Advice for Finding a Hardscaping Contractor
Improving your home’s exterior with a hardscaping project is a worthwhile investment. That’s why it is critical that you find the right hardscaping contractor for your project. You want to find a company that will work within your budget and physical space and give you the space you’ve dreamed about. Here is our advice for finding the right hardscaping contractor.
7 Things to Ask a Potential Hardscaping Contractor
1. Design Process
The design process is crucial for any hardscaping project, especially for more complex or larger projects. You want to find a hardscaping designer who will work with you, listen to your ideas, and capture them in the final design. Whether a designer uses physical sketches or photorealistic 3D renderings, you want to make sure they are listening to you and can come up with a design you love and fits your budget. Find out how this company handles designs and revisions, so you are not surprised during the process. Be sure to find out if there is a design fee, how much it is, and how this is deducted from the final cost of the project.
In the hardscaping and landscape design industry, there are several organizations that provide training for contractors. Groups like the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) provide resources and a certification process for contractors to go through. Likewise, manufacturers provide training for their specific products. Find out what education and certifications your potential contractor has before you hire them.
During the course of your project, you will have a team of workers coming onto your property with heavy equipment and digging around your yard. Make sure you are properly protected by checking to see if the contractor carries liability and workers compensation insurance.
Most hardscaping contractors have either an online or a physical portfolio to showcase their talents and skills. Look through their portfolio to find projects that are similar in style and size to your potential project. Ask the contractor questions about specific projects you like to discuss features and materials.
Whether they are written, online, or in person, references from past clients can help you learn more about the company. Make sure that these references are from similar sized projects. If you can talk to someone who has hired the contractor before, ask them about their level of communication, speed of work, and satisfaction with the results.
Scheduling your hardscaping project can depend on a variety of circumstances, including weather, sourcing materials, and the crew’s schedule. Ask for a timeline from the contractor, including when they will start and finish the project, while recognizing that this could change.
Ask if the contractor if they stand by their work with a workmanship guarantee. Find out how long the guarantee is for, what it covers, and the process for scheduling follow-up work in case you are not completely satisfied.
For more advice on vetting and hiring a hardscaping contractor in Lancaster County, visit our Choosing a Contractor page.