Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Most Important Tool For The General Contractor

Most Important Contractor ToolThis may come as a surprise to some people, but contractors do use the phone. Maybe not as often as he should but the phone is a very imortant tool for the successful general contractor. I have a Blackberry that I heard could do many things. I need a phone to make calls to customers and suppliers. However, the use of the phone has grown in importance, it actually means better use of my time and resourses in my business.

General contractors can benefit from the technology of the phone in many ways, here is one example. I can receive a text or E-mail from a customer to bid on a job. Somethings the job is far away, getting there is not always convenient and timely. I can text back and request that the customer send me a picture (as a text attachment or as an e-mail) and I can see the repair or problem right now. I have given many bids and proposals without even going to the job site. This saves me and the customer time and money.

Finding a qualified contractor is for your project is very important. If you can find one that can make use of the technology that is available, that’s even better. This is definitely a topic that I will be blogging about in the future. Feedback on how contractors and service companies can better use this technology would be greatly appreciated.

Placerville Contractor Removes Dry Rot Damaged Siding in Sacramento Apartment Community

A number of general contractors have been doing a lot of dry rot repairs lately. Over time, wood products need to be replaced. Water damages wood siding and trim, and if untreated, the problem gets worse. Wet and dry rot happens in areas where the wood is unprotected. Unpainted, unsealed, and improper flashing are some of the culprits that leads to dry rot.

In an apartment community this can be a very large project if the maintenance of the siding and trim has been neglected for years. We have been removing wood siding and trim at an apartment community in Sacramento for several weeks. Tromler Construction, a general contractor in Placerville, prefers using the cemenious siding products that is available today. This siding is sold by companies like  Hardi Plank and Certain Teed.

These cementious products are very hard and must be cut with a special blade – it is made with cement! This also means that the product is brittle. If something were to put pressure on the siding, it will crack. The good news is the fact that the product will not rot. There is no wood in this siding, so it will not be damaged by water or soil.

Concrete grinding, repair, and replacement – Placerville, Sacramento

Concrete is one of those things we take for granted, until it becomes a problem. The sidewalk in front of your house is just a clean dry area to walk until the tree roots push up the surface and becomes it becomes a “trip hazard”. Or maybe your beautiful backyard patio is the meeting area for family get-together, but it has a big spot from a spilt quart of furniture stain accident. What are your options?

As a general contractor, my experience is that many of these concrete problems can be solved. Many can be done by the homeowner themselves. Apartment communities can have their own maintenance staff complete many of the issues they face. Here is a list of options with the pros and cons.

Concrete Grinding – This is usually done by professional concrete grinders, they have special equipment that grinds the high areas to eliminate the “trip hazards”. This is often used when tree roots have started to push a section of sidewalk up higher than the adjoining section. If you have several areas where to is occurring, the cost is pretty inexpensive.

Concrete Repair – This can be done in a variety of ways. Small holes and depressions can be filled with a concrete filler or patch. These are usually for areas of approximately one foot square in area. Larger repairs would include whole sections of concrete. In a sidewalk, this usually includes an entire section of sidewalk – maybe 4 feet by 10 feet in size. Larger pads would have to be cut using a concrete cutting tool to remove the damaged area.

Concrete Replacement – This would be the most expensive option. The good news is that you will have a new concrete surface – new sidewalk, walkway, deck, patio or driveway. The best part of getting a replacement is that you can make changes. Change the color, the surface, the design, you can change the whole look of the area.

I would suggest using a licensed contractor in your area. Get several estimates. And listen to what the contractor has to say. The contractor has years of experience doing this type of work, let him share his experience with you.

Good luck with all your property improvements!