Minnesota Concrete Stoops Contractor

Is your front patio a little bland? Does it need some design to help accentuate your beautiful home? What about your backyard? Is it in need of some landscaping to help it reach its full beautiful potential. Residents of the Twin Cities region should consider top-notch concrete stoops installed by Minnesota Concrete. In this column we will discuss concrete stoops, the benefits of concrete compared to asphalt, How stoops can make the entryway to your home beautiful, as well as resources to find experienced concrete specialists in the Twin Cities region.

What are concrete stoops?

Concrete stoops are basically small staircases that ends in a base leading to the entrance of a front door. Concrete Stoops have become a popular tool for landscape designers and architects to help create function and beauty on a homeowners property. Experts claim that stoops help create a classic style while keeping your home feeling comfortable and welcoming. Concrete stoops are also an excellent way to extend a home’s living space.

Benefits of concrete

It’s no news flash that Minnesota’s sometimes harsh climate can be wild. The rough cold winters, and the hot humid summers can cause significant damage to the region’s streets and roads. Minnesota is a continental climate, far away from the weather calming effects of the oceans. Extreme cold and extreme heat can cause buckling and softening of asphalt. Concrete on the other hand can last for over 20 years in these harsh climates. Concrete is also much more durable and can withstand more weight than an asphalt driveway possibly could. While possibly cheaper in the short-term, asphalt cannot match the strength and longevity of concrete in Minnesota’s climactic weather.

Stoops and improving the entryway experience

When investing in your home, it is important to consider curb appeal when prospective buyers drive by. First impressions are very important and word of mouth spreads quickly when a beautiful home is found. One good way to improve curb appeal is to invest in a large stoop near your front door. The front door is an important eye-grabber and a stoop helps accentuate it. Stoops help people to gather comfortably by the door as they wait for the host to answer. The wide steps help prevent a bottle-neck as people enter the door into the home.

It also creates an area to help beautify the front of your house. Stoops provide an excellent opportunity to place flower pots or accent trees to help emphasize the location. The plants also gives guests waiting at the door a pleasant environment to look over.

Choose Experienced Concrete Specialists

To help improve the beauty of your home and enjoy it to the fullest, consider installing concrete stoops at your home. When considering your options, it is important to use concrete professionals who have experience and a proven track record to work on your home. Some resources that homeowners can use to look into a contractor include the Better Business Bureau, small business website Manta.com, Angie’s list, or Homeadvisor.com. Please look through these helpful resources carefully before making a final decision. The extra work could save homeowners a lot of money.

Conclusion

Invest in your home and help bring out its beautiful potential by considering adding concrete stoops to the entrance ways and landscape of your home. When making your decision, it is important to consider how stoops can improve the value of your home, and the benefits of concrete over asphalt. Residents have a proven reliable partner who can help in Minnesota Concrete. Feel free to contact us and we would be more than happy to discuss options regarding your home.

Minnesota Concrete Patios are Perfect for Backyard Tailgating

If you enjoy tailgating, there will undoubtedly be times when you are unable to make it to the game. That doesn?t mean you can?t enjoy yourself just as much as you would at the stadium. Tailgating at home on Minnesota concrete patios is a snap, provided you follow these tips.

Set the Stage

The first thing you will want to do is to make your patio as festive as possible. Use tablecloths, streamers, balloons, and lanterns in your team?s colors to help set the mood. Add props you already have such as small footballs or stuffed animals that represent your team?s mascot. Set up a face painting station in one corner of your patio to make it easy for your guests to get their game face on.

Make sure there are a few games in your backyard for kids to enjoy. Put a new twist on the traditional corn hole and ring toss by using rings or bean bags in your team?s colors. You could even make your own ring toss game by painting beer bottles different colors. Since you will have more space than you would in a parking lot, you can include yard games you would not normally play such as croquet, badminton, and volleyball.

Food

It isn?t a tailgate party without food. Fire up the grill and enjoy some football-shaped burgers or hot dogs branded with your team?s logo. Some other choices you may want to consider include:

  • Herb chicken drumettes
  • Grilled potato salad
  • Corn on the cob
  • Pork tenderloin sliders
  • Kabobs
  • Roasted red pepper and squash

Patio Stones

You may be more concerned with messes when you are grilling at home. One way to eliminate the mess and dress up your space is to use patio stones. Patio stones resemble rows of square tile, and are designed to sit underneath your grill or fire pit for protection. They are available in a variety of colors, making it easy to choose one that matches the rest of your decorations.

Serving Table

Place your finished dishes on a long table buffet style, putting plates, forks, and napkins on one end and drinks on another. Ideally, this table will be somewhat close to your grill so that when food is ready, you can easily remove it. You may even want to set up a canopy pop-up tent over top of your food table to provide it with greater protection.

The best part about tailgating at home is that you have access to running water, and can therefore use real dishes if you like. You may have bowls shaped like a football or serving platters that resemble a football field-if so, feel free to get them out so that your event will feel even more special.

Watching the Game

Odds are you won?t want to leave your patio to go watch the game. If so, you can simply run a heavy-duty extension cord from your living room to your patio and bring your television outdoors. Depending on the type of signal you get, you might also need a wireless TV receiver. Place your television and some chairs on the opposite side of your patio as the food so that guests can easily go back and forth whenever they like.

If you choose to watch the action indoors, keep a radio tuned to the game on your patio. That way, your guests won?t miss any of the happenings if they step outside for a few moments.

After hosting a tailgate party on your patio, you may decide you prefer that location to a parking lot. The perfect backyard tailgate party begins with the right patio, which is why you should contact us to see the latest plans.

The Difference Between Poured and Block Foundations Explained

Recently a customer wanted to know which is the better type of foundation for a new home, a block wall or a poured wall? Are there any significant differences to consider between poured and block foundations? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of wall?

How is a poured wall foundation constructed?

Our experience would indicate that a poured wall presents fewer headaches than a block wall. Which translates into fewer repairs and reduced costs for the homeowner. After the grading and installation of a subbase of sand or gravel, constructed forms are placed in the area prepared for pouring. Poured walls are 6-10 inches thick with steel re-bar or some other type of reinforcement placed inside for additional strength. A poured wall contains more mass and is joint free. Footings designed to provide drainage also relieve lateral pressure. Poured foundations take less time to construct than block wall foundations. And if a leak is discovered in a poured foundation, repairs are possible with a simple epoxy injection whereas a block wall will require expensive and time-consuming excavation.

How is a block wall foundation constructed?

Just like a poured wall foundation, grading and sub base preparation are preliminary. Block walls need a level foundation pad below the freeze line. In Minnesota, that can be as deep as 3-feet, which may increase the price of grading and soil removal. Block dimensions vary in width from 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″, and sometimes as much as 14″, and 16″. Blocks are relatively light and easy to install by a professional masonry. Using an interlocking pattern, block installation is similar to brick installation. Blocks are hollow and joined together by a mortar mix. Re-bar connect the blocks to the footing. Unless the blocks are filled with mortar and properly reinforced, the wall is relatively weak. To ensure stability and strength of a block wall, all blocks need to be filled. However, no wooden forms are necessary to construct and install. Block walls are easy on your checkbook in some ways but look out if a leak develops. Block walls require excavation and that will not be easy on your checkbook.

Is price a worthwhile consideration?

According to the Concrete Network, “estimating concrete prices is not an easy exercise, as many factors are involved in pricing concrete.” Both foundation types have a certain number of commonalities. Such things as grading, sub base preparation, and price of the concrete. A poured wall will require time and material for forms, finishing, and reinforcement. The price of concrete for a poured wall will exceed that of a block wall because of the volume of concrete used. Let’s break down some national average numbers.

Disclaimer: The following are not price quotes but simply ballpark numbers to assist consumers in their decision-making process in choosing either a poured wall foundation or a block wall foundation.

As we have noted, block walls and poured walls are very similar in strength and durability. Since the entire structure is dependent on the quality of the foundation wall, it is imperative to select a reputable contractor to perform the work. Time and the price of foundation materials pose the greatest difference between the two types of walls. Both types of foundation walls require grading and a subbase of sand or gravel to provide drainage and a firm level platform on which to build the wall. Grading varies between $50 and $70 per hour depending on the amount of dirt removed and the hourly rate for a tractor and operator. The subbase of sand or gravel is between $12 and $18 per cubic yard. Concrete forms and finishing will run around $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot. Once again, please note that forms and finishing are not needed for a block wall foundation. Reinforcement, such as re-bar. wire or plastic mesh, or some type of fiber in the mortar will average around 15 cents to 30 cents per square foot. The price of concrete is approximately $93 to $100 per cubic yard. The cost of concrete takes up the majority of the cost.

Serving the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Minnesota Concrete offers free, no obligation estimates and is the firm to contact for all your concrete needs. You can call us today at 612-886-8777 or use this convenient link: Minnesota Concrete. We look forward to working with you.