Mistakes to Avoid and Best Practices

1.    Looking only at price – The cheapest contractor isn’t always the best. In fact, the best value is often offered by a costlier alternative. Always ask yourself why the price is lower and if it’s worth the initial savings. Remember, shoddy concrete work can look bad and be expensive to repair or replace. Be willing to pay the extra for a trained, meticulous contractor that follows ACI guidelines. 
2.    Not checking qualifications and references – Always make sure any contractor you work with is licensed and insured (if required in your area), with a good reputation.  By double checking these, you are doing your due diligence to ensure a good and hassle-free experience.
3.    Allowing the contractor to cut corners – The desire to save money, time, or effort may motivate some contractors to cut corners. Even if you aren’t an expert in concrete, have your contractor explain processes in detail before the job.  All processes should conform to industry best practices and local building codes.
4.    Allowing the contractor to use inferior materials – A project is only as good as the materials used during construction. Ask what materials your contractor plans to use and if he has any long-standing loyalty to certain manufacturers.  Request your contractor use high quality materials from a reputable manufacturer. 
5.    Not getting competing quotes – You will likely be spending thousands on your project. Make sure to get the best value and service. It is not uncommon for homeowners to tire of the consultation process and give up before they get the combination of service and value that best suits their needs.  
6.    Not working with the contractor – The contractor is your partner, not your servant. It will be necessary to work with your contractor and listen to their instructions. Certain preparation and clean up could be required prior to the project. You may also be required to avoid the project area during a certain time. Understand that you will have responsibilities to ensure the success of the project. 
7.    Not finding a contractor that will guarantee/support work - Be wary when a contractor will not stand behind his work. Most qualified and reputable contractors will warrant or guarantee their work to a certain degree. When a contractor is unwilling to do so, it should be a point of concern.