Whenever you’re considering hiring a contractor for a homebuilding project, it is absolutely vital to approach the hiring process with caution. A good rule of thumb when pricing and considering contractors is the “good, cheap, fast” concept: you get two of the three. If a contractor offers cheap, fast work, it probably won’t be good. If you want good work done cheap, it probably won’t happen fast, and good, fast work will not come cheap.
If you’re thinking about insulated concrete form (ICF) construction, it is even more crucial to pick the right contractor. ICFs can offer tremendous return on investment with their durability, reliability, and resistance to the elements. However, slipups during installation can lead to instability, housing code violations, or expensive repair and replacement costs. Consider the following tips when you start vetting concrete contractors for your ICF project to avoid these unnecessary risks.
Take Your Time
You may find what appears to be an incredible contractor offering speedy, professional work at competitive prices, but it’s essential to avoid pouncing on the first seemingly good opportunity you find. ICF construction requires experience and careful attention to detail. Just because a contractor has experience with concrete and an understanding of ICF methods, it doesn’t mean the contractor can do the work you need the right way.
Vet Your Prospects
Once you identify a few potential contractors, check their credentials. Look around their business website or check for reviews online. If it’s a local contractor, ask your friends, family, and neighbors if they have ever hired the contractor or know anyone who has. Getting some firsthand reviews of a contractor is great way to gauge reliability and quality of work.
Make absolutely certain any contractor you want to hire has the appropriate licenses and certifications to perform the job. Additionally, look for past experience with ICF construction and ask to see samples of previous projects. A good contractor should be more than willing to prove his experience and skill.
Look for Transparent Pricing
Any type of construction is going to cost a significant amount of money for labor and materials, and ICF construction is no different. Depending on where you live, the labor and materials costs could vary greatly, and any contractor doing ICF work in your area should know the region’s unique variables.
Additionally, while ICF is a building option, it does not function on its own and requires several other complementary materials and building techniques. Your contractor should be very clear with all of the work required for your ICF project, and this transparency should reflect the pricing. Make sure you are 100 percent clear on the contractor’s pricing policy before signing anything.
ICF construction can provide fantastic weather and impact resistance in areas with severe weather, and it also offers fantastic insulation and energy efficiency. However, ICF projects are far more complex than standard concrete applications, so be sure to do research before signing on the dotted line. It’s a vital step to finding the right contractor for your next ICF project.
To learn more about Insulated Concrete Form, or concrete homebuilding, visit ProudGreenHome.com or ask us.