Wohlwend Concrete Blog

4 Reasons to Install a Concrete Apron

If your home has a driveway leading into a garage, then you probably either already have or need a concrete apron. A concrete apron is the slab of concrete in front of the garage door that transitions to the driveway. While many may not think a concrete apron is necessary, it provides a gradual slope, allowing vehicles to access the garage from the driveway without damage due to the different grades of the surfaces.

If you still aren’t sure that you need a concrete apron in Twin Cities, here are four reasons to have one installed!

1. Provides Gradual Slope

If you recently had your driveway done, you may look at the entrance to your garage and think that they aren’t two different grades, so why would a concrete apron matter? A concrete apron is always important as driveways aren’t built on a foundation and will likely sink over time. The ground underneath may slowly be eroded by rainwater, causing the driveway to become uneven with the garage entrance.

A concrete apron negates this issue by providing a gradual slope from driveway to garage, allowing vehicles to enter the garage even after your driveway has had time to settle and sink.

concrete apron twin cities

2. Keeps Surfaces Apart

Driveways and garages often are made of different materials, meaning they have different subgrades and will experience different freeze thaw cycles. This can cause unnecessary stress on the opposing surface. A concrete apron, however, separates the two surfaces allowing them to both experience their own stressors without damaging the other.

If you are planning on installing an asphalt driveway, it’s always best to install a concrete apron first!

3. Diverts Rainwater and Snowmelt

Sometimes, there are no other options than to have your driveway slope towards your garage. In heavy rains or times of melting snow, the water can then cause your garage to flood. While a drain can help negate this issue, you have to ensure that the slopes of the driveway and garage lead to the drain in order for the water to cause minimal damage, which can be a hassle if both garage and driveway are already completed.

Another option to minimize water access to your garage is a concrete apron. Utilizing a slope away from your garage, a concrete apron adds another hurdle to stop the water from easily flowing down into your garage. You can combine both by having a drain installed into your concrete apron as well!

4. Provides Visual Distinction

Finally, the last reason is purely an aesthetic one. Many people opt for a concrete apron in a different color than their driveway, or sometimes may even opt for a different texture. A concrete apron creates visual distinction between the garage and driveway, allowing your personal tastes to be incorporated.

Are you ready to install a concrete apron at your Twin Cities home? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us for all your concrete apron installation or repair needs!

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Concrete Stairs

Does your home have concrete stairs that you want to upgrade? Do you want to make your concrete stairs warmer and more welcoming? Once you’ve contacted Wohlwend Concrete for concrete stairs in St. Louis Park, here are three easy ways to take your steps to the next level, both functionally and aesthetically!

1. Flowers and Greenery

If your concrete steps are missing the warmth you desire, try sprucing them up with some flowers and other greenery! Lining either side of your concrete stairs with flowerpots blooming with fresh flowers can bring life to your stairs. Low-maintenance plants can provide warmth and welcome to guests, while requiring minimal care on your end!

One thing to note here: try to avoid plants that grow long, trailing vines. Plants that tend to grow out over flowerpots can become more of a risk as they may trip unsuspecting visitors on their way in.

2. Install Railings

concrete stairs St Louis Park

Another way to protect your guests on concrete stairs is to add railings. Railings provide an extra level of security to your steps, allowing people to hold on to something to prevent tripping or slipping. Plus, railings can elevate the look of your concrete steps!

Railings also add the ability to warm up your concrete stairs with a pop of color! You can paint your railings any color to match your home and desired aesthetic of your steps!

3. Step Lights

This last idea brings both functionality and aesthetics all in one. Adding step lights to your concrete stairs can bring an air of sophistication to your steps as it gets darker out while also increasing visibility to prevent anyone from tripping on steps they can’t see! While step lights may not be the most attractive feature during the day, their looks and functionality during darker hours make up for any small amount of unseemliness during the day.

Do your concrete stairs in St. Louis Park or the surrounding areas need more of an upgrade than plants or a railing? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us for all your concrete stair installation or repair needs!

What You Should Do When Hiring a Masonry Contractor

Do you have mason work that you need completed by a professional? Hiring a masonry contractor in St. Paul shouldn’t be a hassle. Here are some tips and tricks to ensuring that you hire the right contractor for the job!

1. Get References

The masonry contractor you hire should be trustworthy and reliable. When you choose to work with a professional, they should always be able to provide you with references attesting to their skill and professionalism. If they refuse to provide you with references, that could be a sign that they’ve left previous customers unsatisfied with their work and should be a red flag!

If you aren’t quite ready to contact a contractor to ask for references just yet, check out their testimonials. Good reviews from past customers can give you an idea of what to expect, even just for your initial contact with the contractor.

2. Ask Questions

When it’s time to have masonry work done, make sure you ask all of the questions you’re thinking. Presumably, you’re not an expert in masonry personally, and that’s why you are hiring a professional. No professional worth hiring will mind if you have a variety of questions about the job!

If you’re not sure where to start with asking questions, here are some ideas to get you started:

What you should do when hiring a masonry contractor
  • Who will be managing the project?
  • Do you hire subcontractors?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • Will you match my brick?
  • Do you specialize in any kinds of masonry?
  • How long have you worked in the area?
  • Do you offer guarantees or warranties?
  • Will you clean up once the project is complete?

All of these are good questions to ask, as they can be imperative down the line. You may be able to find answers to some of these questions on a masonry contractor’s website – so feel free to do some background research on them before contacting them!

3. Don’t Pick Solely by Price

If you’re getting multiple bids for a job, it may be tempting to go with the lowest offer – but that’s not always a sound strategy. When a contractor offers you a much lower offer than other bids, be sure to ask questions. While it may be tempting to accept the offer without digging a little deeper, you should always ensure that you are hiring a professional who won’t cut corners on your job.

4. Get a Timeline

Before your masonry contractor of choice begins work, always make sure that you have an estimate for how long the job will take. This allows you to manage expectations about the work while also setting the bar for a reasonable amount of time for the project to be completed. If a contractor can’t get you an estimate or set a timeline, that’s a red flag and you should consider working with someone else.

5. Have Everything in Writing

When you’ve decided on a contractor to hire for your mason work, make sure that you are given a written contract with details about your job. Each contract should contain:

  • The original bid
  • Itemized cost of materials and labor
  • Timeline or estimated completion date
  • Payment options

These are critical items to have included in a contract, and a professional, experienced contractor should have no issues providing you with this information.

When it’s time to hire a masonry contractor in St. Paul and the surrounding Twin Cities area, it’s important to hire a professional that you can trust. Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to learn how we can help you get the mason work of your dreams!

Decorative Concrete Techniques to Consider for Your Next Patio Project

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! Is your backyard ready for cookouts and afternoons outside? If you’re planning a patio installation project, there are several factors to take into consideration. First, what would you like it to look like? Don’t settle for crumbling pavers when you could install a lasting concrete patio that looks fantastic. Here at Wohlwend Concrete, we specialize in stamped concrete for Golden Valley and the surrounding areas, and we are excited to tell you more about stamped concrete and all it can do for your upcoming project. 

Stamped Concrete Steps MN

Stamped concrete is a fantastic option that allows a little creativity in the design of your backyard space. Concrete isn’t the material of the past, it has evolved over the years, offering many products and methods that seem to continually improve over time. And, decorative concrete won’t sacrifice the sustainability and resilience you require. It’s as durable as it is great looking. 

Stamped concrete offers a variety of surfaces and styles for a polished, professional and unique finish. Whatever style you’re looking for from classic cobblestone to sleek and modern, there is an option in stamped concrete for you. Stamped concrete offers big looks without the major expense and strenuous upkeep. It can even offer different patterns including European fan, flaming sun, weathered wood, English Yorkstone and so much more. Match your stamped decorative concrete with the style of your home. Mid-Century? Consider flaming sun. Have a classic farmhouse? Cobblestone is the way to go. 

Whichever style you choose, it will look fantastic for years to come. Decorative stamped concrete, being a better value when compared to other building materials, will last for multiple generations with only simple routine care. Are you ready to stop daydreaming and make your backyard patio a reality this summer? Do you have even bigger aspirations? Don’t stop there! Concrete is very malleable and is ideal for a variety of stamped decorative designs. Its malleability also means that it can be used in many ways around the home. Stamped decorative concrete can be used for decks, driveways, patios, porches, sidewalks and more. Designs stamped into concrete will improve the look of your house and add your own sense of style.

To learn more about options in stamped concrete for your Golden Valley area home, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can contact us for a Free Quote.

Make Sure Concrete Step Repair is on Your Spring To-Do List

Here in Minnesota, one thing we can be sure of is the weather – and a lot of it. In every season we can expect harsh conditions of every degree. Years of rain, wind, hail, heat, snow and sun all wreak havoc on anything residing outdoors. After a long and arduous winter, the spring season is the time of year to tackle any necessary repairs outdoors to get your property in tip-top shape again. One such task is concrete step repair. St. Paul area residents trust Wohlwend Concrete for all of their concrete repair, replacement and construction and step repair is no exception. We specialize in concrete step repair for St. Paul and the surrounding areas and can help make your property a safer one. We have years of experience replacing and repairing concrete stairs and can get you new, beautiful and safe steps for your home or business. 

concrete step repair St Paul

When it comes to the steps at your home or property, it is important to never allow them to become unsafe and in disrepair. If your steps are “getting up there,” are crumbling or cracked, be sure to add concrete step repair to your spring to-do list. 

This spring and summer will likely continue to be a seller’s market. If you’re thinking about selling your home, steps are a major part of the home inspection. Unsafe or uneven steps can pose a variety of dangers and cause unwanted accidents as well as prevent your home from passing inspection.

Your home or business property’s steps must be tough enough to withstand regular foot traffic, and concrete steps offer that lasting durability. Concrete is a tough material and you’ll find it offers some of the most durable steps possible. Your concrete step replacement will also hold up for years to come, even after being exposed to the elements. So, when your steps could use some TLC, concrete is the way to go.

Will you be including concrete step repair in your spring to-do list this year? Allow the professionals at Wohlwend Concrete to help you get started. To get more information about the kind of work we do or about concrete step repair for your St. Paul area property, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or request a free quote.