Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Concrete Contractors Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®?

These Diamond Certified concrete contractors are installing a new circular driveway in front of a large home. You can have confidence when choosing among the concrete companies listed above, because each has been rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® and has earned Diamond Certified. Read the following articles for additional information on choosing and working with good concrete companies in Alameda County. Topic: Finding High Quality Concrete Contractors in Alameda County

OAKLAND — You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a concrete contractor that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified concrete company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top rated concrete contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified Resource eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Russell Calhoon is project manager at Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 385-8993 or by email.

Russell Calhoon

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Russell Calhoon: A Firm Foundation

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ANTIOCH — By the time Russell Calhoon started working for a concrete contractor, he already had a firm foundation in the trades. “I’m a third-generation builder,” he explains. “I grew up in construction and worked for my dad from childhood all the way to adulthood. My dad taught me a lot, both on and off the jobsite. He actually taught apprenticeship classes on roof framing and stair framing at a local college, and I often went with him to those. We eventually became partners in a business that held licenses in foundation work, general construction, plumbing, electrical, solar power and sewer work.”

After his father retired, Russell decided to switch gears and transition from hands-on building to management. “I went to work for some high-end general contractors as an estimator, and from there I progressed to project manager and production manager, which gave me a chance to learn the other side of the business,” he says. “During that time, I also went to construction management school and got my license. Later, while in between jobs, I did some subcontracting work for Paradigm Concrete & Construction. I asked the owners if they knew anyone who needed someone with my skills, and they said they did. Ten years later, I’m still here.”

Today, as project manager at Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc., Russell says his diverse professional experience continues to benefit him in his day-to-day work. “Having a background in all aspects of construction is really helpful because it enables me to look at each project as a whole. This allows me to properly prepare for each individual phase and prevent problems for subsequent subcontractors on the job.”

A resident of Martinez (where he lives with his partner, Lanakila), Russell spends his time outside of work on a variety of active pastimes. “My main activity outside of work is bocce ball,” he details. “I belong to the Martinez Bocce Federation and I’m a two-time national champion—I won titles in 1996 and 2003. I also enjoy sailing, which I’ve been doing all my life. I got my sailing license when I was nine years old.” Additionally, Russell enjoys going to the movies and spending time with his two adult sons, Alex and Ryan.

In regard to his professional career, Russell espouses the importance of fairness. “I believe a contractor deserves to make money and their client deserves a quality job for a fair price,” he explains. “As a contractor, if you aren’t being fair with your clients, you aren’t going to last in this business. It’s all about maintaining that balance of mutual benefit.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?

A: The Warehouse Cafe in Port Costa. They have awesome prime rib.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

A: Hang out with Lanakila and watch a movie or play cards.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

A: Neither—I like being in the moment.

Q: Do you collect anything?

A: I collect Mexican folk art.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Tahiti. My father planned to sail there with me when I was a kid and we never did, but I’m still planning to get there someday.

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Often-Overlooked Aspects of a Concrete Project


ANTIOCH — If you’re planning a concrete project, be sure to consider the following aspects: Minimum cost Most concrete contractors have a minimum charge for concrete work. If you only have one small project in mind, it might not meet that minimum… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Concrete Cleaning Caveat

Complete Video Transcription:

ANTIOCH — Sarah Rutan: When cleaning recently poured concrete, you’ll need to exercise caution to avoid causing accidental damage. Today we’re in Antioch with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor… Read more




Loctite Concrete & Cement
US Concrete
ARDEX Concrete
Hycrete Concrete
Lehigh Cement
MAPEI Concrete
Xypex Concrete
Damtite Concrete
Prosoco Concrete
Texas Industries
Cemex Cement & Concrete
Titan Cement Co
St. Lawrence Cement

concrete pouring
concrete floors
concrete blocks
concrete patios
concrete construction
concrete repair
precast concrete
stamped concrete
concrete design
concrete sealer application
concrete countertop installation
pouring concrete slabs
reinforced concrete
concrete basement pouring
concrete finishing
concrete homes
aggregate concrete
poured concrete
concrete overlay
concrete paving
concrete removal
concrete finish application
concrete panels
concrete formwork
concrete reinforcement
concrete restoration
concrete piers
concrete columns
concrete beams

Castro Valley
Komandorski Village
Mount Eden
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Union City


American Concrete Institute ACI (http://www.aci-int.org/)
American Society of Concrete Contractors ASCC (http://www.ascconline.org/)
Better Business Bureau BBB (http://www.bbb.com/)
Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada CMACN (http://www.cmacn.org/)
California Department of Consumer Affairs DCA (http://www.dca.ca.gov/)
National Association of Decorative Concrete Contractors NADCC (http://www.nadcc.org/)
National Association of State Contracting Licensing Agencies NASCLA (http://www.nascla.org/)
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association NRMCA (http://www.nrmca.org/)

Know What You Want
What to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Concrete Contractor in Alameda County

After you have done initial research, talk with some local concrete contractors. Compile a list of questions and use that list when talking to concrete contractors. Write down each contractor’s answers. You want to get estimates from only those concrete contractors that meet or exceed your expectations. If they don’t give satisfactory answers to your questions, move on to the next company.

You will want to know what you expect from your concrete contractor. Have an idea of your timeline and budget, etc. Here are some questions that you may want to ask:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified concrete company in Alameda County that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  • What is my timeline?
  • What is my budget for concrete work?
  • What personal and professional characteristics would I like my Alameda County concrete contractor to have such as good communication skills, timeliness, honesty, integrity, and reliability?
  • Does the concrete company charges for estimates?
  • Do I need to have any other work done to my house before I have the concrete project started?
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What To Ask In Person
Interviewing Concrete Contractors in Alameda County

Once you have narrowed the field to a few of the best Alameda County concrete contractors, invite a few to visit your site in person. This will enable them to see the worksite, offer suggestions and opinions, and give you a more accurate estimate for their concrete services.

Questions you might want to ask include these:

  • Do you use subcontractors for any of the work or do you do all of the concrete work yourselves?
  • Can you give me the names of 10 references in Alameda County?
  • Do you take care of getting the permits for concrete pouring services?
  • Will you give me a written estimate for the concrete work I’m considering?
  • How long will it take for you to complete getting the permits and completing the concrete work?
  • What kind of warranty do you provide on your concrete driveways, concrete patios, etc.?
  • What does the warranty cover?
  • Do you have workers’ compensation and liability insurance?
  • How long have you been in the concrete business?
  • How do I maintain my concrete driveway/walkway/etc.?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for References of a Concrete Contractor in Alameda County

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified concrete contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a concrete contractor in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified concrete contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your concrete contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the concrete contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    • Would you recommend this concrete contractor to your friends and family?
    • If you need more concrete work done, will you choose this same company?
    • Did the concrete contractor clean up after the work was completed?
    • Did the concrete contractor keep you up to date on the status of your concrete work?
    • If you live in a smaller town such as Emeryville, Komandorski Village, Livermore and Mount Eden, did you have to pay extra for their travel expenses to your home?
    • Did they complete your concrete work on time?
    • Did they show up at the designated time?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire Good Concrete Contractors in Alameda County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of a concrete contractor in Alameda County is an important decision.

    So before deciding on the concrete contractor in Alameda County that is best for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    • Is this concrete work estimate in my budget?
    • Can this concrete contractor meet your needs when it comes to scheduling, service and experience?
    • Does this concrete contractor offer a written warranty to back up their work?
    • Does the Alameda concrete contractor you’re considering seem knowledgeable about the concrete work and specific needs of my job?
    • What does this concrete contractor offer that is specific to what I need?
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  • How To Work With
    How to Get an Accurate Estimate From an Alameda County Concrete Contractor

    After you have found an Alameda County concrete contractor that you can trust, you will have peace of mind as you get ready for your concrete project.

    First, meet with the concrete contractor. Use the notes that you have taken so you can accurately describe any concerns that you have. Be as detailed as possible and don’t be in a rush. It is as important for you to hear their suggestions and observations as it is for them to hear you. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. You need to completely comprehend the concrete project and what it entails.

    Be sure to get all estimates in writing before any work begins. The estimate should include an itemized list of the cost of supplies and the labor. Don’t ever sign a blank estimate.

    Committing To an Alameda County Concrete Contractor You Trust in the Cities of Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley and San Leandro By Signing a Contract
    When you feel satisfied with the information you have received from your Alameda County concrete contractor, sign the contract. Be sure that they have a phone number where you can be reached at all times.

    Expect the concrete contractor to stay within the estimate. However, if the actual cost exceeds the original amount of the estimate, they must get your approval before moving ahead.

    Preparing for Your Alameda County Concrete Contractor
    Professional concrete contractors are able to handle the very small to very large aspects of their work. However, there are some things that you can do to prepare for them and to make their progress in concrete project go more smoothly. Doing these things may even cut down on their labor costs and can keep your home and belongings from being damaged.

    Remove any furniture or movable items from the area. Before they begin work on your concrete job, remove all of the objects that may be in the way such as barbecues or lawn chairs.

    Provide parking space and room for their work vehicles to maneuver. Concrete contractors have large vehicles that require more space than average. Contact your contractor before they begin building and ask them how many parking spaces they need and how much room they need for oversized vehicles. It is also helpful to walk through the area with your contractor so any hazards or clearance issues can be pointed out before the actual work begins.

    Trim plants and bushes that are in the way of your concrete area. You can save money and time by preparing the area for building by trimming or removing any plants, trees or bushes that are in the way. Ask your contractor what they recommend and the amount of space they require.

    Keep your pets and children away from the area. Your concrete contractor will be focused on your project and should not have to watch out for your pets or children at any time. This not only prevents accidents and injury but also any expense that comes from accidents that may happen because of children and pets being in the way.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Concrete Contractor's Customer?

    It’s the concrete contractor’s responsibility to put in quality concrete using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your concrete job, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County concrete contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the concrete contractor. Let them know what you want from your concrete contractor, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a concrete contractor in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the concrete contractor representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local concrete contractor occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your concrete contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re working on your concrete job. The work will move along more smoothly if your concrete contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the concrete contractor on schedule.
    • Pay for the concrete work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Concrete contractors in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Examine the Contract and Completed Concrete Project

When your concrete project is complete, most contractors will give you a written invoice that details the completed work.

This invoice usually includes:

  • The local concrete contractor’s name, physical address and license number.
  • A list of all concrete services performed.
  • An itemized list of all the concrete materials and supplies purchased.
  • The total cost for concrete supplies, including the amount due for labor.
  • Any applicable warranties or guarantees provided by the company.

It is wise to compare the completed work with the written invoice. Ask your contractor to walk through the concrete project with you and show you the work. Check the work with the invoice.

During the walk-through, ask if there are any special instructions for maintaining your concrete. If you have any questions about the work or materials used for your concrete project, now is the time to ask.

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Written Warranties
Ask for Written Warranties On Your New Concrete

Most good concrete contractors in Alameda County will offer some time of warranty on the concrete project. All details of the warranty should be provided to you in writing.

This information should include:

  • The concrete contractor’s name, physical address and contractors’ license number.
  • What concrete materials and services are covered. This should also include whether the contractor will replace or repair your concrete in the event of a product failure.
  • Your responsibility if you place a warranty claim (i.e., if you have to pay for labor or materials, or if you are required to pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms, limitations and exclusions on the materials and workmanship.
  • If the concrete warranties are transferable to the new owner if you sell your home.
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Top 10 Requests
Most Popular Alameda County Concrete Contractor Services

The top 10 requests for concrete contractors in Alameda County are listed below.

Concrete Pouring
Concrete pouring is to pour concrete into a cast.

Concrete Patios
Concrete patios are becoming more popular. They are very durable and require little maintenance. There are many decorative options available for concrete patios.

Concrete Homes
Concrete homes are durable and save money on heating and cooling costs. They can be designed to look like most any other house.

Pouring Concrete Slabs
Pouring concrete slabs involved setting up the forms for the project and getting them ready for the pour, then pouring the concrete slab.

Concrete Basement Pouring
Concrete basement pouring is a popular option not only because basements are a protection from inclement weather but they also extend the living space. Concrete basement pouring is more economical than adding another room or floor onto your home.

Concrete Paving
Concrete paving is when concrete is poured to make a firm and even surface.

Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete is done by pouring a slab and then putting impressions of patterns and/or textures on the concrete before it dries.

Concrete Restoration
Concrete restoration restores your walkways, floors, etc. to like new. It is cheaper and more convenient than complete replacement of concrete.

Concrete Panels
Concrete panels are poured and used in residential housing and businesses.

Concrete Floors
Concrete floors have become a popular option for floors of homes. Concrete floors can be stained, painted and stamped, etc. This allows for an almost limitless choice of flooring looks.

Most Popular Alameda County Concrete Contractor Brands
The top brand requests for concrete contractor services in Alameda County are listed below.

  • ARDEX Concrete
  • Cemex Cement and Concrete
  • Locite Concrete and Cement
  • Quikcrete
  • St. Lawrence Cement
  • US Concrete
  • Titan Cement Company
  • Hycrete Concrete
  • Curecrete
  • Damtite Concrete
  • Concrete Countertop Installation
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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Local Concrete Contractors

abrasive aggregate
Abrasive aggregate is used make the concrete surfaces more abrasive. Sometimes special aggregates are added to poured concrete and cast concrete for decorative purposes.

Also known as: abrasive aggregates

Accelerator decreases the setting time of concrete by increasing hydration.

Also known as: accelerators

Admixture is something other than water that is added to concrete to control properties such as setting and workability.

Also known as: admixtures

Aggregate is a combination of crushed rock, sand and gravel that is mixed with cement to make concrete.

Binder is hardened cement paste.

Also known as: cement paste

Bleed is when water seeps to the top of the cement paste because of the settling.

Cement is inorganic compounds finely powdered which harden when combined with water.

cement-aggregate ratio
Cement-aggregate ratio is the ratio of aggregate to cement and is measured by weight.

cement paste
Cement paste is cement and water which develops in strength until it becomes hardened cement paste.

Clay is a kind of soil that consists of very fine particles.

Concrete is made from aggregate components and cement and is used for sidewalks and walkways, etc.

concrete pavers
Concrete pavers are paving stones made from concrete and are used for walkways, driveways, etc.

Also known as: concrete paving stones

concrete sand
Concrete sand is a sand that is used for aggregate.

crushed rock
Crushed rock is used in concrete as an aggregate.

Cure is keeping the concrete moist while it is initially hardening.

dormancy period
Dormancy period is the time that concrete remains workable.

Forms are holders for concrete where it is allowed to harden.

Also known as: form

Gravel is fine pieces of rock and can be used as an aggregate.

Gypsum is added to cement to regulate its setting.

Also known as: calcium sulfate dihydrate

Limestone is a rock that is made of the mineral calcium carbonate.

Paver or paving is when cement is poured to make a firm and even surface.

Also known as: paving

Pour is to cast concrete.

Also known as: cast

slump test
Slump test is to test the concrete to determine its workability.

stained concrete
Stained concrete is colored concrete and is can be used in driveways and other areas. Stained concrete is available in vibrant colors and can also be chosen to complement the style and color of your home.

Also known as: stained concrete patterns

stamped concrete
Stamped concrete is often used in place of concrete pavers as it can look like brick, tile or blocks and can be stamped with a pattern. A foundation of concrete is poured and then stamping the pattern while it is still damp.

Also known as: stamped concrete patterns

stenciled concrete
Stenciled concrete is used to mimic other paving materials like brick or tile by using stencils.

Also known as: stenciled concrete patterns

Workability is how easily fresh concrete can be used and molded and put into forms.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Alameda County Concrete Contractors

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified concrete contractor?
A:Diamond Certified helps you choose a concrete contractor with confidence by offering a list of top rated local companies that have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only concrete contractors rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified concrete contractor.

Q: Are concrete and cement the same thing?
A: They are not the same thing although many use the terms interchangeably. Cement is used to make concrete. Cement is mixed with other things including water and it then turns into a mass that becomes hardened and is called concrete.

Q: What is slump used for?
A: Slump is the amount of water in concrete mix which shows its consistency. The lower the slump the dryer the mix will be. If water is added to the mix past what is specified, it can result in reduced strength and the possibility that the surface will deteriorate.

Q: Is it necessary to take the topsoil before pouring concrete?
A:Topsoil does need to be removed before the concrete is placed. Topsoil and other organic material are too unstable to support slabs of concrete. The subgrade of cement should contain no organic material and this is very important for having a quality concrete slab.

Q: What kind of decorative finishes can I get for concrete?
A:Concrete is available in almost any shape, pattern and color. There are many specialty materials available such as concrete forms, stamps, dyes, texture patterns, and stains, etc. These applications can be used both inside and outside of your home. If you can imagine the decorative finish, it can be done by a skilled concrete contractor.

Q: Do I need a concrete contractor for my project?
A:Concrete work requires knowledge and skill. There are fundamental skills that the average homeowner does not have. Some basic skills that are required are using a hammer, chalk lines, and saws; however, more specialized skills include the use of straightedge, a concrete edger, a hand float and others.

Besides the use of tools, other areas of expertise include site excavation, preparing the subgrade, putting in concrete form. These areas and the work of placing and finishing concrete is very difficult work. Also, concrete is quite heavy and the timing of the finishing of the project is critical. For all of these reasons and more, most homeowners feel that it is necessary to hire a concrete contractor to do their concrete project.

Q: How long does a concrete driveway need to cure?
A: The recommended time can be any time from three to seven days depending on the load that will be on it. Ask your concrete contractor for specific directions on when your driveway can be put back in service.

Q: How often do I need to seal my concrete driveway?
A: Your concrete needs to air dry for 30 days before you apply a sealer. A sealer prevents moisture from entering the concrete which helps keep the concrete from deteriorating during weather cycles of freezing and thawing. Sealers are usually effective for a couple of years but ask your concrete contractor for specific application rates.

Q: Why is curing important for concrete?
A: Curing keeps your concrete at the appropriate moisture content. If the curing is not done correctly, it can cut the strength of your concrete by a large percentage. Proper curing also keeps your concrete from cracking and shrinking.

Q: How do I maintain concrete?
A: Concrete needs to be frequently cleaned with sweeping and hosing it every so often. Keep wet leaves off of concrete as they may stain the concrete.

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