Finding The Right Concrete Contractor
For a proper, firm structure you need a concrete contractor. Here in Australia, the first impression lasts forever, and what gives a better first impression than well-done floors and concrete work? No matter how simple or complex a structure is, expertise is required to produce desirable results and strong structures. Many people have found themselves paying for a poor concrete job so before you hire a contractor make sure that you are getting the best one in the market. Whether you want to do your pool, driveway or sunroom, you need a professional contractor. If you are looking for a concrete contractor here in Australia, you will be spoilt for choice and lost on who to pick because there are so many. Here are some guidelines on how to choose an excellent concrete contractor.
Choosing a Concrete Contractor
Let’s explore some helpful guidelines that you need to follow when choosing a professional concrete contractor.
Consult with multiple contractors
Before deciding on which concrete contractor to work with, talk to a few contractors. This will give you a few options to work with. Having multiple choices is imperative to success because you can choose the best.
A good name is everything when it comes to concrete contracting. When hiring a contractor, be sure to check his/her reputation. One way of knowing if a contractor has a good reputation is by looking up his references. Find out what at least three of the references have said about the contractor’s work.
Scrutinise warranties and contracts
Most people have fallen prey of bad contracts. If you do not read a contract carefully, you might end up getting bad results or paying more than you had planned for. To prevent such events, always read contracts carefully. Make sure that the quoted price is fixed and that it can be adjusted in case you decide to make a few changes to your plan. Ensure that the estimates listed are all-inclusive to allow you to make a proper financial plan.
Make payments carefully
Avoid working with a contractor who demands the full payment before commencing on the job. Not making the full payment is a good way of warranting that no one will get away with doing a shoddy job for you. It is also a good way of making sure that you do not fall prey to any con people who will take your money and run. Using credit cards can help you dodge paying for sloppy construction work.
Visit previous buildings
Visit the buildings that your potential contractor has previously worked on preferably without his knowledge. Avoid visiting recent works. A well-done building is one that has stood the test of time. Visiting buildings done by a contractor two years or more back will help you assess the quality of his work. If possible, talk to the people who live there to establish how long he took to work on it and if there were any difficulties during the job.
Qualities Of A Good Concrete Contractor
Before commencing the process of identifying the best concrete contractor, there are a few things you should consider to help you make an excellent choice. The characteristics of the contractor, the services they offer and the skills they possess are all vital when it comes to getting a good job done. Here are some important pointers for you.
Ability to communicate well
Proper communication is tantamount to the success of any project no matter how simple it means. You need to hire a contractor who understands you and your needs. A good contractor talks to and listens to clients without underestimating their input. Hire a contractor who will listen and speak to you if you want your concrete job done to your specifications.
Get a few price quotes from various contractors for comparison purposes. Identify different contractors who you want to work with and ask them to quote their prices. Having a variety of quotes warrants that you do not pay too much for concrete work. It also guarantees that you don’t pay too little and end up getting a shoddy job. A good contractor does not charge too much or too little for work done.
How long has your potential concrete contractor been in business? You might be tempted to contract start-ups so that they can gain experience, but this can be a danger to your project. A new company has no reputation. New businesses also have no referrals so you will be entering a contract blindly. Conduct research about the concrete contractors that are around your local area in Australia and hire a contractor with at least five years of experience if you want a job well done.
When working on your driveway or pool, technical skills may be needed to produce positive results. A good concrete contractor possesses technical skills that they have gained from experience. Since this technical expertise may not be their speciality, they should have a member of staff who does specialise in these areas. Ensure that the contractor you hire has a professional technical staff member to take care of any technical matters that may arise on the job.
Recently carried out work
When hiring a contractor, do a little background study to check if they have been in business recently. You do not want to hire a contractor with archaic skills, do you? When researching for a contractor, check if they have worked on both large and small concrete projects. A contractor who has only worked on small projects may not be able to handle some complex matters that may arise while working for you.
Hire a contractor who has the legal license to do business. To establish if your potential contractor has a permit, consult at least five previous clients. Working with a concrete contractor who has no permit puts your concreting job at risk. In case things go south with a contractor who you hired with full knowledge that they have no permit, you will be unable to report the matter.
Has all necessary tools
A contractor who is good at what he/she does should have themselves a concrete mixer, plywood and all other necessary tools. The contractor should have tools for both large and small buildings. All reputable concrete contractors in Australia have specialised tools such as hoist and crane. A concrete contractor should also have trucks, stone crushers, and concrete testing tools at his disposal.
Skills To Look For In A Concrete Contractor
There are specific skills that are vital for any concrete contractor. Before hiring a contractor, check if they possess these essential skills.
Before hiring a concrete contractor, check if they have soft skills such as dependability and problem-solving. Although these are not taught in school, a good contractor should have attained them during the cause of his work. Ensure you employ a contractor who you can count on. A concrete contractor should be available for you not only for a large job but also for everyday tasks such as fixing your chipped drive way. He/she should be able to meet all deadlines for you. Problem-solving skills are also a crucial possession of any concrete contractor. Aside from executing the job, you have assigned, can a potential concrete contractor actively solve any problems that may arise on the job? Is he/she able to work well with the team to come up with favourable solutions? These are the questions that you should have answered about a contractor before hiring. The best way of finding out is through previous clients.
To check if a concrete contractor possesses physical skills, find out how many injuries he has had during his previous works. You do not want a scenario where the contractor is always unavailable because he has sustained injuries. An excellent contractor knows how to use his body including proper posture to prevent injuries.
Choose a concreter who understands and can interpret plans and designs. Can your potential contractor read a blueprint? Can he spot mistakes in a plan? Is he able to decide how to use different materials in different phases of a project? A contractor should have the ability to work with all design specifications to produce desirable results. Hire a contractor who has worked on complex designs such as hospitals if you want great results.
Concrete contracting requires communication planning and budgeting. A concrete contractor, therefore, needs to be familiar with word processing, spreadsheet and have phone etiquette. Communication skills are necessary to keep customers satisfied. If you hire a contractor with these skills, you will be on your way to getting a satisfactory job done.
An excellent concrete contractor should possess all essential investigation skills. He needs to have the knowledge of what to look for when inspecting the work done by staff members.
Services Offered By A Concrete Contractor
Great concrete contractors offer their clients a variety of services. Some services rendered by a contractor are equivalent to the quality of work. The more the services offered, the better the output of a contractor. So, what are some of the services to expect from a concrete contractor? Here are some.
When having your concrete done, choose a contractor with whom you can consult. It is your house, so you need to be involved in decision making. Significant changes to the original plan should not be made without your consent. Professional concrete contractors offer you a range of raw material to work with and allow you to consult with them about the best product within your budget.
For aesthetic purposes, you may want your floors done to precise specifications. Ensure that you hire a professional concrete contractor who will be able to adjust the original plan to suit your specifications.
There are a few designs that a good concrete contractor can offer:
a) Stamped concrete
This is one of the high demand concrete services in Australia. Stamped concrete is that concrete that is decorated to resemble brick, stone, tile or wood. It is ideal for patios, driveways, pools and sidewalks. If you need your floors done to this specification, ensure you look for a concrete contractor with proper knowledge of how to do them alongside other concrete work.
b) Imprinted concrete
This concrete design is most suitable for driveways. It is also ideal for patios because it compliments your garden well. The advantage of having imprinted concrete is that it does not deteriorate quickly. For durable driveways, go for imprinted concrete. Imprinted concrete can be done in a range of colours. Choose a concrete contractor who will guide you on the colour that will compliment your house or garden best.
c) Decorative concrete
d) Concrete driveways
e) Concrete patios
f) Concrete walkways
Why Do I Need A Good Concrete Contractor?
Attention to detail
A good concrete contractor will pay attention to every detail about your project from the onset. When you visit them to request for a service, they will take note of each and everything you say to them regarding the type of services you need. When they visit the site, they pay attention to every element and make sure they develop the best structure that will suit all your needs and complement your desires.
Peace of mind
Whenever you have a good concrete contractor working in your compound, you know that they are fully licensed, bonded and insured. You also know that they are accredited and are certified members of professional bodies, thus working under a tight code of ethics. You, therefore, know that you are dealing with individuals who will hardly engage in malpractices. The assurance that you will get quality workmanship gives you peace of mind.
A good concrete contractor will never let you down. They will never tell you that they will come the next day, only to postpone the dates once the day comes. They will not inform you that a project will be completed within one month, but ends up taking half a year. They are dependable. They will always be there when you need them.