5 Tips To Help You Choose A Paving Contractor
Reputation matters a lot when it comes to choosing a paving contractor. Make sure you pick a contractor that has a strong reputation. Reviews are easily built now between Google and Facebook. You will often see a load of reviews for a contractor over a period of a couple of weeks if you check the dates.
These are obviously false. Reviews are quite easily purchased and in bulk. Pick a contractor that has a solid reputation (No company should have a perfect reputation) and reviews that have been built up over a few years.
Better still, if you can get a recommendation from someone that had their work done by that contractor a couple of years before. This shows longevity and a durable quality of work. Ask the contractor for some contact details of previous clients, most people like to help other prospective customers because they were faced with a similar task.
The golden rule is 3 quotations. Now some will say pick the middle priced quotation. However that is not always the right way. Get a quotation that breaks down the work and try to understand the price variances between them. For example if you have 3 quotations and 2 are cheap, yet the 3rd is significantly more, don’t be afraid to ask the contractor why the price is higher.
A company that is only in it for the short term, does not pay taxes or honor their guarantees, can obviously quote significantly less than compared to an established contractor who has lorries, provides long term guarantees and pays their taxes. So sometimes, a bargain price is not the right choice if you want your driveway or patio to last.
Imagine how you will feel when that new driveway that cost you thousands, starts to sink because that cheap option you picked meant the contractor didn’t use a proper sub base or you get flooding at your doors because they didn’t install drainage that was needed?
The point is to make sure you understand the quotations completely and what you are being offered. If they tell you they will dig down 12 inches make sure they do! Get your quotation in writing. When we mean a written quotation, a quotation should be with the company and number, an itemised and clear breakdown of the work and pricing, highlighting the guarantee. Not from a disposable email address that has no ties to the company.
Never let yourself be pressured into a job. Get your quotations, go through them and ensure that they have listed everything on it that is required for a proper driveway or patio installation. If unsure, check our paving installation guide for an approximate idea of what that should entail. If at any time you are unsure, take a step back and say you will think about it.
Don’t let them start a job unless you are 100% comfortable. Don’t buy into exaggerated guarantee promises. A 20 year guarantee on a paved driveway is highly unrealistic and generally means they don’t care about it because they won’t be there to honor it. The standard guarantee from most reputable contractors is 5 years on block paving installation which is more than fair. Manufacturers provide there own guarantee on the block paving separately. Ask Kilsaran or Tobermore about there own warranty on the materials.
Get recommendations or ask to see previous work. A long term paving contractor will have plenty of recommendations from previous customers. Always ask to see work that was done a couple of years ago. Sometimes driveway or patios will only start failing after a year or so. Always make sure to get recommendations in the same category. If you are looking to have a paved patio, ask to see some paved patios similar to what you are looking at installing. A paving contractor that cannot give you recommendations similar to what you are looking to install, is not someone you want to be hiring.
4. How Long in Business
Every business is a family run business and operating for at least 20 years. (That is if you believe what they say….), Ask for company registration details, ask for some identification, check them out thoroughly online to make sure of the company. A contractor who turns up, sits in his van and just oversees the work from a distance, is not the guy you want. A paving contractor will be involved from the start, guiding, shaping and using tools!
He will look like He is very used to being hands on. We cannot recommend this type of a paving contractor any higher. They generally have years of well earned experience and are genuine salt of the earth guys that will tell you exactly how it is and not try to throw sales pitch after sales pitch at you.
5. How Did You Find Them?
Did you find them in a magazine? On Facebook or on Google? Was it using Google advertisements that appear with a little green ad sign on it? If so, you might be a little wary. You can create a new website tomorrow, run Google advertisement the next and the day after be on top of Google.
Always be wary of the green little Ad box that shows up. A proper established paving contractor will show up normally on Google, generally the more reputable ones and long term paving company’s are high on Google in a natural listing. Facebook allows you to run advertisement as well, so don’t be too trusting. There is no verification behind any of that style of advertising and is no guarantee that it is a good paving contractor.