Archive for Resources

Considerations for Your New Walkway

A number of issues should be considered when choosing materials for a walkway or pathway:

Design & Style

When planning your new walkway, consider the design characteristics of your home, and choose layout, colors, and materials to complement them. For example, if you have a rustic country-style home, consider a more natural look. Symmetric lines may be better for a very formal home.

Home Materials

Look at your house’s colors: siding and trim, stucco, brickwork, etc.. The colors and textured of your walk don’t need to match them exactly, but try to select colors that complement existing structures. Earth tones are always popular, as they usually complement traditional building materials. Oneil Concrete Construction can help you choose textures and colors to match the colors of your home.

Real Estate Value

A concrete walkway made with quality materials is a good investment in your home, improving its appearance, function, and resale value. Walkways serve to make an extension of your home by making unusable places usable. Avoid the use of poorly executed gravel paths, or paver walkways which may heave and shift, thereby actually reducing the value of your home.

Budget

The budget you have set aside for your project is important when designing a new walkway, as it will determine the overall size and any special textures or colors used.

Once you have a couple of ideas, call Oneil Concrete Construction for some more options and a free estimate!

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

Planning the Perfect Driveway

Like most things in life, a great concrete driveway starts with good planning.

And wintertime in Wisconsin is a perfect time to start planning your strategy for your springtime driveway project.

Here are some tips for designing a driveway that meets all your needs!

Step 1: Determine a budget.

Before starting, you’ll want some idea how much you intend to spend. You budget will determine how large and elaborate your new driveway will be, as well as the materials quality and extra finishing touches like texture, color, and edging.

Step 2: How large & heavy are the vehicles you intend to park here?

Size matters. If you’ll only park compact sedans on your new driveway, you may get by with eight feet in width. Large pickups, boats, or recreational vehicles may require as much as 12 feet. Take a look at your neighbors’ driveways and parking situations, and ask if you can measure their driveway for reference.

Step 3: Show your style!

A driveway needs to serve its primary function of parking vehicles. But as the single largest feature of many front lawns and entries, this is also an opportunity to improve your property’s aesthetics, curb appeal, and value.

Consider a curved design, colors and textures, radiused corners and aprons, edging or curbing, inlays, and more.

Step 4: Maintenance and upkeep considerations.

While concrete requires far less care and maintenance than asphalt, driveways are often overlooked until they crack or stain. So a little thought now can save you trouble later.

How will rainwater be drained from nearby downspouts and other adjacent drainage areas? Do you intend to use snowblowers or plows to clear winter snow and ice? Will any of your vehicles or yard activities cause stains from motor oil, etc.?

Here are some other considerations regarding driveway maintenance.

Step 5: Consider the climate.

From scorching summer heat to frigid deep-freezes, Wisconsin has it all.

Concrete is an excellent choice to withstand this range of seasonal climate change, but your new driveway should be sloped for drainage and designed to avoid standing water/ice, which can cause a slip hazard in winter. Use shovels or snowblower with plastic blades to prevent scratching or scraping your new concrete, and if using a truck-mounted plow, take extra care to avoid chipping.

Step 6: Consider any extra features for your new driveway.

  • How will your driveway align with garages or carports, or connect with walkways or patios?
  • Will you have any adjacent landscaping features like hedges, flower beds, seating areas, or retaining walls?
  • Does your design benefit from additional exterior lighting for better safety for parking and foot traffic?
  • An entry gate of some kind will add increased safety and security for your property.
  • If your driveway is sloped or especially steep, you might consider a heavily brushed finish or grooves for better traction in wet conditions.

Step 7: Contact Oneil Concrete Construction for advice and a free estimate.

Once you have some basic ideas for your new driveway project, our experts can visit your site with solutions and design suggestions, to make sure you get the driveway you want, within your budget and time frame.

A new quality concrete driveway from Oneil Concrete Construction will serve you well for many years to come, so let us help you plan it right.

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

Prepare Your Patio For Winter

After enjoying our backyard patios all summer, most of us give little thought to them after the first cold snap.

But a little thought and effort toward maintaining and preparing your patio for winter is easy, and will help preserve it for many warm summers to come.

Winter Patio Usage

Mild weather days may allow you to enjoy your patio during the winter. Keep a snow shovel handy (plastic shovels prevent abrasion to your patio surface). Avoid the heavy use of salt de-icers to avoid chemical damage to the concrete surface. Store patio furniture nearby and covered for easy use. You may even want to use your BBQ grill for Super Bowl parties and other mid-winter grilling, so consider keeping it covered and ready for use.

Remove Patio Furniture

If not planning to use your patio during the winter months, give all your patio chairs, benches, and tables a good wash with a garden hose and allow them to dry in the sun. If possible, store it away inside a garage or garden shed; if not, simply cover it with a plastic tarp and tie it up securely.

Clean the Grill

Like the patio furniture, rinse the grill down with a garden hose. If necessary, use a degreasing detergent and a stiff bristled brush to loosen and wash away accumulated crud. If a gas grill, turn the supply valve off and disconnect the tank; take it indoors for winter storage.

While a new quality concrete patio from Oneil Concrete Construction will last for decades, a little care and maintenance can keep it looking its best.

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

Common Sense Tips for Maintaining Your New Concrete Driveway

Once Oneil Concrete Construction has replaced your old cracked and crumbling driveway, you’ll want to protect your investment with proper care and maintenance.

While concrete requires far less care and maintenance than asphalt, driveways are often overlooked until they crack or stain. But you can save money over the long term and extend your driveway’s life and attractive look well into the future.

Here are some tips to protect and enjoy your new driveway!

Keep it Clean

Periodically sweep and clear your driveway with a leaf blower and rinse with an ordinary garden hose to prevent buildup of dirt and leaves, which can stain your concrete.

Motor oil and coolant from vehicles should be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid stains. First, apply cat litter or a commercial oil absorbent, then wash using a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent and warm water. Stubborn oil stains may require a special oil-cutting cleaner, followed by a good rinse.

Keep It Dry

Standing water can deteriorate concrete, especially if it’s allowed to freeze. A driveway installed by Oneil Concrete Construction will be built with the correct slope to ensure good drainage, but homeowners can help by ensuring that downspouts empty into the lawn rather than onto the driveway.

Winter Care

As with standing water, keep your driveway clear of snow and ice soon after a snowfall. Use shovels or snowblower with plastic blades to prevent scratching or scraping your new concrete, and if using a truck-mounted plow, take extra care to avoid chipping.

Prevent Cracks

As mentioned above, don’t allow water to stand for long periods on your concrete driveway, or freezing ice to crack it. Roots of adjacent trees can also cause cracks by exerting pressure from below, so be sure to remove trees near driveways or trim their roots.

Cracks can commonly occur in concrete, but applying a crack filler and patching compound soon after can prevent further damage and keep your driveway looking great.

While a new quality concrete driveway from Oneil Concrete Construction will last for decades, a little care and maintenance can keep it looking its best.

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

What’s Causing my Basement Moisture?

If you’re trying to cure a wet or musty basement, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to dry out a basement simply by sealing the walls?

Often, it is, but to choose the right option, you need to determine if the moisture is coming from outside your foundation, or if it’s high interior humidity condensing on the cooler walls of your basement.

Oneil Concrete Construction can help determine the root cause of your basement moisture problems, and suggest the best solutions for your situation.

Learn more here, or call today for a free estimate!

Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveway?

When it’s time for a new driveway, one of your biggest decisions is whether to use concrete or asphalt.

Each material has its advantages and disadvantages; let’s look at a few:

Usage

Depending on the installation and weather, a concrete driveway may require a few days to cure before bearing the weight of a car. In most cases, a new asphalt driveway can be driven on the next day.

Longevity

A well-constructed concrete driveway will last up to 40-50 years, even with very little upkeep. A similar asphalt driveway will likely last only about 20 years of Wisconsin winters, assuming the owner properly maintains it by filling the inevitable cracks and re-sealing every 2-3 years.

Color and Texture Options

Oneil Concrete Construction offers a wide variety of colored stains to complement your property and home. In addition, we provide an array of stamped textures, patterns, and designs to lend a classy and truly custom finish to your new concrete driveway or walk.

See more photos here >>

Asphalt, unfortunately, is typically available only in basic black …

Initial & Long-Term Costs

Concrete and asphalt have different site-prep requirements and material costs for installation. Generally speaking, a basic concrete driveway of average size can cost approximately 30-50% more than a similarly sized asphalt driveway.

But, with its lower maintenance effort and costs, and better longevity, concrete really pulls ahead in the long run. The apparent initial ‘savings’ of asphalt can easily be outpaced by the required maintenance and earlier replacement costs, while the initial investment of concrete pays for itself in virtually no ongoing maintenance and a greater lifespan.

Oneil Concrete Construction can help you plan and budget the perfect driveway or walkway for your home. Call today!

Choosing the Right Decorative Concrete Finish

Why settle for plain and ugly concrete when there are so many ways to spruce it up?

With the development of special decorative techniques, concrete is revolutionizing home decor. Strikingly handsome concrete patios, pool surrounds, garden paths, flooring, walls, and more show off just how versatile concrete can be.

Here is a glossary explaining the most popular finishes used to create decorative concrete.

Oneil Concrete Construction can help you choose the perfect stamped and/or colored concrete project for your home!

Patio Planning 101

“Whether you’re dreaming up a brand new outdoor living space or are dying to revamp an unsightly slab of concrete, planning ahead is key to creating a patio that’s both beautiful and functional,” writes Gretchen Roberts of HGTV.

When planning your own project, you’ll also want to consider your new patio’s purpose, location, size, shape, surrounding landscaping, and any extra features you want to incorporate like lighting or a fire pit.

“The patio is a part of your home, so have fun with the design and make it yours.”

Call Oneil Concrete Construction today for a free consultation and estimate on your new patio!

Home Addition Foundations & Concrete Slabs

When a new family member arrives, or you’re finally building that dream kitchen you’ve always wanted, or you just want to grow your square footage, a home addition can be a smart choice.

Especially in a tight housing market, more and more homeowners are opting to maximize the value of their existing home rather than incur the costs of a major move to a new place.

Whether your new addition will be built on a basic concrete slab, or over a full basement, Oneil Concrete Construction can help get you started on a solid foundation. We can also recommend trusted industry partners for the other construction and finish work of a new addition, too.

See how Oneil Concrete Construction can help you get started on expanding your home!

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

Stamped Concrete Sidewalks

Sidewalks and walkways—whether from the street or driveway to your front porch, around the side of your home, or leading to your backyard patio—are one of the most used forms of concrete work. So, they have more potential to make (or break) a good impression.

“Interesting and intriguing walkway designs, like a winding brick or flagstone path, can be very charming,” says Front Porch Ideas. “The right material can soften the appearance of a symmetrical home or could make a Cape Cod appear more formal. Just like your front porch railings and columns, the materials you choose can also reflect personality or creativity.”

See how Oneil Concrete Construction can help you choose the perfect custom sidewalk or walkway for your home!

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!