s inherent imperfections, determine how heavily you’ll broadcast them across the floor so you don’t come up short. Also, if your garage’s foundation rises above grade at the bottom of the walls, you may want to consider coating another few inches up the vertical surfaces to make cleaning the garage easier. Then decide if you want to include an antiskid additive, granules that give the finished floor a sandpaperlike surface. This may be a good option in rainy or ice-prone regions. Once the floor is clean and ready for its coating, it all comes down to timing. Choose a day to do the work when the concrete won’t be damp from rainy weather and when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees; otherwise the application can bubble and peel. Then, once you mix the epoxy paint and hardener, you only have about 2 hours to work with it, so you’ll need to plan out in advance how best to paint yourself out of the garage, starting in a back corner. The hardest part is waiting: The typical drying time between each step is 12 to 24 hours. And once the whole floor is done, you still have to hold off parking the car on it for another 72 hours.

Living Room Curtains

Living Room Curtains

Belgian linenCollection For superior color and texture, we use only the finest flax to create our Belgian Linen Drape. Linen/CottonCollection Our yarn-dyed linen and linen/cotton blend drapes are woven with two different colored threads, creating soft, subtle texture – and the pure cotton lining offers […]

Lace Kitchen Curtains

Lace Kitchen Curtains

Lace French Door sidelights Lace Door Panels are available in some of the Heritage Lace designs. All of the pictures that you see are of Lace Curtains that have a gathering of 1 1/2 time fullness.  In other words, if your rod size is 40 […]

Outdoor Pull-up Bar

Outdoor Pull-up Bar

Do you want to buy a ready made free standing pull up bar? …..or do you want to be able to workout outside, with homemade body weight equipment meeting your own custom design? This guide will provide you a basic construction approach, which can be used to build DIY : Outdoor pull up bars Dip bars General body weight training equipment …all to your own custom specs. Tools & Materials Shopping List As the guide is intended for a custom setup; this shopping list does not generally specify quantity and sizes but where relevant links to material of most typically used sizes. Read through the guide once, decide on your design, then come back to this section again. Use this as a handy reference for any tools or materials, which you don’t already have. Materials Pressure Treated Posts (3′ of post in the ground) Quickrete (or any other quick setting concrete) (1.5 – 2 bags per post) Galvanized Steel Pipe Bolts (3″ or 5″ – see below) Nuts Washers Plastic Hole Plugs (optional) Tools Power drill Drill bits Hole Saw Router Router bits Spade Level Tape Measure Socket Set String (optional) Push Tacks (optional) Design & Plan Your Homemade Pull Up Bar Rig This first step is the most important out of the whole process. What exactly do you want to build? Do you want just the one bar or would you like several bars of multiple heights? Are you building just a pull up bar or should your rig include some dip bars too? What width do you want your bar(s) to be? What height do you want the bar(s) A standard run of the mill outdoor pull up bar is usually around 6′ 10″ high, using 10′ posts with 3′ in the ground with the posts set 4′ apart. If you want to progress to do muscle ups, it can be useful to have some lower bars too. These allow you to jump into the muscle up position during your early training and typically want to be around chest height. Here’s a few examples of typical designs to get you thinking. Draw out your design roughly on a piece of paper and mark down the sizes of the posts and bars. When ready use this design and the shopping list links above to get all the materials you need. All posts should have been pressure treated or they will rot very quickly. To easily work out the height of a bar you can just reach with arms extended, measure the distance from your elbow to middle knuckles then add to your height. Drill Holes in the Posts for the Pull Up Bar It’s much easier to drill the posts before you put them in the ground so do this now. You need a hole for the bar to go through your posts. Measure the required distance down from the top of the post then find the center of the post width ways and make a mark. For a standard pull up bar this will typically be 4″ from the top of the post, but at a minimum leave 2″ so you don’t weaken the post. Use a hole saw drill bit with a diameter just a little larger than the diameter of your pull up bar. Make sure to leave a minimum of a 2″ gap between the top of the post and pull up bar hole. Pressure Treated Posts Power drill Drill bits Hole Saw Drill Hole for Bolt to Secure Pull Up Bar Next you need to drill a bolt hole in the post. The purpose of this hole is to allow you to put a bolt through the post and pull up bar to secure the bar, preventing it from spinning or moving sideways. Roll your post over and mark out where you plan to drill a bolt hole. The bolt hole should be perpendicular to the pull up bar hole and should intersect it. To line up the holes measure the height from top of the post to center of the pull up bar hole then use the same distance to mark out center of the bolt hole. For this hole you can use a normal large drill bit, so long as you have one slightly thicker than your bolts. Use a drill  with a diameter just a little larger than the diameter of your bolts Pressure Treated Posts Power drill Drill bits Hole Saw Route Bolt Holes in Posts Below are two types of fixings you can use to fix the bolt, pull up bar and post frame together. You can use either method depending on your preference but in both fixing options you’ll want to use a router so you can counter sink the bolt head and possibly washer and nut. Bar Fixing Option 1 – Proud washer & nut This is the simplest of fixing methods. The bolt and washer will sit proud on one side of the post, while the bolt head will be counter sunk into the other side of the post. You will use a router to bore the countersink hole slightly larger than the depth and size for the bolt head, for it to sit flush in the post. Bar Fixing Option 2 – Hidden washer & nut This fixing option is a little more involved than option 1 but does give a really great concealed fixing that looks like a professional job. Use your router to bore out the size and depth of your plastic hole plugs following the bolt hole. Do this on both sides of the post. This will allow you to sink the bolt head and cover it with a plug on one side and the washer and nut and again cover with a plug on the other side of the post. Check your bolts, washers, nuts and tubing caps all fit nicely then remove them all for later. The router piece should be the same diameter as the hole plug and drill to the same depth as the plug. The bolt head, washer and nut should all be small enough to fit within the plug. When you finally come to do up the nuts and bolts you will need a socket rather than spanner as the nut and bolt will be below the edge of the post Router Router bits Bolts Plastic Hole Plugs Measure & Set Out Your Posts Now you’ve finished preparing your posts you can lay them out on the ground with the base just next to where you plan to sink them. Measure between the posts to get the right distance and line up the base of the posts, this shows you where you should dig.  Place a small rock on the ground at the base of each post as a marker. Tape Measure Dig Holes for Each of the Upright Posts Follow these steps for each of your post holes, finish one completely then move on to the next. You will find you get better and faster at digging these holes the more you do, the first will be the slowest. Using a spade mark out a square, 12″ wide around the location of your marker rock then move the rock out of the way Keeping your spade angled straight down, give it a good stamp down several inches, rock it back and forth then move onto the next side Once you’ve cut the 4 sides make 2 more cuts forming a cross in the middle – this makes it easier to separate and lift the dirt Put the spade in one side and rock back and forward to loosen all dirt in the hole Lift all loose soil with your hands….using your hands is really the easiest and quickest way, so long as you don’t mind getting them dirty
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Mark on the ground (5 ft apart) where you want the posts for your pull-up bar. Dig square holes 10 inch x 10 inch ensuring that the marks you made in the ground are in the middle of the holes. These holes should be about 3 ft deep for 10 ft posts or 3-4 ft deep for 11 ft posts. Use around 2-3 inches of gravel in the holes to help water drainage and prevent the wood rotting. More or less gravel should be added to make the post heights the same. Paint the posts with fence paint or wood preserver. Put posts in hole and get a couple of people to hold them. Make sure they are: In line with each other The same height Flat edges on both posts are parallel Straight (use a level) Pour one bag of dry Postcrete in each hole around posts and re-check the levels. (Following instructions) Add correct amount of water to the postcrete. Poke the mix with a broom handle or a rod to mix the water into the powder. Make sure you keep the posts Level and Aligned while postcrete dries, usually around 3-5 mins drying time. Mix concrete (following instructions on bag), fill hole and level off. (1-2 days setting time) Fix the bar Measure the exact distance in millimeters between the tops of the posts (where you want the bar). Get the Bar made at a local steel merchant / retailer / fabricator using the measurements. See “Bar Welds” section below for more information. Clean and paint the bar with red oxide. Hold the bar where you want it ensuring it’s level and mark holes for the drill points. Remove the bar and drill the marks 3 1/2 inch – 4 inch (same length as thread on the bolts. Use a 9 mm drill bit even though it’s a 10 mm bolt). Wind-in bolts and washers with spanner to fix bar in place and finish the pull-up station! Bar Mouting You essentially have two options – a welded bar mount, or DIY bar and cup mount. It’s far more preferable to have your pull-up bar made to measure and welded by a local steel fabrication company. The image to the right is an example of a welder bar mount. The spec of this bar is; 33 mm thick steel tube with 100 mm x 40 mm welded brackets on each end (2 x 10 mm holes on each bracket). The tube should be around 1.4 metres long including brackets, but measure this after the posts are installed! If using a local steel company is not an option you can go for the DIY route and use a bar and mounted cup socket but the welded option is better as the bar is fixed and cannot rotate with a more heavy duty build.

Z Gallerie Curtains

Z Gallerie Curtains

We partnered with Z Gallerie, and founder of Carrie Bradshaw Lied, Kathleen Barnes, to see if they could replicate two of our most popular spaces for around $5000. We think the result is uncanny. Kathleen wanted an elegant beach vibe but also didn’t have a […]

Chaise Lounge Cushions

Chaise Lounge Cushions

Your chaise lounge provides you with countless relaxing moments in the sun. Make the most of your sunny siestas with an added cushion that is weather-resistant and lends comfortable, vibrant style to your outdoor decor. Whether you enjoy your chaise lounge by the pool, on […]

Repair Concrete Driveway

Repair Concrete Driveway

Repair Options for Concrete Driveways KB Concrete Staining, Norco, CA Ideally, a concrete driveway will last the life of your home. But there are conditions that can shorten its lifespan and result in unsightly cracking, discoloration, settlement or scaling. The typical causes of concrete driveway distress include an improperly compacted subgrade, the use of an inadequate concrete mix, exposure to severe weather conditions, or bad placement procedures. But rather than ripping out the concrete and starting over, you can often save money by repairing your driveway, as long as the concrete is structurally sound. Before beginning any driveway repair project, the first and most important step is to figure out what caused the damage and then determine the best repair procedure for solving the problem (read this troubleshooting advice). Depending on the condition of the concrete and your budget, your options for driveway repair range from a simple color enhancement by applying a coat of stain to total resurfacing with a decorative overlay. Concrete resurfacingIf your driveway is experiencing cracking, scaling or spalling, the best solution is to resurface it with a concrete overlay. Resurfacing will not only cover up the existing flaws, it will also upgrade the look of your driveway by allowing you to choose from a variety of color and pattern options. Before you can resurface existing concrete, it’s important to remove any unsound concrete and repair noticeable cracks so the overlay has a solid base to bond to. See this step-by-step overview of resurfacing a concrete driveway. Concrete engravingFor concrete with minor cracking or discoloration, you can completely disguise the flaws by engraving a pattern in the surface. Depending on the pattern you choose, the flaws in the concrete can actually contribute to the look. With engraving, the concrete is stained first and then a special routing machine is used to cut the pattern into the surface, creating faux grout lines. Learn more about the concrete engraving process. SlabjackingIf your driveway slab is sinking in spots, the problem is most likely due to a poorly compacted subgrade or soil erosion. With slabjacking, it’s possible raise the slab back to its original position by pumping a mixture of sand, cement, fly ash, and other additives beneath the slab. See this overview of how slabjacking can fix a sunken concrete driveway. RecoloringAlthough most concrete stains, color hardeners, integral pigments and other coloring methods are very long-lasting and wear-resistant, years of neglect can take a toll. Discoloration of concrete driveways can be due to a number of causes including weathering, sun exposure, improper color application, and absorption of stubborn grease and oil stains. The good news is that in most cases the concrete color can be revived by applying a new coat of acid or water-based stain (see Changing the Color of Colored Concrete). By using a UV-resistant staining product and by protecting the concrete with a good sealer, your newly colored driveway should maintain its beauty for many years. See these concrete driveway repair projects: Champney Concrete Finishing in Lynchburg, Va. A Tree-Themed Driveway Enhances a House in the WoodsWhen the stain began flaking away from this home’s long, winding concrete driveway, a decorative overlay with a circular tree motif gave it a complete transformation. Floor Seasons in Las Vegas, NV Color Makeover Restores a Faded DrivewayThis colored concrete driveway was streaked and faded due to weather exposure and improper maintenance. Water-based stains, in the colors of bark brown and light adobe, were used to revive the original color. Pizzazz Painting in Las Vegas, NV Stains Disguise Driveway CrackingSome homeowners think there is no hope for a driveway with deep cracks and crevices. But sometimes the solution is simple and can have stunning results. On this project, the concrete driveway was stained a warm walnut tone to accentuate the existing cracks and give it a rich leather-like appearance. Concrete Illusions Inc in Kankakee, IL Engraving Restores a Concrete DrivewayThis existing driveway was transformed with color and engraved patterns, including seven brick-patterned circles.
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Hiring the right concrete driveway contractor will help you avoid being taken advantage of. When your concrete driveway starts to crack, you have two options: Wait for the damage to spread or call a concrete driveway contractor. If all you have is a hairline crack, you’re probably the victim of time and weather, and an immediate fix may not be needed. If your crack changes widths along its length and has high and low points, though, you should consider calling a professional. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous contractors count on homeowners’ desperation to fix their concrete. Here’s what you need to know about concrete driveway quotes, repairs and scams. Related Article Concrete – Pouring & Repair, Driveways – Concrete How to Prevent Concrete CracksOver time, your concrete is susceptible to cracking. Here's what you can do to prevent it and protect the look of your sidewalk or driveway. Getting a good quoteNever agree to any kind of concrete work before getting at least three estimates, talking to references and (if possible) seeing some of the work the contractor has done first hand. For many homeowners, this sounds like it will require a great deal of time and effort – and in some cases, it will. In the long term, however, you’ll be enjoying a properly repaired driveway while someone less diligent has to search for a second repair contractor in as many months. Getting a good quote means setting up a system. First, call a company and ask when they can come out to take a look. Never accept an over-the-phone quote. When the contractor arrives, ask exactly what the quote covers and how he or she budgets for any extras. If the contractor becomes defensive or says something like “that’s just the way it is,” seek a second opinion. Understanding the basics of concrete driveway repairMany homeowners misunderstand the nature of concrete repair as being a true “fix” for cracks. This is not the case. Instead, companies use a mix of cement and chemical binding agents to fill the cracks in your driveway or patio and minimize the chance of further breakage. Your concrete will never look as perfect as it did the day it was poured, and any company that tries to sell you otherwise is lying. Real concrete professionals should be able to tell you what kind of crack you have – shrinkage, expansion, heaving, settling, overloading and premature drying are all common causes. Each one has telltale signs. Shrinkage cracks usually appear around objects in the concrete, such as drains or posts, while settling is often caused by the removal of a tree or compaction of a utility line trench. A reputable contractor will also be able to tell you if your cracks are necessary and whether they occur along purposeful joints in the slab, known as “control joints” they may not require repair. Avoiding common concrete driveway scamsThe “name dropper” and the “I have extra (concrete)” are two of the most popular concrete scams. The name dropper appears at your door one afternoon and tells you that Dave from next door and Bobby down the street both hired him to repair their driveways, and he can offer you a great deal if you agree on the spot. Never agree. Chances are he simply introduced himself to your neighbors, who politely provided their names and then turned him down. Offer to call your neighbors to confirm, and the “name dropper” will quickly leave. The “I have extra” contractor drives by your house when you’re outside in the yard, stops, then tells you that he’s just finished a job in the area and has extra cement left over. So long as you can pay right now and in cash, he’s willing to help you out with a great price. Politely decline and walk way. Any contractor carrying around “extra” isn’t doing anything of the kind; he’ll likely take your money, do a shoddy job and the disappear. Large-scale concrete repair isn’t a task you want to tackle on your own, but hiring the right company means getting solid quotes, understanding the repair process and knowing what to look for when scam artists come calling. Related Article Driveways – Asphalt Common Asphalt Scams to AvoidEver been approached by a driveway contractor with “extra asphalt?” Not so fast …
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When your concrete driveway starts to crack, you have two options: Wait for the damage to spread or call a concrete driveway contractor. If all you have is a hairline crack, you’re probably the victim of time and weather, and an immediate fix may not be needed. If your crack changes widths along its length and has high and low points, though, you should consider calling a professional. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous contractors count on homeowners’ desperation to fix their concrete. Here’s what you need to know about concrete driveway quotes, repairs and scams. Related Article Concrete – Pouring & Repair, Driveways – Concrete How to Prevent Concrete CracksOver time, your concrete is susceptible to cracking. Here's what you can do to prevent it and protect the look of your sidewalk or driveway. Getting a good quoteNever agree to any kind of concrete work before getting at least three estimates, talking to references and (if possible) seeing some of the work the contractor has done first hand. For many homeowners, this sounds like it will require a great deal of time and effort – and in some cases, it will. In the long term, however, you’ll be enjoying a properly repaired driveway while someone less diligent has to search for a second repair contractor in as many months. Getting a good quote means setting up a system. First, call a company and ask when they can come out to take a look. Never accept an over-the-phone quote. When the contractor arrives, ask exactly what the quote covers and how he or she budgets for any extras. If the contractor becomes defensive or says something like “that’s just the way it is,” seek a second opinion. Understanding the basics of concrete driveway repairMany homeowners misunderstand the nature of concrete repair as being a true “fix” for cracks. This is not the case. Instead, companies use a mix of cement and chemical binding agents to fill the cracks in your driveway or patio and minimize the chance of further breakage. Your concrete will never look as perfect as it did the day it was poured, and any company that tries to sell you otherwise is lying. Real concrete professionals should be able to tell you what kind of crack you have – shrinkage, expansion, heaving, settling, overloading and premature drying are all common causes. Each one has telltale signs. Shrinkage cracks usually appear around objects in the concrete, such as drains or posts, while settling is often caused by the removal of a tree or compaction of a utility line trench. A reputable contractor will also be able to tell you if your cracks are necessary and whether they occur along purposeful joints in the slab, known as “control joints” they may not require repair. Avoiding common concrete driveway scamsThe “name dropper” and the “I have extra (concrete)” are two of the most popular concrete scams. The name dropper appears at your door one afternoon and tells you that Dave from next door and Bobby down the street both hired him to repair their driveways, and he can offer you a great deal if you agree on the spot. Never agree. Chances are he simply introduced himself to your neighbors, who politely provided their names and then turned him down. Offer to call your neighbors to confirm, and the “name dropper” will quickly leave. The “I have extra” contractor drives by your house when you’re outside in the yard, stops, then tells you that he’s just finished a job in the area and has extra cement left over. So long as you can pay right now and in cash, he’s willing to help you out with a great price. Politely decline and walk way. Any contractor carrying around “extra” isn’t doing anything of the kind; he’ll likely take your money, do a shoddy job and the disappear. Large-scale concrete repair isn’t a task you want to tackle on your own, but hiring the right company means getting solid quotes, understanding the repair process and knowing what to look for when scam artists come calling. Related Article Driveways – Asphalt Common Asphalt Scams to AvoidEver been approached by a driveway contractor with “extra asphalt?” Not so fast …

Shade Garden Plants

Shade Garden Plants

Next Up 10 Best Perennials for Shade Looking for something to plant in that shady area of your garden? These perennials thrive without sunlight and add great garden color in beds, borders and containers. Shade Trees and Easy-Care Perennials Garden experts offer planting information for […]