A beautiful driveway is one of the first things people will notice about your property. It can immediately add value to the outside appearance and if done well, can be minimal work for you. Having a quality driveway contractor can save you a lot of work in the future. Below are a few tips on how to avoid a cowboy contractor and make sure the driveway contractor you choose will do the job well.
Avoiding Cowboy Contractor Tip #1: Research Your Companies
Make sure you do prior research. If people come knocking on your door offering their services to your driveway because they were “in the area”, they most likely will not be providing a quality service. Most legitimate companies will not cold call and if you do take their services, make sure you validate their services by calling into the company they claim to be a part of.
Avoiding Cowboy Contractor Tip #2: Do not accept a Verbal Estimate
When you receive an estimate from a company, make sure you request for a written quotation. Most companies will happily offer it to you with the official paper including business information such as the address and telephone number. If it is an illegitimate company, they will be less likely to hand out a written confirmation or estimate.
You should take note if a company wants to start immediately. Most reputable companies will require some time to schedule the installations, and usually should take a few weeks’ notice. If anything, they will need to come in for a few preliminary checks before they start working.
Now that you know what you should be avoiding, here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing the best driveway contractor for you.
Choosing a Quality Driveway Contractor Tip #1: Background Research
Research between a few companies and get estimates from more than one. Talk to the people at each place and get an understanding of everything they have to offer. Most companies are more than happy to talk with you and help you figure out what is the best choice for your driveway.
Some questions that you should ask every company is how long they have been in business, what references or ACI Certifications the have, and also what type of warranty they provide for their work. Warranty is important, because you want to be clear and not have any miscommunication on understanding the services that they have to offer.
You can also ask for the location or at the least, pictures, of previous projects they have completed. It is good to see a range from recent to even as far as five years ago. If you are able, try and go out to see those projects. Knowing the quality that they produce and seeing their workmanship in existing projects is a great way to understand if you want that company to do work for your house.
Looking at older projects is also crucial because you will have a solid understanding of how long your driveway will hold and how much extra care you will need to put into it in the future.
Choosing a Quality Driveway Contractor Tip #2: Request Written Quotations
For each company, you are researching, request for a written quotation. You should do this for more than one company as you may be tempted to go with the cheapest service. However, the quality may be lacking. If a company does not want to give a written quotation, you can assume that they are not legitimate. You should also ask for a reasonable estimate of the time they will finish the job.
Choosing a Quality Driveway Contractor Tip #3: Project Communication
Make sure that even from the start, you are extremely clear about what you want to see happen in your driveway. The more direct you are at the beginning, the fewer problems you will have in the end. If you are hoping for a particular style or material, you should make that clear when you start. If this is something the company is unable to do, it is better to find out at the beginning rather than half way through the project.
Most companies are more than willing to work with their clients to satisfy their particular wants. Do some research beforehand on materials and the different ways you can pave your driveways. This will help you understand the vocabulary and language that is being used when you are talking to the builders. It will also ensure that you are capable of making choices when it comes to deciding on what type of installation or material to use for your driveway.
You should expect a quality driveway by the end, as long as you are proactive throughout the whole process. Do not be afraid to ask questions along the way and have the company explain to you any concerns you may have. This way, you can ensure that in the end, you will have a quality driveway for your home.