9 Tips for Hiring Cement Services for Your Project

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Perhaps it was because they were cooking up the perfect concrete recipe. Even 2,000 years later, many Roman concrete buildings are stronger than ever.

While we still haven’t figured out the secret sauce in Roman building materials, we know a thing or two about cement. In particular, how subpar cement services can ruin even a simple job. Redoing it could then cost hundreds of dollars–and that’s after you’ve already spent hundreds.

Looking to hire a concrete contractor to pour concrete for your job? Before you do, educate yourself. You should consider nine things when hiring someone from the concrete industry.

1. Know What Cement Services You Want

Before considering anything else, make sure you understand your project. In particular, what things are most important to you. Do you want to keep your budget low, or get the best work money can buy?

Further, determine if this is a simple or complex job. Creating a patio walk is as easy as pouring concrete and smoothing it out. A driveway, on the other hand, needs to account for drainage, the weight of cars on top, and other factors.

Most construction projects with cement can be handled by the average concrete contractor. That said, some jobs require a degree of specialization.

Suppose they are to be working with rebar or molds. You want the guy to know more than how to mix cement in a wheelbarrow.

2. Ask a Friend and Family for Referrals

Before you research the market, ask someone you know for a recommendation. Word of mouth is the best advertising tactic. You are likely to get the best deal and a contractor you can trust.

Plus, you can see the job for yourself. Go walk on that brand-new driveway with your own two feet. If the quality is as good as they claim, you know you’ll get the same.

If the contractor does a poor job, they’ll be harming their reputation anyway. A recommendation is a chance for them to prove themselves. They’re much less likely to bill you for a crap job and go on their way if former customers sang their praises.

3. Create a Short List of Cement Services

Even if you do have referrals, consider making a shortlist. That is, compiling all the best options you found. You can use an Excel spreadsheet and divide them up by price, availability, and so on.

Having it laid out in front of you makes it easier to narrow them down to a winner. Whittle each one off as you do further research. Then, you can have the remainder compete with counter offers for the job.

4. Ask Questions

Write down every question you can think of before starting the job. Ask them the following:

  • Which concrete is best for a particular soil
  • If concrete additives are necessary
  • Is rebar necessary
  • What water-to-cement ratio is best
  • Methods they use to prevent cracking
  • How to make concrete last longer

If you find that they can’t answer questions confidently, that’s a bad sign. That said, don’t accept every answer. If it seems like they’re trying to upsell everything or diminish your legitimate concerns, maybe find someone else.

5. Request References

References are the best alternative to a friend’s recommendation. These are real, flesh and blood people who have paid this contractor for their own job. If the company in question is really up to snuff, references will tell you without hesitation.

Like the contractor, don’t hesitate to ask every question that’s on your mind. Even things that don’t necessarily have to do with cement, specifically. For example, consider their responsiveness and overall customer service.

6. Read Online Reviews

Google Business has allowed the consumer to have a direct influence on the ratings of companies. These days, anyone can leave a review on a local business.

Most importantly, businesses can’t really contest these evaluations. If there are a ton of one-star, all-caps reviews, steer clear.

7. Make Sure Your Schedules Match up

Pouring concrete isn’t something you can tackle in a day and be done with it. It needs time to cure and set. Depending on how large the project is, this could take a week or longer.

Obviously, you don’t want anyone signing their name in the concrete. But neither do you want a swath of uncured cement preventing you from living your life. If the contractor can’t do the job for another month, that might get in the way of future plans, social events, or just plain relaxation.

8. Check for Licensing and Insurance

Contractors for various types of construction projects need the proper licensing to carry them out. There are regulations, after all, such as where you can dig and what structures are legal in which places. Build in the wrong area, and you’ll need a cement crusher to break it down when city inspectors fine you for it.

Every state has a licensing board, and every insurance provider has a verification system. Use these tools to confirm that the contractor has the chops to do their work. If they mess up, their insurance provider may be the only way you can get compensation.

9. Get It All in Writing

A contract keeps everyone honest–especially contractors. If it’s legally enforceable, it ensures you get what they promised you and nothing less. You can take them to court over breach of contract and win big.

Contracts aside, get everything else in writing. Rather than hashing out the little details over a call, do so out over text or email. This gives you a physical record you can present to a judge if recording phone calls is illegal in one-party states.

This is just a good general life principle, too. When people write things down, it cements–no pun intended–their guilt in stone. Screenshotting incriminating text messages is something that will help you in all walks of life.

Find the Right Concrete Options for You

A concrete job is often a big, expensive project that you can’t afford to redo. So, take your time when choosing cement services. We recommend keeping these nine tips in the back of your head as you go about the selection process.

Follow our blog for more ways to save money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *