Getting the right paving contractor for your specific job is hard work, but essential. Most of us know very little about what is involved in the process, so listening to the jargon from the sales representatives can be confusing.
By asking a few relevant questions, you’ll be able to weed out the good from the bad, and ultimately choose the right paving contractor for your project.
• How long have you been in the paving business?
It’s good to know that a company has been around for a while and have built a reputation. This also ensures that should there be issues or you want further work done, they will be there for you.
However, just because they’ve been paving for years doesn’t mean they do good work. Keep on asking questions…
• What are the most important aspects of the project?
Your (and the contractors) first priority is to ensure that the most important aspects of the job are covered. You need to have confidence that the answers are logical and give you an idea that you are dealing with a professional contractor with the right knowledge.
Once you’ve figured out what is most important, you can then discuss elements that could enhance the job, but aren’t essential. That will help you in making sure you’re getting everything you want, within your budget.
Did he cover all aspects of the project, including:
– Correct material – did he show you pictures and/or bring you samples?
– Allowances for drainage, walls, steps, coping etc.
– Rubble removal
• What exactly is included in the project cost?
Some quotations can be very confusing – using jargon and abbreviations.
Ensure that you give each paving contractor the exact same information, so that they are then quoting on the same specs, making it easier for you to compare.
Make sure your potential paving contractor has clearly detailed exactly what’s included in your project. An accurate, detailed quote, that matches your requirements, will ensure a successful paving project and will make your decision much easier.
• Will there be any additional or “hidden” fees?
This is a good question to ask any contractor, not just paving contractors. Make sure you aren’t going to be hit with hidden costs for “additions” halfway through a project.
• Are there any unique challenges for my job?
Some jobs have unique challenges that make them more complicated.
Make sure that your paving contractor has thought through and accounted for any unique challenges that may arise.
A bit of forethought can go a long way when it comes to completing high quality work on time and within budget.
• Are there other projects you’ve paved in this area?
Ask the contractor for a list of paving projects in the area. Go have a look for yourself, at the quality of work they have done.
• Do you have references I can call?
Every paving contractor believes their work is the best. Their references are a lot less likely to bend the truth.
Of course they’re going to pick references that had a good experience. But if they have a long list of happy, well-known clients that have nice things to say, you’ll feel more confident to add your name to that list.
• Can you show me how the work is done and do you have pictures of different products?
A professional company will have a detailed presentation of who they are and how they do the work for you. This is to ensure you understand, and get first-hand knowledge of who they are and how they work.
• When comparing quotes, do not choose the cheapest product or paver… here’s why…
In the long-run, choosing the cheapest product will cost you a small fortune, be it the product or company that is the cheapest. As the great South African saying goes: “Goedkoop is Duurkoop”.
Choose a high-quality paver from a reputable supplier and have it installed by a quality paving company who will do a professional job and be able to stand good for the paving for the duration of the Guarantee.