Educational Consumer Tips
Better Business Bureau
Category: Home Improvement
If you are interested in adding or renovating your driveway, walkway or outdoor patio, a concrete contractor specializes in the craftsmanship necessary for this work. It's crucial to hire a reputable contractor with experience and the right tools for the job. Refer to these tips when searching for a concrete contractor for your next outdoor project.
Tips for Hiring a Concrete Contractor:
Ask for Recommendations. Ask friends, family members, and neighbors to suggest a reliable concrete contractor. Check out contractors at bbb.org to read reviews or complaints. Contact several contractors in the area to ask them a few questions about your project before getting an estimate. Find out how long the contractors have been doing business. Note the time it takes for the contractors to respond to you.
Get Written Estimates. Get at least three written estimates from different concrete contractors. Be sure each contractor visits your home to check out the job in order to give the most accurate estimate. Ask if the land surrounding the project will be disrupted or removed during the job. Find out how long the project will take to complete and how weather conditions will affect the status of the project. Beware of unusually low estimates, they usually don’t give you the best value for your money. Base your decision on the quality of the work and materials, rather than just the price.
Check out Certifications. Not all states require concrete contractors to be licensed, so check out your state’s licensing board for their specific requirements. If your state does require a license, the state licensing board will also show if the contractor has a valid license. Only hire contractors that are bonded and insured. If the city requires a permit for your project, be sure the contractor can obtain the permit before working.
Request References. Ask the concrete contractor to provide a list of references you may contact. Ask that a few of the references be customers from one to two years ago to check out how the contractor’s work has held up over time. If you want concrete that has patterns and texture to resemble brick, wood, or other materials, be sure the contractor is an expert in stamped and decorative concrete. Ask for multiple references that have stamped and decorative concrete to check out their work. Ask the references if they were completely satisfied with the work that was done. Find out if the final cost was close to the written estimate or if there were additional costs along the way.
Get Everything in Writing. Don’t rely on verbal agreements, get all the details of the project and additional promises in writing. Be sure the agreement includes: a payment schedule, a description of the services, a start and completion date, the materials for the job, a warranty. Be sure the agreement identifies who's responsible for the cleanup once the job is completed.
Questions and Comments
Comment Submitted 7/2/2015
When checking out the certification of a concrete contractor, which one should I focus on and what is the name of it? It would seem like for those contractors to get into the field they would need a certification for a certain thing. That's something that I am wanting to know in order to help out my father-law with putting in concrete in his front yard. ********************************
Comment Submitted 11/11/2015
I really like your suggestion to ask for references. Seeing the previous works and talking to previous customers can really help you make up your mind about a contractor. My husband and I are now looking for a concrete contractor, I will use your suggestions to make a decision.
Views expressed on this page are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Business Bureau.
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