Despite its solidity, trying to get a concrete driveway or similar project set up can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience—especially if you pick the wrong company. Before you hire someone to pour, mold, and craft a new concrete driveway for your home, consider the following points. Here’s what to know before pouring a driveway slab and how to save yourself a ton of hassle.

Ask Around for Contractor Recommendations

If your driveway is looking beat up, it’s not just an eyesore—it’s putting stress on your car’s tires and a dent in your home’s value. This means it’s time to call in a professional, and nothing beats a recommendation from a family member or friend for who you should call. On the off chance you don’t have an uncle in the concrete business or a friend who’s recently replaced their driveway, you can always find a friend in-home services websites, review sites, and online community groups. The internet has been a great equalizer when it comes to contractors. Before you had to rely on word of mouth to find a service provider; now, you have a plethora of personal experiences to consult in just a few keyboard clicks. Community pages are an especially friendly and instantaneous way to put the word out regarding what you’re looking for and getting firsthand information about other homeowners’ experiences.

Timing Is Everything

After you interview several contractors and decide on the best one for the job, set the date; however, make sure you have alternative dates in mind. Your contractor’s availability may not perfectly mesh with your plans. If they can’t take on your job during the time frame you have in mind, don’t immediately reject them. They’re probably in high demand for their services, which means they’re worth the wait. A readily available contractor might be too available for a reason. Work with your chosen contractor to find compatible dates. Factor in how long it will take to complete the work, including time for the concrete to set and dry. If this is part of a larger project, give it precedence before anything that requires parking, foot traffic, or transportation of materials upon the driveway.

Permission, Paperwork, and Quotes

Here’s what to know before pouring a driveway slab. When seeking recommendations, ask former customers about the final cost of any job and whether the contractor matched, exceeded, or failed the original quote (it’s been known to happen). Note if services and materials had sudden unforeseen costs or if the contractor had a habit of suggesting extra costly touches. As for permits—like any major house project—there will be bureaucratic hurdles to overcome before getting down to the actual job. Experienced contractors will provide clarity on the permit process in their quotes and should save you the trouble of contacting the city hall. Ensure they’re insured, too, to protect against accidents that might happen on your property. Finally, don’t rely on verbal agreement alone. Final contracts should be itemized down to the last grain of sand.