It’s important to hire the right concrete contractor any time you have a concrete project. To hire the right contractor, you should first arm yourself with a list of questions to ensure your needs will be met. We spoke to local concrete driveway expert Matt Weidner of Sharper Edge Concrete for some advice and here’s what he has to say about hiring the best concrete contractor for the job.
Have You Done Your Research?
The first step in choosing the right concrete contractor is to ensure you’ve done your research. Ideally, you should research about four to five different contractors. When researching, you want to look for contractors that have extensive experience in the same type of concrete project you have. It’s also important to check references to make sure prior clients are happy with the work the contractor performed. A lot of the time, just a bit of research and asking around will quickly alert you to which contractors to steer clear of and which ones are the best.
If you have trouble finding reputable concrete contractors in your area, you can always ask for recommendations from local friends and businesses. You can also go online and do a quick Google search to see whether any local contractors are recommended.
Did You Provide Flexible Dates?
It’s key to provide flexible dates when hiring a concrete contractor. The best of the best contractors usually stay busy with various concrete projects, meaning there’s a good chance your project dates may have to be adjusted to accommodate the contractor. This is why it’s so important in the beginning to choose flexible dates that work well for you. After choosing a contractor, ask which dates work best for him and you’ll easily be able to find a time that works well for the both of you while still allowing you to complete your project on time.
Do You Have a Strict Deadline?
You need a strict project deadline because this helps ensure you’re happy with the final result. Matt advises making sure you understand how long concrete takes to dry and how long you have to wait before you can start using it. If, for example, you’re having a concrete driveway poured and you want it usable by the beginning of the new year, Matt says it takes a good two to four weeks of drying time before you can start driving on the new driveway. In that case, having a project deadline of December 1 would be highly recommended. Be sure to inform your potential contractor of your strict deadline before hiring to ensure they can meet your deadline.
Do You Have the Right Permits?
You’ll also find it incredibly helpful to ask about permits when searching for a concrete contractor. Not only does this give you a great way to self-educate, but it also provides a clear picture as to whether the contractor knows what he’s doing. When asking about permits, if the contractor seems confused or doesn’t know what you’re talking about, this is a good indication to keep searching for a more knowledgeable contractor.
Can You Sign a Contract?
It’s always wise to choose a concrete contractor that provides a written contract that’s signed by both of you. The contract should be detailed and cover all phases of the project, including an itemized list of the cost of materials and labor. Getting a detailed contract also helps you rest assured that the contractor fully understands everything you expect the project to include. Take for example that you expect the contractor to be responsible for project cleanup. As you read the written contract, though, you see that it doesn’t include any references as to who will clean up after project completion. This gives you a prime opportunity to bring up the cleanup process with the contractor and to have it added in the contract.
Concrete projects, whether they’re small or large, require extensive knowledge. The way you pour concrete and let it cure completely decides how long the concrete will last and whether it will crack. And unless you’re a concrete contractor yourself, there’s a good chance you don’t have much knowledge about how to do the job the right way. With the right concrete contractor, though, you can rest easy knowing all aspects of the project will be handled with the attention and experience they deserve.