Homeowners want to be careful about who they hire for projects because they are very invested in their homes. This is why it’s important to understand how to hire a trustworthy and skilled concrete contractor.
The evaluation process starts from the very beginning stages, when you’re searching online for local contractors. Even if the project is still a couple of months away, taking the time to do a little research is helpful. You can nail down a shortlist of contractors you will reach out to.
Aside from researching online, asking friends and family for recommendations is also a good idea. These people will have first-hand accounts of the entire process. You can ask questions and you can even stop by to take a look at the work that was done.
Now, keep in mind that even that process isn’t perfect. You’ll want to consider the source of the recommendation that is being given. Make sure they have similar expectations of professionalism and work being done that you have.
If you are new to the area and don’t have friends and family living nearby that can provide recommendations, you still have some options in this regard. You can join local Facebook groups to see which companies are regularly recommended. You can also join apps such as Nextdoor to ask for recommendations. This will help you identity contractors that serve your area.
Regardless of how a contractor’s name gets onto your list, you will want to make sure to follow it up with some research. Here are a few things to look for:
For starters, you want to look at their reviews. Do they have any? If not, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not a good concrete company. It could mean that they are not good at asking their clients for reviews or it could mean that they are a relatively new company that hasn’t had time to accrue a bunch of reviews yet. Another reason may be that they prefer to collect reviews on another online profile. Maybe they like to focus on Yelp or Homeadvisor, or maybe on their Google listing, whatever the case may be, no reviews doesn’t necessarily mean the contractor is a bad one. However, if you do research and find that a contractor has multiple or a majority of bad reviews, then you know you may want to stay away.
Next, you want to narrow down the list of contractors down to just a few. I would say it’s good to call between 3-5 concrete companies at the outset. Get a feel for how they do business by paying attention to every step of the communication process. When you call, how do they answer the phone and carry out the initial conversation? If you leave a message, how long does it take them to get back to you? A day, a few days… not at all?
Aside from the initial contact, pay attention to other details as well. Are they punctual to your appointment? If they are unable to make it at the scheduled time, do they at least call to keep you updated about their delay? Once they arrive, are they professional, clear and patient?
Do not underestimate how important these interactions are. If they seem unprofessional when they are providing an estimate or during their initial conversations with you, imagine what they would be like if there is a concern during the course of the concrete project being completed.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout the estimate process. If you’re unsure what questions to ask keep these in mind:
How long does this type of concrete project usually take to complete?
What kind of liability coverage do you have in case of an accident?
What is the process for approving the work once the project is complete?
If a problem arises, what is the process they follow?
Feel free to add other questions to the list. These are good questions to ask because it allows the expectations to be clear on both sides.
I have never met a homeowner that has had great luck finding contractors solely based on price. The fact is, you can always find someone to do it cheaper. Sometimes it works out to shop for the most bargain price, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Consider what the contractor is saving in expenses to give you this low, low price.
On the other end of the pricing spectrum. Getting quoted an astronomical price that stands out for how much more expensive it is can be a concern too. There are some contractors that will try to gouge the price if they think they can get away with it. That’s why getting between 3-5 quotes is a good idea. If you’re short on time and want to skip the 3-5 estimate appointments, do some research online to see what an average price for concrete work is in your area adn then just call a couple of highly rated contractors in the area.
Making improvements to your home doesn’t have to be a scary process. Take these steps to find a contractor that will do a professional and competent job.