What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
We like to look at every job. Access is a factor. We look at every job and give a written bid, Job costing is by far the most fair. We provide concrete pumping and other outside services at cost. We get a certain price for these services and we just pass the cost savings on to you, at cost. We are confident and even allow you the opportunity to pay for the service directly to the various contractors. We work with the very best in the business, so don't have a second thought.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Besides practical experience? We know how every suppiers materials work on certain jobs. We are members of the ACI and we receive any new information about products that we can make available to our customers. Irene has been certified by the PSI and Don with The National Assessment Institute. Without any question, we are on top of any new information that makes our product better.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
My Grandfather and Father were both cement masons. I can remember getting my allowance by working on my Dad's job sites. I was always doing the grunt work. It wasn't until I went to work for Mike Cowan from Star Concrete in Las Vegas, that I finally got a chance to learn how to finish. I worked at Star Concrete for 8 years and that is where I learned how to finish concrete. I ended up working for Mike as a Foreman and eventually as a superintendent.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We do mostly residential and small commercial. Removal and replacement is common for us because we have a system that works well for us. People that like highly custom work tend to contact us. The same goes for people that like to hire us because they know that they get decent work. Most customers just want a good job. The odd thing about getting a decent job from us is that it doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. We are usually way lower priced than other contractors. 50% of our work comes from people that have used us in the past or were refered to us from a past customer.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We removed and replaced a sidewalk for an older couple on 29th Ave. They really just wanted to have the sidewalk replaced and are on a fixed income. They had estimates from the usual contractors. They were so nice. Nice enough to let us know what the other competitors estimates came in at. Anyway. They were really happy that our estimate came in at more than $1500 less. $1500 dollars could pay for a few things that they might need. They want us to do their patio this year and they might just have enough money to do it too. Even if they didn't, it wouldn't matter to us. I am glad that those folks got what they wanted. We try to avoid jobs on major street because of cost. We made serious money and they got a deal.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
The number one thing is to make sure that they have a current license. Either contact the Dept of Labor and Industries by phone, or simply get on the L&I website. You will be able to verify that a contractor is licensed with a current bond and liability insurance. They have other information available also. One thing that we always consider before hiring a contractor is: have they had any complaints, were they resolved? and do they have any pending lawsuits. All of this information is available with a simple click of the mouse. =)
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Concrete is hard work and there is soooo much more to it than buying a bunch or tools and throwing a dog in the back of the truck. It takes years to learn how to finish concrete and even more years to actually run a business. I see so many people that don't have the experience to do business, and when it comes down to it, aren't even concrete finishers. Then there are concrete finishers that can't run a business, they are just finishers. And, watch out for those guys with the Khaki shorts, polo shirts and sunglasses.