A wise instructor once said, “Do your best work where no one can see it.” Nothing could be more true when it comes to building the hardscape at your home. Especially here in Colorado with our crazy freeze thaw cycles! If the base layers below the pavers are not properly installed then the system will fail. Plain and simple. Below are a few things you should consider when hiring a professional hardscaper to install your paver patio.
Beyond the basic insurance requirements that every professional should carry, look to see if the Hardscaper or Landscaper is ICPI certified. The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute provides the gold standard best practices in education and training for paver installers. It is the “industry recognized status for the professionals committed to the industry guidelines for segmental concrete pavement installation.”
Hiring an experienced installer has its merits. Each of our foreman and our main hardscape team are ICPI certified. They have installed thousands of square footage of concrete pavers. They have worked in ideal conditions and some pretty horrible conditions, and have pretty much seen all there is to see. In addition to being ICPI certified, crew members hold advanced ICPI certifications as well as NALP certifications in turf grass management, irrigation, landscaping, and hardscaping. Many years of working in the green industry makes them experienced in a wide variety of situations. Install schedules are busy this time of the year, but please don’t just hire any “Chuck in a truck” who in passing says they can install the pavers quickly. Ask to see some of their work either in person or in a portfolio. You will get a feeling pretty quick if the contractor is a good fit. Waiting for the right installer is always worth it in the long run.
With experience comes specialization. When you choose a crew who specializes in paver installation, you will get more for your money. They should be looking not only at the area where the pavers will be laid, but everything surrounding it as well.
- Can they get their equipment into the area where the pavers will be?
- Does the existing area slope back towards the house?
- Are there clogged gutters and downspouts?
- Does the are need to be raised, or steps added?
- Is there sinking or pooling in the area?
- What are the soil conditions like?
- Do irrigation heads or landscape beds need to be redesigned and moved?
By addressing these questions ahead of time, the whole big picture is taken into account and becomes part of the estimate. This all helps to prevent costly change orders down the line. There always is the potential for situations to arise that can’t be prevented no matter how much prior planning is in place. These situations typically come about because they are buried beneath the surface, or are hidden underneath the structure the pavers are next to and don’t present themselves until the excavation phase. When you hire a specialized installer, chances are pretty good they have come across the situation before and know how to remedy it with the right materials and installation techniques.
Who doesn’t love options? But let’s be honest, it can be overwhelming. A professional hardscaper is likely to be affiliated with a reputable paver brand that they are loyal to. We primarily install Belgard pavers. We have found their product quality and offerings to be some of the best products on the market. As an Authorized Belgard Contractor we are also able to offer their Preferred Payment financing plan to our clients. The plan is an easy option for financing your project. Can’t visualize how your project will look in your space? Belgard can render the project into a 3D design through their Design Studio. They can even show you the design using virtual reality and VR goggles. Whether it is Belgard, Pavestone, Unilock, or Techo Bloc, these companies all have wonderful product offerings and professionals they trust to install their products. These professionals have access to many different paver options and colors and even special orders. They can help you narrow down all of the choices that will appeal to your personal tastes and specific situation. The personalized attention sure beats fighting the crowds at your local big box store on a busy Saturday.
If you are interviewing a company and the contractor will not stand behind their work and offer a guarantee or warranty on their workmanship, RUN! The pavers themselves are typically guaranteed through the manufacturer. But if a contractor doesn’t offer a workmanship guarantee on their work, what kind of work do you suppose they do? Situations happen. No one is perfect. Make sure there is a guarantee.
Contact us today if you would like help creating an outdoor space you will completely love.