Just like when you visit a doctor to address an illness, it’s important to have a list of questions ready when selecting a concrete contractor.
Asking carefully chosen questions helps ensure that the contractor you choose is a good match for your project. Additionally, asking a variety of questions can help you cull out inexperienced and lower-quality contractors from better options.
Here are the ten most crucial questions to ask before choosing a contractor for your concrete project.
1. How much experience do you have? What types of projects have you done before?
Although using websites like Angie’s List or Home Advisor to look up reviews on local concrete contractors is a good starting place, once you call or meet with a potential contractor, don’t be shy about interviewing him to make sure his company is a good match for your project.
2. Do you have a portfolio of pictures of your previous work?
Many contractors will be able to show you pictures on their phone of previous work if you meet with them in person. Some may even have a website with a digital portfolio for you to check out.
3. Can you provide references?
If pictures of previous work are unavailable, this is a great follow-up question. If your potential contractor is hesitant to offer contact information for past clients, you may want to find an individual who is proud of his work and boasts satisfied previous clients.
4. What is your schedule like? How soon can you start my project?
Chances are if they’re good at what they do, a concrete finishing company has a busy schedule. If you expect a quick turnaround, make sure the contractor you select can meet your deadline.
5. How long will my project take?
Small concrete projects, like driveways, should take 2-3 days. More extensive projects, such as concrete walls, concrete counters, commercial sidewalks around a property, and so forth, may take a week or two.
6. Will you need to obtain permits for my project?
If a concrete contractor isn’t knowledgeable about the permitting process and what permits might be required for your project, chances are he is lacking in experience or produces subpar work.
7. Will you be reinforcing the concrete with rebar?
This is a great question to assess the contractor’s knowledge. He should explain to you whether or not the expected weight and pressure of objects on your project justifies a need for rebar reinforcement.
8. Will you be managing the project and do you have others who work with you?
It’s important to know how many people to expect on your property, when concrete finishers will be on your property and who will be in charge. If your contractor doesn’t have a clear answer on this, they may be lacking in experience or organization.
9. How do you protect yourself on the job?
Make sure all concrete finishers involved in the project are trained in and experienced with safe work practices. Also, find out if they have workman’s comp and liability insurance to cover any on the job accidents that might occur to avoid additional expenses on your part.
10. Do you have a written contract you typically use and do you guarantee your work in writing?
Should any problems arise during or after the project concerning the quality of work or amount and type of work done, it’s important to have an agreement in writing regarding project expectations and responsibilities.