Tips on Hiring a Paving Contractor to Improve Your Patio

Tips on Hiring a Paving Contractor to Improve Your Patio

Outdoor Additions
By Dikran Seferian July 03, 2022

There is no question that the outside of a home is just as important as the indoor living spaces. Unfortunately, it is the outside of a home that is often the most neglected. Those with outdoor wooden fixtures, such as patios and porches, do not maintain them properly and so they are left to rot — and will eventually need to be replaced. Wooden steps often meet the same fate as well. A good alternative to both is to choose a stone or concrete patio, walkway, or steps. Not only do concrete and stone require considerably less care, but they can also be equally as attractive and fitting for your home.

Before you consider personally taking on the project yourself, you may want to think about hiring a paving contractor for the job. While this means a bit more expensive on your part, it also means that it will be a job well done. Should you choose a contractor, you will want to be sure to do so as soon as possible. Any good professionals with great references are often booked up far in advance. Here are a few factors you should take into consideration when looking for paving contractors — and a couple of follow-up tips worth keeping in mind. 

Compare Pricing Options

As with hiring any kind of contractor, it’s a good idea to compare quotations from at least three pavement services. If you notice a considerable difference in prices, consider taking a look at the project details. You may find that certain contractors offer low prices but economize on the quality of the material. This would result in your paveway being weak and more susceptible to cracking. Having said that, keep quality in mind when comparing pricing options; and take your time while doing so. 

Accounting for quality when comparing quotations allows for a paver that’s both charming and within budget.

Accounting for quality when comparing quotations allows for a paver that’s both charming and within budget.

Stay away from pavement contractors that pressure you into making a decision for a discounted price. You may also want to be careful of those who would knock on your door to offer you a suspiciously low price. Will you be able to contact them later on in the event of a warranty problem? Take enough time to look into the contractor’s credentials — but more on that later.

Ask About Insurance Coverage

Another detail to take into account when choosing a paving construction expert is insurance. Always make sure to opt for one that has full liability coverage. This includes the worker’s compensation that removes the homeowner’s responsibility in the event of an accident or damage to the property.  

Listen to Word of Mouth

If you’re not quite sure how to pick the right paving contractor, asking around for recommendations is your best bet. Ask friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues if their contractor offers suggestions regarding the color, design, or type of the paving material. This is to make sure the end result is in line with your specific needs.

Online reviews and word of mouth can be helpful when it comes to choosing the best paving contractor.

Online reviews and word of mouth can be helpful when it comes to choosing the best paving contractor.

Check their website for customer reviews and to find out how long they have been working in the paving business. The website may also give you an idea of whether they actually provide the particular services that you’re looking for — such as the exact type of paver walkway you have in mind. And if you’re lucky enough, the company may even offer additional services such as renovating a patio shade structure.

Obtain a Guarantee

Guarantees tend to differ from one paving company to another. The right contractor will provide a warranty of at least one year, guaranteeing the quality of materials and workmanship. This should ideally cover you from low-quality materials, errors in installation, as well as other issues that you may come across during the first year. While a guarantee of workmanship normally covers untidy edging, lack of precision, or poor workmanship in general, materials guarantee typically covers dents and premature cracking. 

Account for Drainage

Any paving expert would know that proper drainage is among the most crucial factors to account for when designing your paveway — especially in the case of asphalt paving contractors. Asphalt pathways should ideally slope away from the house. In other words, its design needs to follow the best angle that allows for adequate drainage without posing any risks.

Another detail paving contractors should account for is the surrounding area and where the nearest drain or sewer is. Say you’re washing your patio as part of your outdoor maintenance. The direction of water running off from steps, patios, and pathways should be efficient, avoiding high traffic spots and without damaging any delicate landscape. Gardens, turf, and swales are all key elements that the contractor should consider when designing the pavement.

A experienced paving contractor will know how to design an asphalt pathway with drainage in mind.

A experienced paving contractor will know how to design an asphalt pathway with drainage in mind.

Look into References and Credentials

Once the interview is completed, be sure to check up on their references. Just because they gave you a name and a number does not mean they provide you with good references. You will also want to check their stated certifications and credentials. As with other professionals such as restoration contractors, paving contractors should have legal permission to provide their services. 

That said, always check for licenses and other accreditations when looking for professionals. A licensed contractor will have an adequate amount of training and experience to carry out the project. This factor is especially crucial since hiring an unlicensed worker can, in certain cases, land you in trouble with the law.

Consider Going for Local Contractors

Unless an out-of-state contractor has worked in your area for quite a while, it’s always smart to opt for a local contractor. This is because contractors with a questionable reputation are known to move from one region to another, as a way to avoid dealing with dissatisfied customers. Such contractors tend to move on to a new city every time their poor workmanship catches up with them. Make sure to be aware of this red flag during your search for a paving contractor

Clear up the Space for the Project

Before the project takes place, you will want to take some precautions. If there are any obstacles in the area or in the way, be sure to remove them. You will also want to be sure that you know just how many crew members will be involved in the setup.

Once the project has begun, you should not interfere with their work. Keep clear of the area, and make sure that pets, children, and curious neighbors stay out of the way as well.

Children and pets playing in the yard can hinder the work of the paving crew.

Children and pets playing in the yard can hinder the work of the paving crew.

Inspect the Work

When the project is complete, be sure to inspect the paving work to be sure that it meets your expectations. You may also want to make sure that any promised clean-up has been completed to your satisfaction; you do not want to be left with a huge clean-up. Once you are happy with their work, you can proceed with the due payment.

Provide a Referral

Something to be aware of is that a pavement contractor may very well ask you to be a positive referral for them. Although you are by no means obligated, remember that their livelihood depends on this. And just as you checked with the other references, they depend upon their clients to help them with a 30-second phone call. They will also probably want to take pictures of the job that they completed and may want to put up a small, unobtrusive sign on your property to advertise their services. Again, this is entirely up to you; but if you are satisfied with the contractor's work, it is nice to repay the favor.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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