You love your Salt Lake City, Utah home. You have lived there for more than a decade with nary a complaint. Finally, though, something has gone wrong. The concrete slab that serves as your backyard patio is starting to sink on one side. You are afraid it is going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars to have it torn up and replaced.
Your biggest worry is overpaying for a slab repair. You are willing to pay whatever it takes to get it fixed, but you are also smart enough to know that paying too much makes no sense. Where do you start? What do you do?
The Concrete Raising Company is a Salt Lake City contractor that specializes in slab repair. They say that you do not have to overpay if you are willing to put in some time and effort. They recommend the following tips:
1. Figure out the Underlying Cause
Before you can determine the best course of action, you first need to know what is causing the problem. Almost all incidents of sinking concrete are the result of the underlying soil giving way. This could be due to erosion, poor drainage, improper soil compaction, or a number of other things.
If underlying soil is not the primary culprit, there might be something else in play. Perhaps you have tree roots pushing up on one side of the slab. That puts undue pressure on the other side, which can cause it to sink and crack. Or you could be dealing with a much bigger issue: your house is settling. As it settles, it takes one end of the slab with it.
2. Discuss Your Options
You might not be able to tell what is going on by yourself. You might need a contractor to figure things out. That’s fine. Just discuss all of your options before you make a choice. If a contractor tells you that the only solution is complete replacement, ask about slab jacking as well. Ask the contractor to explain why slab jacking is not a good idea.
Next, invite a second and third contractor to come take a look. Get their opinions as well. If whatever is causing your problem does require complete replacement, multiple contractors should agree on that course of action.
3. Price the Materials
Next, you are going to want to price the raw materials for whatever solution you choose. It is not that you will be buying the materials yourself, you just want to know how much they cost at retail if you were to do the job yourself. Knowing the retail cost will help you better understand contractor pricing.
4. Get Multiple Estimates
Last but not least, get estimates from at least three contractors. If you can get five or six, all the better. Insist that estimates list detailed costs so you can see exactly what you will end up paying for. Remember to compare contractor material prices with the retail prices you got earlier.
If you have the skill to do it, do not be afraid to negotiate with contractors. Estimates are just that. Reasonable contractors are willing to negotiate reasonable prices. And if they know they are competing with at least several others, they will be more likely to give a little in order to earn your business.
Now you know how to avoid paying too much for concrete slab repair. Whatever you do, don’t just assume that the slab has to be completely replaced. You might be able to affect the same repair through slab jacking. If not, you still don’t lose anything by inquiring.