You’ve been looking at idea websites, going to home shows, and scrolling through all your favorite social media apps. You’ve caught the bug. Your old patio or driveway needs to be replaced, and you’re ready to take the on this new adventure. Now what? You’re thinking, I’ll Just call three companies and get estimates and, in a few weeks, and I’ll have a new and amazing concrete patio or driveway. We’ve all heard stories about concrete projects that turned into nothing less than a nightmare. Don’t be the next victim.
Springs Concrete, LLC provides consulting and project management so you can avoid major problems before they happen. We want to be your contracting choice, but if you choose to go with another company, this is a great way to get our quality of work from another contractor. Problems with builders and contractors happen every day on concrete projects in Colorado Springs. Just do a quick Google search about “concrete problems” and you will see what I’m saying is the truth. I’m going to give you five tips that are key to having your project go as intended. This whole contracting process can be unforgiving and isn’t an easy task, but I will try to make it as simple as possible.
1. Hire the right company. Shopping early in the season, January-March, will increase your odds of getting the best concrete contractor. You shouldn’t start the work until the weather is appropriate but calling early will get you a spot in the prime season. You may even get a better price. After a long winter, concrete companies are eager to get back to work to have positive cash flow. The best place to start your search for the best concrete company is your search engine on your phone or computer.
I recommend Google. Type in the specific product you’re looking for as well as the city you live in. For example: ( Google search) Stamped Concrete Patio Colorado Springs, or Concrete Driveway Colorado Springs. Once the search populates you will want to skip over the contractors that have “Ad” next to their name. These contractors have paid to be at the top and aren’t necessarily the best. Google ranks its suggestions in the maps and organic format by relative content, time in business, and customer feedback reviews. Once you’ve located the maps and organic results, look for the companies that have been in business for a while and have lots of reviews. A company that has been in business 15 years will be a better company to work with than a new company that is just getting started. Reviews are one of the greatest tools we use today to make any purchase decisions. A concrete company with only 7 reviews doesn’t give you enough information to get a good feel for their reputation. A company with 100 + reviews will provide you with ample feedback from the community. Another thing to watch out for are 5-star perfect ratings. Nobody but Jesus was perfect, and chances are if they have 100% perfect reviews, they were probably purchased and not authentic. After you make your 3 or 4 choices, start calling to make appointments. Good concrete companies answer their phones every time. You can also use the very popular online contact us forms to get in touch with a good company without a phone call. When your contractors arrive, take lots of notes and ask a lot of questions.
2. You need to have a plan before any work is done. Get out your graph paper or fire up your computer and make a simple drawing as close to scale as possible, illustrating the desired shape and size of your concrete project. If drawing isn’t your thing, request that your spouse or contractor do this for you. Know what you want in detail. Now that you have your appointments set up, it’s time to know what to ask for. What is it you want to have built? Have you done a ton of research and know exactly what you desire? Make sure you can illustrate and communicate your idea to the contractor in a simple but detailed way. I suggest going to the websites of the companies you have coming out and locate and print pictures of the projects that are in likeness of your idea and that you are fond of. Make notes about the details that grab your attention. Concrete projects can look simple on the surface, but, there are so many important details. Colors, textures, patterns, finishes, and shapes are just a few details that are very important to provide to your contractor. Specific options help. If the contractor has specific options labeled on their website, that is a plus.
3. Money is the best leverage you have over the contractor. I suggest a 25% deposit to start followed by a 25% progress payment after the concrete is installed. The remaining 50% balance should be held until all the details of the contract have been completed and verified. Once you’ve paid the balance, your leverage is gone. I suggest paying by credit card or check. CC companies provide recourses if the contractor fails to deliver the contract as agreed. Always avoid paying in cash.
4. Get a Contract. Once you have your contractor selected, your idea of what you want, the pictures of details showing how you want it to look, and your plan drawing, it’s time to get a contract. The best contractors will have all the details and specifics of the project clearly printed on their contact as well as a drawing/ plan. It’s paramount to go over the contract in detail and ensure all the information needed for the project is present. Good contracts will have detailed descriptions on what you’re getting. Example: Measurements, square footage, thickness, concrete strength, additives, reinforcements, chemicals, colors, textures, patterns, finishes, and shapes, timelines, exact price, payment schedule, and warranty information. Daily communication with the owner of the concrete company or the project manager is key.
5. Liability is a serious matter. Did you know that unless you have a signed release of lien from your contractor, you will get a mechanics lien against your property if the contractor defaults on paying for the materials or labor? You will get a lien against your property even if you paid the contractor in full.
Did you know you can be sued if a worker cuts his finger off or is seriously injured while on your property if your contractor isn’t properly insured? Always require a release of lien before the balance is paid. Always require a certificate of insurance before any work is done. Do you know how to tell if all the correct ingredients are being used and installed into your project? How about bad weather showing up? Super-hot, very cold, rainy and windy days are bad for concrete and may result in defects or failure. The list of liabilities goes on and on. The best way to reduce the risk is to have the owner of the concrete company present the whole time calling the shots. If he or she can’t be there, then go with another company whose owner will. It’s also good to have a great understanding of the entire process so you can call out missing items from the contract and other important details. Another great choice is to hire a third-party project management company to oversee the entire project. If you’d like to learn more about hiring the best concrete company in Colorado Springs or have us Project Manage your dream project, call Springs Concrete, LLC today .