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Installing a new patio to your home should be period of excitement and expectation.
However, choosing the right contractor is really the key to obtaining the paving of your dreams. It can be troublesome to find a tradesperson whose priorities span way beyond just getting paid.
The best trade’s people are driven by the daily satisfaction of best practice and pristine finishes. Unfortunately, not all builders are driven by these inspirational fundamentals.
The truth is, if you want the best patio builder you can not go for the cheapest option. This is solely due to the economical laws of supply and demand.
Meticulous builders who are a joy to work with are always busy. However, careless, messy and difficult contractors are rarely busy, hence they cost less.
The difficulty is, knowing how to choose the best builder for a new patio? Who is worth paying to do the job probably and who is best left alone?
In this article I have identified 15 ways to choose a good builder or landscaper for a new patio.
1. A good reputation
In reality the best way to choose a great patio builder is by reputation. If you know people who have had a good experience with a contractor they are usually a good choice.
A good reputation can take many years to develop and will always guarantee a good flow of projects.
Therefore, recommendation from someone you know and trust normally yields a good result.
2. An established online presence
It has to be said that an online presence does not necessarily mean a contractor is good. However, an established online presence is a very good sign.
Many rogue contractors will change their name every couple of years. This is so they have no responsibility over their previous work.
If a contractor has an established online presence, it’s very likely they are trustworthy and experienced.
3. Good reviews
Good reviews are always an indication of an effective and transparent contractor.
If a patio builder has a prominent Google reviews page it is easy to browse through previous client’s comments.
When contractors hugely overshoot expectations that often warrants a good review. This also works in reverse and bad experiences will often ensure a bad review.
Positive, descriptive, reviews are typically a sign of genuine and positive experiences.
4. Has an established and registered company
Making sure a builder has an established or registered company is a good sign of best practice. The more legitimate and compliant a trader is the better.
Such compliance will often be matched by how they build their projects. Check that they have a registered company or associated trading registration number.
5. Seems interested in the project
Contractors that are good at what they do have an inbuilt enthusiasm for a new project. This will be obvious during any initial consultation.
Try to notice what the contractor focuses on while looking at the project. A good contractor will often have constructive questions and an investigative curiosity about the project.
This shows they are eager to undertake the work and fulfil your expectations.
6. Maintains good eye contact
Maintaining good eye contact is a naturally open and honest behaviour on a human level. If you are to work with someone during a project you need open communication. If a contractor does not want connect and make eye contact it is best not to hire them.
7. Happy to answer questions
A good patio builder understands that new clients are not experts within their field. Therefore they should be accommodative and helpful when asked questions. If they are patronising or impatient with you at this stage it is best not to do business with them.
8. Displays good knowledge
A good patio builder will have encountered many different sites and scenarios countless of times.
This will normally provoke a series of questions and explanations from the tradesman. During a consultation it will become obvious if they have a thorough knowledge on the subject.
A good contractor will normally mention considerations you haven’t even thought of.
9. Make constructive suggestions
Experienced patio professionals will instantly understand the dynamics of a new project. This is even the case if your existing site is a boggy mess.
Very often competent contractors will start to make constructive suggestions from the start. This shows that they are enthusiastic and interested about the project.
10. Has a relevant qualification
Most of the time, a good patio builder will have a relevant qualification. This is not always an essential characteristic of a good contractor but does display commitment to the topic.
Most trades do have associated accreditations and qualifications. Therefore it is worth checking if they have relevant qualifications.
11. Are they presentable?
It takes a certain type of personality to create beautiful, well built spaces with an eye for detail.
This characteristic often goes far beyond someone’s work and filters into every corner of their lives.
If a contractor is poorly presented and scruffy it is very possible their work is the same. If you are fussy about details don’t choose a scruffy contractor to build your patio.
12. Do they have a portfolio?
Patio builders that are proud of their work will often take pictures to show people.
Therefore it is normal for good paving contractors to have a portfolio. Ask them if they have pictures of their work either in a collection or an online portfolio.
If they can talk you through past projects it shows a level of interest and care. This process may also provide you ideas for your project.
Why not browse some images of my paving projects below.
13. Do they write a blog?
Not all contractors will keep an online blog, however, it has been noted that the best normally do.
Blogs allow contractors to journal their work and allow for professional self reflection. Every project comes with elements which could have gone better and self criticisms.
A well kept blog is an indication of a contractor who is reflective and always striving for perfection.
14. Are there videos of their work?
The amount of technology at our fingertips today has revolutionised how we live our lives. Video is becoming an ever powerful way for trade’s people to promote their work.
This is a powerful way to market their skills and quality of work. If someone has taken time to promote themselves with video, it shows they are proud of their work.
It also shows they are willing to put their identity to what they do! Why not watch a quick video I created showing off my work to clients below.
A video of some of my projects
15. Do they provide descriptive quotations?
The best patio builders will provide a detailed works description with their quotation. This will help the client to understand exactly what they are paying for and eliminate any grey areas.
Such can act as a binding contract to what has been agreed between both parties. A descriptive quotation will also lock a contractor into adhering to correct building specifications.
Detailed work descriptions take time and effort but are best practice. Such a document shows they fully respect the financial commitment you are potentially making in them.
A well typed out, descriptive, quotation on headed paper is a sign of a competent contractor.
Our patio building services in Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners are expert patio builders and hard landscapers.
One of our paving projects using Fossil mint paving: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Thank you for reading our article on how to choose a builder for a new patio. If you are interested in our patio building services why not email us here. Below we will include some other paving articles you may find useful.
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Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire