Over time, concrete driveways subjected to heavy vehicles, temperature swings, and ground movement can crack, settle, and succumb to wear. Resurfacing revitalizes worn concrete driveways at a fraction of full replacement cost. For entrepreneurs, concrete resurfacing offers an appealing home service business opportunity. This comprehensive guide covers planning and launching a concrete driveway resurfacing venture.
Table of Contents
Overview of Concrete Resurfacing
Concrete resurfacing involves applying a new top layer of concrete over an existing damaged driveway to restore its smooth aesthetically pleasing appearance and fix flaws. Professionals first thoroughly clean and repair an old driveway. They apply bonding agents before pouring or spraying a thin 1-4 inch concrete overlay.
The resurfaced driveway cures to form an integrated revitalized surface. Compared to ripping out and re-pouring an entire driveway, resurfacing is far less disruptive and costly. Most jobs are completed in one day. With proper preparation, resurfacing provides lasting restoration.
The global concrete resurfacing market size is projected to reach USD 22.89 billion by 2028 according to Grand View Research, underscoring the strong demand for driveway resurfacing services.
Benefits of the Concrete Resurfacing Business Model
Concrete resurfacing provides appealing advantages as a small business opportunity:
- Low startup costs compared to other construction trades
- Ability to operate part-time or seasonally
- Recession resilient as homeowners delay new driveway projects during downturns
- Recurring revenue as driveways require re-coating every 8-12 years on average
- Ability to scale over time across crews and equipment
- Mix of residential and commercial customers
- Opportunity to expand into adjacent concrete services
- Satisfaction from visible same-day project transformations
- No inventory required – purchase materials as needed per job
For those seeking a hands-on home services business model, concrete resurfacing checks many boxes.
Key demographics needing driveway resurfacing include:
- Homeowners with driveways 8+ years old showing wear
- Upscale neighborhoods with large paved driveways
- New homeowners moving into homes with dated concrete
- Office parks, retail centers, apartments with aging driveways
- Warehouse/distribution centers with heavy vehicle traffic
- Hospitality businesses like hotels needing refreshed curbs and entry driveways
Market broadly but focus sales efforts on those most likely to require a longer lasting driveway restoration.
Licenses and Permits Required
Proper licensing ensures full legal compliance:
- Business license in your state and municipality
- Sales tax permit to collect and remit any sales taxes
- Liability insurance covering concrete work hazards
- Bonding providing customer financial protection
- OSHA safety training certification
- EPA stormwater runoff training certification
- Vehicle insurance, registration and inspection for work trucks
- Any state or locally required concrete or contractor licenses
Research requirements thoroughly and maintain licenses proactively. Permits are commonly needed for commercial jobs.
Equipment and Material Essentials
While equipment costs are reasonable to start, key items needed include:
- Power washer with at least 3,000 PSI for surface cleaning
- Masonry saw for cutting concrete seams and edges
- Hand tools like brooms, shovels, rakes for prep work
- Floating machine for spreading and leveling overlays
- Edging tools for finishing seam edges
- Protective gear like safety vests, gloves, goggles
- Mobile phone and tablet for customer communication
- Fuel, batteries, parts for equipment maintenance
- Measuring and leveling tools to calculate materials
- Wheelbarrows, buckets, mixer for handling concrete
Purchase commercial grade equipment made for heavy daily use. Safety is also paramount.
Some key roles needed on resurfacing teams:
- Salesperson – Meeting prospects, providing quotes, closing deals
- Foreman – Managing job scheduling, inventory, leading crew
- Skilled Technicians – Operating equipment, performing installation
- Unskilled Labor – Assisting with prep work, cleanup, traffic control
- Office Help – Managing billing, scheduling, customer service
Ideally hire those with prior concrete, construction or landscaping experience. Be selective – quality staff is invaluable. Consider training apprentices to gain experience.
Business Plan Essentials
Every concrete resurfacing business needs a detailed plan covering:
- Proposed services and target clientele
- Competitor analysis – assess strengths and positioning
- Equipment budget – key items needed to perform quality work
- Hiring plan with required staff roles defined
- Marketing plan – strategies to generate leads/calls
- Projected average job costs, hourly rates, gross margins
- Monthly expense estimates – labor, equipment, materials, overhead
- Insurance and licensing budget – cover risks adequately
- Startup cost projections – equipment, vehicle, licenses, marketing
- Funding sources – savings, loans, investors, equipment financing
- Financial forecasts – monthly projections of profit/loss, cash flow
- Owner bios – experience, skills and strengths
Thorough planning provides an executable roadmap and allows securing financing.
Using job costing and estimating software helps improve accuracy in bidding and ensures profitability. Good programs allow creating templates with typical process steps for driveway jobs along with assigned labor and material costs. This allows quickly generating customer quotes tailored to each specific job’s parameters. The software tracks actual costs as jobs are completed to inform future estimates. Over time, refined estimates result in dialed-inprofit margins.
Online Presence and Marketing
A website and digital marketing provide continual lead generation:
- Website showcasing service areas, before/after project photos, and online booking
- SEO to rank for local terms like “concrete resurfacing near me”
- Google ads targeted to geographic service areas
- Active social media accounts with facebook ads focused locally
- Compelling portfolio visualizing successful transformations
- Earned media like positive press mentions and awards
- Reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp highlighting great service
- Neighborhood door-to-door flyers and postcards
- Offering referral incentives to happy customers
- Networking with general contractors to be recommended
Combining digital lead generation with targeted direct marketing delivers a steady stream of inbound calls.
Defining Service Offerings
Consider providing complementary services:
Concrete Driveway Restoration – Fill cracks, repair spalling, replace damaged sections
Concrete Driveway Resurfacing – Apply bonded overlay transforming appearance
Concrete Driveway Staining – Enhance appearance with stamped patterns and colors
Concrete Walkway Resurfacing – Beautify and strengthen entry walkways
Garage Floor Resurfacing – Restore and epoxy coat old cracked garage floors
Commercial Parking Lot Refurbishing – Resurface worn commercial parking areas
Offering a range of driveway and concrete enhancement services attracts more customers.
Pricing and Billing Considerations
When pricing jobs, consider:
- Base rates on average costs for materials, labor and equipment usage
- Estimate required quantities of concrete, bonding agents and finishing products
- Account for design complexity – curved driveways take more time
- Charge higher rates for staining and decorative finishes requiring more prep work
- Quote warranty coverage like 1 year labor and 5 years materials
- Offer square footage discounts on larger jobs to incentive bigger projects
- Provide free written estimates before jobs to set clear expectations
- Bill progress payments – take 50% deposit upfront, remainder upon completion
- Increase rates 3-5% annually to account for rising expenses
- Ensure adequate profit margins on every job – track costs diligently
Refine rates based on precise data to sustain steady profitability on every job.
Minimizing Risks and Legal Considerations
Take steps to mitigate risks:
- Follow all safety protocols – work crews should wear reflective vests, close off work areas properly, etc.
- Carry adequate insurance covering potential driveway work liabilities
- Vet subcontractors thoroughly – ensure they carry workers comp and liability insurance
- Use cones and barricades to protect wet concrete from vehicles until cured
- Review job contracts carefully – strike unreasonable clauses that overexpose your business to risks
- Document thoroughly with photographs before, during and after projects to prove quality
- Bond employees handling valuables like equipment or customer payments
Covering risks comprehensively protects long-term business viability. Perform due diligence on risk reduction.
Financial Management Tips
Managing finances effectively is key for any concrete resurfacing business:
- Track all income and job expenses closely using accounting software
- Carefully manage client accounts receivable – follow up on late payments promptly
- Pay quarterly income taxes to avoid a major bill at year end
- Set aside a portion of each job’s revenue for equipment reserves
- Keep truck leases/loans reasonable to maintain positive cash flow
- Build annual price increases into financial projections to account for inflation
- Focus on maximizing billable jobs during peak season for stronger cash reserves
- Slow spending and defer major purchases when demand is slower seasonally
With detailed financial oversight, concrete resurfacing businesses can achieve healthy margins and minimize tax liabilities.
Growing Over Time
Once established, concrete resurfacing businesses can scale up steadily by:
- Hiring more concrete finishing crews to take on additional simultaneous jobs
- Running multiple trucks and crews to cover more territory
- Training crews on additional services like decorative concrete stamping or staining
- Expanding into related trades like masonry or landscaping
- Marketing to commercial sectors like retail centers and office parks
- Developing a showroom displaying finished products, patterns and design options
- Starting an epoxy flooring division focusing on garages and basements
- Acquiring competitor companies to expand geographic reach
Monitor capacity and seek strategic growth opportunities while retaining quality control.
How much does it cost to start a concrete resurfacing business?
Expect roughly $25,000 – $75,000 in start costs including equipment, truck, supplies, insurance, licensing, marketing, etc. Used equipment can significantly reduce costs.
What is the ideal crew size for resurfacing jobs?
A typical crew is 2-3 skilled workers – one operating the sprayer or finisher while others handle prepping and finishing work. Have 1-2 laborers for preparations, cleanup and minor tasks.
How long does a typical driveway resurfacing job take?
Many single car driveways resurface in one day. Larger or intricate driveways may take 2-3 days. Proper planning maximizes efficiency.
What is the biggest challenge in starting a resurfacing business?
Learning to accurately estimate costs takes time. Precise estimates ensure profitable margins. Underbidding jobs can seriously hurt profitability.
How much does the average customer pay for resurfacing?
Average costs range from $2-$6 per square foot depending on region, design complexity and finishes. Most single car driveways run $1500-$4000.
Are there options beyond standard gray concrete?
Yes, stamping patterns and staining/sealing concrete in different colors has become popular for decorative appeal. Upsell these options.
Starting a concrete resurfacing service provides a rewarding hands-on small business opportunity. With proper planning around efficient operations and accurate estimating, concrete resurfacing can offer attractive margins and consistent demand from residential and commercial clients. For those willing to master the concrete craft and focused on delivering high quality customer service, a resurfacing business can pave the way for an enjoyable and profitable entrepreneurial endeavor.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional financial advice. Perform thorough due diligence before starting any business.