If there’s something an architect and a concrete contractor agrees, that is every great architect should have a good concrete contractor working for them in every project. The contractor should be able to do what the architect asks them. Most of the time, contractors have more knowledge about concrete works than the architect itself. Doing the concrete job is not easy. Some people thought that it is easy money, but it is not. You have to know everything about concrete works and you have to make sure in case you made a mistake, you have to fix it immediately. If you want to do a concrete contracting business long-term, you have to make sure your work is of the highest quality. That’s the first thing architects look when hiring a contractor. You have to know your strengths and limitations. Make sure you know about the materials you are using. And most importantly, you have to make sure your client is happy with what you are doing. Listed below are some tips (or wishes) the architects want their concrete contractors to fulfill whenever they work for them.
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Always follow the plan of the designer
Architects don’t like it when their concrete contractors are running their own plans. Architects are paid to design and they want their plans to be followed to the letter. Sometimes, contractor talks directly to the owner making it difficult for architects and designers to sync what is in their blueprint and what the contractors are doing. There are times when contractors think they are the one who should lead the project not the other way around. They make concrete cuts that have nothing to do with the architect’s plans. The designer’s plan is made through hours of research and planning with the owner. So if revisions are to be made, it should be the designer who will revise it not the concrete contractors. Same with the project’s colors, contractors should work with the designer to decide the best color to be used in the project.
Don’t get overexcited with decorative concrete
Decorative concrete is good for the project, but too much is not good. Be a minimalist. Architects like consistency in their work, not perfection. When working with decorative concrete, you don’t need your work to be perfect because it is almost not attainable. You just have to be consistent with the job, architects appreciate that. Use the same materials, mix, methods, polish, grind and cut when working. “Less is more”. Sometimes, doing less is more difficult. But if you can do a consistent work, and the design of the architect is followed, it will be appreciated when the final product is finished.
Schedule and plan effectively
Contractors should be very precise when doing decorative concrete. They should plan and schedule everything very carefully. For example, In Montreal, concrete repair should follow certain steps to finish the product on time. If there is a delay in the production, everything will be out of sync. They can’t jump one step just to finish faster since every step is carefully scheduled and planned. And if something happens, modifying the decorative concrete is very expensive, so mistakes are not an option.
Finish products should be well protected until the project is finished
As I said before, decorative concrete is very expensive and it should be handled with care whether it is in the production area or on the construction site. The safety of the product should be the first priority of cutting up to the time of installation. There are steps to be followed to ensure the product will be safely protected on-site.
Use mock-ups to maximize mix designs
Details in mix designs such as sand type, sourcing the colors, and sizes should be properly monitored because consistency is always the key to concrete contracting. Attaining consistency is one of the most difficult tasks in construction. Mock-ups should be made and reviewed not only once, but twice or thrice if possible. All the mix-designs should be properly planned by the contractors, the architects, designers and most especially the owner. When doing mock-ups, avoid doing shortcuts. The more mock-ups are done, the better. Mock-up is like trial and error, it will prepare you for the final placement of the product.