Planning a hardscape project is exciting! You get to look at photos to get ideas, talk about the possibilities with your spouse, friends and family and visualize yourself outside enjoying your new outdoor living space. The only problem is, you still need to find the perfect contractor who can turn your dream into reality.
You may ask a friend who they used, try to find someone off the internet or use a lead generation website but do you really know what to look for in a hardscape contractor? If you're getting a fair price? Or if you found the best contractor for your project?
The objective is always the same; you want to find a contractor who will complete the project on time, stay within your budget and ensure the project will be of the highest quality. Of course, these factors are important, but what else should you be thinking about when you’re investing in a contractor?
Think about the location of the contractor. Do you want to work with a local contractor, someone in town or from a surrounding city? The contractor will have a local reputation and be able to provide nearby references. Since the contractor is in close proximity, your contractor will be more accessible to you throughout the process. Or if you’re open to working with someone from around the region, they may be bigger, have discounts on materials and have a more diverse portfolio.
Think about the size of the company. Are you looking to work with a small business owner, who most likely works on site and is your main point of contact throughout the project? Or would you rather work with a larger company, who has multiple point people including sales reps, project managers and an independent crew? Your decision to work with a small or large company should be determined based on the type of experience you want to have.
Think about their project experience, not how many years they’ve been in business. Hardscaping is not the same as landscaping, yet many landscapers will try to transition into hardscaping, and that’s great for the industry, but this can be deceiving to homeowners. There is a significant difference between contractors who have been “landscapers” for five years, and are just now getting into hardscaping versus a hardscaper who has been in business for five years. In these situations, it’s wise to look at their experience in project count, size and quality of their jobs, and not just how long they’ve been in business.
Finding the Right Contractor
The next thing to consider is; is this the right contractor for my hardscape project? Although many homeowners think generically about a hardscape project, some are more skilled at creating walkways and patios using pavers; others are better with natural stone or bluestone. Finding a contractor who specializes in what you’re looking for will make a huge difference in the quality and cost of your project.
What materials are you considering for your new outdoor living space? There’s a variety of materials to consider, each that require different skills and a unique installation process. Materials like pavers, stamped concrete, bluestone, natural stone, and granite are just a few of the many hardscape materials available. Most contractors will only specialize in one or maybe two of these areas. We recommend trying to find a contractor who specializes in the specific material you want to use.
What type of project are you considering? Is it a small walkway or something much more complex? Whether you’re looking to create a walkway or patio or are interested in building an outdoor kitchen, fireplace or pizza oven, not all hardscape contractors have the experience or interest in working in that specific project. Find a contractor who has experience and specializes in completing projects of your size and scope.
Project Size and Complexity
What's the size and complexity of your project? The most crucial decision when looking for a contractor is to find a contractor who has experience with projects of your size and complexity. If you're considering a large pool patio or a new paver driveway, it's crucial that you work with a contractor who has experience with managing a job that size. This does not mean it has to be a large company just because its a large project. Instead, it's just a matter of verifying that whoever the contractor is, has the experience with similar projects. When you find a contractor through Hiresapes, their experience details, and photos of past projects can be viewed from their profile.
What if your neighbor just completed a hardscape project, is this a shortcut to finding the best contractor? Not always. Referrals can be extremely helpful, knowing someone who has used the contractor already is a great first step in finding a contractor. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a great fit for your project. Sometimes, contractors will charge more for a project if your a ‘referred customer’ so it’s best to get a few estimates to ensure you’re paying a fair price. The last thing you want to do is overpay for a project because you rushed into the project and only got one estimate. As we mentioned above, there are a lot of variables to consider, and it’s important to take all of them into consideration.
Hirespaces is proven to be the most effective and efficient way to find and hire the best contractor for your hardscape project. We make it easy to plan your project, receive bids from local contractors and help you find and hire the best contractor for your project. For more information about Hirescapes, click here.
Keywords: Hirescapes, hardscape, milestones, secured payment, project consultants