Now to more serious matters. I have been in concrete for over 24 years and as of late have become very concerned with some of the tactics being used by some contractors. Such as misleading guarantees and other unorthodox business practices. Stamped concrete has become extremely popular in the residential sector, inviting every hack , crook and fly by night contractor around. They send their employees to a class to learn what it has taken me over 24 years to learn and I’m still learning.
BEWARE of contractors offering guarantees against cracking. It is not possible to predict how the earth will act during the freeze and thaw of winter and spring. There are things we can do to help prevent this from happening but to make such promises is a flat out lie.
BEWARE of web sites that refer your information to another contractor. A client recently told me that those contractors aren’t screened at all – they get the leads if they pay a monthly fee- that’s the only qualification. Make sure you check references and qualifications of any stamped concrete contractors.
BEWARE of showrooms. Any person with limited experience can make the perfect concrete sample in controlled conditions. If a contractor does not have an unlimited list of names and sites you can visit something is wrong.
BEWARE of contractors offering coupons. This technique is called Baiting. Contractors doing windows, siding, roofing can do this because they are offered financial incentives by distributors.
However, in concrete the price does not vary to much from one company to the next. The only way to offer these rebates is to use substandard labor, substandard practices, and use substandard materials. Another way is to boost the price based on the amount of coupons printed so please beware.
I am the owner of AGRA. I am the estimator, and I am also knee deep in the concrete with my men. I don’t pass my projects to anyone.
In closing just let me say whether you elect to go with us or someone else ask for references, ask questions and under no circumstances should you have to give anyone money up front. If they don’t have the money to back the job they are either unsuccessful, unable to manage their money or they may be looking to make a quick buck at your expense
I hope this will help you avoid any unpleasant experiences with your project because there are some good stamped concrete contractors left – just beware.
We look forward to the new season and hope to make you part of the AGRA family.
AGRA Concrete Specialist