Kents Quality Concrete Yakima Herald How To Magazine

If you own property, there’s a good chance you have an area with some hard surfaces, like concrete. Or, you may have an area where you’d like to add a hard surface — for example, an entry, courtyard, patio, driveway, or pool deck. Some homeowners start by considering brick or stone pavers. But there’s another option that will look great, cost less to install, last longer, and save you a lot of work.

We’re talking about stamped, or decorative concrete. With imprinted patterns in fresh-poured concrete, you can get the look of high-end cobblestone, brick, flagstone, slate, and more. Stamped concrete is increasingly popular, and considerably less expensive than other methods. It replicates the natural look of more costly paving materials and comes in all sorts of colors and textures.

A licensed, bonded contractor can pour concrete in the desired areas, with exactly the color and pattern you want. You won’t have to do any of the heavy lifting and soil preparation for traditional types of paving materials. It takes just five days to install a 2,000 square foot area of stamped concrete. It can take nearly two weeks to have a contractor install natural stone or pavers, and likely much longer if you do it yourself.

There are many other benefits of stamped concrete. It looks realistic because the material used for stamping is molded from natural materials. It contains natural color variations, just like brick or stone. It’s one of the longest-lasting paving materials available, and is resistant to cracking. Unlike natural stones, you’ll never have to pull weeds from between the cracks — because there aren’t any! You’re less likely to slip on stamped concrete, because of the textured surface. Plus — it can be installed over existing concrete.

How to Hire a Concrete Contractor in Yakima

First of all, take some time for research. One of the most important parts of choosing a contractor is looking at their references. Talk to your friends, family and neighbors, and the contractors themselves.

The best home contractors will have a great reputation with lots of happy customers. They’ll likely have a list of clients you can call to ask about their work and perhaps even see it in person.

You might even be able to find an example that’s not brand-new, so you can see how the job holds up over time.

Even better, try to get references from people you know and trust. If you’ve got a friend who had similar work done, ask them what they thought about the contractor they hired.

Some things to ask:

Did they complete the job on time and on budget?

Were they professional at all times?

Did they keep the work site tidy and clean up after themselves?

Would you recommend them for another job?

Get a couple bids. Sometimes, the prices are similar, other times they vary. But when you decide, be sure to consider quality as well as cost. More often than not, a bid that’s more expensive means the contractor takes more time to do the job right, and you’ll be more satisfied in the long run.

Licenses and Permits

The professional you hire needs to possess the right license to do the job and obtain any required permits to work on your home.

Plumbers and electricians, for example, are typically licensed by your state. Work done by unlicensed contractors can be downright dangerous, not to mention in violation of building codes.

Reputable professionals will walk you through the process of obtaining any necessary permits and paying any taxes or fees related to the job.

Insurance

Believe it or not, in most cases your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover injuries or accidents that occur from work being done on your property.

That means you need to make sure the contractor carries their own insurance coverage. Otherwise, you could personally be liable for any injuries that happen on the job site — something that leaves you at huge financial risk, given the cost of health care and lawsuits these days.

Ask whether your contractor carries their own insurance, and verify that it’s in effect when the job is being done.

Hire the right contractor, and your decorative concrete will add years of enjoyment, as well as value, to your home.