How to find a good brick paving contractor?
Brick paving can be an exact and precise undertaking. It takes skill, knowledge, and vision. If you had those things, you’d be doing the project yourself, but you don’t, so you’re looking for a contractor.
Here are some things to consider when shopping for one.
Just because somebody has a fancy decal on their truck and a website does not mean that they know that much more about brick-paving than you do. You have to find your contractor first.
Consider using contractor review sites like Google Business Page. Google Business Page is an accurate source of information when it comes to reviews. It also provides you companies’ pictures, about description, hours and contact information.
Of course, in either of these cases you could just take the word of a complete stranger, or you could do what people have done for decades and network! Don’t be shy. Ask friends, family, co-workers, neighbors.
Use social media sites like Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter. Surely, in your network of friends, somebody knows somebody who had a brick patio installed or a driveway re-graded. And if you’re going to friends, or even friends of friends, you’re more likely to get the most important thing in your search, honesty. Friends will not only refer you to good service, but they’re more likely to steer you away from bad service.
Meet and greet your contractor
So, at long last you’ve found yourself a contractor that you think you want to work with. He or she has good reviews, they’ve been in business for some time. They’ve got a good rating.
Well, get them over to your house. You wouldn’t accept a job without reading the job description and discussing the pay, so don’t expect a contractor to do so either. It’s best to surprise them and ask some questions to not only make sure that their up to the job, but also to let them know you’ve done your homework. They’ll be less apt to try to take advantage of you.
Some questions to ask:
- Is brick paving their primary business? If not, what is?
- Who does the work? Do they have their own crew or use subcontractors?
- Are they certified, licensed and insured? (Get copies, particularly of the insurance!)
- Do they have any contract with major brick manufacturers?
- What steps will they take to ensure proper gradation, drainage, compaction, and color mix? Don’t just accept platitudes about quality of work. Ask for specifics in terms of excavation, base material, and edge restraint.
Get some quotes and find your match
Now that you’ve had this wonderful, enlightening discussion with your contractor, by now hopefully they’ve given you a price quote. Keep in mind this very likely an estimate. They call it an estimate for a reason. Remember that. You need to take as much of the guesswork out of the process as possible.
Time for more questions:
- What factors could increase the cost? Are those in your control (type of materials used, design chosen) or out of your control (variable cost of materials, weather, permits)
- What’s the timeframe going to look like for completion and if it runs longer, are you picking up the cost in labor?
- What kind of guarantee do they have on their work and what exactly does it cover?
- Will they offer you a discount if you do some soft advertising for them, say a sign in your yard for a couple of weeks?
If you’ve done it once, it’s time for a repetition and comparison. Why pay $2,000 for a job if someone else can save you some bucks? But always beware of those offering to do it for a third of the price.
That’s a tad suspicious.
Lastly though, multiple quotes allow you to get a feel for the person and make sure they’re a good fit. Make sure you’re comfortable with them. If they are doing a project which will be a semi-permanent addition to your home, make sure they are someone you genuinely want to do business.