How to Hire a Contractor

1.    Research Decorative Concrete – Before you begin your contractor search, educate yourself on decorative concrete. Look at pictures and read articles from reputable sources. This will help you define what you want and determine the qualities to look for in a contractor. 
2.    Research Contractors – Find concrete contractors in your area. Look online, check the phonebook, and ask people you know for recommendations. Pursue contractors that specialize in decorative concrete when possible. Extensive photo portfolios are helpful in selecting potential contractors.
3.    Consult & Get Estimates – Once you’ve narrowed your list of contractors, start reaching out for consultations and estimates. Share your general concept with them. Bring them to the proposed jobsite and have them walk you through the project. Obtain an estimate, in writing if possible.
4.    Qualify Contractor – When you select the contractor, make sure to qualify them. Check their ratings with online reviewers. Call their past customers and ask for a reference. See if they are rated by the local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Confirm their licenses, insurance, or bond if required in your area.  
5.    Contract – Always get it in writing. Many contractors will have standard contracts from which to draw. A contract should include the project schedule, payment and pricing details, warranty or guarantees, the duties of contractor and client, and project details such as description, color, and patterns. Reluctance to use a contract should be red flag.
6.    Samples – The nature of decorative concrete makes sampling an important tool. To make sure you get what you want, the contractor should be willing and able to provide samples (note: samples may not be free of charge, but they are always cheaper than replacing an entire installation). Some contractors may even have previous clients willing to show work done at their homes. If your project is unique, or there are no available real world examples, get your contractor to make a sample for you. 
7.    Pay – Here is where the golden rule applies. If you would like your contractor to do good work, make sure to make payments completely and promptly. However, if something feels unfair or confusing, don’t hesitate to bring it up during the contract phase. 
8.    Follow Up – Decorative concrete requires upkeep to maintain the appearance. Your contractor should give you a primer on cleaning, resealing, and other ways to keep your concrete looking good. Ask about maintenance services they may offer.