Have you or anyone you know had a bad experience with a concrete contractor? We’ve all heard the alarming stories of concrete hardening too fast, incomplete and/or bad finishes, and contractors skipping town with money. Unfortunately, these issues are not uncommon. The concrete construction industry can be very hit or miss and finding a good quality concrete contractor is the most important aspect of completing your project on time and within budget. So, how do you find a quality, hardworking, punctual, and reasonably priced concrete contractor? To begin, make sure your contractor meets the three criteria below before signing a contract.
#1: Licensed & Insured
Would you hire a doctor without the “MD” behind their name? Of course not! Then why hire a concrete contractor without a license?
Your concrete contractor needs to have a state issued license and proof of insurance. Concrete contractors do not have a “concrete license”, but in order to work on your home, they need a home improvement and/or residential general contractor’s license. Either of these licenses will be issued by the state and your contractor should be able to provide you with their license number. You can confirm licenses are valid and current at the following website: http://verify.tn.gov/. The same goes for insurance. Your contractor should have their insurance company email you their worker’s compensation and general liability insurance certificates.
Do not accept insurance certificates directly from your contractor, as they could be fraudulent.
When meeting with new contractors and receiving estimates, it is always important to request and check references. Three references of similar projects in the past several months will provide you with adequate information to know what to expect before, during, and after the construction process. References should include pictures, the project summary, and corresponding customer contact information. It is not, however, enough to request the above information. You must follow up with each of the customer contacts to confirm the information provided. Begin by asking the previous customer about the contractor’s punctuality, pricing, job cleanliness, and quality of work.
If the potential contractor cannot provide the information listed above, this is a major red flag!
#3 Online Reviews & Information
The internet can provide a wealth of information regarding concrete contractors in your area and will typically include online reviews left by previous customers. Google, Facebook, and their website are good areas to start and will provide information about the contractor’s company, while giving you a general idea of the quality of work they perform, through unbiased and unfiltered reviews. In addition, most concrete contractors have their own Website or Facebook page, with pictures of their work and detailed information about their company.
A company that does not have an online presence, may not be well established, nor have the experience required to complete your project correctly.
These three tips are all you need to find a qualified concrete contractor for your home improvement project. If at any time you have more questions about your concrete contractor, ask them personally for more references, pictures, or simply do a little research yourself.