5 Ideas For Making A Garden Work In An Apartment

Not everyone has access to a ground-level garden. Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t mean you have to live a life devoid of green. Our concrete contractors know that there are several workarounds for this issue, and we’re going to be exploring five of them in today’s blog. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll be inspired enough to go out there and start building your high-rise garden.

 

1.    The balcony pot-plant haven

Turn your balcony into a pot-plant haven by strategically (or randomly if that’s more your style) placing pot plants around the space. These promote a great atmosphere and also look fantastic when done properly.

You can also grow a climbing garden along the side of your balcony by putting up some crisscrossed wooden fencing against the wall and plant some wisteria or other climbing plants below in a little flower bed.

Over time, they’ll grow vertically and weave their way between the fencing. It will add a unique feel and aesthetic to your balcony and it’s something to admire when you’re out on it.

 

2.    Bonsai tree

Whether it’s on the balcony or inside, a Japanese bonsai tree – made famous in popular culture by the Karate Kid films – is a fantastic choice if you don’t mind some regular maintenance. These gorgeous plants are meant to promote balance, harmony and peace in our lives. They’re also meant to encourage decluttering – which is symbolised by the constant pruning and shaping of the tree.

There are several different styles of bonsai that you can purchase that each have unique perks and defining characteristics. As we mentioned, they require a fair bit of maintenance and caring to really thrive – but once they do, they can really balance the atmosphere of your space. The actual word bonsai literally translates to plant in a tray.

It’s much more than a plant, though – it’s a living landscape. You can even purchase larger bonsai’s which include little ceramic set-pieces that jazz up the scenery a little. There’s a lot you can do with these fantastic pieces of art and our concrete contractors love them.

 

3.    The rooftop garden

If you’re lucky enough to live in an apartment or townhouse with a rooftop level, then it’s literally the perfect opportunity to plant yourself a gorgeous and lush rooftop garden. If you want something easy, then you can do a larger version of the pot-plant balcony idea – or you can go for something completely different and extravagant.

Because you’ll have all this extra space you can actually put in some small garden beds. These can be on the ground level (well, walking level) or upon the parapets – which will give it a really special look – from both your angle and people looking up from below. With the extra space you’ll have in comparison to a balcony, you can also look at getting larger pot-plants to place in corners.

 

4.    Add a water feature

Generally, when people think of water features – they imagine these medium-large sized extravagant fountains. Whilst you can absolutely place one of these in your rooftop garden if you have the space – it’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all of this idea.

You can look at getting very small waterfalls that are the size of pot plants and place them with your miniature indoor garden. Whilst they’re not technically greenery, they look fantastic on their own or when partnered with some greenery – whether it’s indoor, on your balcony, or upon the rooftop.

 

5.    The bathroom greenhouse

It’s not uncommon nowadays for people to occupy their bathrooms with plants. It improves the atmosphere and perpetuates cleaner oxygen – and, seeing as the bathroom is considered a haven and important room for most, it’s not a bad idea to make it as serene as possible.

We suggest a handful of smaller pot plants around the room on raised surfaces and, if there’s room, a larger pot plant in a corner by your shower. They don’t have to be fancy flowers – though that will look quite pretty – but even simple foliage-type plants such as Colocasia or Hostas.

 

Looking for concrete contractors?

Even rooftop apartments or townhouses need concrete contractors, so when that time comes make sure you call Prestige Concrete Services. Our expert concrete contractors are highly trained and can assist you with all of your concrete needs. Our services branch from residential to commercial and even local government projects.

So, if you need concrete contractors, please give us a call on 0411 440 157. You can also get in touch with us by filling out the contact sheet found on our website.

6 Steps On Hosting The Best Christmas Lunch

Christmas is just over two weeks away. You could already have your plans sorted and don’t have to worry about much since you won’t be hosting anything – but for others, Christmas can be a bit more stressful. Preparing for even a small-sized Christmas gathering can require a lot of preparation. But have no fear because our concrete contractors have opted to write-up this six-step guide on how to host the best Christmas lunch – and it’s all possible in the next two weeks.

 

1.    Location and initial planning

Depending on what your backyard is like (and the weather) – you’ll probably want to have lunch outside. If we’re blessed with some perfect 23°, sunny weather, then there’s no reason not to host it outside. So, the next thing you’ll want to do is make sure you at least have a rough number of people who’ll be attending so you can organise seating arrangements.

You may already have some outdoor furnishings – or you may have to organise some extra tables and chairs for the day which you can just hire. Since it’s still a bit early to know what the weather will be like – make sure you have a contingency plan and enough room to host it indoors – or adequate coverage for the outside dining area.

 

2.    Dietary requirements

Some people are unable to eat certain things and other people prefer not to due to their own reasons. To avoid any unnecessary conflict or disappointment on the day – try to find out what people’s food preferences and dietary requirements are prior to the day. This will ensure you have ample time to work out what you’re going to make and budget everything.

This is also a good time to work out if other people will be making plates of food or dessert that they’ll bring. Communication is key as you don’t want to double up on any dishes or accidentally make too much of something that not a lot of people can eat.

 

3.    Setting up

We know that our concrete contractors love a good outdoor Christmas lunch, and we bet you do too. If all goes well and the weather will be good enough to host it outdoor, you’ll want to get up early enough to set up any extra tables or chairs that need to be placed outside. If you already have an outdoor barbecue area then that’ll definitely help things along. If you’re hiring extra furnishings for the event, then you should be able to pick them up a day or two prior.

 

4.    Organising drinks

Organising the bar is an element that you can have a lot of fun with because there are several routes you can take depending on how many people are coming and how extravagant you want to be. If you’re hosting quite a large party, then you should consider frozen cocktail/mocktail machines to keep everyone cool. Grab an esky – or a bucket if you don’t have an esky – and fill it up with ice and beers/water/soft drink cans.

If you’re hosting something a bit more lowkey then a small table in the corner can be home to a variety of spirits and people can help themselves – along with the ice bucket full of other beverages. You can even just keep the drinks indoors around your liquor cabinet if it’s a more intimate affair. Of course, if you really want to go all out then you can hire a bartender for the day.

 

5.    Entertainment

The 25th of December is the last day where it’s considered socially acceptable to play Christmas carols – so take full advantage of that! You can purchase portable Bluetooth speakers for pretty cheap nowadays as long as you don’t mind the sub-par sound quality. You can even sync a few of them together to spread the sound around your space – ensuring everyone gets an earful of that Christmas cheer.

 

6.    Dessert

Homemade desserts are always favoured during Christmas as they have that authentic and homely feel to them – but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixing it with store-bought goodies. Cakes and assorted sweets from speciality shops and the supermarket are great because everyone can still have a small treat even if they don’t feel like something larger like a slice of cake.

 

Looking for concrete contractors before Christmas?

Here at Prestige Concrete Services, we love Christmas. And we understand how important it is for some people to impress their guests with their yards – which is why our concrete contractors can lay down new concrete in your front or backyard for you before Christmas. From stamped concrete to exposed aggregate – our impressive repertoire of styles and materials is sure to impress.

If you’re looking for concrete contractors before Christmas day, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157. You may also contact us via the enquiry form found on our website.

All About Pressure Washing

As commercial concreters in Melbourne, we have to deal with a variety of projects of varying sizes. These large projects require a lot of work to finish – but they also require maintenance afterwards. This especially applies to larger commercial buildings that can be hard to clean as there’s so much ground to cover. This is where pressure washing can be a great tool. Today’s blog is going to be focusing on pressure washing and how it can suit various types of applications.

 

What is it?

Put simply, pressure washing is when you take advantage of a high-pressure stream of water to remove loose dirt, paint, mould or grime off of a surface. It is usually performed with a specially made hose that ensures a high-pressure burst of water.

The way this works is the pressure of the water is so high that it literally pushes off any unwanted aggregates or material using sheer force alone. For those areas with mass-build-ups, you may require something a bit extra though – such as a power washing solution.

 

Power Washing

Power washing is virtually identical to pressure washing as it still uses pressurised water to force particles off of a surface. The primary difference between these two, however, is the fact that power washing uses heated water.

This is a more effective solution for those tough-to-clean areas where there are serious build-ups of dirt and grime that the pressure hose just isn’t getting. This works in the same way as washing a dish, for example. If you wash it with soap and hot water then you’re more likely to clean it effectively as opposed to with cold water.

 

Applications of pressure washing

Pressure washing is used for a variety of applications across both commercial and residential landscapes. It works wonders on concrete especially – as it is commonly used to clean residential driveways every now and then, removing unwanted particles.

Pressure washing is a method often used around residential properties to give the property a quick spruce-up or new look without breaking the bank and going overboard. Even non-concrete surfaces such as vinyl or wood decking are commonly pressure washed – making it a highly versatile residential cleaning tool that anyone can use.

This essentially means that you can pressure clean the entire exterior of your home and yard once a year and have it looking nice and fresh constantly without the need for extensive planning or extra supplies. Pressure washing is also a key step when laying down exposed aggregate.

The need for a pressure washer becomes even more apparent when we take a look at commercial uses. Cleaning a commercial property can be quite a large task and a pressure washer makes that a lot more manageable. Public buildings need to be maintained and regular pressure washings help ensure that they’re kept in tip-top condition without the need for bringing in heaps of equipment.

 

Benefits of pressure washing

As well as improving the general curb appeal of the building, pressure washing has several other benefits.

  • You can actually save yourself some time and money by pressure washing your property once a year as certain particles of dirt or waste (such as bird droppings) can weaken the integrity of your surface – eventually leading towards decay.By pressure washing, you can remove these things before they have a chance to severely weaken the structure. That way you won’t have to spend big on repairs down the track – prolonging the life of the surface or structure.
  • It can be used on a myriad of surfaces, making it a highly desirable and used tool when cleaning both a commercial and residential property.
  • It is also effective at removing graffiti and spray paint which can be handy for businesses.

 

Looking for commercial concreters in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services are premium commercial concreters in Melbourne that are well-versed in all aspects of the concreting profession. Our experienced and professional contractors can help you select the right type of concrete for your residential property and will work with you to ensure that your vision is being realised. We’re also able to work on commercial and local government concrete projects – making our Melbourne concreters highly versatile.

If you would like to get in touch with our commercial concreters in Melbourne, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157. You may also contact us via the enquiry form found on our website.

How To Design The Perfect Outdoor Barbecue Or Kitchen Area

There’re a few weeks left of Spring, which means summer is only around the corner. It’s an Australian tradition to have your mates around on a nice hot, summer day and fire up the barbie – and it’s always nice when you have an outdoor area to cook your food in as well as hang around with everyone. Every expert concrete contractor knows that the secrets to designing the perfect outdoor area for your barbecue or kitchen – and that’s exactly what we’re going to be going through in today’s blog.

 

The base

It may surprise you to hear that a concrete contractor will suggest using concrete as the base to your outdoor barbecue or kitchen area – but it’s not just a biased recommendation. Concrete is durable and – when paved properly – an even surface.

If your area is based on grass then the maintenance will be quite troublesome. You’ll have to rearrange all the appliances and furnishings each time the lawn needs to be mowed. Not to mention the ground could be slightly uneven depending on the natural landscape.

Concrete bases are low maintenance and also ensure that no chairs or couches will sink – as opposed to grass/soil.

 

Choosing your appliances

There are two routes you can go down when it comes to appliances. Depending on how much you want to invest in the space, you can just buy a barbecue or install a fully decked out outdoor kitchen. Both have their pros and cons.

With a kitchen, it’ll be its own self-sustained unit with the potential to have a cooktop, fridge, sink, oven and plenty of bench room to rest and prepare food on. Brick-based kitchens are popular when it comes to the materials as they’re durable and solid. These are also great if you have a brick home as it’ll stay in line with your aesthetic.

This is a much larger project, however, and will also require a lot of external utilities such as gas, plumbing and electricity to be hooked up. If you’re going to be using it constantly and plan on having large parties, then this is a great idea.

If you’re aiming for something a bit more low-key, then a simple barbecue will suffice. Selecting a barbecue can be stressful as there are so many options. A simple four-burner with a warming rack should suffice for most small – medium-sized gatherings.

The barbecue is portable as well which can be handy in some situations – for instance, if your area is uncovered you may want to move the barbecue to another part of your yard when it’s not being used.

 

Furnishings

There are a variety of outdoor options that you can get to spruce up your outdoor barbecue area – making it a great place to sit and hang out in. Outdoor couches are popular as well as chairs with small tables.

Depending on the size of your area you can also include a more traditional outdoor dining table to eat at right after the food has been prepared. You can add small pot plants around the area or even include bean bags for a more lowkey and casual vibe. If your area is near a wall, then consider creating a vertical hanging garden.

 

Covering the area

The last thing you want is wet furniture or appliances. So, make sure that your area is well covered. There’re a few different ways you can go about this. One of which is covering your entire area with a tarp that stays up permanently – protecting it all year round.

If it’s a small area with just a barbecue, then you can look at getting a big umbrella to encompass the area – don’t forget to take full advantage of the barbecue cover though. You can also wheel the barbecue away to a better-covered area when you’re not using it to ensure it doesn’t get wet at all.

With larger outdoor kitchen’s, it’s best to actually install a solid, permanent outdoor cover – whether this is a stand-alone or an extension of your home depends on the location of the kitchen. Consult a concrete contractor for more advice. The golden rule, however, is to keep your barbecue and appliances dry otherwise it could spell trouble.

 

In need of a concrete contractor?

Prestige Concrete Services employs premium concrete contractors with years of industry experience. If you’re looking to upgrade your outdoor area and create a fun, barbecue or kitchen area then our contractors can definitely help you out. Our fully qualified contractors will go over your ideas and ensure that your visions are realised in the most efficient and best way possible.

If you need a concrete contractor, then please get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you may also contact us via the enquiry page on our website.

4 Spring Features To Match Your Concrete

Spring is a gorgeous season and tends to invite great weather without being as hot as summer. With the great weather, comes the need to sit outdoors and enjoy it. If you’ve used the best Melbourne concrete contractors, then you’ve already got yourself a stunning concrete driveway and paths. If you want to go one step further, though, why not consider adding some striking features that’ll stand-out amongst your guests and reinvent your yard? These six garden features will have you craving a yard re-design no time – let’s check them out!

 

1.    Water feature

Was there any doubt that this was going to be number one on our list? A water feature is a much loved and very classic feature piece for any garden – no matter the size. The reason for this is because there are just so many different ways you can spin it.

You can stick with a traditional rounded basin where the water sprinkles down from the top – or opt for a more modern take such as a marble sphere where the water dribbles out from the side or top. These are only two of many different designs that you can choose from. You can even match your water feature with your concrete by selecting a feature made of the same type of concrete.

2.    Pergola

Constructing a concrete pergola adds an enchanting layer to your yard. Whether it’s a large one placed over your driveway or something on a smaller scale over your concrete path. Pergola’s are typically constructed with vines and trailing plants, but you can match it to your concrete by opting for concrete bases instead.

Alternatively, you can go for a concrete roof with gaps in between for vines and natural finishing’s. The size of the pergola can vary according to what you’d prefer, and it doesn’t have to be a simple arch over a walkway. It can also act as cover for an outdoor dining area in your backyard. The possibilities are endless.

3.    Concrete edging

Edging your garden bed is a great way to add style to your garden. There are several different styles that you can use when edging your bed. Our suggestion is to use concrete. This is quite literally a solid option due to its strength and it will also match your driveway and/or walkways. You should use long pieces and insert them into the ground in front of the garden. Additionally, you can add another small concrete square on the outside – creating a 90° angle.

The best part about this is that it also holds other benefits for your garden such as keeping it contained. As your border will begin underground, it stops the roots from spreading. It also makes maintenance a lot easier for the garden. Mowing the lawn will be a lot less stressful as there’s a clear line of where the two sections begin and end – as well as a physical border separating the two.

4.    Concrete furnishings

If you’re going to enjoy the outdoor weather this Spring, then you’re going to want to do it comfortably and in style. Consider a concrete bench and add some cushions for comfort. This will ensure you maintain that rustic style whilst still being comfortable. The bench can be placed in your front or backyard – depending on the layout.

If you’re considering a less-formal outdoor dining area, then take a look at concrete cubes or cones as seating around a table. These look great, and their petite profile makes them easy to have in even the smaller backyards. Concrete furniture looks modern and stylish and is a great addition to any backyard.

Are you looking for concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Whether you need some new concrete paved or some old concrete rejuvenated, Prestige Concrete Services has you covered. Our highly experienced Melbourne concrete contractors are qualified and knowledgeable in all facets of the concrete world and can help you reach your desired goal. Our concrete contractors also specialise in commercial and local government projects in Melbourne – as well as residential.

So, no matter what style of concrete you’re looking for our Melbourne concrete contractors will be able to assist you. Get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157 or filling out the enquiry form on our website.

FAQ About Concrete Driveways

At Prestige concrete, we understand that Melbournians love their concrete driveways. The perfect driveway is much more than a car space, though. It’s a place for your kids to play in as well as a stylish complement to the rest of your house. In today’s blog, we’re going to have a look at some questions that we receive frequently concerning the maintenance and installation of concrete driveways in Melbourne.

 

How long does a concrete driveway take to install?

This question relies heavily on a variety of factors. How large the driveway is actually going to be as well as the type of concrete that is being laid down are two common factors that affect the installation time heavily. An average concrete driveway will take around 1 – 3 days to install.

This is provided that the work is constant and uninterrupted. Weather is another factor that can occasionally interrupt work and extend the installation process. A good concrete contractor will factor all of these external elements in when looking at a driveway job.

 

What is a driveway base?

A driveway base is a foundation that a concrete driveway is laid on top of. It is generally made of gravel and will help strengthen the driveway, giving it a longer lasting lifespan.

This will also ensure that the concrete is laid on an even base, as opposed to straight onto the soil – which may not be even. This lessens the likelihood of uneven pressure distribution significantly – which means there’s less likelihood of cracks appearing in your driveway.

 

What is drainage planning and is it important?

You’ll need your driveway to act as an efficient drain conduit. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that if it rains, you don’t want the water to build-up in your yard and just form a pool. This can be quite inconvenient and sometimes lead to damages if water gets into your garage. The goal is for all the water to rundown your driveway and into the gutters on the street.

If done correctly, a good driveway will have virtually no excess surface water on it after it has rained. This leads us to the second reason, which is that it can end up damaging your concrete driveway. Surface water sitting on top of your driveway can have long-term effects such as spalling and – in more serious cases – long-term damages. Worst case, parts of your driveway will have to be redone completely – which can be quite costly.

 

What is concrete sealing?

Having your concrete driveway in Melbourne sealed helps to fight things such as surface water damage, oil spills and grease stains. A good driveway will need to be re-sealed every 2 – 3 years, depending on the type of concrete your driveway is. It is recommended that exposed aggregate driveways, for example, be re-sealed every two years.

 

How long before I can use my new concrete driveway?

Your average concrete driveway will heal and set enough to be driven on within a week. After seven days have passed, you should be fine to start using it with your vehicle. If you’re looking to park any heavy machinery or trucks on it, however, you should only do so after a month. This is because heavier vehicles put more strain on a standard residential concrete driveway, so more time should be allowed for it to strengthen.

 

Joints and cracks

Joints are placed in flat concrete jobs. They are rods that are placed between the concrete to control cracking. Cracking is inevitable when it comes to concrete driveways. It shouldn’t happen to brand new driveways, but it will happen eventually.

Joints help control those cracks as they allow the cracks to happen below the surface of the concrete – leaving the visible aesthetics unharmed. If surface cracks do occur, the joints will also help to make them seem less random and in more linear positions. This is because the joints are placed in specific positions with this in mind.

 

Do you need a concrete driveway in Melbourne?

If you’re looking to get a fabulous, stand-out concrete driveway in Melbourne, then Prestige Concrete is the company for you. Our highly trained and experienced contractors can work with you to achieve your dream driveway efficiently. We specialise in residential, commercial and local government projects and are familiar with various types of driveway designs and sizes.

If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss what sort of concrete driveway we can do for you in Melbourne, then please call 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you may also fill out the enquiry form found on our website.  

Concrete Glossary: Know The Lingo

Whether you’re thinking of getting into the concrete contracting business or would simply like to understand a bit more about it from the outside looking in, it’s handy to know some key terms that are commonly used in the concreting world. Hence why our Melbourne concrete contractors have written up this glossary of concrete terms.

 

A:

Agitator truck: An agitator truck has a large cylindrical concrete mixer on the back. This mixes the plastic concrete whilst it’s being transported to job sites. By keeping the concrete in constant motion, it guarantees that the concrete will not dry up and therefore rendering it useless.

 

B:

Batching: The process where concrete is created through the use of all the other materials. Batching helps to ensure that the appropriate amount is being used for the job.

Bleed water: This is the excess water that is released from the concrete after it is placed. It forms on the surface and the degree of it is dictated by how good the mix is.

Bony/harsh mix: A concrete mix that lacks sand or cement. It commonly has a bony appearance and is difficult to place.

Broom finish: As the name suggests, the plastic concrete is finished by sweeping a broom in a single direction – giving it a rough, grooved finish.

Building code of Australia: The code that tradesmen use to ensure that what they’re building/painting/creating conforms to the legal code and standards. Melbourne concrete contractors follow AS3600.

 

C:

Cement: A binding agent made up of elements such as silicon, iron and calcium.

Comprehensive strength test: A test which reveals how strong concrete through the use of a concrete cylinder.

Concrete pump: An on-site vehicle used for pumping concrete into forms.

Concrete cylinder: Commonly sized at 100mm by 200mm, a concrete cylinder is crafted on-site and used during a comprehensive strength test – as described in AS1012 (Methods of testing concrete).

Curing: A process that reduces bleeding and thus keeping the concrete as hydrated as possible whilst it sets. There are a few different methods that can be used whilst curing including spray chemicals and wet hessian. The ultimate goal here is to reduce shrinkage and avoiding any cracks in the concrete.

 

E:

Expansion joint: An assembly that is used to separate concrete from other parts of a structure and allow for thermal expansion without the risk of cracking.

 

F:

Finishing: The final product of the concrete.

Fly ash: A powdery material that is an alternative cement. Categorised as a pozzolanic material and considered a supplement that can strengthen concrete.

Formwork: A temporary mould that plastic concrete can be poured into to take a certain shape. It is taken down after the concrete has set.

 

G:

Grano (Granolithic topping): Grano is primarily used for repairing concrete, surfacing floors and infills. It features a maximum aggregate size of 7mm and typically holds a textured finish.

 

H:

Hydration: This occurs when you combine concrete with water. The more hydration occurs, the stronger the concrete will be.

 

I:

Indirect tensile: A strength test that measures concrete’s resistance to being pulled apart. A concrete cylinder is again used for this test.

 

K:

Kerb and channel: The kerb is the edge of the pavement and directs drainage. This concrete mix has a high sand content and a low slump – it is placed by a machine.

Kibble: A bucket that is lifted by a crane and is responsible for transferring the concrete from the agitator truck to where it needs to go.

 

L:

Lean concrete: This concrete has a low cement content, making it weaker than regular content. It is commonly used to fill or as a sub-base for concrete pavements.

Lightweight: Low-density concrete that features polystyrene beads or aggregates that weigh less than usual.

 

M:

Mass concrete: Mass concrete refers to the thickness – usually greater than 600mm thick – of the concrete. Special considerations should be made when dealing with this type of concrete as due to its thickness it’s more likely to have high thermal properties – increasing the chances of it cracking.

Mesh: Steel bars – or wires – that are welded together to form a mesh. It is used to improve tensile strength and also prevent cracking.

Microstrain: A unit of measurement that is used to define the maximum amount of time certain concrete should dry for whilst accounting for shrinkage.

Mix design: The step before concrete mixing. This is where Melbourne concrete contractors consider things like setting times, strength, bleeding, materials available, specific proportions and ratios, cost and customer satisfaction.

Mixing time: How long it takes to mix a load of concrete satisfactorily.

MPa (Megapascals): The metric unit used to measure concrete’s strength.

 

N:

NCA (Non-Chloride Accelerator): A chloride-free chemical that speeds up the setting time for concrete.

No fines concrete: Concrete that features up to 10% of course aggregate and cement.

 

P:

Pattern paving: This type of paving allows for patterns and colours to be created on the surface of the concrete and typically holds 10mm of aggregate as well as high sand content.

Plastic concrete: Concrete that has not completely set but is still able to be worked.

Polythene: Polythene is a thin plastic sheet that is placed on the ground where concrete is to be poured. This prevents any groundwater leakage into the concrete whilst it sets. It also prevents moisture loss. High levels of moisture loss can result in concrete cracking as well as a loss of strength.

Pozzolanic material: This is the correct term for materials such as silica fume or fly ash – otherwise known as supplementary cementitious materials. The chemical reaction caused by combining these materials with lime results in concrete being strengthened.

Precast concrete: Concrete that is cast and cured in a mould and then placed in its final position afterwards.

Prestressed concrete: This is a special type of concrete that can be used in the form of slabs or beams and is ideal for supporting structures. It is created with certain pressures in mind that will be forced upon it when the structure is complete. This allows our Melbourne concrete contractors to compensate for the pressures – since they know where they’ll be – by reinforcing those areas.

This means that it is overall a very strong and durable concrete mix and is typically used if larger spans of space are required between columns – such as in a commercial office building.

 

R:

Reinforced concrete: Because concrete is typically lacking when it comes to tension, it can be reinforced with steel to improve its tensile strength and also limit cracking and shrinkage.

Reinforcement: The use of welded steel wire fabric or steel bars to help control cracking and reinforce the concrete structure.

 

S:

(S) Special class: Specialised concrete that features particular properties that make them different from standard concrete.

Sand moisture test: This test involves drying out a small portion of sand to determine how much water it contains. Once this is done, the water content in the mixes can be adjusted appropriately.

SCC (Self-compacting concrete): Specifically designed concrete that flows freely and requires either little or no compaction.

Screeding: The levelling of freshly placed concrete.

Segregation: The process of separating fine and coarse aggregates in a concrete mix.

Set time: How long it takes for the concrete to set. Once set, its plasticity is lost, and it is unable to be worked with.

Shotcrete: A specialised type of concrete that is shot out of an air compressed nozzle. It is commonly used for constructing swimming pools and walls.

Shrinkage: This term relates to when the volume of concrete changes. When concrete is fresh, plastic shrinkage occurs from water loss – and when concrete has dried, dry shrinkage occurs from the hydration process.

Slag: A supplementary cementitious material that is produced in conjunction with iron in a blast furnace and is then quenched and ground.

Slag aggregate: Identical to a normal slag, excepted it is left to cool naturally instead of quenched. The final result is then crushed to form the aggregate.

Slump: A measure that is used to understand the consistency and workability of concrete.

SP (Superplasticiser): An additive that increases the workability of the concrete without sacrificing the strength of it.

SSD (Saturated surface dry): SSD is a state that a concrete surface must be brought to before a cement product is applied to it. To achieve this state, the concrete must be saturated with water to a depth of several millimetres – but the surface must be dry.

 

T:

Topping: When concrete is laid over already existing concrete.

Type GB (General purpose blended cement): A type of blended cement that is formed by combining Portland cement and other materials such as fly ash, ground slag and/or silica fume. Further information can be found in Australian Standard AS3972 (General purpose and blended cements).

Type GP (General purpose Portland cement): A general-purpose and common type of cement – as laid out in AS3972. Portland cement is produced by grinding cement clinker.

Type HE (High early strength cement): Type HE cement develops strength much quicker than that of Type GP. Strength development is not to be confused with setting time.

Type LH (Low-heat cement): This type of cement generates less heat than usual during the hydration and hardening phases. It is useful for mass pouring or when early strength gain is not essential. Often features supplementary cementitious materials in the blend.

Type SR (Sulphate resistant cement): Provides extra protection if the concrete is set in an environment that contains large amounts of sulphate.

 

W:

WR (Water reducer): A chemical that is added to a mix that reduces the amount of water needed. This can help control the setting time and maintain strength whilst using less cement.

 

Are you looking for concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services utilises highly trained and qualified Melbourne concrete contractors that specialise in residentialcommercial and local government concrete projects.

So, if you need a Melbourne concrete contractor, give us a call on 0411 440 157. You can also fill out the enquiry form on our website.

Commercial Vs. Residential Buildings: What’s The Difference?

Whilst people might realise that commercial and residential buildings are two different types of buildings – it’s rare for people to understand why they’re different. There are actually quite a few reasons that separate the two types – such as permits and manpower. These differences are exactly what we’re going to be taking a look at in today’s blog, so let’s dive straight in!

 

Commercial buildings

First, the obvious. A commercial building is a building that is built with the purpose of acting as a place of business or service. An office building would be the most obvious example, or even a bar or restaurant. Commercial buildings typically tend to be larger concrete construction projects in comparison to residential buildings. Though it’s possible to have small-scale commercial buildings – like a small bar or café – they are generally larger in size.

With the larger size comes much more planning and liaising between the different parties involved. If a tall office building is being built that will house multiple different businesses, then there must be constant and meticulous supervision to ensure everything goes to plan. For starters, the overall floor space will be much larger than that of a residential home and large beams will be required to act as the support.

Plumbing will be far more advanced in a commercial building – not just because of the potential height of the building but also because each floor will require at least one bathroom as well as a kitchen. Electricals will also be more superior and complex. More-so than plumbing even, as there’ll most likely be dozens of computers and other electrical products being utilised by different companies simultaneously.

A commercial building is used in an entirely different way to that of a residential building and there are so many more facets and kinks that need to be added and considered during the building phase to make it a successful building. Things like egress requirements and disability access points are a must for the commercial construction world. Another key difference is the fact that steel is also used with concrete in the construction process of a commercial building – as steel is a much sturdier material. This is as opposed to residential buildings where wooden supports are used with concrete instead.

 

Residential buildings

A residential building is a house. A common misconception is that an apartment complex is considered a residential building, but as it is used to lease property to others it is considered a commercial building. A residential building is built with a concrete base – just like a commercial building is, but to a lesser degree as there won’t be as much physical pressure on the foundations of the building or foot traffic. This is also a reason why different grades of concrete are used in the construction process.

Both residential and commercial builders are required to be registered with the Victorian Building Authority but the permits required to build a residential building tend to be less complex than those required for commercial buildings. Each Council has its own permits and codes so it’s best to check with them before proceeding with a residential or commercial building. Planning permits must be first obtained for both of the concrete construction types.

Residential buildings end up being much cheaper generally as they’re done on a much smaller scale. This also means the equipment required to complete the task and the labour costs are cheaper as well. Because of the smaller scale, the builder in charge will most likely end up recruiting all of the contractors himself and personally meet with the architect on multiple occasions during the planning stages as well as during the building process. There can sometimes be a lot more flexibility involved with residential buildings as well.

 

Are you in need of a concrete contractor?

Prestige Concrete Services is a veteran concrete construction company that employs fully qualified and highly trained contractors. We specialise in both commercial and residential concrete construction projects with over 20 years of experience. We understand the difference between the two types of building projects and are well-suited to tackle either of them in a professional and efficient manner.

If you’re interested in one of our concrete construction services, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.

The Difference Between Concrete, Cement and Mortar

Cement. It’s a wonderful substance and is the building block for almost every modern building. Cement is also the best friend of concrete contractors everywhere. On its own, it has no power – but when combined with other materials and elements it becomes the most useful weapon in a concrete contractor’s arsenal. But it is a common mistake to confuse cement with concrete and mortar and that’s why today we’ll be going through the difference between these three and exploring a little bit about each of them.

 

What is cement?

As we touched on just before, cement is a building block. It is a binding agent that can make other materials – such as mortar and concrete – when combined with water and other ingredients. Cement itself is actually manufactured using elements such as silicon, calcium, iron and aluminium and chemically combining them together.

Things like limestone, silica sand, clay and shells are also added into the mix and the mixture is superheated to just under 1500°Celsius. There are different types of cement, such as hydraulic cement – which is any type of cement that sets and hardens fast after it has been mixed with water.

 

What is concrete?

Concrete is a construction material that has many industrial applications. It can be used for concrete slabs, foundations for walls, for steps and many more similar things. Concrete is created by mixing cement in with either sand, gravel or other similar fine aggregates. This combination does nothing until you add water to it, which is what makes it cause the cement to bind together with the other ingredients.

Concrete is a highly versatile material because as it can be fashioned into virtually any shape you want using a mould or other similar tools. You can even have furnishings that are made entirely out of concrete for both outdoor and indoor settings. You can actually purchase pre-made concrete mix where all you have to do is add the water – as everything else is already included in the mix.

A common creation that concrete is used for is the concrete slab. Concrete slabs are commonly used as the foundation for homes and buildings and are separated into three types of slab foundations – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab.

Concrete can also be customised a few different ways to suit your own personal style. For example, you can have your driveway coloured by adding certain pigments to the mix. Some colours work better with certain types of concrete and you can also play around and match it to the rest of your home if you like.

You can also try exposed aggregate concrete for your backyard or driveway – which involves different types of aggregates being partially exposed in the finished product. As well as being highly customisable it also offers a slip-proof surface – making it practical as well as stylish.

 

What is mortar?

Mortar is similar to concrete – in that it is a masonry material composed of cement and fine sands – except mortar is not nearly as strong as concrete is. The reason for this is because mortar is used as a binding agent to glue brick and other masonry products together. More water is used in the mixture when producing mortar – giving it its binding properties.

There are different types of mortar that you can use – each of which is better suited for different applications and have their own unique features. Lime mortar, for example, is where cement is substituted for lime and then combined with sand. Whereas, gauged mortar utilises both lime and cement with sand.

 

What’s the difference?

The difference between these three is that cement is just an ingredient whereas concrete and mortar are actual finished products that require cement in order to be produced. Whilst concrete can be moulded into shapes and used to shape structures, mortar is used to keep these structures together – acting as a glue.

 

Are you looking for concrete contractors?

Mixing cement to make concrete and mortar can be a daunting task if you haven’t had any experience, so it’s best to call professional concrete contractors like the ones at Prestige Concrete Services. We specialise commercialresidential and local government concreting projects. Our fully qualified concrete contractors have had over 20 years of experience and are highly professional.

If you would like to know more about our concrete contractors and the services we offer, then please get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.

Concrete Slab Foundations: Pros And Cons

The foundation of anything is the basis of it, the beginning of the project. This is what comes first and holds the rest of the project up. In this sense, we’re talking about concrete foundations for buildings such as houses. There are three types of concrete slab foundation types – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab. In today’s blog, our concrete contractors are going to go in depth and explain to you what some of the pros and cons are of concrete slab foundations.

 

What exactly is a foundation?

As we said above, a foundation is an initial structure that will support the entire project. But it goes a bit deeper than that. The foundation of a building must do at least three things:

  • Support the structure;
  • Keep out groundwater; and
  • Be a barrier to water and soil vapour.

These are the three points to a successful foundation and are key in their design. But with the three types of foundation structures, there also comes a variety of different features that will appeal to different types of people.

 

1.   Slab-on-ground foundations

This is the most common concrete slab foundation type and can actually be laid in two different ways:

  • The conventional slabs that feature deep holes with beams. These can be insulated beneath the floor panels; and
  • Waffle pod slabs. These sit closer to the surface and through polystyrene foam contain a maze of beams in between. Waffle pod slabs are already insulated beneath the slabs.

Like the other three concrete slab foundation methods, slab-on-ground employs the use of steel mesh as well as concrete slabs to form the foundation.

 

2.   Suspended slab

As the name may suggest, these slabs are suspended and do not actually have direct contact with the ground below. These are commonly used as foundations for other floors in multi-storey buildings but can also be used to form the foundation for ground floors. Suspended slab foundations will be often constructed off-site and then transported via a truck.

 

3.   Precast slab

Precast slabs are also manufactured off-site and then transported and placed where they need to be with a crane. These can be constructed with post-tensioned reinforced or standard concrete as well as from autoclaved aerated concrete – which is lightweight and energy efficient concrete that is manufactured to have multiple closed air pockets inside of it.

 

Pros of concrete slab foundations

  • Thermal properties – Concrete slabs contain very high thermal mass – meaning it is quite good at storing and re-releasing heat. This works especially well in the sense of foundation as it is a good heat regulator for the house. Of course, to take full advantage of the concrete slab’s thermal properties it must be paired with a passively designed house.
  • Long lasting – Concrete is already a naturally long-lasting creation. But, with the correct reinforcement and design, the concrete slabs can last close to forever. They must be placed correctly and compactly to ensure there are no openings that could cause destabilisation. They must not be affected by water too much as this could weaken them.
  • Termites – Concrete slabs can be highly resistant to termites as long as they have the least number of shrinking joints as possible. Any joints and penetrations should be treated – as well as the edge of the slab.

 

Cons of concrete slab foundations

  • Insulation design flaws – The edges of concrete slabs have trouble letting heat escape in the colder seasons. With this in mind, you should ensure that the insulation should be constructed to account for this.
  • Thermal properties – The great thermal properties do have their downsides. If your evenings are hot, then the heat stored in the slabs will not dissipate, but instead, continue to be stored in the concrete. To combat this, natural ventilation will need to be provided in the design. This is especially the case in the upper levels of multi-storey houses. This should be paid close attention to particularly if you have bedrooms on upper levels as it could affect comfort whilst sleeping in the evenings.
  • Acoustics – Whilst concrete slabs do reduce sounds such as music and loud conversation, there are certain sounds that are known to penetrate the slabs. Higher impact noises such as heels on the floorboards will get through the slabs. If you know this is likely to happen often and that it will bother you, then you should consider extra acoustic insulation.

 

Do you need concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services offers high-quality concrete contractors in Melbourne. Our concrete contractors are highly professional and skilled in various concrete services. We have experience in residentialcommercial and local government projects.

If you’re in need of some concrete contractors, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or fill out the form on our website.