How to Choose a Commercial Concrete Contractor in Houston

How to Choose a Commercial Concrete Contractor in Houston

Commercial concrete projects are massive investments where multiple work teams must coordinate for a timely, high-quality job. To ensure the right experts are in charge, you’ll need an experienced commercial pavement contractor to manage the project. For property owners, the tough part is identifying the right contractor for the job. The stakes are high because if the contractor you hire doesn’t have the necessary experience or area of expertise, it will cost your organization time and money.

Here are some considerations on how to choose a reputable commercial concrete contractor in Houston so your project is executed on time and on budget.

6 Considerations On How To Choose A Reputable Commercial Concrete Contractor in Houston So Your Project Is Executed On Time And On Budget

1) Search Through the Concrete Contractor's Portfolio Online

Before contacting any concrete contractor, do some online research. These days, most reputable concrete contractors will have an online portfolio to look through on their website. They may also have additional project photos on their social media for review.

While checking out each company’s portfolio, look for projects that appear similar to yours. Do they do foundation work? Do they install curb and gutter systems? Is their expertise in road construction? Are they specialized in parking lot construction? While most experienced concrete teams can handle a variety of pavement projects, specialization is still common. Make sure the concrete team you choose has extensive experience in your type of project.

It is also important to verify that the company has experience working in your area. Houston poses several challenges to commercial development jobs. Heavy traffic, shifting soils and wet weather are all important factors for the professionals to consider. If a contractor’s portfolio lines up with your project’s needs and location, that’s a good start. 

2) Contact the Commercial Concrete Contractors on Your List About an Estimate and Quote

Once you have picked out a few concrete services that align with your project, give them a call and request an estimate. There are two reasons to do this:

  1. You can start gathering information about cost and timelines. You will need this to determine your budget and timeline, and to identify which contractors are charging significantly more (or less) than everyone else. While cost should not be the primary driver for your decision, it will obviously factor in to some extent.
  2. More importantly, the estimate process offers a good opportunity to see how each contractor operates. Do they provide prompt, professional communication? That’s a good sign. Do they only provide an over-the-phone quote based on square footage, or do they perform a full site inspection before putting together an estimate? If the contractor insists on an in-person survey before estimating, they will provide a more accurate quote. That is also a sign that they will be detail-oriented when the project is under way.

3) Contact the Concrete Contractor's Previous Clients and Verify Their Work

A concrete contractor should not be chosen based on their portfolio and estimate alone. Once some quotes have been gathered and a few potential contractors are picked for consideration, it is time to verify the company’s work practices. The first step is to request references from the concrete contractor and follow up with those references. Ask about the services the contractor performed, the quality of work, and their professionalism on the job. It is important to verify that previous clients are happy with the work they had done.

4) Ask for Proof of Insurance and Bonding

In Houston, pavement contractors do not require a license to perform work. You will not be able to use a company’s license to verify their standing in the industry, but you can request to see a copy of the contractor’s insurance. Also, ask if the contractor is bonded and attain proof of that.

Insurance protects clients in the event of damage or injury and is a must to shield your organization from liability. A surety bond also protects clients, specifically from poor work quality. If a concrete contractor is bonded, the surety company will assume responsibility for any resulting financial losses. Surety bonds are risk-minimization measures that reputable contractors are willing to embrace for customer protection concerns.

5) Verify That the Concrete Contractor Will Pull the Project's Permits

Houston concrete contractors may not require a license, but every commercial pavement project does require permits – even very small projects. Permits are an important layer of client protection that cannot be ignored or delayed. If a contractor claims they don’t need permits or that permits aren’t recommended because they add time and cost to the project – find another permit. If you cannot produce permits once work is underway, your organization will face fines and may even have to halt the job completely.

Reputable commercial concrete contractors know and accept this. In fact, they will pull the permits themselves to ensure they’re secured well in advance.

6) Ask Questions About the Project's Scope

There are many questions you can ask to reveal more about the concrete contractor’s expertise and approach to doing things. Some important questions include:

  • How do you handle payment?
  • What is the expected timeline of the project?
  • Who will be in charge of the project?
  • Will there be someone at the worksite that the client can communicate with directly?
  • Do your services include hauling away removed pavement or material?
  • How do you ensure the concrete is properly cured?
  • How do you respond to uncooperative weather?

Commercial concrete work is a major undertaking and investment, so experienced contractors are ready to answer any questions their client may have – and hopefully provide peace of mind in the process.

Choose a Commercial Concrete Contractor in Houston That Has Experience and a Positive Reputation

Poor concrete work can cause a variety of problems for commercial development companies. It can push back timelines, force expensive repairs, cause safety issues, and damage the property’s appearance and reputation.

There are several reasons to choose a reputable commercial concrete contractor in Houston. Focus on the contractor’s portfolio, references, insurance, bonding and practices. By doing so, your organization will be able to separate the best commercial concrete contractors from the rest.