Interlocking stone pavers not only provide you a wealth of hardscape design options they also have the potential to outlast your Toronto home itself; if they’re installed correctly. That can be a big if when you’re dealing with companies that offer discount installations or just don’t do a lot of interlocking installations. So how can you be sure the company you hire for your interlocking project will do the job right the first time?
Essential Questions to ask Potential Interlocking Contractors
In spite of what some discount contractors might want you to believe not all interlocking companies are created equal. In order to separate the dedicated professionals from the quick buck artists you’ll want to ask the following questions:
- How long have you been in business? – Some may look and sound the part of experienced interlocking contractors but the fact is they’re just starting out. While it’s true everyone has to start somewhere do you really want someone working out the kinks in their technique on your driveway?
- Can you provide references? – No references, no contract should be a given. You want to talk to at least a few of the contractor’s former customers. In fact, when it comes to interlocking you’ll want to talk to some who have had their pavers for at least a few years. If the installation was done right they’ll still be happy.
- Do you handle the work yourself? – Busy contractors often sub contract work. But you don’t want someone showing up that you’ve never met or talked with while the company you thought you hired is off somewhere else. There are usually limits to how much of a job a prime contractor can subcontract.
- What type of base do you use? – Do some research into base preparation before asking this question and see if the answers you get match what you’ve learned. If the contractor gets uneasy or says something like “Don’t worry about the base”, look out. Interlocking is only as good as the base it sits on.
- Do you warranty your work? – If the contractor does not offer a warranty you should move on to someone else. As mentioned, discount interlocking contractors often cut corners in base preparation. This is something that likely won’t reveal itself until some time after they’ve cashed your check.
- Do you have full liability coverage? – Any reputable contractor will be expecting this question and will happily provide proof of coverage. If someone says “yes” and then delays providing proof you should take a pass. If it turns out they’re not insured you could be opening yourself up to enormous headaches.
- What sort of upfront payment do you require? – An interlocking contractor will typically ask for something like 20% up front. Some will ask for less. If they want 50% or more up front say “Thank you” and move on to the next contractor. There’s no justification for asking for that type of money up front.
- Will you put everything we’ve agreed to in writing? – It’s important to insist on a detailed contract. Experienced, trustworthy interlocking contractors won’t have a problem with that, since the contract protects them as well as you. If the contractor tries to sell you on the idea that a handshake is all that’s needed, shake their hand and thank them for coming.
M.E. Contracting has more than 10 years experience installing interlocking pavers for homeowners in the Toronto area. We take great pride in our reputation as one of the GTA’s foremost interlocking contractors. Call us on 416-455-9296 to discuss installation of beautiful, durable interlocking pavers in your driveway any other area of your property. Our hardscape experts will be happy to answer all your questions.