Choosing the Right Contractor and What to Look For

Mark's Conundrum: 

Mark found himself facing a daunting challenge when he discovered a concerning issue with the concrete leading to his stairs up to the front door. The concrete was settling and damaging his stairs over time, making them unsafe. After assessing the situation, several contracting companies delivered the disheartening news that the concrete could not be repaired. The unanimous recommendation was to remove the concrete, go through the laborious process of repouring the concrete, and then rebuild the stairs. Some companies were general contractors, and some specialized in concrete work. 


Feeling frustrated and discouraged, Mark was determined to explore all options before resorting to such a drastic and costly measure. While searching for alternatives, he came across Ogburn Construction, a company known for its expertise in concrete repair. The team at Ogburn Construction, armed with innovative products like PolyLevel and NexusPro, took a different approach to the problem. Instead of tearing down the stairs and starting from scratch with the concrete, they proposed a solution that involved lifting the sunken slab back into place and sealing the joints and cracks.


PolyLevel, a high-density polyurethane foam, proved to be a game-changer. The technicians injected the foam beneath the sunken concrete, expanding and lifting it to its original position. PolyLevel saved Mark from the hassle of demolition and offered a more cost-effective and efficient solution. To ensure the longevity of the repair, Ogburn Construction applied NexusPro, a silicone-based sealant, to seal the joints and cracks. This advanced sealing technology not only prevented further water damage but also enhanced the overall durability of the stairs.


The project's success highlighted the importance of consulting with the right professionals, especially in specialized tasks like concrete repair. Ogburn Construction's expertise and commitment to using cutting-edge products made a significant difference for Mark, saving him time, money, and the inconvenience of major reconstruction. The experience was a valuable lesson for Mark and anyone facing similar challenges. It emphasized the significance of researching and choosing a company with a proven track record in the specific field of repair needed. Mark's decision to consult with Ogburn Construction resolved his concrete woes. It restored his faith in finding the right professionals for the job. 



Choosing the Right Contractor and What to Look For - Image 1



Choosing the Right Contractor and What to Look For - Image 2

(We offer a cleaning and sealing of concrete that would have made this repair look perfect)

Other Things to Look For: 

  • A Clear Contract: As Virginia law requires licensed contractors in residential work, establishing a detailed written contract is a crucial preventive measure to address potential issues before the project begins, binding both parties and providing protection through clear documentation of agreements and specifics. When creating a construction contract, it is important to include all verbal agreements, guarantees, warranties, start and end dates, and details about the scope of work. It is crucial to be specific in these details. Ogburn Construction provides a detailed contract with a work diagram to ensure clarity.
  • Proof of Quality: In this digital age, it is simple to see if a contractor has a good track record with quality and customer satisfaction. Google reviews are an excellent quick reference for a contractor's experience level and track record. However, remember that many contractors only contact the customers they know will give them good reviews with a request. It is advisable to check multiple sources for reviews to ensure transparency. For example, The Better Business Bureau, Angi's, HomeAdvisor, Facebook, etc. Ogburn Construction surveys 100% of its customers through a third-party service called GuildQuality. We had a 99% customer approval rating for 2023. 
  • Reasonable Payment and Deposit Requirements:  A reputable company will have payment options and methods that make it secure and easy for customers to pay. A maximum of a 20% deposit should be required for a job unless a clear explanation is provided for why additional funds are needed. Even with a reason, a high deposit requirement should raise some eyebrows; it can indicate that the company potentially has cashflow issues or quality problems that prevent them from being paid in full. 
  • A Thorough Bidding Process: There are a few things a homeowner can look for during a bidding process. Did the company communicate often and clearly about an appointment's date, time, and process? Did they spend time diagnosing the issues, gathering information about your needs, and explaining their inspection findings? Did they get back to you with a price and contract proposal in a reasonable timeframe and with sufficient details matching your concerns? At Ogburn Construction, we frequently receive feedback from our clients that other companies claimed the issue was unsolvable. However, we were able to complete the project successfully. We take around 60 minutes to 2 hours to thoroughly assess the project, which may seem like a substantial amount of time. But, at the end of our appointment, the client has all the necessary information, including a proposal and an exact estimate for repair costs.



Regardless of the type of project, it's essential to take time to find an expert in their field. "Saving money" on a specialty project often turns into spending more than once to solve an issue or getting insufficient information about the issues contributing to a repair. There are best practices when it comes to evaluating a contractor. Minimally, ensure they are licensed and insured, have an excellent online reputation, have a detailed contract, and do not require large upfront deposits or payments for work yet to be completed. 

About the author

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Stephen Ogburn
Life-long learner and reader. My biggest ambitions are to stay curious and always be kind.

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2552 Turkey Creek Rd Building #3
Oilville, VA 23129

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Ste 300 - #118
Richmond, VA 23230
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