House Rehab: Damaged Foundation   Recently updated !

The home infrastructure in America is aging; the building materials of the baby boomer generation are beginning to break down, and require some significant repair. And when a homeowner thinks about rehab rarely do they consider the structure of the foundation. In fact, on the surface of most older homes […]


Concrete is Sustainable: Here’s Why…

Concrete is environmentally friendly. It’s a unique and efficient building material. Concrete is primarily made from limestone, which is one of the most abundant minerals found on planet earth, but it can also be made from waste products—waste from a power plant or other manufacturing-type facility. And because the ingredients […]


Professional vs DIY: Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional

Weekend-warrior types abound; the big box stores have moved in, offering everything from an endless supply and choice of building materials to courses on home improvement, and, for many, the confidence level for routine home improvement work is high. And it’s for good reason, because those tasks we once outsourced […]

concrete step repair billings mt

When is The Best Season to Complete a Concrete Project?

Usually, it’s the shoulder seasons—both Spring and Fall—that have the best temperatures for a concrete pour. The reason is that temperatures are usually neutral, and milder. Two things to be cautious of in these seasons are precipitation, and that temperatures don’t swing dramatically in either direction. Sometimes, especially in the […]


Concrete Sealers:

Concrete is a terrifically durable building material, although one added component that can only make the concrete even more resistant to weather, to long exposures to water, to abrasions and other similar damage, is to apply a quality concrete sealer. And although concrete does have a natural beauty on its […]


Concrete Sealer

A quality concrete sealer is a vital component for a quality concrete job. The concrete sealer makes concrete resistant to weather, exposures to water—yes, concrete is durable and is meant to handle the elements, but long exposures can break down nearly any building material—abrasions, and deicing salt. A quality concrete […]


Concrete steps are common on many homes. Unfortunately, because the steps are poured separately from the foundation of the home, as the home’s foundation shifts over time its movement directly affects the stability of the concrete steps, causing the steps to possibly crack or begin to crumble. When you’ve decided it’s time to remove the steps, simply jackhammer out the concrete steps beginning on the top step and working down. Be careful if the steps are either conjoined with the foundation or just poured closely to it to not damage the foundation with the removal. If you doubt your ability to cleanly remove the concrete steps, its best to call a professional to ensure that no damage is done to the foundation. Build New Steps With the old steps removed, clean the area. Clear it of any remaining loose concrete, debris, rock, soil etc. Bring the soil to a level grade by digging down at a depth of six inches to where the base of the steps will be. Compact the area and tamp it down. This is an important step, because if the grade shifts at all under the weight of the steps, the steps will have structural problems. With the base compacted and level and free of debris, build the forms. Use sheets of ½ inch plywood to build the sides of the forms. Forms for stairs are usually more complex than forms for, say, simple concrete pads, however take your time to ensure that everything is measured correctly, and apply some type of greasing agent for an easier release between the forms and the poured concrete. Then it’s as simple as pouring the concrete and finishing it. Quikrete is an excellent product for this job, and when you use it for a pour, make sure to apply it per the manufacturers instructions. Use a float to level the concrete as usual and use an edging tool to round the corners of the steps. Trowel the concrete smooth, and cure it. Then enjoy your new steps! It’s important to remember, also, that these are just brief guidelines to provide you with a general idea as to the steps needed to replace a set of concrete stairs. Contact the concrete specialists at Shotcrete Montana for more professional advice, as well as the materials you’ll need for the project.

Concrete for Beginners:

Concrete is relatively easy to mix, use, etc., but very few people can get it absolutely perfect; there’s an underlying experience level (Maybe even a level at which it becomes an art form?) to skillfully working with concrete. But there are a few tips and tricks to working with concrete […]


Concrete Floors?

Yes, concrete floors. It’s a trend in modern building. There are numerous benefits to building a home with concrete floors. And while the benefits are many (we’ll discuss exactly what those benefits are in a few…) there are a few drawbacks, although the drawbacks are not nearly as numerous. The […]


Concrete Issues: Cracking

Concrete is unique in that, like a mirror, it displays its strength, its weakness, its age, etc. and one of the most common things to happen to concrete is that it develops a crack/fissure/fracture. What are the differences between the three? The differences are in the severity of the damage; […]