Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I use concrete?
Concrete is one of the oldest and most widely used construction materials, and has many inherent qualities which can benefit designers, architects, engineers, and most importantly the end user. 

Durability Well designed and well placed concrete offers exceptional durability and long life in any structure.
   
Versatility Building in concrete provides an extraordinary range of applications and surface finishes, providing the opportunity for architectural expression to go hand in hand with structural integrity. This single medium can be used inside and out, for residential and commercial buildings, and in modern and contemporary designs.
   
Environmentally Friendly Advances in concrete technology and manufacturing processes mean concrete is now being viewed as a key material in New Zealand’s pursuit of sustainable development. 


What is exposed aggregate?

This type of concrete uses different types of aggregates (stones) which are then exposed on the surface to give a unique stony texture and appearance.This type of concrete is commonly used for exterior applications such as driveways or paths, or areas where the unique stony texture is beneficial.

The primary aesthetic consideration when choosing exposed aggregate concrete is the aggregate itself. In New Zealand there are a wide range of natural aggregates offered, encompassing a range of different sizes, colours and combination of stones. Groundwork can utilise a selection of locally sourced stones to complement your home.

Sealing exposed aggregate concrete will not only protect the surface from staining and marking, but also enhances the natural colour of the aggregate.
 

What are the steps I take to get my driveway/patio laid?
1.  Contact Us
2. 
Rick will provide a quote for the work required and discuss your product options
3. 
You give us the go ahead
4.  We’ll liaise and work with your landscaper etc
5.
  Excavation – our experienced, professional team will excavate the site
6.  Concrete placing team arrives
7.  Curing Process
8.  Cutting as required
9.  Sealing


Will my concrete crack?
Cracking is a common characteristic of concrete, as all concrete shrinks as it moves from a liquid to a solid.  The mechanism is well understood by the industry and controlled by the use of Construction Cuts usually done in the first 48 hours after pouring.  But there is still the small risk of uncontrolled cracking.  While this is unlikely as a good concrete contractor will take steps to minimise the risk, it is still possible and is a risk that needs to be considered during the design phase.  We offer a service to recommend where Construction and Decorative Cuts should be made and encourage you to use this.


Do I have to cut my concrete?

Absolutely – all concrete must be cut to reduce the chance of cracking as the concrete dries, These cuts are called Construction Cuts (also called Construction joints, Expansion Cuts, or Expansion joints) and are typically 3mm wide and one third the depth of the concrete.

Construction cuts are essential in all concrete floors due to the nature of concrete cracks can appear. We will do all we can to ensure they are minimised, but cannot guarantee they won't.

Decorative Cuts are used to generate a pattern in the concrete. Decorative cuts serve no structural role and are simply used where desired to generate a unique pattern for aesthetic purposes. But they must incorporate the constructions cuts into the pattern.


What is stamped concrete?
Stamped concrete is a system of adding colour, pattern and texture to a plain concrete slab at the time of pouring.  With stamped concrete you can achieve realistic effects of slate, tiles or stone, brick or cobblestone.

The patterns are stamped into the wet concrete when it is poured and colour is also added at this time.

Stamp designs are then impressed into the concrete to create an elegant and distincitve look.


Process of work:


1.  Quote
Contact Rick for a quote and design advice for all your driveway and outdoor entertainiment needs.
      
2.  Excavation
Concrete - Groundwork's Excavation Crew clears site, removes soil to solid sub-grade, back fills with compacted hardfill.  Boxing completed.

Asphalt- Groundwork's Excavation Crew clears site, removes soil to solid subgrade, back-fills with compacted hard-fill and boxes ready for asphalt.
      
3. Laying of Concrete/Asphalt
Concrete - Groundwork's Placing Crew pours and places 100mm of concrete product.  Hand-trowlled finish. First Expansion cuts in.

Asphalt - Approx 1 week after prep complete or drying done.  Asphalt crew finish driveway with 25mm asphalt.
      
4. Cutting
Concrete - Approx 48 hours after pouring, Groundwork's Cutting Crew puts in more Expansion cuts.  Any decorative cutting required is done approx 1 week after concrete poured.
      
5. Sealing
Concrete - After Acid Washing, Groundwork's Sealing Crew apply sealers to protect and enhance surface.

Note - Groundwork also provide a re-sealing service; resealing every 18-24 months maximise the look and durability.


Disclaimer
Colour Samples do not represent the texture or finish of actual concrete but designed to provide fair representation.  Due to the nature of concrete every “pour” is unique.