When the time comes for you to choose the hardscape contractor for your outdoor landscaping project, it is important to ask yourself some questions. In order to find the right company for you, here is a list of what to look for in your hardscape contractor.
Experience and references
Highly qualified companies should provide abundant detail regarding their industry experience, as well as their previous projects. Generally, their website is well organized, easy to navigate, and provides client testimonials. Nevertheless, do not hesitate to request additional references should you deem it necessary.
Request to see photos from their previous projects. It takes a lot of hard work to execute a landscaping project. A hardscape contractor is proud of their efforts and should be pleased to share their work with you. Go in with a clear idea of what you would like included in your project. Looking for inspiration? Check out our Landscaping Lookbook!
Furthermore, observe their style. After all, the methods used in past projects will most likely be a preview of what you can expect on your property. Finally, ensure that their ideas for your project correspond to your style. Every individual hardscape contractor their own style, and it is important to choose a company that best suits yours.
Required certifications, warranties and permits
Insurance and professional accreditations
It is essential to verify that the company you choose has the professional insurance required to carry out the work. You should feel confident in that. For this reason, it is important to choose a qualified company with experience and certifiable expertise. Certain hardscape contractors have additional accreditations to reinforce their professional credibility. These accreditations include industry certifications from ICPI or NCMA.
Get all the information necessary before hiring a company. Do not hesitate to question the warranties offered by your candidates. A credible hardscape contractor will guarantee their services. If there are any unforeseen problems, the contractor should return to your jobsite and resolve the issues.
Costs of a hardscape contractor
Be honest and realistic. It is important to determine a reasonable budget before beginning your project to avoid any surprises. This being said, pay attention to the price. It is not always the lowest price contender that will be the most advantageous in the long run.
Request a written estimate detailing the list of materials, plants, and costs of each product. Don't forget to have them include the cost for machinery and labour. If you project has additions, be sure to have the modifications transmitted to you in a written copy before the work begins. If you see large price discrepancies in competing firms, double-check the quotes to validate that all parties are offering the same materials.
Timeliness and clean-up
Verify that the projected timeline for completion seems realistic. Ask the hardscape contractor about reliability and punctuality to ensure they will respect their proposed deadlines. Furthermore, inquire about the clean-up process. Certain companies have clear and detailed routines they follow so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Lastly, be sure to meet with a minimum of 2 different hardscape contractors. This will help you compare price, time to completion and all other factors. You are now ready to choose the professional team that best suits your needs and will meet your criteria. For a list of the most up-to date hardscape contractors, visit the website of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.