10 THINGS TO ASK YOUR CONCRETE CONTRACTOR BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM
1: Are you licensed, insured, and can you show me proof?
Insurance is important to protect you as the customer if any damages are made to your property.
2: Will I be charged per square foot rate and will a final measure be done once the job is formed?
Some companies charge what they have quoted, not what they have poured; always check your square footage.
3: How long have you been in business?
There is a lot of fly by nighters in the concreting industry, a minimum of three years is a good indicator that you are talking to a company who is going to be around right through to completion.
4: Do you have a contract for me to sign?
This contract should have a detailed breakdown of what you are receiving for your money.
5: Why are you cheaper than everyone else?
Like most things in life you get what you pay for. When it comes to concrete, If you get a quote that is significantly cheaper than the others, often these times, the contractor is cutting corners and the repercussions of a cheap job can cost you up to three times the amount to remove and replace. ALWAYS get multiple quotes and be sure to steer clear of cheap imitations.
6: What will you be doing to avoid cracking?
Cracking is always an issue with concrete and your concrete is guaranteed to crack at some point! It’s what your contractor does before and after the pour to ensure that minimal cracking occurs and out of sight that is important, however even then it is still sometimes unavoidable.
1)Siteworks: Compacting stops movement underneath concrete plus correct depth of sand level to pour concrete.
2)Expansion foam installation.
3)Pouring : Depth for pathways min 3 inches depth.
Driveways min depth 4 inches
4)Re-enforcement mesh throughout the entire pour.
5)After pour: Expansion joints cut all the way to walls and placed to NC standards.
7: Will my property be protected from concrete splatter and the exposure/wash down?
Retarders and lanolin oil can be placed on windows to stop concrete and slurry sticking to any surfaces where you don’t want concrete. The exposing of the aggregate in the concrete is a messy job and all care should be taken to make sure the contractor has protected the property to the best of their ability.
8: Will you seal my concrete?
Exposed aggregate does not require a sealer, but this will protect against stains such as petrol, oils, red wine etc. Different concrete requires different sealers so make sure your contractor is using the correct sealer application for your concrete.
9: If anything goes wrong will you repair or fix the concrete?
A lot can go wrong with concrete, which is why we hire professionals. Your contractor is required to respond to or correct any inconsistencies that may be present in your concrete. There is a long list of tolerances that concrete contractors can use, due to the nature of concrete, to abide by. It’s always best to speak to your contractor about anything you are unsure of.
10: If I pay cash will I get a receipt?
Most contractors will not give you a receipt if you pay cash leaving you open to a can of worms. If something goes wrong with your job there is no proof of the contractor ever being there, nor do you have important contracts in place stating what you are getting for your money. All too often cash is paid and the concreter disappears.