Monday, June 11, 2018

Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Job

Choosing the right contractor for your home improvement job is extremely important.  If you don’t choose wisely it could cost you more in the end financially as well as not being happy with the work that was performed. McCarrell Landscape Construction, LLC strives in making our customers yards their own personal resort.  Here are a few steps in helping you choose the right contractor and how we stand up to the test.  

1.      Is your contractor registered in the state that you want your work done in? 
·       We are a registered contractor in the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
2.      Is your contractor insured?
·       By law a registered contractor must carry insurance.  If they don’t and something happens to your property or worse yet someone gets hurt while the work is being done; then you as the customer would pay for the incident.  We have general liability insurance as well as workman’s compensation.  Always ask your contractor to see their insurance certificate.  Please don’t hesitate to ask to see ours!
3.      Did you sign a contract between you and your contractor?
·       By law a registered contractor must have contracts for all jobs that they perform.  We have legally binding contracts for each job that has the customers information, pertinent job information, schedule of the timeline for work to be performed and the job costs.  A contract protects you as the customer as well as us the contractor.  Make sure your contractor sits down with you and explains the contract in full detail as well so there are no hidden surprises.
4.      How much experience does your contractor have?  Ask for a referral sheet.
·       We have over 20 years experience in the industry and please don’t hesitate to ask to see our referral sheet or a list of testimonials.
5.      Does your contractor have open lines of communication with you at all times?  Will they go the extra mile for you? 
·       You will never have to guess when something is being done.  You will not need to worry about what is happening and when; with using us as your contractor.  You have your own daily responsibilities with work and family.  Leave everything to us to organize and handle.  We will keep you updated as we go.  If your job needs permits from your local municipality or your job requires stamped professional engineered drawings, we will take care of that too!
6.      Ask your contractor if they do cleanup after the job is complete or are you responsible for that?
·       When we leave; your yard will be clean and ready for your family to enjoy.  No cleanup will be necessary on your part.  No trash, yard damage from equipment or a muddy driveway or street will be left behind.


Friday, December 1, 2017

How to Take Care of Your Concrete Over the Winter Months

You can help maintain the longevity of your concrete by keeping your driveway, sidewalks and steps clear of snow and ice during the winter months.  

Clearing the snow and ice will lessen the chance that it will compact down and freeze into the surface and accelerate the freeze and thaw cycle.  The less number of times that water enters concrete and freezes, the less likely that it will become damaged over time.  If you are using a shovel to clear the snow, using a plastic shovel instead of a metal one is best.  Bent and sharp corners of a metal shovel can damage the surface of concrete. 

The most common deicing agent is regular rock salt or sodium chloride.  It is widely available and can melt snow and ice until the temperature drops below 15˚F.  Calcium chloride is another deicing agent that is commonly used.  It can melt snow and ice well below 15˚F; after rock salt stops working and it is marginally less caustic than regular rock salt.  Calcium chloride is also safer around grassy areas where rock salt can kill the grass.

The common property of all types of deicers is that they are all chemically caustic and have the potential to damage concrete especially after time.  Another potential problem with using a deicer is the damage caused by increased freeze and thaw cycles as previously mentioned.  For example; when a product melts snow and ice, it will enter the pores of the concrete as salty water.  It will refreeze after the temperature drops and will expand into the pores of the concrete causing damage.   

One alternative to deicers is to spread sand or fine gravel on the concrete for traction.  If safety is a concern and you must use a deicer then remove the ice and residue immediately after the product has melted the snow and ice.  If you must consistently use a deicer of some type, first protect the concrete with a salt resistant sealer.  There are many sealants available that will protect your concrete from the effects of caustic substances such as salt.   There are also sealants with a grip additive built into them than can increase traction as well.  

Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Job

Choosing the right contractor for your home improvement job is extremely important.   If you don’t choose wisely it could cost you m...