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Concrete finisher question

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by lawnMaster5000, Dec 5, 2011.


Please let me know what you would do

  1. There is nothing wrong

  2. use a different concrete guy next time

  3. make them tear it out and repour

    0 vote(s)
  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Like I said earlier, the curb did not just magically appear. The concrete guy told the yard cutting guy they would do a curb and the yard cutting guy likened the idea.

    A concrete slab for vehicular use is 4 to 6 inches in depth.

    The curb is another 4-inches.

    So that tells us the finished product will be 8 to 10 inches above grade.

    Like I always say, you need to be able to calculate grades. You need to be able to PLAN. You need knowledge in construction, grading, and drainage if you wanna be a Hardscaper god.

    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    Thank you for the replies.

    The edge of the driveway is inches from the property line and that is why we did not want to have to build up along that side of the driveway. The neighbor has a perfect lawn very flat with just the perfect slope for drainage. They did not want us adding 8 inches of soil along the side.

    The rolled curb was installed according to our design and as requested. The question was if the concrete guys should have finished that 8+ inches of exposed side of the driveway. Most replies have said no.

    I guess this is just a reminder of a lesson learned long ago. Contracts need to spell out every detail of every project and nothing can be assumed.
  3. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589


    You are correct in that a hardscaper needs to be able to calculate grades. We had all grades marked exactly. The concrete crew did not follow our grade stakes nor the architects plans provided to them (both showed the same thing). The rolled curb is supposed to be 10-12"" above grade, concrete crew made it about 8" above.

    I am sorry if I havent been clear but all I was asking is
    Why did they not provide a broom finish to that exposed 8" of concrete?

    As replies on here have indicated I guess most people don't expect that level of professionalism and don't mind having the rough unfinished concrete wall. You don't leave the forms on steps until the concrete cures, you don't leave the forms on a raised patio. Both of those get a broom finish. Why leave the forms on here?
  4. iowa

    iowa LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW IA
    Posts: 305

    No concrete company that I have ever seen strips the forms off early to broom finish the sides that would normally be backfilled, unless specified. Looks like it's your loss in this situation.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    IMO, the "curb" looks like an after thought and the lack of brushing on the top surface to match the rest of the driveway is very unprofessional. That said, if you wanted a finished curb on all exposed edges, then you should have spec'd the curb be built using a curbing machine. Since you didn't, you got what you paid for.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    All in all this boils down to:
    i) communication
    ii) experience and knowlodge (on your end)

    I may sound harsh, but don't take it personally.

    If you're playing contractor you need to make sure you have all your I's dotted and T's crossed. You need to know exactly what's going to take place. Sounds to me like they finished the concrete and you went there a day later and said "eww, that looks terrible", not realizing that's what you were getting.

    When we've done jobs for project managers and such, I've had some of them drill me about every single move we're intending to make at the property. All they're doing is looking out for their client, making sure no stone is left unturned.

    So many scenerios. It's not *COMMOM* practice for a concrete finisher to broom the side of a driveway edge, as that's typically backfilled. So if you want the side boomed, you should have listed that in the contract that you and the concrete guy both signed. We all want our work to look good, brooming the side is very easy, the concrete guy may have thought something else was going to take place.

    As far as forms being removed, that's minor. If the concrete people are not aware that you wanted the edge finished, then leaving the forms on isn't killing anything.

    My concrete finisher removes the forms usually about 24 hrs later. BUT.....he uses his own forms and he reuses them on other jobs. In other words he's grabbin his stuff and movin on to the next job.

    Sometimes he'll have us supply the forms. In which case he does not return to pull them out, he leaves it to us.

  7. neighborguy

    neighborguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    "The concrete crew did not follow our grade stakes nor the architects plans provided to them (both showed the same thing). The rolled curb is supposed to be 10-12"" above grade, concrete crew made it about 8" above."

    SO what you are saying is that your plan would have had the concrete another 2-4" higher? and you want to complain that the concrete guys left you with an exposed edge that you can't grade up to? Let me start by saying that I hate everything about concrete but I also realize it is a necessary evil. Th concrete guys probably saw your height realized how ridiculous it was and brought it down t a more manageable height. As for them not broom finishing it I believe it was a lack of communication. You probably didn't tell them to fish that side. Most concrete guys I have worked with don't give two poops about the existing grade because it isn't their problem. They assume you will fill it in.
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,873

    How does the customer feel about the end result? Are they expecting you to improve anything further?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    your problem can be fixed with a product called RubCrete http://www.prospec.com/products/productdetails.aspx?menu=1&acc=4&id=110

    run a quickie saw to remove the line from where they stacked the forms and then rub the honeycomb.

    shouldda couldda woulddda --- use duct tape at the form joints, vibrate the curb a bit problem solved.

    my personal opinion, i don't like the curb

    regarding the hot tub pad... did you have an electrician install a bonding wire into the concrete?

    if it is indeed 3/8" that is pretty poor workmanship.
  10. vtscaper

    vtscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    that 8" is gonna catch someone off guard....looks real haggard let alone unsafe.

    even if you really couldnt backfill which seems ridiculous then you could have put a small wall on the house side to drop the whole thing down..even just a 5" and you could of backfilled that without anyone noticing..

    finished or not the end looks bad.. if its the neighbor complaining i would just sell them on them on backfilling it. otherwise tuff sh&%. no concrete guy would have done that without you specifically asking because normally it would NEVER be left like that.

    as for the pad...it wasnt done right. try to get them back for that...however you would be better off floating it out yourself in an hr and being done with it since the finish isnt going to be that important w hot tub on it..

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