What to Look For When Selecting a Concrete Contractor

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When searching “Kansas City concrete contractors,” you will find pages and pages of companies that are seemingly viable. So, how do you know which is truly reputable, responsible, and experienced?

Here are a few tips on what to look for when selecting a concrete contractor.

  1. Timeline

    If you can pick up the phone and ask a contractor when their next available appointment and they are able to come out today…that is a red flag. 2020/2021 has seen a housing market like no other, and people are making home improvements and revamping their outdoor spaces. If a concrete contractor is not backed up for weeks, something isn’t right.

    Some of the reasons for the busy schedules for concrete contractors is that people are spending more time outside and at home with family so a viable option to invest in their property is with a larger outdoor space. Patios and outdoor living space with larger concrete areas, pools, sports courts, sheds, and more.

    Any upgrade or addition to your residence is an investment, so be sure you evaluate the Return on Investment of your project. Questions to consider: Do you plan to stay at this resident for years? Are you flipping the house and need a quick and inexpensive concrete pour? Are you in the market to sell and want to make immediate ROI? Do you have piering or any other concrete services needed?

2. Research

The internet is a powerful tool for researching local concrete companies. Aside from reviewing the company’s website, be sure to complete the following checks as well:

Find their Google reviews. Are there any red flags, such as only a few reviews (could indicate a new company),
poor (1 or 2 star) reviews, fake reviews…

Ask the company for referrals…. and actually call the referrals. Again, if a company is hesitant to send you
referrals, or simply doesn’t have any on hand to send you… red flag.

Simply google the company. Within the first few results, you’ll find the good, bad, or ugly about the company.
Have they been reported to BBB? Are they on Angie’s List? If so, they had to pass a background check for the company. Are they on Thumbtack? Do they have a social media presence?

3. Insured

An imperative part of the process is verifying the insurance of the contractor. Most contractors will include this information within their estimate/proposal so the customer can confirm the legitimacy of the company. However, if a company is not insured, or not up to business standards, you are opening yourself up to a large liability. What if something went wrong on the project… who takes responsibility? It’s on your yard… and if the contractor has no insurance, what recourse do you have? All professional and reputable contractors should have general liability insurance coverage. 

4. Past Projects/Gallery

Experience is key. One of the rules of thumb is to select a contractor with over 5 years of concrete experience. Ask to see a portfolio of their completed projects. Most companies will have before/after pictures on their website. A reputable and experienced company will have pictures that showcase their work.

Don’t be afraid to ask who their past clients are… which neighborhoods they work in…. what commercial experience they have… etc. You are investing in a lot to have the project done, so ask questions!

5. Communication

So many companies lead with their ‘best customer service’ pitch. Those that get back to you with an estimate in a timely manner are already investing in building a relationship with you.

If the sales team agreed upon a day to have the estimate to you, and that day comes and goes within the company reaching out… pass. If they aren’t working hard enough for your business, then the process will likely lack communication. Some of the best reviews that DS Concrete receives is about the thorough process and how our team walks the customer through each step. This is what we aim to do and it’s incredibly powerful to have customers recognize this.

If the contractor shows up for your estimate appointment and is rushed or doesn’t have time to answer your questions… pass.

As with any home project, we understand the time and stress that can be associated with the project. However, understanding and being aware of what to look for when selecting a concrete contractor can reduce stress and enjoy the process of transforming a space!

Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway

Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway

When it comes to concrete, you typically have two options: repairing the existing concrete or replacing the problem areas with new concrete. Climates similar to Kansas City, especially during the winter months, are the perfect recipe for concrete destruction. Cracking, chipping, and sinking are all caused by the weather fluctuating quickly and frequently. From rain, ice, and snow to thawing and freezing cycles; determining when to repair vs. replace a concrete driveway can be a question that residential and commercial property owners encounter often. Before we can understand the best option for your situation, let’s look at a few questions to consider when comparing your options: repair or replace concrete. 

Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway
(1) How bad is your current concrete situation?

A qualified expert should assess the state of your concrete. This may seem overwhelming to select a company you trust, but many find reputable companies through Google reviews, recommendations, and referrals. Here is an article that outlines Questions to Ask a Concrete Leveling Company. This may be helpful to residential or commercial businesses as they explore polyjacking instead of concrete flatwork.  

A reputable company will evaluate your concrete to see the extent of the damage. If the concrete has broken into smaller three to four square foot pieces, it becomes difficult to polyjack. Polyjacking is a process where polyurethane is injected into the concrete through tiny holes, lifting the concrete evenly.

Many companies around the Kansas City area are equipped to handle new concrete projects. DS Concrete stands out as one of Kansas City’s leaders for customers service, and based upon Google Reviews, customers appreciate the level of knowledge and expertise. An estimate from a reliable company should be free, so if a company tries to charge you for an estimate, sound the alarms.

RELATED: FINDING A CONCRETE REPAIR COMPANY IN YOUR AREA
https://www.polymagic.net/finding-a-concrete-repair-company-in-your-area/

(2) What is your budget?

Concrete raising is typically less expensive than concrete replacement. However, when the damage is simply beyond concrete lifting, concrete replacement is needed. Replacing the concrete is a longer-term solution, which comes with more manpower, materials, time, and naturally cost.  Concrete repair and replacement could be the difference between two hours vs. two days.

When considering a budget, it is imperative that you trust your concrete company. Companies like PolyMagic offer polyjacking services, but also understand when the damage is beyond their repair expertise, and will refer customers to their go-to concrete flatwork specialists, DS Concrete.

Aside from the initial expense of new concrete, you won’t need to worry about repairing the concrete in the years to come, as new concrete is under warranty. In addition, the process also allows you to select a new floor coating if desired to create a new look and feel to the space.

(3)  Has the concrete caused any safety concerns?

Safety is a major concern when it comes to concrete. Questions to consider when Determining When to Repair vs. Replace a Concrete Driveway include:

  • Does the area pose a safety concern?
    • Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls. (https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/)
  • Will repairing the concrete allow for a smooth and safe surface?
    • If not, will the area need to be replaced in order to return to a safe surface?
  • How much of the area will need to be repaired or replaced?
    • The troubled area may look confined to a certain area, but the use of polyjacking or repair will expand beyond the visible nature. The company will need to assess the soil conditions under the concrete to see how much surface area will be disrupted.

Why Replacing Concrete is the Best Solution

We’ve offered several reasons above that outline why repairing concrete is the best solution, but let’s explore reasons when replacing concrete is the optimal solution.

  • Cracks are too large and deep
    • This allows for water to seep into the concrete, enabling the freeze/thaw cycle causing expansion 
    • Typically the rule of thumb is if the concrete is sinking more than 8″, it is more cost effective to replace
  • Polyjacking services can simply be more expensive for repair so opting for replacement could be a more cost effective approach.
  • Warranty – evaluate the warranty offered by both the repair and replacement companies to see which benefits your situation (will you be moving within 5 years, are you planning to list your house soon, etc.)
  • Aesthetics: uneven or cracked concrete just bothers some people, so they want to replace it when it reaches that point. Other aesthetic situations could include real estate… potential buyers may look at a cracked driveway as a deterrent for purchasing a home. In this case, it may be worth the sellers investment to replace the concrete driveway for additional return on investment.

Kansas City’s DS Concrete offers flatwork for the following applications:  

  • Large Residential Projects
  • Commercial Projects
    • Footings
    • Walls for Additions
    • Stamped – Color Options 
    • Patios
    • Driveways
    • Sidewalks
    • Commercial Slabs
    • Parking Lots
    • Basement Slabs

Are you ready to have a free evaluation on your concrete situation? Let the team at DS Concrete help you! Reach out today to schedule your time: (816) 765-4800