When it comes to hiring a concrete contractor, foreknowledge is critical. Before you get anything started with any contractor, be sure to get as much pertinent information you can to avoid disappointments in the end.
Before you start dialing numbers of companies, prepare relevant questions to help you in your decision-making. Make sure the concrete contractor meets all your criteria because the success of your concrete driveway, patio, or walkway projects depends on how well they will perform.
Below are ten of the essential things to know before hiring a concrete contractor.
Know what you are looking for in a concrete contractor
Ask yourself what exactly do you look for in a concrete company. This will help you narrow down the list later on. Having a list of skills and competence that you want in a contractor will help you assess whether they fit your needs or not.
Look for options
Don’t settle for the first company you see on your search results. You will have hundreds of choices but choose only those that appear professional and reputable. Call your prospective contractor and get a feel of how they respond to you and how they handle your concern.
Make time to meet them
Qualified contractors may have tight schedules, which is why you need to be more flexible in terms of scheduled meetings. You want a contractor that will make time for you despite their busy schedules because this speaks a lot about their customer service.
Consider the drying time for your deadline
Before you decide on the date the contractor will begin the task, make sure to factor in the drying time. Even if they finish the job in one day, you still have to give the concrete at least one week before you allow foot or car traffic to it. Some contractors even suggest two weeks of drying time for maximum results. So, if you have plans on hosting an event or you need the concrete driveway immediately, you should add some weeks to the expected completion date.
Learn what permits are necessary
Don’t leave this information to the contractor alone. As much as possible, you should be aware of the permits and other requirements needed for a hassle-free completion of the project. It should raise a red flag if the contractor doesn’t know what permits should be obtained because it can mean they are not as experienced as they claim to be.
Don’t always go for the upsells
You should expect concrete contractors to upsell additional services. While stamping or staining your patio or driveway is a great way to give it some aesthetics— it can ruin your budget. Learn to say no and stick with the plan.
A reputable contractor will offer a free estimate of the project you intend to get. They should see the site with their own eyes before they can provide an accurate quote. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask about the technicalities of the job so that you know everything about the details of the concrete installation.
Ask for a written contract
Never agree to anything unless it is otherwise written in a contract. It will protect you from any issues, especially if anything goes wrong throughout the project. A trustworthy contractor will never hesitate to provide you with this important detail of the job.
Know what is included in the contract
You don’t want a vague, beating-around-the-bush type of contract, but a clear and direct one. You want to see specific details like how much the project will cost, what materials will be used, and how many men will do the job. It is also vital to see information about the timeline, especially if you want it done ASAP.
Ask questions to test the contractor’s knowledge
While you are talking to the contractor, take note of how well he answers your questions. Does he seem comfortable? Does he know what he’s talking about? If the answer is yes, then that is a good sign. If not, you should keep looking for a contractor. Ask them about the specifics of the job or make them explain the process to you in detail. If they don’t even know where to begin, how can they even finish the task on hand? By asking them these questions, you can assess their skills and knowledge of the job.