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.

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.

How To Know When You Need A Grading Contractor

Are you planning on building a new structure on an undeveloped piece of land? Does your basement flood when it rains? Or does your property have gulleys or other unsightly signs of erosion on it? If so, then you may need the services of a grading contractor.

Here’s why:

If you don’t properly prepare a piece of ground before you add a building to it, you’re just asking for it to suffer from water damage. If the direction of the slope is off just a little bit, it can channel rainwater directly against the exterior walls. The result could be anything from foundation damage to water pouring into the structure, especially during the kind of heavy downpours east Texas is famous for.

A flooding basement is usually caused by a lack of sufficient slope in the earth surrounding your house. Even if you don’t have a cellar, the last thing you want is moisture against or under your home. It can cause mold to grow, damage underside insulation, become a breeding ground for disease-carrying creatures, and even weaken the foundation walls over time.

Gulleys and other surface deformations are formed when land hasn’t been contoured to maximize drainage. This kind of erosion isn’t just ugly; it can lower property values, contribute to sinkhole development, and possibly expose you to legal liability, if the runoff adversely affects your neighbor’s property.

When you need a grading contractor, give Ultimate Construction a call, because grading land correctly requires not just the proper tools and equipment, but also the know-how and attention to detail that come with years of experience. With our 20 years in the construction industry, our experience sets us apart from our competitors, and serves as our assurance to you that the job will be done right the first time. You’ll be surprised how reasonable our rates are, so call us today for a free, no-hassle quote.

7 Things You Should Know About Sod Replacement

For people who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their lawn, sod replacement may be a solution. So here are seven things you should know about it:

  1. Sod replacement gives you a brand new lawn – Many grass problems are very difficult to solve, such as diseases and weed infestation. If this is your situation, then you may be better off simply starting off fresh.
  2. Sod replacement can correct long-standing problems – For example, the roots of most varieties of grass are very shallow. Because of this, your lawn may not be drawing nutrients from underlying topsoil. Sod replacement can correct this issue by rooting the new grass deeply in the underlying ground.
  3. Sod replacement can greatly improve your soil quality – When we take up an old lawn, we carefully check the quality of the underlying earth. If it’s poor, we add fertilizer, peat moss, or other amendments that greatly enhance its composition.
  4. Sod replacement allows you to change the type of grass in your lawn – If you’ve been itching to try a different variety, this will give you the chance to do so, without all of the hassles involved with sowing together mixed seeds or using herbicides.
  5. Ultimate Construction’s method of sod replacement is non-poisonous – Other companies may saturate your property with toxic chemicals that can enter the water table or get on pets. We’re strongly against using those chemicals, making our method safer and greener.
  6. Sod replacement can make your home look better and improve its resale value – Nothing turns off potential homebuyers like a brown, patchy lawn. On the other hand, when they see a yard full of healthy green grass, they take it as a sign that the current owners have taken good care of the property, which can influence the way they view the rest of the house.
  7. Sod replacement is affordable – We’ll be happy to provide you with a free, no-hassle quote, so you can see for yourself how reasonable our fees are. Give us a call at Ultimate Construction today.

3 Creative Garden Drainage Solutions

Creative designs in drainage solutions are attractive and interesting. However, the one innovative design people really appreciate is the one that fits their landscaping plan and solves their problem. Fashioning the perfect design is simply a matter of looking at property and brainstorming. Possible solutions include changing the slope, designing a catch basin, or building retaining walls.

Changing the Slope

With slight modifications to residential drainage systems, slopes are improved or reduced, allowing water to pool and be absorbed. Building these shallow depressions provides moisture for grass, plants, and trees. Instead of wasting runoff, it is recycled and reduces expensive outdoor watering bills.

Catch Basins

These pool-like additions enhance any décor, as they can be a grass bowl, a circle of stones, or an attractive, colored concrete focal point. Although the homeowner knows these are drainage solutions, viewers simply think they are an eye-catching addition to the landscape plan. As a modern form of yard art, these innovative products are placed where they are needed. The depression of grass may be kidney shaped, oval, or oblong, with distinctly different groundcover or borders of low shrubs or flowers. Randomly placed river rocks mimic a dry lakebed, while carefully stacked slabs of granite or flagstone outline the basin and provide places to sit. Basins of concrete make perfect residential drainage systems; when drains are set a few inches off the bottom, birds and wildlife flock to this water reservoir to play and drink.

Retaining Walls

On steeper slopes, retaining walls allow landscapers to be creative. The walls can be any height from short to tall and continuous or broken into segments. Allowing the water to cascade from one wall to another creates rainy day delights and neighborhood envy.

.No matter where water accumulates, there are drainage solutions. Finding the right one to fit the property and landscape design is easy. The homeowners simply decide if they want to adjust the slope, create a basin, or liven up the landscape with retaining walls.

Why Is It Important To Hire A Licensed Contractor?

No matter what type of construction work is required, it is always advisable to hire only a licensed contractor. Most people fall in the trap of hiring a unlicensed contractor because they charge less. Customers often feel they are saving some money by offering the work to someone who may not even be skilled for doing the work. Therefore, you should always take a moment to think who to trust for your project. When it comes to construction projects, the cheapest options may not always be the best. In fact there may be many issues with unlicensed contractors such as lack of safety and increased maintenance costs later on. After all you won’t want to save some dollars at the expense of putting your home and family at risk. Hiring a licensed contractor is always the best choice to make. Although it may cost you a bit more, it is a one time investment which will eventually save you time, money and minimise trouble. We have carefully compiled the top reasons why it is important for you to hire a licensed contracto.

Let’s Read Further:

1. A licensed contractor has proven expertise and is equipped with all the tools and resources.

Licensed contractors possess great experience, knowledge and skills to effectively carry out all the projects. They go through proper training and are fully aware of the processes. They invest their time and efforts to obtain these licenses and permits from the authorised government offices after clearing rigorous tests. They are also equipped with all the tools, accessories and relevant resources to efficiently complete the projects. Therefore, you should always hire licensed contractors in San Antonio or anywhere you live.

2. They Delivers Quality Results

Licensed contractors take their construction project very seriously because of their business ethics and attention to customer centricity. They care a lot about their brand and reputation and hence strive to deliver the best results. They have a complete track record of their previous projects. It is also easier for you to verify their credential, review their testimonials and assess their competence.

3. Understands All the Compliances

Licensed contractors are trained to understand fully and meet all the legal requirements set by the city council and federal government. They also schedule regular inspections to make sure your home meets all the regulatory requirements. This is very critical to the safety of your home and also to keep your trouble free at all stages. No one wants to go through any hassles. Meeting compliances is also very crucial to the valuations of your property. When you decide to resell the property, the first thing the potential buyer checks is the compliances. Thus, hiring a contractor who is licensed and is aware of the legal implications always comes in handy. It saves you from any unnecessary trouble which may pop up if these aspects are left unchecked.

4. Follows the process and adheres to fundamentals

Not everyone you hire would follow the steps necessary to complete a project by meeting the safety norms. A Licensed Contractor would follow a disciplined approach for their projects and they would also keep you updated of the phases of planned work. They carefully assess the amount of work required and the process to carry out the work effectively and skilfully. A licensed contractor also fulfils all the legal requirements such as signing a legal contract between the two of you before the project is undertaken. They are well aware of the fundamentals of construction work. They make your life much easier and add a lot of value to the project.

5. Timely Completion

Licensed contractors ensure timely completion of the work. They also take full responsibility if something goes haywire rather than ignoring their duties. They know that customer experiences are of utmost importance to maintain their brand and reputation. In fact, their license may get revoked if they do not meet their commitments. They stay with you till the work gets completed to your satisfaction.

Conclusion:

You are now aware of the benefits of hiring a licensed contractor. You should trust none but the licensed contracts and companies because they value their business, their customers and their projects.

Ways To Prevent Flood Damage Due To Yard Drainage Problems

One of the facts of life about making a home in the San Antonio area is that the summers can be brutally hot and dry. Then, when rain finally does come, it pours so hard that we expect to see a guy float past us in an ark, with a bunch of animals onboard. Flash flooding is definitely something we deal with on a regular basis. Understanding what causes it can help homeowners to avoid yard drainage problems and water-related property damage. So here’s a brief look at the factors that make flash floods occur.

Too Much, Too Fast

Flash flooding results from rain falling heavily on soil that is either already saturated or is poorly suited to absorbing moisture. The water stays on the surface, where it follows the contour of the land, running downhill into low-lying areas. It happens most often in regions like south Texas, which usually receive little or no precipitation.

Another type of flooding occurs when rivers and streams overrun their banks. This is a particular problem for persons who live near such bodies of water. Poor landscaping, absence of retaining walls, and other examples of inadequate preparation for such events inevitably lead to property damage and sometimes loss of life.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are major causal factors in both types of flooding. Every year in Texas, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent rebuilding and recovering from floods. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize or even avoid the effects of such disasters.

• Retaining Walls and Drains

Levees, drains, and reservoirs combat flooding in two ways: by preventing water from reaching sensitive areas and by channeling it into dry lakes and streambeds. Here at Ultimate Construction, we’re experts at building structures like these. With our help, you can have a system in place to direct floods away from your home and outbuildings, keeping you from having to face insurance hassles, high repair bills, or even homelessness.

• Landscape Grading

Water always seeks the lowest point on a piece of land. A properly contoured yard or building site can turn away floods by placing houses and other structures on high ground. Even grazing pastures for livestock can benefit from the formation of ridges and small hills to deter runoff from heavy rains. Let us come out and survey your property for yard drainage problems. We’ll be happy to identify which spots can benefit from landscape grading.

• Grass and Other Plants

Bare soil is a flood’s best friend. It erodes quickly, forming gulleys and trenches for water to follow. The result is ugly, scarred patches of land that turn into oceans whenever it rains. The obvious solution is to plant hardy forms of grass, such as Zoysia, Buffalo, or St. Augustine. Their strong root structure binds dirt together, making it shrug off the effects of precipitation.

However, for planting to be successful, the land must be properly prepared. At Ultimate Construction, we specialize in the types of preparation needed to ensure that grass seeds gain a strong foothold in the dirt, so they grow quickly and form a protective shield between your land and floodwaters.

We’ll be happy to give you a friendly, no-obligation free estimate before we do any work.

Our Other Services

We can also perform a number of other projects for you, including building demolition, gravel road construction, and all types of bobcat work. We’ve been in business for over 20 years and have hundreds of loyal, satisfied customers who can attest to the quality and care we exercise with each job. Browse the rest of our site and give us a call if we can help you in any way.

6 Reasons To Consider In-Ground Pool Removal

Sometimes the things we think we’re going to love turn into objects we hate. This is often the case with in-ground pools. To some people they’re status symbols or great places for parties and family fun. To others they are a safety concern, a nuisance, or even a nightmare. Here are six reasons to consider in-ground pool removal:

Surrounding trees make it hard to enjoy –

This can occur for two reasons; one is that the trees shade the pool so well that it never reaches a comfortable temperature for swimming. This is especially the case when the pool has no heater or has one that doesn’t work properly. In such cases a quick dip may also mean a bout with hypothermia, even on warm days. Also, trees tend to drop leaves, which can provide a constant source of work to clean out of your pool. So when you would rather have the shade than the pool, the latter has to go. When it’s in poor shape – Like your home and your lawn, pools need regular maintenance, or they will develop serious problems over time. The walls can crack; the lining can fall off; the pump, heater, or other mechanical elements can break down and be very costly to fix or replace.

The chemicals may never seem to balance right, making your eyes sting after taking a swim or tingeing your hair green. If any of these problems occur, and you’re unable or unwilling to pay the expensive costs of correcting them, it might be time for the pool to go. When it prevents you from gardening, landscaping, or just enjoying your yard – For some homeowners, having a giant pool in their backyard just means that they will be unable to plant that garden they’ve wanted. Others dream of having a gazebo, water feature, or flower beds, but are held back because their pool fills up the available space. If you would rather get your hands in the dirt or swing from a hammock than take a dive, then you should look at removing your pool.

When you have safety or health concerns –

Many parents worry about their young children or grandchildren getting near their pool – for good reason! Others are bothered by the chemicals needed to maintain it, or are unable to do the physical work necessary to keep it up. When the pool causes these kinds of concerns, maybe it’s time for in-ground pool removal.

When you want a new one –

Maybe you’re ready for a brand new pool—perhaps one with an abstract shape or multi-level effect. But if the old one is standing in your way, it’ll have to go.

When you simply hate the dang thing –

Some people bought a property with an existing pool, and despise it because of its shape or color, or for other reasons unique to them. In any event, if you find yourself wishing it would vanish, we can help.

If you decide to have your pool removed, be aware that it’s a task best left to professionals. It’s made from extremely heavy reinforced concrete, with electrical wires and pipes running underneath it. Here at Ultimate Construction we have the specialized tools and experience to do an in-ground pool removal right. We use hardened steel heads driven by machines to break up the structure, and then employ bobcats and other earth-moving equipment to remove and haul away the resulting debris.

While our work is professional, our rates are reasonable. We invite you to contact us today. We’ll be glad to come by at a time convenient to you. It will take us just a few minutes to look over the job, and after we do, we’ll provide you with a no-cost estimate so you can make an informed decision. Contact us or call 210-379-4348 today!

Slab Vs Crawl Space What To Know About Each

Here in east Texas, we’re blessed with mild winters. Due to this, it’s rare for homes to be built with full basements. However, the old debate of “slab vs. crawl space” is alive and well. This article will look at the pros and cons of both types of foundations.

Slabs: the Good and the Bad

A slab is created by digging into the soil several inches, pouring in concrete, and reinforcing it with metal rods. The house is built directly on top.

This is a simple method of construction that allows house building to continue, without waiting days for footings or other foundation components to cure. Heating and air ducts are usually run through the attic, and the water heater and furnace are located in the home. Electric, sewage, and water lines run under the slab and enter the home at certain points.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using a slab is cost. As much as $10,000 can be saved when building a slab vs. crawl space. This is especially true in areas with rocky soil, as excavating into stone can be very expensive. Also, slabs are lower to the ground than homes with crawl spaces, minimizing the number of steps needed to enter the dwelling. This can be a real plus for people with back, knee, or heart problems.

Slabs are not without their drawbacks, however. Since the house is lower to the ground, it is easier for insects and other critters to find their way in. Also, because the slab forms the floor of the ground level, it can feel uncomfortably hard and cold to people walking on it.

Since air conditioning ductwork is routed through the attic, it must be heavily insulated, which adds cost to construction. The need to install the furnace and water heater in the house takes up room that could otherwise be used for different purposes. If the electrical or water lines under the slab develop problems, then the foundation will have to be hammered through to effect repairs – an expensive proposition. Also, if the slab begins to crack, it can cause severe structural issues throughout the house. Many factors can cause cracking, including tree roots and soil movement. Finally, some people find the low-to-the-ground look of slab homes unappealing.

Pros and Cons of Crawl Spaces

Think of a crawl space as a mini-basement. Its height can vary from 16 inches to four feet. The ground that it rests on can be prepared in many ways: by pouring several inches of gravel on top of a vapor barrier, by building a block foundation, or by pouring concrete. The walls of the space itself can be made from precast concrete or cement blocks.

Many people prefer the look of a home built on a crawl space. Due to the fact that it is higher off the ground, vermin will have a harder time getting in. The space above the ground allows water pipes and electrical lines to be run under the home. This makes accessing them for repair work much easier. Finally, a crawl space can be perfect for storage.

Drawbacks of a crawl space include additional construction cost, though this is usually offset by higher resale values. A crawl space must be properly insulated and ventilated; otherwise, moisture can pool in it and find its way into the home. Pests like rats and insects can invade the crawl space, making venturing into it an adventure in terror for homeowners.

We Can Help Either Way

Whether you choose to go with a slab or crawl space, Ultimate Construction can do the necessary foundation excavation. We’re experienced, reliable, and we know our professions. Contact us if we can help with new home construction or any other projects. Our Maine Services are Demoliton hauling , Pool demolition, landscaping grading, design & Lawn Mowing Drive repair, excavation service and Water Driange Solution.

How to Achieve Better Yard Drainage?

We often overlook the health hazards caused by yard drainage. In addition to the fact that it damages the landscapes, it also turns into the favorite place for mosquitoes and other unwanted pests. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain the yard drainage regularly. If left unchecked, it might turn into a reason for concern for the prosperity of you and the people living there. That’s is why people often inquire about how we should improve yard drainage? We understand your concern. And so we are here to share the best tips and advice from the specialists in this detailed article. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

Ways to Achieve Better Yard Drainage:

1. Always keep the drainage away from the foundation

Keep the foundation strong by keeping the drainage far from the foundation. Keep checking it regularly to ensure that this does not impact the soil, gravel, or the sides of the yard. Damaging materials should be slid away from the establishment.

2. Do not block the drainage

Ensure there are no obstacles in yard drainage routes, for example, planters, barriers, play areas, or anything that may block the drainage. Also, look out for exorbitant tree roots developing around it as it could affect the drainage.

3. Have a Drainage Plan

When there is no simple fix for your yard dilemma, you would require another way around it, or you can hire experts to do it. Either make a plan B for the drainage issue or counsel an expert for drainage solutions in San Antonio. They would assess and recommend you powerful & effective ways to keep drainage in check.

4. Prepare a creek bed

It comes down to picking the correct landscaping and drainage arrangement as a component of your finishing. It is a preferred method to take care of the drainage issues and make a wonderful landscape with the assistance of a dry creek bed. Building a creek bed to channelize water away from a low-lying region to somewhere else in your yard is a decent method to keep drainage in check.

You can begin by making a ditch and then line it with rock, creek, or stones and add additional padding to make it more viable. You can do it all alone or look for skilled assistance from a nearby contractor since they would know better how to fix the issue permanently.

5. Adding an Underground Drainage Pipe is a good idea

The best way for the dispose of additional water from a low-lying spot is to just divert it away by utilizing an underground drainage pipe. For this to work effectively, you need an area to discharge the extra water that’s lower than the inlet. Again, this might be somewhat unpredictable, so it is advisable to hire a contractor. These are some of the approaches to fix the issue viably. You can give it a shot on your own, or you can hire a specialist who has proven expertise in dealing with such problems. You should not wait for the issue to blow up. Try and fix it when the indications of seepage are noticeable as opposed to sitting tight for long. Experts suggest regularly maintaining the landscaping and the yard for proper drainage systems. If you are looking for a contractor nearby, then you can get in touch with us. We are one of the best and most trusted contractors in the region. We understand your expectations and always strive to not just meet but exceed them with our exceptional quality work.