Here's everything you need to know when hiring concrete driveway contractors
Concrete driveways are an excellent investment for your home. But if your driveway is cracked, simply past its prime, or you’re looking for a new build, you’re going to need to hire a contractor or two.
However, there are a lot of concrete driveway contractors out there—how do you know which one is right for your project? We’ve got a few tips to hire a dependable driveway contractor so your concrete project goes off without a hitch.
Before Hiring a Concrete Driveway Contractor
Finding a concrete contractor who specializes in residential driveways takes effort. From checking out a contractor’s online presence to asking project-specific questions, you’ll want to vet a few contractors before making your decision.
Follow these three steps to find the right person or concrete company:
Vet the contractors: Read reviews, view before and after photos and look for years of experience and a star rating for each concrete contractor or company
Ask questions: Ask project-specific questions to gauge a pro’s experience level and communication level
Get quotes: Compare more than the price quoted—look at timeline, warranty, contract, and customer satisfaction guarantees
Plan Your New Driveway Project for Accurate Quotes
Finding the right pro to install your new concrete driveway requires some planning on your part. First, know your needs. Before you look for a concrete driveway contractor, know two things: driveway square footage and what you want your project's result to look like.
Calculate the cost of a concrete driveway by using the square footage of your driveway. Then, consider reputable concrete driveway contractors in your area. Don't forget to consider which type of concrete you'd like, along with factoring in costs to remove your old driveway.
Before you hire a contractor, get at least three bids and make sure to ask about cost breakdowns. For an even greater sense of peace of mind, double-check with suppliers that your contractor is not overcharging you for materials.
Check Your Concrete Contractor's Qualifications and References
Hiring a concrete contractor is like hiring anyone for a job. You want to make sure they're qualified and have references to back their qualifications up.
Here's what to find out before hiring concrete driveway contractors:
Check Years of Experience
To make sure you hire the right contractor, see how long they've been in business before making a decision. Experienced companies will play an active role in your project and offer suggestions that’ll elevate your results, like adding concrete stamps.
Verify Their Insurance
It's important to know that many contractors aren't liable when accidents happen on the job. As such, you need to make sure your contractor has insurance coverage with enough coverage for damages in case of an accident. To help you decide, contact the insurance company directly and ask to verify coverage.
Check Out References
Seeking out contractor references can help you feel even more confident about your decision. Ask how the project went, how happy they were with the finished result, level of professionalism and communication, and if they’d hire them again.
Questions to Ask Your Concrete Driveway Contractor
In most cases, concrete driveway contractors can offer you a ballpark quote over the phone. However, their first step before beginning a project should be to examine your property and existing driveway.
While you're at it, you should determine if your prospective concrete contractor is a true professional by asking questions. Take note of their demeanor too. If the contractor is friendly and willing to answer your questions, this is a great sign. But if they rush you or friendliness is lacking, this could be a sign that they'll be that way on the job too.
Here are some questions to ask your potential driveway contractor or concrete company:
How many years of experience do you have?
Can I see a portfolio of past work?
Do you have liability insurance, and are you licensed?
How much will this project cost?
Is removal of the existing driveway included?
Which crew members do most of the work?
What are the steps to complete the driveway installation?
Will you provide cleanup at the end of the project?
How long should the driveway last?
How long will this take, and what is the schedule?
What will you do in the event of unforeseen problems?
How long will I have to wait before parking on new concrete?
Do you have warranties or guarantees on issues like spalling?
Hiring Your Concrete Company
When selecting a contractor for your project, have all of your ducks in a row before work begins. Ensure you specify and agree on money down to start, your budget plan, and any warranties. Pay close attention during every step of the process so you can document progress accurately before signing any contracts or agreements.
Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Concrete Contractor
When you choose the concrete contractor, carefully review the contract before signing. Confirm the contract includes the following:
The brief and scope of the project, start to finish
Total project cost and a detailed breakdown
Homeowner and contractor responsibilities
Project timeline, milestones, and expected completion
Any penalties or credits for late or early completion
Any roadblocks that may stop work
Any circumstances you may withhold payment
Change orders from hindrances to the project
Warranties on the project along with materials
Breach of contract rights and remedies (for both parties)
Liability and damage limitations
Any other clauses for exceptions and circumstances
Keep Records of Your Concrete Project
Once everything is in writing and agreed upon, you and the company's owner should sign and date the contract. Also, keep a fully executed copy on hand.
When the job is underway, monitor the timeline to ensure the project is on schedule. Afterward, if you notice something from the contract wasn’t completed, like they didn't clean up as stated, communicate the issue to your contractor so they can hopefully remedy the situation.
After Your Contractor Team Has Finished
Once your concrete driveway contractor completes the job, check your list to make sure nothing is missing. Assuming you're satisfied, finalize all paperwork and pay for the job. You can also offer a reference or leave a review if things went well and you’re happy with how your driveway turned out.