13 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring Concrete Contractors
There are a lot of misconceptions about concrete. A big one is that it’s expensive to install, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! If you’re a homeowner who’s thinking about installing your driveways or sidewalks and you have a few weekends free, it might cost less than hiring a concrete contractor to do the work for you.
The more complicated your project gets, though – especially when involving things like pouring slabs or footing forms – then yes, hiring professional Jacksonville concrete contractors will likely save you time and money in the long run. So before you start getting all DIY with your next patio or driveway construction, take some time to read this blog post so that we can keep each other safe.
We’ll be talking about common mistakes people make when hiring concrete contractors. If you avoid even one of these, you’ll probably save yourself some severe headaches (and money) down the line. So let’s get started!
13) The mistaken belief that all concrete contractors are the same
Before hiring any concrete services, ask yourself if they can take care of everything you need to be done? Many people make the mistake of thinking that because one company has experience with one aspect of their home renovation project, they should be fine for any other part as well. If you have a bathroom or kitchen remodel coming up, do you want to hire an electrician only because he’s already on-site? What about if you were looking for someone to paint your home. Would you hire the same plumber? So, hire the best concrete contractors your money could afford.
12) Not keeping the concrete services on schedule
This may seem obvious, but many homeowners allow for lots of wiggle room in their turnaround time, which can lead to shortcuts and quality issues if your contractor is doing other projects simultaneously. Be sure you provide enough time (and funds!) for your job no matter how easy it seems because you always want to ensure all project phases are carried out correctly.
11) Not knowing what you’re paying for
When hiring professional services, asking for detailed information about their scope of work in their bid package is an excellent step. You want to know what will be done and how much it will cost before signing a contract. After all, if you don’t understand what you are hiring, how can you determine if it’s a good deal?
10) Not asking the concrete contractors level of experience
Most people know that different construction projects require different skill levels of craftsmanship to complete, but they don’t always know how deep that pool of knowledge goes. For example, you wouldn’t hire an HVAC contractor for a landscaping project.
If the last concrete work they have done were something small like replacing a sidewalk in front of your house or placing pavers around your mailbox, it would be best to ask how much experience the concrete contractors have with more complex projects before hiring them.
9) Not having their insurance info on hand
There are two reasons why this is important:
You’ll need proof that the professional services are insured whenever they are working on your property (and certainly if there is an accident or injury), and you’ll need to know what kind of coverage they have, especially if you’re paying them by the hour.
Most concrete contractors are not employees but rather run their own business as sub-contractor with their insurance policies. Since most homeowners aren’t familiar with how sub-contractors work, this is something else you’ll want to confirm covered before getting started.
8) Not checking references
Always ask for references within the Jacksonville area. That way, when you’ve found the right concrete company, all your bases are covered. They should be able to give you some solid references without hesitation. If not, that might tell you something about how confident they are in their quality, and you might want to re-evaluate your decision.
7) Not asking about things they don’t know
If you’re getting quotes from several concrete contractors and two of them seem almost equally priced, then go with the one whose answers give you fewer questions. For example, if a concrete company can’t answer how long it will take for each stage of your project to be completed or why the processes they use are essential to the outcome, well, those should be some serious red flags!
It’s not necessarily because the contractor is hiding something, but rather because those types of questions show that the construction services aren’t knowledgeable enough about what they do to offer an informed opinion on their expertise. Of course, such an opinion is critical to arriving at an informed decision, one that you won’t later regret.
6) Not questioning the company about their malpractice insurance policy
This type of insurance coverage protects you if your Jacksonville area construction services make a mistake that damages your property or causes injury. So if they don’t have this type of coverage, then it’s probably best not to hire them for anything more complicated than small driveway repair jobs where there isn’t much more involved than digging and filling. It isn’t usually worth the risk when dealing with more significant and potentially dangerous residential or commercial projects.
5) Not considering the total cost and what it includes
You should always be aware of what you are paying for. Sometimes a low price is too reasonable to be true- and it’s going to end up costing you more down the line.
For example, if a contractor quotes a very low bid on a stamped concrete patio, ask how they did that. The chances are that they did it by skimping on materials or labor costs. In this case, you will have “cheaply” saved money on the front-end only to pay more later because the quality of workmanship won’t last as long … or at all!
4) Not checking references from previous customers
This goes back once again to ensure that they have experience with similar concrete structures before hiring them. You’ll want to ensure that they’re capable of doing what you need to be done- and the previous work of other commercial or residential customers can give you some insight into that.
3) Not understanding how payment works
Many homeowners are shocked to discover that concrete contractors don’t get paid until all work is completed. So if there are problems along the way, they’re often not your concrete contractor’s problems but rather yours. So you must know that this is how they operate before signing any contracts or handing over any money.
2) Not getting everything in writing
This may seem like common sense, but it’s amazing how many homeowners ignore the importance of having every detail of their project in writing. If you’re not clear about something, always ask the concrete contractors to have it clarified or confirmed in writing before moving on with anything! If a problem arises, whether, with materials or labor, you’ll be at a significant loss when trying to resolve things. Any changes made to the original contract, no matter how small, should be made in writing.
This means that they shouldn’t just be added to your copy of the agreement but rather double-checked with the concrete contractors. It’s essential because oral contracts are not worth the paper they’re written on. If for any reason you disagree, who do you think is going to win? The person who has everything documented or the one who can say, “I thought it meant this.” Your guess is as good as ours.
1) Not understanding the contract
It only makes sense to read over any contract before signing it. You also want to make sure that you can comply with any provisions listed within that agreement.
For example, Many concrete contractors require total payment upfront for most types of service or work they do. This protects them if you decide not to pay or cannot once the service has begun.
Besides, bad jobs have been done over disagreements regarding what was included in the price. It’s usually best to avoid any potential problems by being clear about these details beforehand.
Other things to keep in mind when looking for concrete contractors
- Make sure they are insured and licensed (check with your city hall).
- Get several bids- compare them thoroughly.
- Check references through other customers who’ve used them before.
- Make sure payment terms are written out (no verbal agreements) and that you understand exactly how that process works.
- Have everything put into writing.
- Get a service-free estimate before any work begins.
As a general rule of thumb, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Unfortunately, there are people out there looking for unsuspecting victims at every turn. But with the right kind of knowledge and foresight, you should have no problem avoiding potential pitfalls or issues from the very beginning, saving yourself from major hassles later on down the line.
As with any important decision, such as hiring concrete contractors, you want to do your homework and be informed. There is too much at stake not to take the extra time to find someone experienced with concrete work, thorough, and has a proven track record. Keep these tips in mind as you go about hiring a Jacksonville concrete contractor, and it won’t be long before your job is complete, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the work was done right!
If you need any quality concrete service done on your property or business, don’t take the risk of DIY–feel free to call JAX Concrete Contractors today for a free estimate. We are proud to serve customers in Jacksonville with quality services at affordable rates. Give us a call for more information about our concrete services.
We don’t want to keep you waiting. Therefore, we make sure to answer all concerns as soon as possible. Give us a call today, and together let us work on the comprehensive plan of how to remodel or build your dream project.
JAX Concrete Contractors
Jacksonville, FL 32254
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