Hiring a concrete contractor is critical because you need to do a lot of research. When you enter the construction market, you will find many concrete contractors who know how to use construction software like Bridgit for resource management. Consider this a bonus point for a candidate!
Concrete contractors stay updated with all types of advancements in the construction industry, like mechanical systems and technology. However, not every concrete contractor is the best fit for your project.
This article will give you 10 questions to ask concrete contractors to evaluate their expertise and test their skills.
10 questions you must ask as a concrete contractor when hiring
Concrete contractors have in-depth knowledge of the concrete process, which has the following 6 steps:
- Site preparation – The construction site is first prepared for concreting. Concrete contractors will check the location and use the required techniques, like excavation and grading, to prepare the land to complete the concreting process.
- Formation – The concrete contractor will assemble the wooden frameworks to make a formation according to the project’s requirements. The formation will hold the concrete till it dries out.
- Mixing – Necessary materials (sand, stones, cement, and water) are mixed at a definite proportion to make fine concrete for construction.
- Pouring – The concrete is poured into the required area.
- Finishing – Workers use floor screeds of different designs to level the concrete. After that, they use broom finishing to leave a rough texture on the concrete once it solidifies.
- Curing – This process is the hydration of concrete after it dries. Curing in the concreting process depends on the weather conditions at the construction site.
Although every concrete contractor knows the basics of the concreting process, you must verify their competency by asking the following 10 questions.
1. Experience in concreting
Experience is the first and most important factor you must look for in a concrete contractor. You can ask them, “how much experience do you have in concreting?”
Many concreting contractors are new in the market and might try their best to get the construction project. But it’s better to go for an experienced concrete contractor according to the project’s maturity. The more experienced contractor you hire, the better concreting you will get.
2. Portfolio with pictures/videos
Ask the concrete contractor to show their portfolio, including visual evidence. The concreting portfolio is a piece of proof that the contractor knows the basics and completes projects on time. However, looking at the portfolio is not enough to hire the contractors.
You must validate the concreting pictures/videos by contacting the contractor’s company. If they are independent contractors, contact the project owners and ask about their experience with that concrete contractor.
3. Project scheduling
Ask the concrete contractor how they make the project’s schedule. Remember that some key construction activities depend on the concreting process. For example, roofing is done after concreting in multi-story construction projects.
The concrete contractor might show their previous project scheduling. You must check that schedule and decide whether that contractor is eligible for your project.
4. Estimated timeline
You must ask the concrete contractor to give you an estimated timeline for your project. That timeline is part of the planning phase, which includes the following:
- Project initiation – The starting date of concreting, which will decide other construction activities’ timeline.
- Project scope – Construction activities required to complete the project in the given schedule.
- Project closure – Estimated project’s closure date to align further activities like painting and plumbing.
The timeline is important to ask because you should never hire a concrete contractor who doesn’t provide you with an estimated concreting timeline.
Ask for references to smoothen the concrete contractor hiring process. That might include other clients, subcontractors, and construction managers. Remember that asking for a reference is optional.
Some concrete contractors might not provide any references. In that case, you can discard them or ask them more questions to check their eligibility.
6. Subcontractors and concreting team
Ask the concrete contractor whether they will bring their own subcontractors and concreting or if you will hire them. Contractors in the construction industry have a vast network and usually have a team of workers.
Hiring a concrete contractor with the required subcontractors and concrete workers is better. Doing so will allow you to focus on other construction activities because the concrete contractor will manage the concreting team.
Do you know that unlicensed contractors get penalized $5,000 and/or up to six months in jail due to the construction offense? Of course, that also disreputes the company that hired that concrete contractor.
So, you must check the contractor’s license and ensure it’s valid in the state where construction occurs. Since construction laws vary from state to state, the concrete contractor must have a license acceptable by the government of that particular state.
8. Rebar reinforcement
Rebar reinforcement steel is used to strengthen concrete. It supports the concreting process and reinforces the structure. The rebar reinforcement is an additional process and depends on the construction type.
So, ask the concrete contractor whether they use rebar reinforcement. On average, this additional step might cost $1.34 – $1.58 per square foot, depending on the project type. If you opt for rebar reinforcement, you must make the necessary changes in the construction budget.
9. Safety plans
Ask the concrete construction about the safety plans. Are they equipped with the latest safety kits? Do they provide safety for concrete workers? What are their emergency and risk plans? The concrete contractor will tell you about their safety plans, varying from contractor to contractor.
Government authorities also look for safety plans and relevant documents. That’s why concrete contractors must stay updated regarding the workers’ safety.
Lastly, check how professionally the concrete contractor documents the contract. You can ask what things they will mention in the document.
You already know the importance of documentation in construction. So, you must make sure that the concrete contractor you hire will document everything and follow the agreement signed by the project stakeholders.
The above 10 questions are the most basic when hiring a concrete contractor. To ensure efficient project delivery, you can add more questions according to the construction requirements.