QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING A CONCRETE PAVER INSTALLER
Tips on Hiring a Paver Installer in the Greater Bay Area from Santa Rosa to San Jose.
With any home improvement project, the most important step is choosing the right contractor. This is especially true when it comes to hardscaping. However, finding a paver installer that fits well with your personality, understands your vision, and will work with you to develop your ideas can be a challenge.
The key lies in researching and educating yourself about what to look for when choosing a paver installer, knowing the right questions to ask, and really listening to how they’re answered.
Here are some tips to help you find, vet, and hire the right paving installer in the Greater Bay Area in California.
WHERE TO START WHEN YOU NEED A PAVER INSTALLER
Today, most research begins online. You can start by searching for local paving contractors in your area. You can also speak to your friends or neighbors to solicit recommendations for paver installers they may have worked with.
Ideally, you want to come up with a shortlist of two or three paver contractors that you’ll do further research on, as you begin to plan your project.
Here’s a quick tip… try to avoid adding general contractors to your list. As a rule, general contractors are great if you’re planning on accomplishing multiple projects simultaneously. However, for a specific project, like hardscaping, they can be more expensive and lack expertise. Try to find a paver installer who specifically designs and installs hardscaping.
DO YOUR RESEARCH: GOING DEEPER
The research stage is critically important. When you’ve narrowed your choices to two or three contenders, check with the California Contractor State Licensing Board to make sure their contractor’s license and insurance are up to date. At this stage, you’ll also want to check for any major complaints or issues with the BBB, and also check their online reviews on sites like Angie’s List, Google, and Bing.
Here are the next steps to take when researching paver installers.
LOOK FOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS OR OTHER INDUSTRY RECOGNITION
A reliable contractor is often recognized as an expert installer by the manufacturers of the products they use and for maintaining the highest standards of workmanship. When researching potential paver installers, visit their website to see if they are certified by any manufacturers. Also, look for memberships or certifications from trade associations like the ICPI (the International Concrete Pavers Association).
GETTING A FREE ESTIMATE
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three paver installers, call them and schedule a free estimate. Listen carefully. Did they sound organized? Did they provide the name of a contact person? Customer service is critical. If a company doesn’t provide excellent customer service from your first contact, they probably won’t provide you with excellent service if you run into problems! Click Here For A Free Estimate.
Preparing For Meeting Your Paver Installer
The final step of your research before sitting down and vetting potential paver installers is to visit the contractor’s website and search their online catalog. Check to see if the have paver prices so you can browse and put together your budget. See what styles and materials they offer. Knowing what you want in terms of quality and style before you meet can save time and money.
When you are meeting with contractors, ask a lot of questions. You are about to make a significant investment, and you want to know that you can trust them with your home, and your money. Ask questions like:
• How long have they been in installing pavers?
• Has a manufacturer trained them, or are they ICPI certified?
• Ask for three references. Any professional contractor will be happy to give you references of prior clients. Call them!
• Ask to see their portfolio.
• Are they fully insured? Do they have a current liability insurance certificate? Ask to see a copy.
• Do they provide a written, itemized proposal outlining both the scope of work and their payment terms? This should include starting and ending dates, demolition, excavation paving, and base materials and taxes.
• Do they guarantee their work? For how long?
These questions can help you to understand their qualifications better and can help you to learn if they have the expertise and experience to complete your job on time, and on budget.
THREE RED FLAGS TO WATCH FOR WHEN INTERVIEWING PAVER INSTALLERS
While these questions can help you to understand your potential contractor better, you need to listen to their answers and their sales style. Here are three red flags to watch out for when vetting potential paver installers:
1. Are they focused on education, or closing the deal?
A designer is there to help you make a decision. They should work to educate you about the process, the different quality levels of materials, and your design options. They should not be giving you the hard sell. Is he or she genuinely working to educate you about the company, products, and services, or are they just trying to close the deal?
2. Are they listening to your questions and concerns?
This one is critical! You should be comfortable in your relationship with any contractor you choose. From your first meeting, make sure your team is listening to you and understands your vision and what your goals are for the project. If you feel like they don’t understand, or worse, just plain not listening, walk away! Even if they show you a great portfolio and tells you not to worry. If they are not willing to listen and provide you with the service you want, don’t hire that company.
3. Be careful you’re offered a “deal that ends today,” or the price drops at the first “let me think about it.”
A designer or contractor shouldn’t be there to pitch you; they should be educating you and answering your questions clearly and concisely. Beware of a salesperson who steps through your door and immediately goes into a sales pitch, like the 20% discount you’ll receive if you sign the contract today. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Ultimately, you want to work with a company that will offer you a fair price for the quality of work they’ll perform, not one that will do anything to close the sale. Remember, you’re looking for the best deal, not just the lowest price! Higher priced companies cost more because they use materials and offer quality workmanship that lower-priced ones don’t. These are the companies that will back up their warranties, and complete the work they promise, at the price they quoted.
About Bayside Pavers
If you’re planning a hardscaping project for your San Jose or Greater Bay Area home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-(866) 287-2837. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming about!
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.