The Best Way To Choose a Concrete Contractor
Need a Contractor For Your Home Project?
Concrete is becoming a popular building material for contractors and homeowners. Contractors have found it especially useful in floors, patios, and other flat areas. Some decorative projects such as staining are also being done with concrete.
It is not easy to find a professional who is not only reliable, but also available. Ensuring they have the expertise to do the job can be difficult. The article helps you find the right expert for high-quality work on residential concrete.
Why is this so important?
Leaving choosing a concrete subcontractor to chance may cause you more problems than if you had taken the time to select someone with expertise in your project. Just because a contractor knows concrete, doesn’t mean that they’ll know how to do this specific job. So, it’s always important to ensure that the contractor you choose specializes in the type of project you need completed.
Different Specializations of Concrete Contractors
Concrete finishers have an important job – they set the forms, ensure smooth pouring, and add decorations and edges. For jobs with a visible surface, like walkways, they’re essential.
Concrete Pump Operators
The job of a pump operator is to manage the equipment that transmits mixed cement to its desired location. Most contractors will be able-bodied and skilled enough at handling those types of tasks, but you should ask if they have any prior experience before contracting them.
Concrete cutting is a process in the installation of cement. Saw manufacturers use diamond-impregnated blades to make it easier for it to cut through the lengths. It will also be necessary if you want to remove existing cement material. Contractors might use saw cuts – which are designed to create contraction joints – if they need to complete previous, smaller projects like the edge of your sidewalk or not enough room on top to complete a project.
Concrete Pourers and Installers
Most of these professionals do the whole job from start to finish – mixing, pouring, and then finishing. Sometimes they’ll specialize in something like foundations or stamped concrete.
Concrete Flatwork Contractors
Concrete flatwork is the process of applying a decorative to a flat surface, often integrating materials such as bricks or stones. If they’re especially skilled, a flatwork contractor might add other finishing touches, such as joints with the final slabs – this gives it a lot more finesse.
Residential Concrete Contractors
In a market flooded with conventional building materials, concrete provides consumers and contractors alike with an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative. With the right finish, just about any material can be duplicated in texture and appearance. Most people are unaware of just how much can be done with concrete, and how many different kinds of residential concrete contractors there are, and even more commercial concrete contractors. San Jose Concrete Contractors have been setting themselves apart when it comes to stamped concrete and foundation repair. We recommend them for a call if you are in the market for a concrete repair or just a concrete contractor in general.
Concrete Driveway Contractors
From start to finish, it costs about $6 per square foot to install a new concrete driveway. Depending on how it’s done, it can significantly increase curb appeal – so look for someone who specializes in something like stone work, and can perform all of the tasks for the job themselves.
Stamped Concrete Services
Stamping refers to textured finishes with a pattern that imitates other materials such as brick, wood, or stone. It’s often used on interior surfaces, even furniture. But, it has its place outdoors as well, like on a patio or driveway. For a unique finish, it does cost slightly more (about 10%), but it’s worth it! Ask your local general contractor about stamping – most of them can do it.
Patio and Walkway Installers
Concrete patios are very durable and versatile, which makes them very popular. Depending on the job, it usually costs about $1,500 to $3,800, but that includes everything from materials to labor. For this type of job, you’ll want to contact a patio installer, who will also help with your walkway.
Pool Installers & Refinishers
Concrete in-ground pools are expensive, (between $35,000 and $65,000) but this type of contractor will do everything from start to finish, including all of the digging. Remember that there are maintenance costs as well, which is about $6,500 per refinishing job.
Concrete Contractors for Small Jobs
A general handyman contractor can often do more minor repair work, but there are also masters in this area. They’ll usually do resurfacing jobs, repair cracks, and some decorative elements. For decorative or surface coating, you’ll want a contractor that specializes in that area.
Costs and Alternatives of Concrete
Although well worth the price, sometimes it can be expensive. Delivery alone is $1,500 on the lower end, and installation about $1,000 to $9,000. This is because it takes a lot of training, technical skills, and expertise to do this type of job. Not to mention, the equipment required can be very expensive for the contractor. But, if you have a larger job, delivery price tends to be lower in proportion to the total cost. To get the best value out of a concrete project, consider seeing what else might need done while they’re there.
Steps for Hiring a Concrete Contractor
- Shop around and compare quotes for the best deal
- They should provide you with references – check them!
- Thoroughly read contracts and warranties
- Make sure the estimate includes everything discussed, with a fixed price.
- Never pay up front! Consider using a credit card; your bank might step in, in the event of fraudulent work
Old School vs Modern: Know Your Professional
A lot of these guys have been on the job for decades and have multiple specializations. Some of them are set in their ways, others learn to take on newer, more modern techniques. Neither is better than the other, and they both have their advantages. Just be sure to find someone who specializes in what you’re looking for. However, keep in mind that although quality may be the same, older techniques may be less efficient and in turn, more costly. On the other hand, some overly eager contractors may rush into new territories without developing the proper expertise. The work won’t be as good, or as fast. That’s why it’s important to know the contractors level of experience and expertise if you want the job done right the first time. You can start by asking the right questions.
12 Important Questions for Hiring Cement Contractors
- Are you licensed and insured?
- What’s your level of experience with my project?
- Do you do it all yourself, or do you subcontract parts of the job?
- Can I see your portfolio?
- Do you have three recent references for similar jobs?
- How long do you think this job will take?
- Will you provide an estimate beforehand, and is it fixed?
- Does your quote include any and every expense?
- Do you have a warranty and written guarantee?
- How will you ensure the longevity of the work?
- Can you help take care of any permits needed?
- How long before we can start?
Concrete Work Contracts
Most professionals charge for the overall project based on an estimate of time and materials needed. The contract will break down each factor of the cost and also include:
- Everyone’s permanent contact information
- A timeline of completion
- An estimated payment schedule
Be sure to ask for specifics as a caution, such as written guarantee, liability, and clean-up stipulations.
Can You Do Your Own Driveway?
Although you can save a lot of money, you really should be careful. You must know how to operate the specialized equipment safely and understand the special techniques. It might look nice at first, but is likely prone to cracking which is unsightly and even dangerous. You must also know how to safely mix the concrete. For the vast majority of people, it’s better left to the professionals.
Renting or Hiring Concrete Equipment
You can rent the equipment from a home improvement store or some larger contracting firms if you must do it yourself. The cost depends on the size, brand, and type of equipment.
Purchasing Your Own Concrete
Concrete costs about $70 to $100 per cubic yard. It’s important to do the right calculations and be 100% sure how much concrete you’ll need, because you’ll need to pour it all at once. Because of this, a professional will always bring extra just to be safe. It may be wise to follow the experts in this regard.
Benefits of Hiring a Concrete Contractor
- They know what they’re doing
- You’ll save a lot of time
- The work will be high quality and last much longer
- They’re good at making it look aesthetically pleasing, like with decorative projects.