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Questions To Ask Your Concrete Driveway Professionals
What warranty do you offer?
Most concrete contractors are happy to provide a one-year warranty. If no warranty is offered at all, then definitely work with someone else. If the warranty is longer than a year, learn the details. More than likely, the contractor’s warranty contains a number of clauses allowing them to not cover the most likely and worthwhile repairs.
What happens if a storm unexpectedly rains on your new concrete?
Your contractor should have been prepared for such a situation, so he or she should be willing to cover any damage the weather causes. However, you must also be willing to respect the contractor’s decision to pour the concrete a different day if there is a good chance of rain soon.
How long might the job take?
Contractors should finish the job within three days. If he hesitates in answering this question, he may be the type of contractor who starts the job, leaves for a few days or weeks, and then finishes.
Can you provide me with several references?
A successful concrete contractor should be more than willing to share past projects with you as well as give you phone numbers for references. Be wary of the contractor who doesn’t offer this information. If you are hiring this pro for a large project, be sure to look at past projects and ask past clients about the communication style of the pro, how they felt during and after the project, and if they would hire this pro again.
When can I review a contract?
After your initial meeting with your concrete contractors in which the overall scope of work and expected budget is discussed, ask when you can review the contract. The contract should include all the details of the project as well as a breakdown of costs and payment schedule. Because this contract may be very lengthy, take the time to review so that you understand what work will be done. If you have any changes to be made, send them in writing and ask for a revised contract. Once the work begins, any changes should be noted on a change work order form.
What is the best way to communicate with you and your crew?
Get clarity about how many other projects the general contractor might have at once. If you are one of several projects, how can you best get a hold of the contractor? Find out the general schedule (called a workback schedule) so you can see which subcontractors will be arriving on which dates, as well as the procurement schedule. Ask for a regular meeting with your general contractor to catch any delays or potential delays before they happen.
When will you be able to start?
Good concrete contractors are usually booked for a few weeks or so, maybe a month. If your contractor is ready to start soon, question him a little further. Who knows? Maybe he’s been working for someone else for some time and just started his business. Maybe he just hit a slow period. If he seems to feel threatened by your question, then take that as a sign to work with someone else.
Can you provide pictures of previous work?
A good contractor has these readily available. If he can’t provide pictures, ask for the contact information of satisfied customers. If that isn’t available, then you’re definitely talking to the wrong person.
How will the site look when the job is completed?
Some contractors get a little careless and destroy a yard in order to do a small job, while others are neat and tidy. A messy contractor isn’t necessarily someone to avoid working with, but there are probably better ones out there.
How thick will the concrete be?
If you’re having a driveway poured, the last thing you want to happen is for it to crack the first few months after construction. An appropriate thickness for handling the load placed on the slab by vehicles is 4 inches, with 5 inches being even better. An additional inch improves load-bearing capacity by 50%.