Tips for Hiring a Concrete Construction Contractor
Concrete is one of the most durable materials used in residential and commercial construction. It is found almost everywhere: driveways, sidewalks, retaining walls and other structural components and elements. If you have a project that requires the use of concrete, hiring the right contractor for the job is important. While there are plenty of professionals out there who can help you, you want to work with a group that can turn in quality work, making sure that the project is done right the first time.
Hiring a contractor is not just about finding a local company you come across on the first page of Google, settling for the lowest possible price. In this blog, we provide some tips to help you make the right concrete contractor choice.
Do Your Research
The process of hiring a contractor for a concrete project starts with research. A quick internet search will give you a list of potential contractors in your area to get in touch with regarding your project’s needs. Aside from Google, you can turn to your friends, family members and even your local concrete supply company for some referrals. You’ll be surprised to learn which contractors are worthy of inclusion in your list. Having plenty of options allows you to compare contractors and make an informed decision.
Aim for an Experienced Contractor
Choose a concrete contractor with considerable industry experience. Local businesses that have been in the business for at least five years usually are companies that are running stable operations and have a certain level of reliability. Experienced contractors actively work on their clients’ projects like their own, providing valuable insights and suggestions along the way to ensure success. For instance, they offer multiple concrete options to enhance the look and feel of the project, such as stamped and decorative concrete.
Verify License and Insurance
A reliable concrete contractor is someone with the required licenses to operate and provide services in your area. The entire company, including its professional crew, must hold current and up-to-date professional licensure while adhering to the laws and regulations in place within the county, city or state. It should also carry adequate insurance to ensure coverage for both you and your home against property damage and accidental injury that might occur at any time during the project. Ask the contractor if it has both the workers’ compensation and general liability insurance.
Make it a point to ask a prospective contractor for a list of references. Contact at least two or three of them to learn more about the company and its operations. What project did the contractor handle, and how long did it take to finish? Does the contractor have open lines of communication most of the time? How involved are the contractors throughout the entire project? The information the previous clients provide will tell you about the contractor’s overall work performance and customer service, and should factor into your final decision.
Your initial meetings with prospective concrete contractors will usually involve them providing you with a quote or estimate for your project. Compare the information you receive, and use it to your advantage. In doing so, you can scope out your budget carefully while encouraging them to be competitive with their pricing. Keep in mind, however, that choosing a contractor based on price alone isn’t ideal. If you encounter a quote that’s significantly lower than the rest, be wary. These contractors might not have adequate insurance. Worse, they may cut corners or provide substandard work. Never sacrifice quality just so you can save some money from the outset.
Take Note How the Contractor Interacts With You
During your initial meeting with the prospective contractors, measure how they interact with you. Are they friendly throughout the conversation? Are they willing to spend the time talking or meeting with you? Do they provide articulate answers to your inquiries? Do they get back to you after your initial meeting? If the answer to all of these is yes, then you’re speaking to a contractor who has gone a long way in terms of dedication and quality, and would be worth hiring for your project. On the contrary, signs of unprofessionalism to watch out for include hesitation in answering questions, failure to call or respond, and rude attitude. Move on from contractors displaying any of these.
Below are some additional tips to keep in mind as you go through the process of hiring a contractor for your concrete project:
Be prepared and confident - In every interaction with a prospective contractor, make sure you are confident and knowledgeable about what you want. This way, you can easily assess how experienced and competent the contractors you speak to are.
Be flexible with scheduling - Experienced contractors tend to have busy schedules. If they’re not available for your preferred dates, don’t cross them off the shortlist just yet. If possible, ask about alternate timelines. Keep an eye out for those who are available right from the get-go, but don’t have any ongoing or upcoming commitments with other clients.
Consider drying time - Say your project involves building a concrete driveway on your property. According to the pros, you’ll have to wait two to four weeks after the concrete is prepared and poured over your new driveway to ensure its stability and longevity. If you have plans after the project is complete, be it a dinner party or any important event, consider moving them a week or two.
Turn down upsells if you must - Adding finishing touches to your concrete project like stamped or scored patterns on the surface can add visual interest and boost your home’s curb appeal. Unless you have the budget for any of these, it is perfectly fine not to take advantage of them. Be sure to ask for quotes or estimates ahead of time so you know whether they fit your budget or not.
For your concrete repair and installation needs, turn to NAV Construction. As a residential and commercial concrete construction contractor, we take pride in providing quality work and expert finishing for your peace of mind. Expect our pros to deliver nothing but the best in terms of workmanship and customer service. Call (540) 812-2277, or fill out our contact form to discuss your project with us.