The Work of Concrete Contractors
Because of this importance, it is critical for concrete contractors to have their own proper foundation—good employees. When a company’s team is treated and paid well, they become invested in the success of the company and therefore more productive on the jobsite. What may seem like a huge cost becomes an investment into your company because good employees that perform better will win you more jobs.
What is involved in the role of Concrete Contractors?
In any large commercial construction project, the schedule is the measuring stick into the health of the project. With concrete contractors, it is important to allow for ample lead and lag time to accommodate the different stages of site prep, forming, placing, and finishing.
Site Prep – Some commercial concrete contractors perform their own site prep which can include excavation and backfill. Rocks and shrubs are completely removed. The ground is compacted, leveled, and graded to ensure that it can adequately support the load requirements of the building for many years and under extreme weather conditions. When the ground isn’t properly prepped to allow for settling of dirt or moisture, this can cause the concrete to buckle and jeopardize structural integrity.
Formwork – The beauty of concrete is its ability to be poured into any shape that a design specifies. This is accomplished through formwork which creates the mold for the concrete placement and holds the concrete in place while the mixture hardens. Depending on how the concrete will be utilized, the forms can be temporary or permanent and can be set using wood, metal, or plastic. There have been great strides in formwork such as prefabrication that have allowed for formwork to be less wasteful, less expensive, and less labor intensive.
Placement –After all the prep and site work, this is the exciting time when the wet concrete gets poured into the forms. Using shovels and rakes, the crew will move the concrete mix through the forms.
Finishing – Similar to the site prep, once the concrete is poured, it must be compacted and consolidated to ensure there are no air pockets. If applicable, finishing also includes performing any decorative elements to the concrete such as dye, design, or detailed stamped concrete work.
Concrete Project Management Software and Its Uses
Because the phases of a concrete job are interdependent, tracking the progress of the project through multiple phases is important to ensure that critical project milestones are met within the allotted time frames. Using concrete project management software allows concrete contractors to be proactive in planning to reduce costly mistakes.
A foreman who accurately completes his Daily Reports is invaluable to concrete contractors. A project management software that is focused on the needs of a concrete contractor collects all the valuable data from the Foreman’s Daily Reports and seamlessly transfers it into Cost-to-Complete, or Labor Efficiency reports.
The Process of Becoming a Concrete Contractor
The popular phrase that you don’t know a man until you walk a mile in their shoes absolutely ring true for concrete contractors. To be a successful concrete contractor, it is important to have lived in the shoes as a laborer on a concrete crew. The Cement Mason Union provides an apprenticeship program for instruction and 5,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. If one doesn’t get accepted into an apprenticeship program, one can usually work their way up the ranks from a laborer to a foreman managing a crew and schedule, to a superintendent running multiple crews.
Ready to start increasing profits?
Get a tour of eSUB’s software and features to see how you can streamline your business processes.