My Old House
Last big project of our 353 Tax Abatement –> Concrete Walk replaced!

Issues and Events involving our Home in Independence, Missouri
My Old House on Winner Road
8/20/2013

Last big project of our 353 Tax Abatement –> Concrete Walk replaced!

Filed under: Landscaping and Property — Admin @ 3:30 pm

Last week, we had our concrete sidewalk, which leads from our back door all the way around the south side of the house to our front door, totally replaced.

While the old concrete was in OK shape, the 353 inspector had said we needed to get the cracks within that sidewalk fixed. And of course, when you have a fair number of cracks, total replacement becomes less time-consuming and expensive than repairing one crack at a time.

Still, this project ended up costing us a pretty penny.

kvinne søker kvinne i Stavern Getting an Estimate

I started calling concrete contractors on Angie’s List in late May / early June. Only TWO came out to measure and give us an estimate. One other said they’d call me back the next day, but then that became several days… and when they did call back, they basically said ours was “too small a project” for them to deal with until at least August. Another contractor, referred by some friends, took our name and number but never called us back.

And of the two companies who DID come out to talk with us, I could tell that the first one was just going through the motions. He asked ZERO questions. Just did his measuring, had me write down my email address, and left. I never heard from him again, but I could tell, when he left, that he was, like I said, just “going through the motions”. He had no interest in doing the work. I mean, if you did, wouldn’t you ask a few questions or talk about how the work would proceed?

So, despite the fact that I ended up with only one real estimate, and I had a hunch it was high, I decided to go with the company: All About Concrete. Paul, the owner, was VERY friendly and interactive when he arrived to take measurements. But he asked questions and I just got a good “vibe” while talking with him. Sometimes, you gotta trust your gut. And my gut was telling me he’d be a good guy to work with.

legjobb potencianövelő fórum Getting Started

A good month later, I’d had the money lined up, so I emailed him and said we were ready to go ahead. He said he could schedule us in in about the second or third week of August.

Given how busy all the OTHER concrete contractors had been (let’s face it: they’ve had fantastic weather to deal with all summer, so they were probably getting a lot of work done), I figured Paul would call me during the third week.

To my surprise, I was backing out of my driveway one morning and there he was, with one (or was it two?) of his workers, looking over the old sidewalk and discussing what they were about to do. He told me they were thinking about getting started the next day.

And so they did.

I’m slapping some photos into our image gallery on this site here.

stel zoekt man in The Hague
The Finished Job

The work was done in just two days, both tear-out and replacement (plus a bit of time to allow the concrete to dry). They used 2-by-4’s to push back the vegetation on both sides of the walk, so as to minimize damage to it. (I’d told them not to worry about that, it’d all grow back anyways… perennials, ya know.)

The original concrete appeared to be only about 2 inches thick. The replacement stuff was 4 inches thick with rebar in it. This led to a high price-tag, but, on the other hand, this stuff should be strong and it should LAST.

While they fixed two points where drainage issues were, I’m a bit worried that they created two others. Let me explain:

Rain water coming down from the downspout nearest to our back door used to collect around the back stoop on both sides, against the base of the house. Those were the two points where we had an obvious drainage issue. Paul had proposed simply pouring concrete INTO those areas and then sloping it down to the height of the rest of the concrete. So the back step / stoop would basically slope and blend in with surrounding concrete. This worked very well and is actually quite nice! We’ve eliminated a single step.

However, we also had a built-in drainage trench into the old sidewalk. Being that this house is an official local historic landmark, I’m supposed to replace things as close to “as they were”. Well, I had insisted that this drainage trench be built into the new sidewalk. And they did. It’s just that, with the OLD walk, the trench led to a point out in the front yard. (It’s a little hard to explain this.) But my wife had filled in most of the area where that trench had dumped with dirt a few weeks ago. So I’m thinking the concrete guys forgot about that. Water put into that trench now makes a hard left turn, following the concrete walk, at the front corner of our house. Will that water now pool at the bottom of our FRONT steps? Not sure. Will it then turn right and run down our front walk and the steps near the street (something that USED to happen when we first bought this place… and led to the total erosion of those steps near the street) ?? Not sure.

But, I figure I’ll address that on down the road if I have to.

Another possible future problem may be that since the walk is HIGHER, they did NOT pour it right up to our side door (which we never use) or the basement window on the south side of the house. Instead, they put gravel there. Hopefully, that will be alright and we won’t see rainwater collect there.

For now, I think the concrete looks wonderful and I know it’s twice as thick and strong as the old stuff.

All About Concrete even came back and filled some dirt in on both sides of the new walk, so that nobody’d fall off and twist an ankle.

I’m very happy with the quality of their work and how quickly and neatly they did the job.

indreptarea penisului The price?

Hold onto your hat: $3850

The company we went with is named “All About Concrete” (out of Liberty, MO). I learned of them off of Angie’s List. And I have to say: I contacted AT LEAST 4 other concrete companies, all but one was from Angie’s List.

Out of all of them, only ONE OTHER COMPANY would come out to give me an estimate. And THAT guy, once he was out here, asked me ZERO questions and I could tell… he just wasn’t interested in doing the job. He never emailed me back the estimate or called to see if I’d received it !! I had one other company say they’d call me back in a day. They called back 3-4 days later and said they were too busy to work “small jobs” until at least mid-August (I was calling in early June).

So, I hate to say it, but Paul out at All About Concrete got the job by default !!

Oh well, the work HAD to be done. And Paul and his company turned out to be TERRIFIC !!

Now, as I write this, the only thing I know we have left to do for our 353 is something we forgot: We had the electrical outlets in our first floor kitchen and bath replaced with GFCI outlets… but we FORGOT about the garage! The garage was supposed to have that done too!

Oh well, the work never ends!

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