What Does a Concrete Contractor Do?


Concrete Contractor Greensboro NC is a specialist in handling the different stages of concrete construction. They normally handle everything from preparing the site to pouring and settling the concrete.

Commercial concrete contractors work with concrete to build facilities for businesses or other commercial spaces. They can also help repair and maintain existing concrete structures.

Site preparation involves a number of different steps before construction can begin. It can be a complex process, but it is important to follow the proper procedures to ensure that the building is constructed properly and safely. Failure to do so can result in delays, unforeseen expenses, and even legal complications.

The first step in the site preparation process is to clear the area where the construction will take place. This may include demolishing buildings, removing trees, and eliminating any underground infrastructure. It is also crucial to conduct a soil test to determine whether the soil can support the foundation of the new building.

After clearing the area, grading will occur. This involves sculpting the land to meet the specific needs of the construction project. This can be a time-consuming process, depending on the size of the project and the complexity of the terrain.

Once the soil has been graded, the excavation will begin. This is one of the most critical parts of the process, as it will create a solid foundation for the concrete structure. The excavation must be done correctly to prevent any issues with the finished product, such as cracking or sinking.

During the excavation phase, it is important to make sure that there is sufficient space for the equipment used in the construction process. This includes trucks, cranes, and other heavy equipment. If there is not enough space, the construction process will be halted until the issue is resolved.

Another key part of the site preparation process is ensuring that there is easy access to the construction site. This is important so that the workers can move around the construction site easily and efficiently. Without this, the construction process will be much slower and less efficient.

During site preparation, it is also essential to identify any potential problems that may arise during construction. This can include underground pipes, power lines, and other utilities. By identifying these issues, the contractor can be aware of them and avoid any accidents during the construction process. This will save both time and money in the long run.


Concrete contractors use formwork to shape the concrete that will become the finished structure. This mold, which can be temporary or permanent, holds the poured concrete until it hardens. It can be made of a variety of materials, including timber, plywood, glass fiber-reinforced plastics, or steel. Some specialty applications may require specialized formwork to achieve the desired result.

There are several types of formwork, each with advantages and disadvantages. Shuttering is the most common type of formwork, and it can be constructed on site from timber or plywood. It can be assembled easily, although it is time-consuming to build large structures or complex shapes. Timber shuttering also needs to be treated with waterproof chemicals. Plywood, on the other hand, is inexpensive and easy to work with. It is also water-resistant and suitable for larger projects that require flexibility.

Another type of formwork is a stay-in-place structural formwork system, which is made on-site from prefabricated fiberglass or fiber-reinforced plastic forms. This is typically used in piers and columns, and it acts as both axial and shear reinforcement while helping to confine the concrete and resist environmental damage.

A final option is flexible formwork, which uses low-cost fabric sheets to create architecturally interesting building designs. This formwork allows for faster construction, less material waste, and a better finish. Regardless of the type of formwork used, the contractor must ensure it is well-designed to support the concrete and prevent accidents. Formwork failures can cause serious injuries and even death. Accidents can occur when the forms are removed too early or if they have been under-designed for the loads imposed by the concrete. They can also suffer from “form blowouts,” which occur when the formwork bends or breaks during a concrete pour (especially when filled with a high-pressure concrete pump).

Formwork should be constructed from a material that is durable and lightweight so that it can be handled by workers without injury. It should also be able to withstand vibration and compaction during the concrete pour, and it must be resistant to water absorption and freeze-thaw cycles. It is also important that the formwork be able to withstand the stresses of repeated use.

Pouring the concrete

Concrete is used in nearly all construction projects that involve a foundation. Most of the time, however, it is used as a slab that supports different elements of the structure. This solid, durable material is ideal for basements, garages, and driveways, among other things. A quality contractor will know how to pour and form a solid concrete slab effectively.

First, the area must be cleared of grass, rocks, trees, and any other objects that could interfere with the pouring process. Then, a layer of gravel must be placed and compacted. This helps reduce the chance of heaving from expansive soils, which can damage a concrete slab.

Then, forms are built around the surface to create the desired shape of a slab. Typically, for a concrete driveway or sidewalk, the contractors will build forms that are 4″ thick. For curved areas, they may use a strong piece of masonite, which is held in place with stakes driven into the ground every few feet.

Once the concrete is mixed, it must be transported to its destination. A large amount will often be hauled by truck or pumped using a tremie, a long metal pipe that can be inserted into the ground.

For smaller amounts, a bucket, wheelbarrow, or skip can be used. Regardless of the type of transport method, a reputable contractor will use the proper safety equipment to protect themselves and others while working with concrete. Gloves are a must, as many concrete mixes contain caustic ingredients that can burn skin when exposed for extended periods of time. Safety glasses should also be worn to protect the eyes from concrete dust.

A seasoned concrete contractor will be familiar with the different weather conditions that affect concrete pouring. Whether it is in the middle of winter or the height of summer, they will know how to work with the weather and produce a quality concrete slab. They will understand how to add stress joints, if necessary, to redirect cracks away from the most important parts of the slab.


Concrete is known for its strength on the inside, but it’s also an aesthetically pleasing material with a wide range of colors and finishes available. As a specialized subcontractor, a concrete contractor must be skilled at creating the right look for each project they take on. This can be achieved by adding mix-added pigments or post-curing staining.

The final phase of a concrete contractor’s job is the finishing process. This involves using a variety of tools to create a finished surface. They may start with screeding to remove excess concrete and create a level surface. After that, they will use a bull float to smooth any ridges and then trowel the concrete for a more refined finish.

A smooth concrete surface requires proper finishing techniques and timing to avoid crazing or cracking as the concrete cures. This is a skill that comes with years of experience, and only the most skilled contractors have the ability to time their finishing operations correctly.

While a contractor is performing their finishing duties, it’s important for them to keep other contractors and supervisors updated on the progress of the concrete. This helps everyone stay on the same page and ensures that the concrete is ready for its next step at the right time. Many contractors prefer to use construction management software to communicate updates quickly and efficiently.

Once the concrete is finished, a contractor must apply a sealer to protect it from stains and extend its life. They may also choose to add decorative features like colored aggregate, stamps, or stenciling to give the concrete a unique look. In addition, they will often grind the concrete to create a slip-resistant surface or smooth out any joints.

If you’re considering working with a concrete contractor on your next commercial project, it’s essential to do your research. Look for a company that has an excellent reputation and has experience working on projects similar to yours. You should also ask for a list of references and contact them to learn more about their experiences with the contractor. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your project is completed on time and within budget.