aboutHere at LaMere Concrete and Construction our mission is customer satisfaction and a high quality product. We’ve been serving the metro area for over 30 years, and are licensed, bonded, and insured. We’re honored that the majority of our customers come from referrals and repeat customers. LaMere has been accredited with the BBB since 1986, and has an A rating on Angie’s List. We are a locally based, owner-operated company that focuses significant time and effort on working within the community.

Bruce LaMere started the company in 1978 out of his garage, starting with a pickup truck, a wheelbarrow, and some hand tools. Through his hard work and dedication we are proud to now serve the metro area with impeccable customer service and top notch craftsmanship.

Look around, there is a definite difference in quality for price. We want to make sure you get what you pay for. We understand a concrete or construction project is an investment, with LaMere you can be guaranteed of quality workmanship you can be proud of for many years to come.

“The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweet Taste of Price is Forgotten.” -Aldo Gucci (Italian Designer)

Foundations and Droughts

Maeve S. from Fridley asks:   I recently saw an article in the Pioneer Press about foundations being affected by our recent drought conditions. Why does this happen and what can I do about it?     Bruce LaMere says:   Good question Maeve, we’ve recently seen an uptick in questions and requests for estimates regarding foundation repair. First we should start on how a home’s foundation is built. When a house foundation is built, it is built on a concrete footing that displaces the weight of the home onto a large area of soil. The concrete footings are installed below the frost level of a given region (see our Frost Heave or Footings article for more information), to aid in the stability of the foundation. This way frost can’t affect your home, and is why most homes in Minnesota have basements.   Taking frost out of the equation, the other major issue that can move a foundation is if the soil sitting underneath the concrete footing shifts. What can make this soil move? One issue is the expansion and contraction of soil caused by water. As soil soaks up water, it expands, and as it expels water, it contracts. This type of action is worse in wet soil such as clay, and is usually not a problem in a sandy soil. In normal conditions the moisture content of soil is relatively stable and is counteracted by the engineering of the foundation and footings. In severe drought conditions, such as what we’ve been experiencing, the soil can lose so much water content that it shrinks beyond normal parameters, and causes a home’s foundation to shift....

Footings Under Steps

Ian G. from Minneapolis asks, I need my front steps replaced that go up to my entry door. I have 3 bids from different contractors. Two say I need footings and one says I don’t. What is your recommendation? Why would I need footings under these steps, when I don’t need footings under my lawn steps? When do you recommend footings? Bruce LaMere Answers: Hi Ian, this is a fairly common question that many people have. A footing underneath a set of steps is a foundation made of concrete and rebar. It spreads the vertical loads from the steps. A footing must be installed below the frost depth, in other words, below the maximum depth the ground will freeze in any particular area. In the Twin Cities metro area, frost depth is 3 1/2 feet. In the case of steps a footing keeps the set of steps from settling or moving, so where the steps are poured is exactly where they stay. This is important when steps are attached to any kind of a structure that is also built on a footing/foundation. In the case of your entry steps Ian, you do not want your steps to move relative to your house at all. If they sink, you could have a large step down from your house which could become dangerous. If they pull away, a gap will form in between your steps and house which can also be dangerous. This movement can also cause the steps to degrade prematurely. This is why a footing is necessary in your case and in the case of any entry steps, and...

Frost Heave

James from West St. Paul asks: You put in our driveway about 12 years ago and we could not be more pleased with how nice it still looks. This winter, some of the squares have lifted up or others have dropped. Is this normal and if so what can we do? I keep hitting the edge when I’m shoveling snow. Mike Therres, Vice President at LaMere Concrete Says: Hi James I feel your pain.Where my driveway meets the garage floor, the driveway is approximately 1” above the garage floor. This is caused by the frost under the driveway, and is referred to as “frost heave” in the industry. When the moisture in the soil freezes, it expands as all water does. This expansion pushes up against the concrete slab and raises it. Frost heave is fairly typical in our weather climate. In many cases the slab will settle back down after the frost leaves the ground and return to its original position. When you see a new road or highway being built you may notice the contractor has dug down what seems to be pretty deep. What they are doing is removing the soil that can cause frost heave, and installing material that in most cases eliminates this problem. Sometimes the contractor digs down as much as 4’, or possibly deeper. For example where I live we have mostly clay which holds water very well. Other types of earth such as sand is able to drain the water much easier. The more water held in the soil, the worse the frost heave gets. Removing and replacing the soil is usually not...

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