The first question to ask is “Which
Contractor” will actually be doing the
There are companies that sub-contract the preparation and/or
the installation to one or more companies. The “What” would be what is the
product to be installed and the manufacturer. Is the manufacturer a major
manufacturer with a diverse product offering capable of long term success of the
installation. The “When” is in regards to convenience and possibly necessity.
Does your project require special installation timing such as after-hours,
weekends or holiday shutdown. If it does planning ahead along with a contractor
that has the installation time available along with the contractors ability to
complete your project within your time frame.
Customer References are a starting point as a guide to the
quality of an installation company as is the Better Business Bureau. A second
reference may be a trade reference. Perhaps a manufacturer or industry
representative, such as your local Sherwin Williams or paint supplier, can give
background on an installation company. As part of the reference should also be a
credit check. This is the most often overlooked screening factor and especially
in difficult economic times can be a valuable tool. A company contracted for a
major installation should have good financial resources not just to complete the
project but also to warranty the installation.
After you know whom the contractor is the first generalization
can be made as to the quality of an installer is size. This is a relative term
and matters most with larger project and ones with short installation windows.
This overall measurement is however, quite often deceiving.
There are a large number of companies whose coating installation business is a
very small percentage of their total business. Perhaps the main focus is in
another type of business and do coating installations on the side when the
opportunity arises or are they firmly focus on concrete coatings and their
installation with dedicated installers. A well trained and experienced installer
is worth two laborers. With an increasingly competitive market the number of
contractors that do installations are that are dedicated to concrete coatings
Perhaps a better determining factor as to a company’s installation size and
ability can be easily determined by ownership of own its own preparation
equipment? Will they be subcontracting prep or renting equipment. Worse yet are
they recommending a type of prep or installation they are capable of installing
rather than the best installation for you project. Do they offer several types
of preparation or are they a one size fits all? This is an excellent indication
of a company’s size and abilities. When accepting recommendations for
preparation methods a company with only one or two types of equipment and
methods is more likely to steer you to those method even in the cases where they
are not necessarily the best preparation method but recommend the method they
offer. In the end it all comes down to how much coating does a company actually
do and do they have dedicated installation crews and equipment.
It is also valuable to understand whom will be responsible for
the installation. The difference between a good installation and a poor one is
most often determined by the onsite supervisor or foreman. The second most
important individual is the one who will be ultimately responsible should there
be a conflict that requires resolution. If your unhappy with a portion of the
installation or have a warranty problem who will be responsible for resolution.
Will they go the extra mile or charge extra for the smallest alteration or add
on? Are you dealing with a national company that while may have vast resources
and experience in the event of a conflict are they going to value your business
and go the extra mile for you.
Understand the contractor's ability to provide service both
immediately after the installation and in the years to come. Most installations
are generally not inexpensive, but the cost of failure is greater. Don’t be
tempted to accept a lower cost system/installation after you have done your
homework with respect to what is really needed.
While you are getting several estimates, remember, you're
buying more than a concrete coating. You are paying for the installer's
expertise and workmanship, of course, but you are also buying floor coating
that are not going to be visible. You are buying the surface preparation, the
adhesion, the individual installers and the company. Industrial coating
contractors don't have to pass a specific test, the way plumbers and
electricians do. You can learn epoxy coating from the guy down the street.
Anyone with a truck, paint brush and business card can claim to be a concrete
coater. Look for someone with a good track record.
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Vanguard Concrete Coating
3030 Hillcroft SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548
© Copyright 2009-15 All rights
reserved by Vanguard Concrete Coating of Grand Rapids, MI. For residential epoxy
coating of floors our service area includes the West Michigan cities of Grand
Rapids, Muskegon, Holland, Zeeland, Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, and Portage and
small cites in-between. For industrial & commercial floors we service a larger
area including the greater Detroit & Ann Arbor area, Northern Michigan
(including Traverse City, Cadillac, Big Rapids, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Grayling
and Gaylord) Southwest Michigan (including St Joseph, Benton Harbor, South
Haven,) Central Michigan (Including, Marshall, Battle Creek, Jackson, Lansing,
Charlotte, Eaton Rapids, Grand Ledge, Saint John’s, Ithaca, Owosso, and Mount
Pleasant) MI Thumb Area (including Flint, Saginaw, Lapeer, Bay City, and
Midland) as well as Northern Indiana.
Grand Rapids, Michigan