1. Look for a company with a great website. These are companies who know what it takes to get initial inquiries and are willing to pay for internet advertising. These companies pay monthly fees to maintain their site but are willing to make the sacrifice for good business. Many online sites ask for your name and phone number. If you leave your contact information on their website, if they don’t get back to you quickly, they may be short staffed or unresponsive – look for another company!
2. After making a connection, via the phone or internet, ask for an expert that will be able to describe the difference processes used for lifting and leveling concrete such as mud jacking, polyurethane jacking or concrete removal and replacement, and their respective costs. The best way to lift concrete should be the decision of the expert estimator since it’s based on soil conditions, water issues, slopes etc.
3. Ask for the estimator to provide proof of workers comp insurance, the company’s license, with which professional organizations are they affiliated, and/or evidence that the company is bonded before doing the job, or making a deposit on the job. Remember – no customer should have to pay a fee for getting an estimate. There are many good contractors that appreciate getting a chance for your business. If you don’t hire them, don’t feel you wasted their time.
4. Ask the company to give you a phone call a short time before the appointment. This short notice serves as an appointment reminder, allows animals to be put out of harms way, and is a good way to be aware of who’s knocking on your door. By the way, leave notes on the door if the bell is not to be rung, or shoes are to be taken off, etc. – it saves a lot of grief (a professional estimator will offer to take off his shoes).
5. When the estimator arrives, take a glance at his vehicle and his tools or equipment to assess if they are “customer representative” and well maintained? First appearances will tell you a lot about their work ethics.
Note if the estimator is neatly dressed. He should be wearing a uniform, or at the very least, a shirt noting the name of the company. This is not only the professional thing to do, but will assure you that this person is from the company you called – not someone attempting to break into your home.
6. As he addresses your issues, have him explain his opinion of the best plan of action to take and who will be supervising the job, if or if the estimator himself will be doing the job. It’s good to know in advance. A customer service estimator can be well-trained to deliver the professional estimate but the workers may end up being inferior in their craft. It’s always good to get the owner of a company to do the job since the “buck stops there” if you have any problems! He’s the final decision maker to get resolve.
7. Always read the fine print of any contract before making even the smallest of deposits. Let them know your ability to pay and discuss terms before any job is started. Many times, contractors have financing plans to assist you. Some companies can do larger jobs in varying time intervals for more payment-friendly terms.
8. Most importantly – get at least three estimates! And be frank with the estimators; tell them that you are getting other estimates. If any estimator asks you to share the quote of another contractor, normally he is fishing for a number that he can beat. A good contractor is an honest contractor who has normal and customary fees and won’t arbitrarily jack up the costs. A good contractor will be confident that his price is fair, and he won’t worry about the competition if he’s been professional in all other areas and wants maintain his reputation for honesty.

Be careful and look at all the variables before deciding who you wish to hire. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

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