Concrete is incredibly versatile, it’s not just for sidewalks and driveways. Anybody building a new home or addition knows that concrete is an excellent choice for use on floors, walls, and countertops.
More people with older homes are now going to concrete to replace old, decaying foundations. However, no matter how you choose to incorporate concrete into your home, you’ll want to hire a professional concrete contractor. This is not a task to DIY, and for good reason.
While it’s relatively simple to mix up some concrete on your own, there are plenty of risks involved for those who don’t know what they’re doing – so why not leave it to the experts?
Here are some tips to help you find the best contractor for your needs.
What Is A Concrete Contractor?
A concrete contractor is a professional who installs repairs and demolishes concrete. Concrete contractors start by reading plans, surveying the site, mixing and pouring the cement, smoothing out the surfaces, and finishing and polishing it.
The best way to find a good general contractor is by asking friends or family members for recommendations. If you don’t have any friends or family in your area with experience working with a concrete contractor, then you can ask colleagues at work if they can recommend someone to you.
You can also advertise online or in local newspapers for a general contractor that specializes in concrete contracting.
How Do Contractors Differ From Other Construction Professionals?
In construction projects, a contractor is a person who is primarily responsible for supervising and managing the work of other professionals. Contractors fall into different categories, depending on their expertise and their relationship to the project.
The general contractor is in charge of overseeing all aspects of the construction process from arranging materials to meeting with subcontractors. General contractors also keep track of each piece of equipment that’s being used on a job site and make sure that it’s getting its proper maintenance.
The architect oversees plans for buildings, structures, or remodeling jobs in order to ensure that they comply with local zoning requirements or building codes. Architects also manage drawings for new structures and may be responsible for planning future changes to current buildings after completion.
The engineer oversees design activities such as surveys, traffic analyses, and environmental impact studies. Engineers are often involved with cost estimates before a project begins so they can ensure that different options will be able to meet quality standards without placing too much strain on an investment’s funds or viability.
The construction manager oversees details such as keeping order among workers, making sure that all pieces of equipment are working properly, and getting everything ready for its next use by coordinating with subcontractors and other professionals on the job site.
The developer owns the land where a new structure will eventually be built or manages real estate around a city where multiple projects are in progress at once. Developers make decisions about which companies will receive funding from investors based on sales figures from previous projects, expected market trends, and user feedback from previous customers.
What Services Do Contractors Provide?
The services that contractors provide can be broken down into three main categories: pre-construction, construction, and post-construction.
Pre-construction services include land acquisition, feasibility studies, site selection, due diligence, value engineering, permitting, and entitlements.
Construction services include project management, safety management, quality assurance, scheduling, budgeting, project accounting, procurement, insurance claim administration, and close-out.
Post-construction services include punch list management, project closeout documentation, warranty administration, operations and maintenance manuals, and as-built drawings.
Ask For References
In concrete work, as with any other area of construction and home improvement, you have no way to know what you’re getting until it’s too late. It is for this reason that checking references is highly important when selecting a professional contractor.
Past customers can tell you plenty about the quality of the contractor’s work and their performance as a team member in your home or business.
Asking for references from previous clients allows you to see the contractor’s work first-hand and will provide valuable insights into how your project might be handled.
In fact, asking for references is one of the easiest ways to qualify contractors quickly and accurately. Here are some tried-and-true questions you can ask when vetting a potential partner:
● What was your experience with the contractor like?
● Did they complete their part of the project on time?
● Was their price fair?
● Did they do what they said they would do?
Asking these questions will give you a well-rounded view into how your chosen contractor operates in both lead roles and support roles.
Get More Than One Estimate
Before you choose a concrete contractor, you should get more than one estimate. This will help you compare prices and make sure the contractor has given you an accurate number.
You’ll also have a better sense of how much money your project should cost so that if someone gives you an unusually low or high price, you can question it. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
To get the most accurate estimates, ask for written estimates from each company. Make sure each estimate includes:
The scope of the project in writing. The estimate should outline what work is going to be done and how much material will be used so that there aren’t any surprises later on.
It’s especially important that these details are written down because concrete contractors aren’t required to provide this information upfront; a lack of detail gives them room to change their minds later on without losing business (or charging extra).
If something isn’t mentioned in their original quote but they decide they need it after they’ve started working on your job site, then they can charge twice as much per hour just because they’re working overtime hours instead of normal ones–and there’s nothing stopping them from doing this.
However if these changes were indicated from start to finish, then at least both parties would’ve agreed beforehand not only how long it would take but also what materials were necessary before starting any actual work. It’s important that you’re both on the same page with regard to the content of the project contract before you sign.
The total cost of the project. Once you have the estimate, make sure to ask about any additional fees that might not be included in the price. For example, some contractors will charge extra for fuel or dump fees. Others might require a deposit before they start work.
Get everything in writing so that there are no surprises later on.
Check The License Of Each Contractor You’re Considering
It’s important to check all of the concrete contractors that you’re considering for their licenses. This is different from a construction license and shows that they have met certain standards, like training and insurance requirements. Ask for their license number and make sure it is up-to-date before hiring them.
Make Sure The Contractor Provides Insurance
It’s also important to make sure the contractor carries insurance to protect you from any accidents that might occur on your property. Ask your contractor for proof of insurance, and if they do not have it, move on to the next candidate.
If an accident happens while a non-insured contractor is working on your project, they will be unable to cover the damages. This means that you are liable for any injuries or damage to property that occurs as a result of their work. Protect yourself and don’t forget this crucial step when hiring a concrete contractor!
Choosing A Contractor Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful When You Know What To Look For And How To Vet Them
Choosing a concrete contractor doesn’t have to be stressful when you know what to look for and how to vet them. When shopping around for the right concrete professional, these are some of the things you should consider:
● Their insurance and license status. If
a concrete company isn’t correctly insured and licensed, they could cause serious damage to your home or business — not something we would advise!
● Work guarantee. Find out whether they will stand behind their workmanship with a written guarantee. If they won’t, keep looking.
● References. Ask for references from previous clients in your area — at least three if possible. Then call them!
If you’re in the Calgary area, then feel free to check out Concrete Star for any and all of your concrete services needs. Whether you need concrete paving installed, repaired, or maintained, we’re the team for the job. Feel free to reach out and ask us about our concrete services, so get in touch today!