The most difficult and daunting part of any home improvement project for homeowners isn’t the work itself; it's finding the right contractor for the job—one who is experienced, reliable, and honest.
We've all heard horror stories of people hiring a professional who turned out to be more like a con artist than a contractor, but this type of situation is avoidable.
Know what to expect and how to cover all your bases to ensure you choose the right contractor for your concrete removal project.
Have a work "To-Do" list before reaching out to contractors.
Make sure you know what work you want done before reaching out to contractors. The more information you have regarding the project at hand, the more accurate the estimate will be.
You'll want to be as specific as possible when explaining your project to contractors.
Be prepared, and make sure you can answer these questions:
- What type of concrete removal project is this—a foundation, driveway, patio, pathway, etc.?
- How big is the area of concrete being removed?
- To the best of your knowledge, is any of the concrete reinforced with mesh or rebar?
- Where is the concrete area located? Is it easy to access with equipment?
Ask friends, family members, and neighbors you trust for references.
It's likely you know someone who has hired a concrete removal contractor in the past, so ask around. The people in your neighborhood, friends, and family—if they haven't had personal experience hiring a concrete removal contractor, they probably know someone who has.
Getting a good contractor referral from someone you trust is invaluable.
If you know someone who works in the building trade, be sure to ask them to recommend a contractor. Likewise, local hardware store employees may be able to provide you with referrals, too.
Speak to at least 3 different contractors before deciding on one.
We recommend speaking with a minimum of three contractors before hiring one so you can compare bids and make sure you're choosing the best contractor and price for the job. Don't be afraid to use one contractor's bid to negotiate with another.
Choose the right contractor for your specific project.
Although your neighbors' home remodeling contractor may have been great, they may not be experts in concrete removal. Make sure you find a company that regularly performs the work you're asking them to do.
Also, read customer reviews carefully to make sure the contractor you're looking into is the right fit for you and your project. However, keep in mind that good customer reviews are just one of the criteria the contractor you hire should meet.
Find out what the licensing requirements are in your area.
Generally speaking, general contractors and most subcontractors will need to be licensed before performing any demolition or construction work. However, the procedure varies by state and municipality, so do your research on local licensing laws.
The contractors you speak with should be aware of the local requirements and be up to code, but check with your local department to confirm with them that is the case.
Get a detailed contract in writing and read it carefully.
Make sure your contract details exactly what work will be done, including payment plans, deadlines, what materials or equipment will be used to get the work done.
If something isn't documented, it's their word against yours, so that's why you should get as many details as humanly possible in writing.
Make sure the proper permit procedures are followed.
Nearly all home renovation projects require permits before work begins. This isn't always the case for simple concrete removal, but you should confirm this with your contractor and local building department.
Determine a payment schedule before signing a contract.
Be wary of any contractor who demands more than 50% of payment upfront.
You don’t want a contractor to use your money to finish someone else’s project, and this happens more often than it should. To avoid this, we recommend paying 30% or less upfront, and then paying as the work is completed. The contract should clearly spell out the payment schedule and when progress payments will be made.
Talk to the contractor often.
If possible, keep an eye on the project's progress as much as you can, and talk with your contractor periodically to check in on the progress. If you are confused about something, see an issue, or have any questions about the work being done, do not hesitate to speak up.
Learn more about finding the right contractor and saving money: