Finding a contractor to coat your garage floor, pool deck, driveway, or outdoor patio is hard enough. What’s harder? Finding a contractor you can trust.
When you search the internet for “concrete coatings near me,” dozens upon dozens of contractors pop up, all with similar names. What types of things should you look for to make sure you choose a contractor that is right for you?
The quality of a concrete coating contractor is just as important as the quality of the coating product. You want to know that your contractor will provide a high-quality installation and have your back through your entire project.
Southwest Exteriors has been an exterior home remodeling contractor in San Antonio since 1989. We offer Penntek Industrial Coatings and center our service around love and excellence, always putting you first.
Because we’ve been around for so long, we’ve become familiar with sales tactics that many in our industry use that can be distrustful and red flags.
We know how important it is to spot the quality characteristics of a trustworthy contractor, and we want you to know what to look for too.
So, what should you look for in a high-quality concrete coating contractor?
This article will outline the top 10 things to look for in a concrete coating contractor when researching them and when you have a consultation.
After reading, you will be able to confidently weed out any faulty contractors before even giving them a call and enter a consultation with any concrete coating contractor and determine whether or not they are trustworthy.
What to look for before calling a concrete coating contractor
Spotting the qualities that make a great contractor before even giving them a call will help you save time. It can also save you from the risk of falling for a charming, witty contractor that uses their personality to take advantage of you.
Here, we will outline the two major characteristics to look for before calling a concrete coating contractor to determine if they are trustworthy.
#1. Do they have a brick-and-mortar business?
The first thing to look out for when researching a company is what its address is. Do they operate out of an independent business, or does the address pop up in a neighborhood or apartment?
It is not uncommon for handyman concrete coating contractors to upload their service as a business when it is just a one-man-band. This is a red flag because it indicates they are not an established business. This leaves room for lack of expertise, disorganization, and possible deception.
Check the address on a mapping service, and use the satellite function to see what the outside looks like. You want to see that the business you are interested in has an established building they operate out of.
While this may seem like a small thing to consider a red flag, it is crucial to determine the quality of the business and the quality of their work.
#2. Do they have a good, visible online presence?
What you find on the internet about a contractor can say a lot about who they are as a company. When you first search a business or open a company website, what are your first impressions?
If a business does not have any photos online to prove the business exists, this is a red flag. Two other key things to look for online are their reviews and social media.
A business with lots of great reviews and a constant social media presence proves their longevity, credibility, and a continuous relationship with their audience. Real client reviews allow you insight into the quality of service and what real people think about them.
If you decide to contact them further, inspect what they say and compare it to what you’ve found online. Does what they are telling you match up with what others have said online?
This will help you determine whether or not they are just fluffing your feathers to get your money or being genuine.
Researching a contractor beforehand is crucial to determine whether or not you should invest your time and energy into a contractor.
What to look for during a consultation with a concrete coating contractor
After you’ve done your thorough research on a contractor and decided to schedule a consultation, this is the time where you get to know them and decipher their character.
But, what should you look for during a consultation with a contractor to determine whether they will deliver a high-quality service?
Here, we will outline eight characteristics to look for during a consultation.
#3. They have longevity and credibility
While the online presence of a contractor is important to determine the longevity of the contractor, profiling their business should be a part of the consultation.
You want to hear about how long they have been in business, specifically servicing concrete coatings. A popular tactic a shady contractor may use is to claim they have been installing the coating for over 50 years, but what they really mean is that the concrete coating manufacturer has been in business for that period of time.
It is important to make sure you distinguish between the longevity of the manufacturer and the contractor because they are not the same. A contractor who has only been established locally for a few years may not be as trustworthy as one that has been around for 30.
#4. They have documentation of all their products and services
Another important part of a consultation is having documentation of all their products and services you are interested in. This can include showing documentation of construction permits, certification in installing the product, and warranty documentation.
Documentation will show you that the contractor is legitimate in their concrete coating services and can prove that.
#5. They have proof of their work and what they say
When a contractor provides high-quality service and installation, they will want to show that off to you. Seeing real pictures and videos of their processes and before and after photos helps you to trust the work they do and determine if it is the service you want.
Along with proving their work and final products, a high-quality contractor should also provide photos of their installation crews and team members. This builds a higher level of trust with you so that you can see the real people that will potentially be installing your new concrete coating.
When you aren’t able to see who will be installing your concrete coating, it could be possible the sales consultant could also be the installer, and we’ve already covered the risk you take when you choose a contractor that is a one-person show.
If a contractor does not show any photo evidence of their projects or their photos look like stock images, this is a red flag. You need to see real pictures and/or videos of their work to know if they will be the right fit for you.
#6. They take a comprehensive review of your project area and provide expert recommendations
A contractor who walks into your home, tries to sell you on the most expensive product, and gets out as quickly as possible, doesn’t have your best interest for your project.
A high-quality contractor will examine the project area, talk through your goals for your project, and provide an expert opinion and recommendations to the practicality of the project. They will examine any potential problem areas, like cracks or pitting, and provide recommendations for the better of your project.
For example, if your concrete in your garage goes up onto the walls, these are called verticals, which can be coated to match the floor. You may not be aware that you are able to do this, so a high-quality contractor will provide that recommendation or at least make you aware of the possibilities for your project.
When you interact with a high-quality concrete coating contractor, you will know it. They will go above and beyond to meet your needs, listen to you, and gain your trust in them.
#7. They show real samples of all products
A large part of any consultation or presentation should be examining real product samples in almost every style and color available.
If a contractor does not have any samples with them or only has one tangible sample of one color of coating, this is a red flag. This could mean that they do not have the funds to buy the samples they need or that they do not have an established relationship with the manufacturer to have them provide samples for them.
Some businesses advertised out there are franchises of a larger company. Within those franchises, many are operated by one person or anyone who can gather enough money to open up a franchise and try to make some money off of it.
These types of business franchises rarely work out because they either don’t have enough money to sustain themselves or can’t afford a well-functioning team to provide high-quality service.
If the contractor does not have real samples, they may be a franchisee that either isn't able to afford to buy samples or does not have a trustworthy relationship with the product manufacturer.
Seeing real samples also validates whether or not the product is what you are looking for. If you don’t get to see what it will look and feel like before you invest in it, how do you know you will like it?
#8. They have multiple installation crews
A part of spotting a trustworthy contractor that has credibility is a contractor with multiple installation crews. This means they have established the business and are succeeding well enough to house multiple crews and keep up with the demand for installers.
If the representative you meet with during your consultation tells you they will also be installing your concrete coating, this is a red flag. This type of contractor is not an established business, nor do they have the resources needed to be sustainable and successful.
#9. They talk about their installation process in detail
While learning about the concrete coating products a contractor offers, you also want to hear about their installation process, from prepping the concrete to putting on the final topcoat.
The preparation of a concrete surface for coating is a large part of the success of the coating and application. Small cracks, pitting, and chipping must be repaired properly before any coating goes down.
Any major cracks will need to be repaired by a professional concrete contractor. If you have major damage in your concrete and a contractor tells you they will fix it by filling it in with just the coating, that is a red flag.
Along with preparation, learning the right steps and processes of a concrete coating will help you know when a contractor will do the right thing. Educate yourself on your own on some of the best practices for a concrete coating so you know what all is included and can determine if a contractor will provide you with the high-quality result you want.
#10. They have a quality warranty and service the warranty
The last thing to look for in a concrete coating contractor is the quality of their warranty and who services the warranty.
A high-quality contractor will offer a warranty that guarantees they have your back for the long haul. Whether it be a lifetime in your home or 30 years, you want to choose a contractor that will be there if something goes wrong.
Along with that, you want to guarantee that the contractor is the one to service the warranty. This means that if something does go wrong and you need your concrete coating repaired, the contractor who installed it is the one who will come and fix it.
A low-quality contractor will leave it to you to file your own warranty claim and figure out who will carry out the services. This puts extra stress on you and shows that they do not care about building a trusting relationship.
Knowing what is included in the warranty and who is going to service it is key to choosing the right contractor that you can trust to work with.
How to choose the right concrete coating contractor and spot the red flags
When choosing a contractor for your concrete coating project, it’s important to outline what you want to get out of your project and what type of experience you want to have.
If you’re looking for a high-quality coating that will last as long as you live in your home, you will want to look for these 10 qualities in a contractor to find one that cares about you, your home, and your project.
You must determine what is important to you for your project. Are you looking for the least expensive option? Are you wanting something that is going to last?
The truth is, the least expensive contractor will never be the one of the highest quality. Having realistic expectations for your project is important to find the contractor that will give you the result you want.
If you feel uncomfortable, uneasy, or something just doesn’t sit right with you at any point during a consultation, trust your gut. More than likely, a low-quality contractor will expose their true selves to you; you just need to pay attention.
When you work with Southwest Exteriors, you build a lifelong relationship. We pride ourselves on serving homeowners with love, excellence, and compassion and strive to provide the best products, services, installation, and warranty.
If you’re looking for a high-quality product, client service, and installation on a concrete coating that is made to last a lifetime in your home, then we might be the right contractor for you.
On the flip side, if you’re looking for the cheapest and quickest concrete coating now, then we are not the right contractor for you.
Are you ready to start your concrete coating project? Schedule a free in-home consultation by filling out the form on our webpage, and a representative will call you within five minutes during business hours.