I, like many other home owners worry about who to call when I have a repair or remodeling project around my home. Most people just use the phone book or internet to find a contractor, but, that’s like flipping a coin. You’re not going to get the best result from doing that. I have an older home, built in the 70’s, which until now didn’t need a lot of repair. Now I find that, all at once, my home is in need of many repairs. From plumbing, electrical and now concrete.
My driveway has developed some very large cracks that I can no longer ignore. It is true that the cracks were noticeable a few years back. However, they seem to have grown larger within the past year or so. It appears that my yard and flower bed does not drain water very well. Each time the sprinklers go off, I notice a large water puddle next to my driveway. The water is under mining the soil under the driveway, creating a soft foundation under the concrete which is causing it to crack. Needless to say, I need a concrete contractor to break out the old driveway, install a drain to eliminate the water puddle and pour a new driveway.
The question is, how do I find a contractor that is reliable and has reasonable pricing? How much should a concrete driveway cost?
The one tied and true method to answer these questions it to ask someone you know that has, within the past year or so, had a positive experience with a contractor. Even if their contractor does not specialize in concrete, they might and probable do know a good and fair concrete guy. This, as most people know, is one of the best ways. But, what if you don’t know anyone who can recommend a contractor to you?
Well here is how I went about it.
Instead of finding a info concrete contractor in the phone book or the internet, I looked, instead, at the concrete suppliers. These are the companies that sell materials and supplies to the contractors. Many of these supply companies sell to the public. They also have employees that have worked in concrete or other parts of the construction industry or just by selling the concrete products and talking to concrete contractors, have a great deal of knowledge about the concrete.
Many people find a contractor, then ask the contractor to tell them what they need to fix the problem and or help with design options. The sales people at the supplies companies will be happy to talk to you in hopes that you will buy the materials from them. They also know, and have built many relationships with contractors that have accounts with them. Ask them for options for a new driveway, such as, stamp designs and color options. What’s the best color agents to use and which one should you stay away from. Ask them these type of question even if you don’t want stamp or color. Tell them that you are educating yourself so it will be easier once you find a good contractor.
At that point you can ask if they know some good dependable contractors that have accounts with their company. If you choose a contractor that is recommended by the sale staff, it’s important that you choose a contractor that has an account with the supplier. That way you know that the supplier has already checked their credit and has been checkout. The guys who pay cash or with a credit cards are more likely to be a fly by night contractors.