- Products – Ask what materials are offered for a patio. A pro will provide concrete, brick, stone, and pavers. If you choose pavers, make sure your contractor purchases them from a reputable manufacturer, as inferior pavers will fade and often are not as durable.
- Warranties & Guarantees – Ask if the contractor guarantee their work, and if there are warranties on the products (usually pavers) discuss the specifics until you understand them and have both the guarantee and warranty spelled out in writing.
- Websites with Portfolios – Top pros have websites that help educate the public about hardscaping issues such as the pros and cons of various materials used for patios. The consummate professionals will as have portfolios for you to peruse to see their work and what different elements look like so that you can make an educated decision regarding your patio.
- Professional Organizations & Continued Education – Look for a contractor who belongs to professional organizations such as New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) that promote professionalism, safety, environmental protection, and education.
- Local Knowledge – Many communities have specific codes and restrictions for patio additions-choose a contractor experienced in navigating these restrictions and regulations to create the sort of patio that fulfills your needs and wants.
When choosing a professional to lay your patio, you should take a practical approach before making your decision. Ask straightforward questions and look for some basic support. Here are some helpful hints on what you should ask before your dream garden project begins:
- Get some different quotes for your project, checking that they include all the products and services you will need. Make sure there are no hidden extras such as soil removal. TIP: Ask how long the project will last.
- Check how long the company has been laying paving products.
- Ask for some recent references of completed patio installation and read their online reviews. A reputable contractor will be enthusiastic about showing off recent work. Expect to see photographs and details of recent, similar work that you can visit for a reference. This is usually part of any professional presentation.
- Ask questions such as if the cost of a dumpster and jointing sand is included?
- Check if the contractor has the appropriate liability insurance.
- Ask for a final written quotation from your chosen contractor.
- A reputable patio installer will not cut corners but work to the highest standard to build a patio that is beautiful and will remain that way for years to come. A true professional will have no problem guaranteeing their work.
Starting with basic research and asking the right questions will help ensure that you choose a trustworthy and reliable contractor. Stories about unlicensed and even licensed contractors facing fines and imprisonment for shoddy work and fraud have consumers on edge about adding a patio. You want your patio and garden project to be completed to the highest standard; something you, your family and friends can enjoy for many years to come.