Renovating vs. New Construction: Which Is Better For Your Project?

Homeowners will eventually have to face the dilemma of renovation vs. new construction. This situation occurs frequently in the situation of owning a home that is a decade or more of age. At Ultimate Construction, we’ve heard of every argument for both sides, which is why we’ve compiled the information below to help you decide whether you should consider renovation or new construction as you plan for your future home.

Renovation Or Build New

Renovation Overview

Renovation is a broad term that covers anything from a simple bathroom redesign to the addition of a new wing to your house. Renovation may not grant you complete freedom, but the contractor still needs your input.

Renovation Construction

The Benefits of Renovating

Renovation comes with many benefits that you may not have even considered:

  • Renovations could increase the value of your home
  • It is easier to plan and budget for a renovation
  • Some changes can make a home more functional or efficient
  • You won’t have to leave a home that has sentimental value to you

Sometimes, you might consider a new construction, but you might only need a few renovations to your current home. It’s possible that once you make those updates, you’ll discover that you’re already satisfied.

Considerations for Renovation

While renovation is much more manageable than new construction, there are important questions you must ask yourself before starting.

  • Have any renovations been done to my home by the previous owners?
  • How will this update affect the value of my home? Will it influence salability?
  • Do I need to contact local government or the HOA before I can start?
  • What exactly do I want to change and what am I willing to budge on?

These are simply a few factors you need to consider during a renovation, but once you have all the details you need, you’ll be ready to get the project started.

New Construction Overview

As you can imagine, a new construction involves a much larger investment, both in time and in expenses. You’ll need to work closely with your building team to ensure that your new home has been customized to your liking.

New Home Construction

The Benefits of Building New Construction

A new construction may seem like a daunting task at first, but you’ll find that there are benefits to building a brand-new house.

  • The home is tailored to your needs
  • Newly built homes usually have lower maintenance expenses, meaning a lesser cost in the long term
  • Your ideas won’t be hindered by pre-existing layouts or structures
  • You can choose what goes into your home, which can make it more efficient or environmentally friendly

A new construction allows for everything to be built according to your specifications. Only budget and imagination can stand in the way of your vision.

Comparing Renovation to New Build

Renovate Custom Home

When making the decision to construct or renovate, the answer is going to come down to your personal needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting your project:

  • Which choice is more cost-effective for me?
  • Am I ready for the time commitment this project entails?
  • What is my budget, and how far am I willing to stretch it?
  • Which project will result in something that best satisfies my needs?

Your needs, situation, and budget help you make your final decision. Your best option is to contact a construction company to help you effectively deal with the problem. At Ultimate Construction, we will help you identify the source of the issue and provide the best solution. To obtain a free quote from a professional with over 26 years of experience, contact David Magill at 210-379-4348.

Retaining construction company FAQs

1. When should I consider renovation instead of new construction?

If you find that you are satisfied with your current home, except for a few small parts of it, we advise renovation against construction. Since there are so many traits you already love, it is likely that updating the parts that you don’t like will bring you more satisfaction than constructing a brand-new home.

2. Which would cost less renovation or new construction?

This depends on the scale of your construction or renovation. In some cases, a large-scale renovation may cost more than a small-scale new construction. However, we’ve found that new construction generally costs more than renovation, due to the amount of different expenses involved.

3. Which is more environmentally friendly?

Again, this can vary from case to case. In general, however, since you have so much freedom of what you put into a new construction, building a new home has the potential to be environmentally friendly depending on the materials and landscaping you opt for. There also are renovations you can make to an existing home that can make them more ecofriendly and energy efficient.

Yard Drainage Problems, Solutions and When to Hire Professionals

Wouldn’t it be the best feeling to look over at your yard and see a fantastically manicured landscape? Whether we are referring to the front yard or the back yard, this outdoor space requires a certain amount of attention. But an improper yard can be one of the most frustrating outdoor issues a homeowner has to deal with, every time that it rains homeowners might feel as though their lawn becomes a swamp. There’s nothing more despairing than the dreadful sight of a water-filled spot in your yard. Therefore, why does your yard resemble a small lake? The answer is simple, yet complex—a yard drainage problem. For a healthy outdoor you may have overlooked maintenance issues once in a great while and for this, you should find a landscaping contractor who actually knows what you need. It’s tough to determine the exact source of this information, but over the years, we’ve seen them all from minor problems to serious ones. Below are some common yard problems and their solutions to help you to figure out your next yard drainage repair and when to call a professional.

Standing Water in Yard

Standing Water in Yard

Inadequate yard drainage can be one of the most frustrating problems. Standing water causes landscape problems such as grass death, the growth of mold, and issues with the foundation. Also, the puddles become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Fortunately, some fixes can get done manually, but others will need you to seek professional help.

Solutions for standing water:

  • Dethatching

Excess leaves and grass clippings build up over time and prevent water from draining completely. Make sure you clear off this blanket of debris in your yard. You can use a lawn rake or a power rake to eliminate the material that’s covering the surface.

  • Re-grading

As the year’s pass, your yard could lose its original slope which is also known as grading. As a solution, you can hire a professional landscaper to survey your yard and identify the trouble spots. They will then advise you on which areas need re-grading and then carry out the task.

Mower Ruts

Mower Ruts in San Antonio Texas

These are thin, shallow grooves that are found in yard after you run a lawn mower over wet soil. You might notice them if you either hear squishy sounds on the ground or when the ground displacement quickly happens after being stepped on. These ruts, which are a sign of oversaturation, can damage a healthy lawn.

Solution for mower ruts:

  • The most advisable solution is to leave the mower ruts alone and naturally allow the ground to shift into its ideal position. Then, use a stamper to redistribute the soil.

Erosion

Erosion in San Antonio Texas

Sometimes the runoff that comes from your downspout carries away the topsoil in your yard which then causes erosion.

Solution for erosion:

  • You will need to find a way to redirect the runoff either by extending the downspout or using catch basins and French drains.

Path and Patio Flooding

Path and Patio Flooding In San Antonio Texas

Paths and patios are prone to flooding because of problems with exterior designs that cause water to settle in large areas.

Solution for Path and Patio Flooding:

  • One possible solution involves installing French drains. They take a short time to construct but require professional help to install. Basically, they work like a trench with a pipe that’s buried under the gravel. It may naturally cause some water to drain via the trench, and then the pipe will drain the remaining large amounts of water.

Soggy Trouble Spots

Soggy Trouble Spots

When you detect spots in your yard that are soggy despite not having been watered recently, then you’re in need of a yard drainage repair.

Solution for Soggy Trouble Spots:

  • One way to solve this problem is by digging up the troubled areas and filling them with soil and gravel. However, you might also check your sprinkler system for leaks as you’re digging.

Impacted Soil Conditions

Impacted Soil Conditions

This yard drainage problem can be caused by excavation projects that involve loss of soil structure, nutrient degradation, soil salinity and a pool installation.

Solution for Impacted Soil Conditions:

You can therefore improve the soil permeability in your yard by reducing the compaction and amending the soil. For starters, try adding humus if the soil contains clay. It improves soil’s permeability and eventually the drainage.

Contact Yard Drainage Professionals

Overall, your best option is contact a water drainage company to help you effectively deal with the problem. The professionals at Ultimate Construction will help you to identify the source of the issue and give the best solution. To obtain a free quote from a professional with over 26 years of experience, contact David Magill at www.constructionsatx.com.

5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Construction Company

Hiring a construction company is no small feat. Aside from making a few phone calls, attending a few meetings to discuss proposals and estimates, and comparing prices, you have to do your homework to find a reputable company that’s licensed and insured. Also, you other factors to consider such as the staff’s experience and training, customer reviews, and of course payment and contract terms. Thus, looking at each of these details before making a final decision is well worth your time and most importantly, money.

Things to Know Before Hiring a Construction Company

License

Did you know that to be able to retain a license, contractors have to participate in continuing education in their trade? This is one of the most important reasons you should inquire about licensing before hiring a construction company. Maintaining a license means staying current on the latest technology, trends, and safe practices along with any changes to local codes and ordinances.

Experience & Staff Training

Likewise, the best construction companies tend to be the ones with the longest tenure. That’s not to say a new startup might have enough combined experience or training. However, you need to confirm with the representative that the staff has adequate training or better yet, has earned certificates in their trade.

Contract Terms

Knowing the expectations for the project upfront benefits both sides. Any solid construction company representative would know that. So, feel free to ask questions about timespan, project management, and handling of any permits. Also, the rep would need to give exact details about the project itself and all of the steps that it entails.

Payment Terms

First of all, a reputable, legitimate construction company would never accept cash or ask for it before or upon completion of the roofing job. If they are, then you might be dealing with a scammer. However, if you’ve checked out the establishment, licensing, and reviews, you’ll know well before this point that you’re communicating with the rep of an actual business. Therefore, most construction companies would accept a check or credit card payment upon completion of smaller projects. Likewise, they might offer financing options for larger projects while asking for a down payment—which is normal. Thus, you’ll need to look into your state’s laws about down payments since there is a limit to how much a contractor can for upfront.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews play a big role in this major decision. After all, a construction company with many 5-star rates or even an average of 4.8 would perform an excellent job. Also, you might consider reaching out to friends, family, or business associates who have hired the companies that you’re considering in the past. Plus, you can ask for references from the company’s representative.

FAQS-

What are the steps in the construction process?

You can divide this process into six main steps, although the process entails more minute details depending on its complexity. These include-

  • Project conception – the client’s idea
  • Design – bringing the idea to fruition…or back to reality
  • Preconstruction – hiring the construction company and then getting a project team together
  • Procurement – purchasing materials and necessary equipment
  • Construction – the actual building
  • Post-construction – the architect’s inspection and certification

Lastly, you have the inspections by your local authority, and if all goes well, the project is complete.

What type of machinery is used for excavation?

You’ll likely see excavators which lift large loads of dirt, rock, or brush or are used to dig out foundations, holes, or trenches. Also, we utilize backhoe loaders to move heavy materials along with bulldozers and skid-steer loaders. Other commonly used machinery includes.

How many types of construction are there?

You have five main types which are: residential, commercial, industrial, building, and heavy civil. The majority of our projects relate to residential and commercial, although we have worked on roads and drainage systems on private property and provided our services to other builders.

How do you calculate excavation costs?

The cost is estimated by multiplying the total volume of excavation times and the excavations price per unit. For instance, if the client wants a pit excavated to the size of 3x3x3, and the market price is $10 per cubic meter, then the volume (27 cubic meters) times 10 would equal $270.

How much do excavation companies charge?

According to Home Advisor, the average cost for land excavation and grading could run between $1,446 and $5,568 depending on the region where you live, the terrain and soil, the size of the area to be excavated, the type of equipment needed, and the time (specifically the season) of the year.

At Ultimate Construction of San Antonio, we take the guesswork out of hiring a construction company. With over 20 years of experience, we offer professional services in excavation, demolition, and more—at a price that suits your budget. Call us now for a free in-person estimate.

As anyone who lives in the San Antonio area knows, drought is a frequent problem during the warm season. One way to combat its effect on your lawn is to consider sod replacement. Using a hardier species of grass than currently exists on your property can both reduce your water bill and keep your yard looking good during dry spells.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the basics of drought resistance and tolerance. We’ll also consider what particular types of grass are likely to do well during dry conditions. Armed with this information, the reader will be able to make informed decisions about what is best for their lawn.

Four Aspects of Drought-Resistant Grasses

Plants vary in their ability to survive with little or no water. Here in the southwest, a number of species have developed the ability to endure for many months between periods of rainfall. Of course, only a few of these are suitable for residential lawns.

Those that are good choices for this purpose are discussed in the rest of this article. Their ability to withstand extended dry spells falls under four major categories.

1. Drought tolerance

This refers to the variety’s ability to flourish during periods of low watering. Buffalo, Bahia, and some forms of St. Augustine do well during such times.

2. Dehydration tolerance

This refers to the tendency to stay an acceptable shade of green during times when there is little or no rain. Zoysia, Bermuda, and some types of St. Augustine all enjoy strong root density, structure, and low water needs, making them ideally suited for such conditions.

3. Dehydration recovery

This refers to the ability of grasses to withstand drought conditions by going into a dormant state for extended periods. While they may turn brown during such times, they are in fact alive and will respond readily to watering when the dry spell ends. Buffalo and Bahia grasses are especially adept at doing so.

4. Dehydration quantity

This refers to the level of water a type of grass needs in order to avoid turning brown and slipping into a dormant state. This is the point at which many homeowners are misinformed. They plant a grass that they have been assured is highly resistant to drought, only to become upset when they discover that going dormant is the means by which it resists dry conditions. A brown lawn isn’t high on anyone’s list of desirable characteristics for their yard. Such grasses do have other uses, however, such as when strong erosion control is desired during periods of flash floods.

And the winner is….

While no cultivar is perfect, in most instances, sod replacement with St. Augustine grass is the superior choice for drought-prone regions. It withstands dry spells as least as well as Zoysia, Buffalo, and Bermuda grasses, while retaining more of its desirable green shade. FX-10, Floratam, Palmetto, and Raleigh are particularly good choices for the San Antonio area due to the fact that they can endure well under both drought conditions and periods of heavy rain and flash flooding. These qualities also mean that the homeowner will be able to get by with less supplemental watering, making these grasses economical as well as enduring choices for one’s lawn.

A Comprehensive Approach to Drought Management

Choosing a hardy grass for your property is only one aspect of resisting the affects of south Texas climate patterns. Landscape grading and establishing a drainage system are also important steps. Here at Ultimate Construction, we have the tools and experience to help you keep your grounds looking great, no matter what the weather brings your way. Contact us today.

Grass sod installation is a popular choice for people looking to establish a new lawn. It can also bring new life to an old lawn that has seen its better days. At Ultimate Construction, we’re highly trained and experienced in all aspects of sod delivery, sod replacement, and preparing lots for new grass. Here’s a quick look at how we handle such jobs:

1. We’ll start out by evaluating the site for the best type of grass for its conditions. For example, areas that receive strong sunlight all day do well with Bermuda or similar varieties. On the other hand, shady areas require different types of grass, such as St. Augustine. The most important thing is to choose a variety that can thrive during the south Texas summers, and we’re well acquainted with the types well suited to our hot, arid climate.

2. Next, we’ll check the site for low spots or other issues that might cause drainage problems. Sometimes, these types of problems can be solved by grading the land to encourage runoff. Other times, it might be necessary to install an underground drainage system or even a dry creek bed. We’ll let you know what your options are before we proceed.

3. Grading is an essential part of establishing a new lawn. Water must flow away from your home and any other buildings on your property. We’ll establish a gentle but consistent grade that will ensure you’ll never worry about having a flooded foundation or similar issues.

4. Soil preparation comes next. The ground must be reasonably loose to allow rainwater to soak into it and nourish the roots of the grass sod installation. If your site has hard, compacted dirt, then we will break it up to a depth of several inches, creating a perfect bed for your new lawn to take root in.

5. We may or may not need to add fertilizer or other amendments to the soil. A simple test will reveal the pH level of your land. It should be between 6.0 and 7.0. If it’s not, then we may add limestone to make it less acidic. We can do a chemical evaluation of your land and determine what, if anything, needs to be done for it to support a lush, healthy lawn.

6. In some cases, we may need to add topsoil to your lot. We rarely do so, however, unless the ground is in exceptionally poor condition.

7. Right before we install the sod, we’ll ensure that your land has been finely graded, thoroughly raked, and cleared of any humps or depressions that could cause problems later. The end result will be soil that is perfectly suited to the introduction of sod.

8. When the time to install the sod has come, we’ll only use pieces that are at least one inch thick, freshly cut, and healthy. If possible, we will keep it in a shady spot while it’s being put in place. We’ll complete this part of the job with all due haste, as sod should be installed within 36 hours after it is cut.

9. As a final step, we’ll either roll or tamp your new lawn lightly. This will ensure good contact with the supporting soil. It will also remove any air pockets that might prevent the grass from taking root.

Once all of this is done, we encourage customers to water their new lawn. It should be watered thoroughly, to make sure the water reaches the proper depth. The idea is to keep the soil moist without letting it getting soggy. It should be ready for its first mowing within 4-7 days after it’s put in place.

If grass sod installation is what you need, then give us a call. As we mentioned before, we have the training and tools needed to do the job right the first time. So put our more than 20 years of experience to work for you by contacting us today.

At Ultimate Construction, we specialize in offering professional Bobcat services at fair rates. As full-time professionals in the construction trade, our work is backed by more than 20 years of experience.

Despite this, some people insist on renting heavy equipment and having a go at the task on their own. While we appreciate their initiative, in most cases these people would be better off leaving the work to us. Here are a few reasons why you should leave this kind of work to the professionals:

We have been providing Bobcat services to the people of San Antonio for over two decades. We handle construction equipment and tools every day of our working lives. This means we can get the work done faster, better, and safer than those who only use Bobcats occasionally, not to mention those who have never operated one before.

Any time construction work is performed, there are potential hazards that come along with the job. These include the possibility of cave-ins, striking buried power, water, or sewer lines, tipping the machine over during operation, and many more. Wouldn’t you rather have a highly trained professional performing your Bobcat services?

To get the most value out of Bobcat services, the operator needs access to the dozens of accessories that make doing virtually any construction job easier. For example, a Bobcat pro will be able to install and operate bulldozer blades, brush cutters, tree stump removers, front-end loaders, and other specialized add-ons. This is yet another reason why Bobcat services are best left to the professionals.

In addition to Bobcat services, Ultimate Construction performs demolition and post-construction cleanup, trenching, sod delivery, road construction, landscaping, pipe installation, grading, and a host of other services. Our work is guaranteed and we will gladly provide references from past customers. Why not call us today for a free, no-obligation quote? We look forward to hearing from you.

Excavation services are a foundational part of any modern building project. Excavation is a crucial component of electricity, phone, and internet service, as well as water and sewage lines. At Ultimate Construction, we handle all types of excavating, making us the company of choice when it comes to performing this vital work. Here are 4 types of excavation services that you might need for your property:

Foundation digging

Whether you want your building to rest on a solid slab, a block wall, or a poured concrete perimeter, proper excavation is essential to ensuring the correct results. We have the tools, training, and equipment to do the job right.

Trenching

This is essential for running utility lines. However, if done incorrectly, the results can be time-consuming and costly. That’s why you need our decades of experience in trench digging—we can save you from time-consuming problems and needless expense.

Septic tank excavation

For those who live out of reach of city sewer lines, an independent septic system is essential for comfort and sanitation. This in turn requires that the lines be cut at the proper grade to ensure adequate flow. Our expertise with excavation services can save you from costly plumbing bills down the road.

Swimming pool removal

This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of excavation services;nevertheless, it must be done correctly to avoid sunken land, poor drainage, and other issues down the road. As one of the few local firms with experience in this type of work, we can make sure your old, unwanted in-ground pool is removed without a trace.

You can trust Ultimate Construction with your excavation services, as well as all other types of construction-related work, including road building, building site cleanup, grading, and drain installation. You can count on us to do the job right, and for a price you can afford. Call us today to find out more.

After years of bad economic news, it finally looks like things are turning around in many parts of the country. Even the construction industry is showing signs of recovery. So, if you’ve been thinking about cleaning up some property for house building or other purposes, this may be the perfect time to get started. However, before you begin your east Texas land clearing project, remember that you may run into challenges you didn’t expect. Here are some situations you might encounter:

Abandoned vehicles – Landowners occasionally find that someone broke down on their lot and just left the auto there. If this happens to you, then be aware that, according to Texas law, a vehicle is considered abandoned if it has sat on private property for 48 hours without being moved. If this is the case, then copy the license and VIN numbers down and contact the DMV. They should be able to tell you the owner. At that point, you can contact them and request they move the car or truck. If they fail to do so, or if you can’t find them, then the next step is to call the police. They will arrange to have the vehicle removed and impounded, at which point it’s no longer your affair, unless you wish to take possession of it yourself. If you do, you will need to attend the law enforcement auction where it will be sold. If you place the highest bid, then the car or truck is yours.

Fire ants – These little devils are the scourge of the Lone Star State, and it’s entirely possible you may run into them while clearing a piece of land. They’re infamous for destroying native plants, getting into wiring and plumbing systems, invading homes, and in extreme cases, killing pets, children, or even adults. If you discover them on your property, then your best option is to call a professional exterminator with the tools and equipment necessary to eradicate them. If you insist on doing the job yourself, experts recommend that you first scatter granular ant poison widely across the acreage. They will carry it back to the nest and feed it to the queen; then they will begin to die. After this, you can follow up with a mound poison for continued control. You should know that, to be truly effective, you should be prepared for a lengthy campaign. Six weeks is usually the minimum time it takes to get control of a fire ant infestation. For more facts, including specific recommendations on insecticides and extermination methods, visit www.fireant.tamu.edu. This is a site maintained by Texas A&M University, with extensive information on fire ant control.

Squatters – If your land is remote or unused, it’s possible that someone may take up residence on it. If so, then removing them can be a very tricky matter, due to what is known as “adverse possession.” In fact, if they have been residing there for a while and/or have farmed or otherwise improved the acreage, you might not be able to get rid of them – legally, that is. If you discover unauthorized persons living on your property, then contact an attorney well versed in real estate law as soon as possible. He or she can advise you of your options and suggest a course of action.

Sometimes clearing a lot is a simple matter of picking up some trash and raking a few leaves. Other times, your east Texas land clearing project may involve extensive tree removal or other tasks best left to professionals. If this is the case in your situation, then contact us here at Ultimate Construction. We have the equipment, tools, and expert knowledge needed to do the job properly.

The toughest part of any remodel is demolishing the old stuff and hauling it away. If you’re replacing or removing your porch, patio, or other concrete space, there’s no reason to trouble yourself with cumbersome concrete slab removal. Whether it’s an old, cracked sidewalk or a dilapidated fountain, there’s no reason to deal with such an unwieldy task on your own. Our dedicated staff of professionals is standing by with the help you need.

Efficiency:

Concrete slab removal is not as simple as a sledgehammer and a wheelbarrow. We know what we’re doing because we’ve got years of experience finding the best way to break up and remove concrete and get it out of your way. There’s no reason to risk accident or injury when professionals are standing by to give you the help you need.

Tools:

Knowing which tool is right for the task is an acquired skill. A seasoned expert can look at a job and immediately know which tools to work with, and which ones not to work with. We have all the right tools ready to roll—every single time. We have the saws, chisels, and heavy equipment necessary to dismantle that concrete and haul it away. We have all the tools required to give you the results you want, in the timeframe you need, at a budget we agree on. For home or business, we’re ready to take on your concrete slab removal.

Testimonials:

With so many contractors to choose from, how do you know you’re getting reliable professionals? You don’t need to take our word for it! You can read testimonials from our satisfied customers—many of whom live right in your area. Those who use our services are always happy to spread the word because our results make our customers happy.

Winter is gone at long last, and already the people of the San Antonio area are mowing their lawns, firing up their grills, and getting ready for another summer. One thing that took a beating over the winter months and gets a lot of use in the warmer weather is the driveway. If you’re in need of concrete or asphalt driveway repair, then give us a call. We can help.

Causes of Driveway Damage

Whether it’s made of concrete or asphalt, your driveway is dependent on the underlying material to support it. Usually crushed stone is used as the foundation for driveways. When properly laid, it can do its job for many years, but over time, settling and erosion can make the stone shift. Also, when it does, the asphalt or concrete top layer can develop depressions and even potholes.

Another cause of driveway damage is the weather. The south Texas sun causes both concrete and asphalt to expand, while the cool night air forces it to contract. This constant back-and-forth motion eventually forms cracks that will grow over time until major crumbling and other damage occurs.

Human activity can also have not-so-desirable effects on driveways. Driveways are only meant to hold so much weight and storing heavy loads on them for long periods of time can do a significant amount of damage. Things like doing automotive repairs and spilling toxic chemicals can all damage driveways over time, causing dips, bulges, cracks, and crumbles.

One more frequently seen cause of driveway damage is poor construction. For example, if the person who poured the concrete or asphalt did so in a hurry, or if the initial mix wasn’t just right, then fractures and other imperfections can start to show up within months or even weeks.

Whatever sort of problems you have, if you’re in need of any driveway repair, call us at Ultimate Construction to get the repair process started. We’ll determine the underlying cause and fix it. We guarantee that we’ll leave you with a driveway that’s as good as new, if not better. So get in touch with us today.