Posted on December 05, 2019
Concrete is a key building material for both residential and commercial spaces, with the global market estimated to be over $395 billion. And this is really not surprising, since concrete is the most widely used building material in the world.
This brings us to the crucial role that a concrete contractor plays in helping you build your facility.
With each project requiring its own unique set of skills and industry knowledge, connecting with the right contractor who will understand your requirements is not an easy task.
Here’s a checklist of some of the most sought-after qualities in a concrete contractor:
Customer Service That Speaks For Itself
First impressions really do matter and if someone cannot pitch their services in a convincing manner, then their credibility is certainly questionable.
An expert concrete company will know how to walk the customer through the entire process – from mixing concrete to delivery and pouring – and will stay openly communicative about the timeline, overall costs, etc.
In short, a good contractor or company will have a reputation for finishing up their projects on time and within the specified costs.
Licensed And Certified
This is one of the most important factors to look out for when selecting a concrete contractor; they should have the right license and certification for the job.
Make sure the license is recent and up-to-date, especially since it needs to be renewed periodically.
Additionally, contractors that are registered with industry associations such as the Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association (PACA) tend to stay on top of the latest news in the construction industry and prevalent safety standards.
Experience Counts More Than Anything
One essential aspect of hiring vetted concrete contractors is to have a look at the years of experience that they have and whether they will be able to do justice to the task at hand.
In a labor-intensive industry like construction and building, experience helps build up on the contractor’s skills and industry knowledge. For instance, certain aspects of on-field work can only be mastered through experience.
If you feel that your project needs a highly-qualified and experienced contractor, then make sure that you look at their past record. Remember, a contractor who has been in business longer will definitely know how to work around time delays, back logs, and other such problems.
Good Customer Reviews Build Trust
Customer testimonials are one of the best ways to judge a company’s reputation and credibility in the business.
Research as to what people have to say about a certain concrete contractor and then make your choice. It is recommended that you stay away from contractors that have negative reviews online, as this could signal negligence on their part. Websites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Home Advisor usually have a list of credible companies operating in different locations, so it’s always wise to check with them.
Quality Of Raw Materials
A competent concrete contractor will stand by their principles of integrity and honesty, and never compromise on the quality of the raw materials.
If possible, try to track down the supplier from which that particular contractor sources their ingredients. Simply put, what goes into laying the building blocks of a structure or pavement, driveway, patio or sidewalk, goes a long way in ensuring its longevity.
Competency And Flexibility
External factors such as unpredictable weather, rain or other such unforeseen challenges can significantly affect the project deadline.
In such a case, it is important that the contractor that you have hired is experienced enough to tackle such issues that come their way.
Competency is all about keeping contingency factors in mind and working your way around it. A backup plan will ensure that any uncalled for delays do not interfere with project completion.
Price Estimation And Costing
A comparative analysis between the price quotes that different contractors provide should also be a determining factor.
Be on the lookout for any hidden charges that the contractor has not clearly identified in the quote or contract. Consider it as a red flag and avoid doing business with such contractors as they are usually not trustworthy.
A reliable contractor will know the real costs involved in building or revamping your facility and if they are true to their work, they will never try to hit you with hidden costs.
Additionally, here are a few questions that you may ask the contractor before taking them on board for your project:
- Do you have references that vouch for your quality of work?
- Do you have a portfolio?
- Can you give a timeline for the completion of the project?
- Are there any government or state level permits required for the project?
- Does my concrete work require rebar reinforcement?
- How many members do you have in your team and what are their qualifications?
- What are the safety standards that you follow? Are you aware of the labor rights and laws governing the construction industry?
- Do you offer product or performance guarantees?
All these and many more factors that may seem inconsequential at first can later become roadblocks for the successful completion of a project.
Hence, it is recommended that you start by identifying a list of potential contractors and then evaluate them on the factors highlighted above.