Hoffman Estates Concrete Contractor | Choosing the Right Concrete Staircase

concrete specialist schaumburgWhen you need a new set of stairs installed for the outside of your house, it can be overwhelming with all the options you have. Our professional team at G-CAT Construction wants to help you choose the perfect stairs or stoop that will fit with the rest of your house. In this article, we have laid out the most important questions we will ask when working with you on your project.

What are they for?

While the most common area for concrete steps are in the front of a home or business, we have installed steps in many different locations. Patios, pool decks, courtyards, and even outdoor kitchens are all areas that may need a set of steps or a stoop. When deciding what steps to choose for your application, we help you choose the right balance between aesthetic and function for the best price.

Plain or stamped?

For each step variation, we offer many different design options that will help your staircase or stoop stand out. If you are looking for a more general look, a plain, smooth staircase can complement your outside area. We can even work with you and create an entirely unique design with our custom stamped option. We also offer decorative edging to give the appearance of natural stone.

What’s your perfect color?

The final step to choosing your perfect stair case is finding what color you want the concrete to be. We can either match your application exactly or choose a complementary color to increase your home’s curb appeal.

With tons of custom color and stamped concrete options, we truly go the extra step to make your concrete look its best! Contact us today to begin your project. 

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Hoffman Estates Concrete | How to Protect Patio Concrete and Make it Last Longer

concrete specialist in schaumburgResidential concrete slabs have become increasingly popular because they are low cost, require little maintenance, and contain long lasting beauty. Properly installed slabs, stamped or plain, can even last up to 40 years when properly maintained. Enjoy your concrete patio even more by following these four steps to preserve your concrete for years to come.

Keep it clean

The natural process of erosion is the enemy to any outside structure, including concrete. However, you can delay these affects by keeping your concrete clean and free from stains, dirt, and debris. We encourage our clients to invest in a power washer as it can save you valuable time and money when cleaning your concrete.

Apply a Sealer

Treating your concrete annually with a sealer will protect the longevity and beauty of it. Sealants make your concrete more resistant to harsh weather conditions, water, erosion, and any other chemical or debris that can cause harm. When applied improperly, sealants can leave a streaky or uneven outcome, so if you aren’t confident in applying your sealer, contact us today for help.

Maintain Plant Growth

Roots from trees and other surrounding plants can cause cracks in your concrete by pushing up through the ground. Cracks in concrete are non-repairable and can only be replaced. You can avoid cracks from happening by trimming underground growth around your patio area.

Avoid Harmful Chemicals

While a sealant is a chemical that protects your concrete, there are other chemicals that can cause harm to it. Chemicals such as deicing salts, chlorides, ammonia, sulfates and more can speed up the erosion process and attack your concrete directly. Avoid using these chemicals to ensure your concrete lasts.

For more tips on maintaining your concrete patio to last, contact us today!

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Concrete Contractor Near Me | 4 Reasons to Choose Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is an easy and cost effective way to add great aesthetic appeal to your home. With many available colors and patterns to choose from, here are four benefits of stamped concrete that make it the perfect option for any homeowner looking to spruce up their design. 

Less Labor Intensive

Applying a pattern to poured concrete is often much more economical than using a material like paving stones, which includes the costs of hauling and placing individual stones by hand. 

Reduced Maintenance 

Stamped concrete requires minimal maintenance compared to other paving materials. Over time, these other surface materials can become loose or damaged, leading to extra costs to fix. Stamped concrete never needs to be reset or replaced, eliminating tripping hazards and providing significant savings over the lifetime of the surface. 

Long Lasting

Concrete is frequently used by builders for both its versatility and durability. Your stamped concrete will last longer than other materials under heavy traffic and wear and can withstand an extreme temperature range.

Increase In Resale Value

The beautiful colors and patterns you can choose for your stamped concrete add instant curb appeal to your property, adding an aesthetic value to your home and maximizing the return on your investment. 

If you have questions, or would like to get started on your concrete construction project, call our office today and see why we are the true concrete specialists

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Hoffman Estates Contractor | A Mailbox as Beautiful as Your Home

When it comes to beautiful outdoor spaces, we often think of patios, walkways or fire pits. These features are found at the back of the home. Mailboxes are often overlooked, but they can add the perfect touch of elegance to the curb appeal of your home.

First Impressions Matter

Your mailbox is one of the first things someone will see when driving up to your home, and it only takes several seconds to set a good first impression. Go above expectations by having a mailbox that matches the beauty of your home, not a manufactured plastic mailbox. Guests will comment on the ornate stonework that welcomes them and frames your driveway. We will help to match the stone with any existing stonework or make a statement by using a contrasting color.

Natural Elements

Our custom made mailboxes are made out of gorgeous natural stone. Enjoy decorating your new mailbox with climbing ivy, flowers or a built-in pot to plant your favorite decorative plants in. Decorating your yard with natural elements not only looks beautiful, but is better for the environment compared to plastic mailboxes.

If you’re looking to elevate the look of your home this season with stonework, contact us.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Concrete Contractor Near Me | The Uses of Residential Concrete

Concrete can be used in a wide variety of applications. While you might think it is only used for driveways and walkways, an experienced construction company can make many other uses out of it. This can include patios, stairs, and even decorative projects. At G-Cat Construction, we have years of experience working with concrete, and can show you how versatile it can be.

Stamped Concrete

The most versatile type of concrete is stamped concrete. Stamped concrete is not a different material from regular concrete. Rather, it is concrete that has been colored with pigments and then stamped with patterns to create the illusion of being another material.

At G-CAT Construction, stamped concrete is the material we use to build our outdoor projects. It can be colored and patterned to match any other material, which makes it a flexible option for any kind of home and budget.

Driveways

Concrete driveways add curb appeal to residential properties, and are easier to install and maintain than asphalt alternatives. They are weather-resistant, easy to repair, and are a functional alternative to natural pavers and stones. Stamped concrete can be used to give the driveway a color or pattern to match the home.

Patios

Homeowners are transforming their backyards into luxurious extensions of their home. Backyard patios are an ideal place to cook, entertain, and relax while enjoying the outdoors. Stamped concrete can be used to match a pool deck or garden, and can be patterned with unique designs to make the space unique.

Stairs & Stoops

Concrete steps can provide a strong, sturdy way to access doors. They can also be used to add dimension to patios, pool decks, and courtyards. Decorative flourishes can be added to make the concrete resemble natural stone. Contact our concrete experts to transform your outdoor steps.

Decorative Stone Work

Concrete’s versatility allows it to be used for projects that are decorative in nature. Some examples of this include low walls that surround a patio or pool deck, planters that flank an entryway, fire pits, railings, and more. Stamped concrete can provide any color and material to these projects.

Our team at G-CAT Construction is well-versed in the multitude of ways concrete can be used, and have the expertise to turn your dreams into reality. With our help, you can utilize concrete for your outdoor projects and transform the look of your home. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Concrete Contractor in Bartlett | How Winter Can Damage your Concrete Projects

In winter, outdoor concrete is subjected to a cycle of freezing and thawing that can have long-term consequences on its integrity. By understanding this in advance, you can mitigate the damage and keep your projects looking their best all year round.

How the Freeze-Thaw Cycle Damages Concrete

The main reason for winter concrete damage is what’s known as the freeze-thaw cycle. As snow falls and melts, it seeps into tiny pores and cracks that were already there due to normal wear and tear. Then, when the temperature dips again, the water refreezes.

Since water molecules expand when they freeze, the new ice pushes out against the surface. This exerts enough pressure to push sections of concrete apart. The process gets worse as time passes.

The freeze-thaw cycle can cause entire sections of the concrete surface to fall apart. This damage causes concrete to flake away and become weak on a structural level. Touching or stepping on the wrong area could potentially cause a large chunk to break off.

How To Protect Your Projects During Winter Months

What looks like a small crack now can cause a large amount of damage before you know it. Shoveling snow and ice off your driveway or other concrete surfaces before it melts is crucial during the winter months. The less snow that melts into the concrete, the less damage that will occur.

Your main priority for protecting concrete in the winter is to treat any small cracks with a sealant, available at most hardware stores. Sealants are designed to create a waterproof bond that locks out moisture and keeps the integrity of the concrete.

Other Things You Can Do To Protect Your Concrete

While it’s a commonly-held belief, pouring salt on concrete doesn’t help keep it dry, and it can actually make things worse. Salt attracts moisture, so if you need to make an icy concrete driveway less slippery, use gravel or sand.

Above all else, know your limits. If the damage is too extensive to fix on your own, it’s time to call in the experts. G-CAT Construction has helped protect hundreds of concrete surfaces from winter wear and tear. Contact us today for more information.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Bartlett Concrete Specialist | Why Concrete Makes the Best Driveways

Concrete is the best material for driveways for a number of reasons. It is strong, cost effective, and can be customized to be decorative. At G-CAT Construction, we believe in using concrete instead of asphalt for our driveways due to concrete being a sturdy, more versatile material that can be made to compliment any home.

Reason #1: A Quality, Strong Material

When dried and cured, concrete is a rigid, non-flexible material that can handle heavier loads than asphalt. Heavy vehicles like trucks or RVs can cause ruts in asphalt over time, whereas with concrete the material will always stay solid.

The surface of a concrete driveway can provide many other benefits. Concrete absorbs far less UV radiation than asphalt. This keeps your driveway cool, allowing you to walk across it barefoot without risk of burning yourself.

Concrete driveways also are resistant to dissolution. If an oily or corrosive compound is spilled on them, it may leave a stain, but the driveway’s integrity will remain unaffected. Asphalt, on the other hand, tends to release oils when exposed to corrosive fluids. These oils can stick to shoes, leading to you potentially tracking sticky material into your home or vehicle.

Reason #2: Cost-effectiveness

Concrete is one of the most cost-effective building materials available. Financial considerations may tempt homeowners towards asphalt, which has a lower upfront cost. However, concrete driveways last longer than asphalt, and require less maintenance.

In addition, asphalt is subject to cracking and disintegration due to exposure to sunlight, water, and chemicals. From the day of installation, the binders that hold asphalt together begin to dry out, further worsening any existing damage. Fixing this requires periodic sealing that adds up and becomes expensive.

Concrete, on the other hand, stays strong, and requires much less maintenance. The only maintenance concrete needs is a coat of sealer every twelve months to protect it from the weather, and the occasional crack repair. It will last longer than asphalt, making your investment in it worth your while.

Reason #3: Customization

Asphalt driveways will always turn out black, which limits the ways they can be used to compliment a home. On the other hand, concrete has near endless customization possibilities. Using special pigments called color hardeners, concrete can be changed from its normal gray to any color needed.

Furthermore, stamped concrete offers homeowners even more options. Stamped concrete is the act of pressing a pattern into the wet slab after pouring but before it hardens. Combined with color, a solid concrete slab can be made to replicate brick, stone, wood, and more. Even with the extra design flairs, the concrete will stay strong, durable, and weather-resistant.

At G-CAT Construction, we prefer using concrete for driveways for all these reasons and more. It is a versatile material that we have years of experience using. If you’re thinking about redoing your driveway and want to see what concrete can do for you, contact us today to get started.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Bartlett Concrete Specialist | How to Utilize Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is concrete that is patterned, textured, and embossed after pouring in order to make it look like a different material. It is versatile and can be used as an alternative to stone, slate, and brick. Stamped concrete can also be colored to make it resemble an even greater variety of materials. At G-CAT Construction, we make extensive use of stamped concrete in a wide range of projects.

What Makes It “Stamped” Concrete?

The most common method of using concrete is mixing it and pouring it into molds, then waiting for it to dry and cure. Once the mold is removed, the concrete retains the shape. Concrete is considered “stamped” when color has been added to the mixture, and a pattern has been applied as it dries. There are three steps to this process:

  1. Adding the base color – Base colors are used to make the otherwise gray concrete reflect the natural material it will be emulating. A powder pigment called color hardener is added to the mix to change its hue. Color hardener can be applied while the concrete mixer is spinning or can be spread out over the surface after pouring.
  2. Adding an accent color – Secondary colors are used to give the stamped concrete texture. These are applied with another pigment called a color release. The color release is always applied to the concrete surface before stamping. When the pattern is applied, the pigments spread out, adding depth and texture.
  3. Applying the pattern – Patterns reflect the shape of the natural building material being emulated. They are placed on the surface of the concrete after the colors have been applied. Then they are pushed down and removed to leave the pattern in the surface as it dries and cures.

What Can Stamped Concrete Imitate?

There are few building materials that stamped concrete can’t imitate. It is most often used to replicate brick, stone, and tile. With the right combination of colors and patterns, stamped concrete can even be made to look like wood.

Why Use Stamped Concrete?

There are several benefits to using stamped concrete for your next project. It is incredibly versatile and able to compliment a wide variety of colors and materials in a home. This makes it an option for patios, walkways, pool decks, and more.

Stamped concrete can also last for decades. Since it’s a solid surface, there’s no need to pull weeds that might pop up between stones or keep gaps filled with sand. The installation is faster than setting stones or pavers, and it requires minimal maintenance. Finally, while you may pay more in the short term for stamped concrete than natural stone, you’ll save in the long-term on maintenance and repair costs.

Stamped concrete can be utilized for just about any project. Its ability to be customized allows it to be adjusted to suit your needs. At G-CAT Construction, we love stamped concrete for the many creative options it gives us. If you’d like to see how we can use it for your next project, contact us today.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Concrete Contractor in 60103 | Creating the Walkway of Your Dreams

If you are considering installing a concrete walkway at your home or business, you have many options to choose from. Each comes with specific benefits and potential limitations, so doing your homework is essential. Here are a few of the key advantages of choosing a concrete walkway, along with some advice on how to decide which style is right for you.

 Affordable durability

Many people choose concrete for walkway installations because of its cost-effectiveness. Whether you are managing business expenses or are a homeowner who keeping an eye on the household budget, concrete is a wallet-friendly option. The other advantage of concrete is its longevity; strong, durable and made to go the distance, concrete holds up to all manner of traffic and use.

Get creative with color and texture

If you think concrete walkways are limited to basic grey, think again. Colored concrete is a trend that provides creativity and versatility, allowing you to customize your walkway with other elements in your project’s design theme. Whether you want a rich terracotta reminiscent of an Italian villa or an earthy shade that mimics natural slate, there’s a concrete color to suit your design preferences.

Customize your style

Stamped and textured concrete can be customized to mirror the look of all types of stonework, including bricks, pavers, and even flagstone. Our team can help you brainstorm and create a custom look that really sets your walkway apart.

Innovative installation

Concrete installation offers abundant versatility and creativity.  We use forms that are customized to your project’s specifications, using curves, corners or other shapes. We then fill the forms with the concrete you’ve selected and once it’s set, finished and sealed, your beautiful new custom walkway will be ready for use.

 Location, location, location

Concrete can be used to elevate curb-appeal leading to your front door, enhance the foot path to your garden or gazebo, or provide a decorative, slip-resistant walkway to your pool and spa. In addition to walkways, epoxy-coated concrete is ideal for that garage-based workroom and is even being used to accentuate indoor spaces.

Whether you prefer a simple concrete walkway poured to your specifications, or are looking for a design partner to help you envision and bring to life a truly creative concrete project, our team can help. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how concrete can elevate the appearance of your home or business without breaking the bank.  

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Concrete Contractor in Hoffman Estates | Weather-Proofing Your Concrete Surfaces

Concrete surfaces are known for their strength and durability, but when your concrete surface experiences heavy amounts of foot or vehicle traffic or when it is installed in a region where extreme cold and wet weather is a factor, even concrete can become stained or damaged. That’s why it’s important to weatherproof your investment so that you can keep it looking attractive and damage-free. Here are some common weather-proofing options to consider.

Weather-Proofing Your Concrete Surfaces

Outdoor concrete sealer

Concrete sealer works exactly like its sounds: it seals out moisture and protects your concrete surface from minor stains and signs of wear. This type of sealer is affordable and popular and is a great choice for decorative patios and driveways. However, it is not the best option for industrial or commercial locations with higher degrees of traffic, wear and tear.

Epoxy coatings

Epoxy floor coatings are durable, water-resistant, and protect concrete surfaces from damage and abrasion. Stronger than a basic sealer, this treatment is best for areas that are not subject to direct sunlight, as UV rays can discolor epoxy coatings, giving them a yellowish cast. Epoxy is often used for inside garage flooring.

Urethane-based coatings

For higher degrees of concrete weather-proofing, consider a modified urethane coating. Urethane is durable, water-resistant, and is known to resist oil and chemical stains. Because of its durability, it’s a popular choice for areas like loading docks.

Waterproof stadium coating

Concrete areas that need protection from weather and foot traffic may benefit from waterproof stadium or deck coating. These treatments often contain anti-slip agents to keep pedestrians safe when the weather is damp or wet.

Why it makes sense to work with an expert

Many people prefer a do-it-yourself approach to concrete coating, but with so many variables to consider, a professional consultation is usually the most cost-efficient in the long run. At G-CAT Construction, our flooring professionals can evaluate the condition of your concrete and make a customized recommendation to fit your needs. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation, and let us help you protect the investment you’ve made in your concrete flooring.

G-CAT Construction
Phone: (630) 736-1070
Url: http://g-catconstruction.com
cash, credit card
2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169