Since the days of the Romans using volcanic ash and lime to create low-density cement, concrete has been a foundational element within the building process. We’re going to assume you’re reading this because your project is ready for a “pour” which is industry jargon for using concrete.
Not all concrete contractors provide the same services…
In our expository text, we’re going to reveal 3 actionable tips for hiring a concrete contractor and what you should expect in the process.
Firstly, Know Where Your Concrete Is Coming From
Concrete contractors source their wet cement from concrete plants, it is important to know the rules and regulations of that cement factory’s pouring guidelines. Any extra cost could be passed on to you from the concrete contractor.
What does that mean?
For one, when a concrete truck must stay late because the pouring takes longer than expected there is usually a fee, and that fee would be paid ultimately by you.
You also want to make sure that the costs being passed down to you from the concrete contractor are fair. It’s normal for a contractor to add cost plus figures onto the material price, but you want to make sure that that cost-plus addition is under 20%.
A good way of doing that is by calling your local cement plant and pricing out the cost of concrete figured by the cubic feet or meters depending on your location.
Now let’s look at what you should ask your cement contractor directly.
#1 What Style Of Concrete Pour Do they Offer?
There are different types of concrete contractors. If you’re looking to build a new house, you will want forming contractors. At any event, you need to make sure that the company you hire can perform the right pour that you require for your project.
Examine what you need and ask them if they can do it during the free estimate period. Sidewalk? You will need a concrete contractor with patterned forms.
Ask them what style finish they can do…
A “finish” is what the concrete will look like once it has cured. Traditionally that means a slick finish which is when a trial is run over the concrete to make it shine or broom finish where a broom is lightly administered to the wet concrete so that it gives traction to the people walking on it.
#2 Is Your Concrete Contractor Insured & Bonded?
These two requirements are critical for jobs of any size. The type of insurance you want them to have is called liability. This protects you from someone being injured on your property. If one of their workers was to be harmed while doing the concrete pour you would not be liable.
A bond protects your project from the possibility of them causing delays.
The way it works is simple. A company sets back an amount of money depending on the size of the job and if anything should go awry that cash can be used to help the situation. This requirement is especially important if you’re looking for a commercial concrete contractor.
#3 Has Your Concrete Contractor Informed Other Subcontractors?
Remember, concrete covers things up! So, it is important that your concrete contractor works with other subcontractors to make sure that other work is finished before the pouring starts. Plumbers, electricians, and carpenters should be aware of the pouring schedule.
This allows all subcontractors to work together in harmony making sure that your job runs smoothly and does not find itself in a bad situation.
If you live in a wet climate, check the weather before the pouring happens so that it does not ruin your work. Obviously, a good contractor should be doing this but as a homeowner or project manager, you can be aware of it too.
Not all concrete contractors are the same, so it is important that you know they are up for the task and that they are capable of working with other subcontractors on your project. Always qualify your concrete contractors by their ability to accept responsibility legally if something should happen.
Have questions before your concrete pour date? Drop a comment below!