Angel and his crew made two pillars and four below-ground concrete pylons as footing for a 4-legged gazebo to straddle a circular pavilion in my backyard. His crew also poured a 7’ x 2’ concrete slab in our side yard to function as a grill parking spot.
Angel had car trouble the first day, which delayed the start of work to two days later than we had agreed on. His crew spread the work over three evenings, delaying another crew's start date for assembly of the gazebo by two days.
The posted rate for Angel's work was $45/hour. When the work was finished, Angel presented me with a bill that would have charged $40 an hour for each of his crew's 5 laborers. Angel may be an engineer worth $45 an hour, but someone digging a hole for concrete does not earn $40 an hour, so we renegotiated. Angel received $45/hour, and each of his workers earned $20/hour. We declined to pay for hours when multiple workers were present, but only one of them was working, since the others were just waiting for Angel to arrive. In addition to wages and materials, we paid $150 for gas. Angel would have spent less on gas, if the work had been concentrated into fewer days, which I would have preferred.
The end result is: the anchors are level. The two front pillars have air pockets as large as 0.5" h x 2.5" in the sides, indicating the cement wasn’t packed down well. (I will use filler to get a smooth surface, after which paint will be necessary to hide the filler.) The work started late, was spread over too many days, and the concrete pillars should not have the air pockets they have.
On the up side, I appreciated how clean the worksite was when Angel finished. He also gave me a few expert answers to questions I had about other potential concrete projects. Angel is polite and knowledgeable. Even so, it is important to be very specific with your timeline, cost expectations, and aesthetics up front.