When it’s time to refresh your driveway, walkway, patio, or other walking and driving surfaces around your Tulsa area home or small office, an excellent choice of material to utilize is concrete. Decorative or stamped concrete—which is concrete that has been designed to look like wood, brick, marble, tile, granite, slate or other materials—is an especially wonderful option to create attractive, durable beauty that performs well over time.
But to get the best results from your Tulsa concrete contractor, there are a few things to know before you get started. These 5 tips will help you avoid mistakes that lead to a concrete project nightmare, and instead give you the concrete results of your dreams.
1. Be clear with what you want.
One of the most important ways to ensure a project is completed to the homeowner’s or business owner’s satisfaction is effective communication. Don’t leave this area to chance, and don’t simply expect the concrete company to lay the concrete. Discuss and agree on the details first, so you receive premier results.
Tips to help you communicate your vision:
- Set an appointment with the concrete company to discuss options.
- Gather examples of what you like and show them to the contractor.
- Review the contractor’s materials and look at samples.
- Tell the contractor what you don’t want in terms of colors and styles, so they can guide you better in choosing a style that fits your needs.
Styles to consider:
To help you select a look and style that works well for your home or office building, research and learn about the benefits of decorative, stamped concrete:
- Stamped concrete mirrors the look of paving stones, but is lower in cost and maintenance.
- It is durable, safe, and beautiful.
- It can be stained in a great variety of hues and shades.
- Decorative concrete can be made to look so much like other materials, you’ll hardly know you’re walking on concrete.
2. Ensure the concrete company has done similar work in the past.
The advantage of using decorative or stamped concrete is that it can create a beautiful, distinctive look that elevates your home or office space. So, as a property owner, you want the concrete work to be done with precision and an eye for detail from start to finish. Look for a concrete company with proven experience doing the work you want done.
Ways to evaluate a concrete contractor’s experience:
- Review their online portfolio—Pay special attention to any jobs that are similar to the look you want to achieve.
- Ask for referrals—See if you can speak with customers who have used the contractor before.
- Visit their work site—Go to places where they’ve finished a job, or better yet, where they’re working now to see how their worksite appears.
- Check their accreditations—Are they accredited by the BBB or a similar organization?
3. Sign a detailed contract.
It’s easy to do business with a handshake or a very general contract, but that’s not the best idea. A contract that contains specific details about the project and clearly outlines expectations will help you and the concrete company stay on track and avoid miscommunications.
Be sure your contract spells out:
- Deadlines—Clarifies when work will start and be completed
- Supplies—Spells out what equipment and materials will be needed
- Site care—Explains who is responsible for cleaning up the job site
- Contingencies—Outlines backup plans if complications or delays should arise
In addition, be sure to ask the contractor about:
- Any warranties and guarantees they offer
- How many years of experience they have
- The number of workers who will be onsite
- Their licensing and the insurance coverage they carry
- Any other issues you are concerned about
4. Don’t pay in full before the work is complete.
It’s easy to be unsure of how much of a down payment to hand over to a contractor, especially if a homeowner is relatively new to having work done on their home. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- A reasonable down payment to expect to pay most contractors is 10% of the overall job price.
- Payments can be set up in installments and tied to progress on the job. A payment schedule should be included with the signed contract.
- Consider it a red flag if a contractor wants 50% or more upfront. This can be a sign that they are not reputable.
- Negotiate with the contractor about the down payment. Many contractors expect some negotiation and are willing to negotiate with clients to make things work.
5. Trust your gut.
Ultimately, choosing the right contractor for you comes down to a mix of due diligence in gathering information, and a sense of what feels right to you. If your gut is telling you no, then it’s important to listen to it.
Reputable contractors will:
- Respect your right to choose
- Will not try to strongarm homeowners into hiring them
- Are accessible and easy to communicate with
- Have stellar reviews from past customers
- Care about doing the best work possible for your home
Choose an Expert Concrete Company that Cares about Your Home
There are many concrete companies, but not all of them make a point of working closely with homeowners to give them decorative concrete they will love for years to come. Make sure to select a Tulsa concrete company that cares about the work they do, as if your home was their home.
That’s our goal for every residential project that we undertake at R&M Concrete. Our team isn’t just experienced—we also take pride in doing a top-notch job that homeowners can enjoy. And you don’t have to take our word for it, because our customers will tell you the same in their reviews.
So, when you’re ready to upgrade your driveway, walkway, patio, or other surfaces with the beautiful range of colors and styles available in our decorative concrete and stamped concrete, contact us for a free consultation and estimate. We’ll take you through the process of choosing the right look for your home and leave you with concrete surfaces that are stunning in look and performance.