How to choose a contractor
How to choose a contractor:
Your project is an investment! We recommend the use of a professional landscape contractor for your project. Proper site preparation with correct grading, base material and compaction is key to ensuring your new outdoor space (patio, driveway, walkway, landscape wall, etc.) looks great and stays even and safe for years to come.
Hiring the right landscape contractor to install your project can be a daunting task. Even if you have done this before or are experienced in hiring contractors for other projects around the home, hiring a landscape contractor has some additional unique challenges. Landscaping includes all the aspects of design, installation, and in most cases, horticulture.
The contractor you hire should have technical, business and interpersonal skills, as well as the tools and the experience needed to complete your paving stone and/or retaining wall project. Finding contractors who are experienced in installing landscape projects similar to yours is one of the best ways to narrow down the field. These contractors will know what materials and techniques are needed for your landscape installation and will most likely have the labor and equipment to do it right!
What to look for when hiring a contractor:
- Written quote for your project
- A detailed drawing and/or computer rendering of your project containing all of the features that you requested
- Expected start date
- A reasonable estimate of the time required to do the job
- References from homeowners with similar projects
- A written confirmation of your contract with their installation guarantee clearly stated
- Proof of liability insurance and workers compensation coverage
We recommend getting quotes from several suitable contractors. To obtain accurate bids, arrange a time for each professional landscape contractor to visit your home to discuss your project. Be sure to get their advice and suggestions on how they would do the work. At this meeting, you might even get a rough estimate of the job, depending on its size and complexity. Keep in mind that you need to compare on an apples-to-apples basis and understand any differences in the service levels. Don’t get pressured into signing a contract right away, which is a sure sign that this contractor is not capable or is just after your pocketbook. Competent, honest contractors with integrity will never pressure you.
Questions to ask during the vetting process:
In your initial meeting, you will want to find out as much as possible about the contractor. A contractor who avoids answering your questions directly may be one to avoid. Find out as much as you can about the contractor by asking the following questions:
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they have liability insurance and are they covered by Workers’ Compensation?
- Do they have the appropriate licensing for their work?
- What landscape jobs have they done that are similar to what you need done?
- Do they have a list of references?
- What is their landscape training and background?
- How are their employees trained?
- Do they attend manufacturer training sessions?
- Can they provided you with any manufacturers literature?
- Does the literature provide you with design ideas?
- Do they do the entire job with their own staff, or subcontract parts out?
- Who are their subcontractors?
- Are there any permits required for this job?
- Whose responsibility is it to get these permits?
- Do they have an engineer to handle base preparation and drainage issues?
- What is their timeline for your project?
- What is their clean-up routine?
- Do they provide a written contract?
- What are their payment terms?
- Do they have pictures of their work to show you?
You may want to have these questions written out before you meet with the contractor, to avoid missing any of the questions during your conversation.
Make sure your project stands the test of time:
To ensure your new patio or driveway looks great and stays even for years to come, hire an experienced professional. Basalite can make recommendations for contractors in your area. To receive a free estimate from an approved Basalite contractor, click the link below. We’ll be in touch and let you know who might be the perfect local contractor for your project.
** Contractors referrals are provided as a service for customers and does not constitute a warranty or guarantee by Basalite Concrete Products LLC, as to the workmanship or materials used in a project completed by a referred contractor. The customer is solely responsible for arrangements for, and results of, any work performed by the contractor.
If you are looking to find a reputable contractor in your area for your next project, we can help. Basalite has teamed up with the best licensed contractors who are trained to work with Basalite products.
To get a free estimate from a Basalite recommended contractor in your area, please fill out the form here: