If you’ve decided to pave your driveway finding the right person to do it should be at the top of your to-do list. After all, it will be used often and it needs to be able to withstand the weight of vehicles driving and parking on it continuously. Here are 5 questions to ask your contractor before hiring them.
Are you licensed and insured?
The contractor you hire must be licenced and insured. For a contractor to obtain a licence, they must meet certain trade obligations and have the necessary experience and skills to perform work within that trade. If they hold a valid licence, you can have peace of mind knowing you are dealing with a trade professional. Don’t just take the contractors word for it, check their licence status via the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) website or call them directly with the contractor’s details. You can also access information about the type of work the contractor does, and whether there has been disciplinary action taken against them in the past.
When it comes to insurance, it’s best to ask the contractor about their policy and what it covers when in the research phase.
Insurance protects you if the contractor accidentally damages your property while on site. Their insurance will cover the costs associated with fixing it. If they don’t have adequate insurance, you may be out of pocket for the repairs. While a contractor that doesn’t have a licence or insurance may be considerably cheaper, you need to ask yourself if it is worth the potentially costly headaches if something goes wrong.
Are all people that will be working on my driveway trade professionals?
In most instances, a driveway job will require more than one person to complete. It is easy to assume that the person you hire will solely be doing all the work however, more times than not, this isn’t the case. You should ask if all people that will be working on your driveway are trade professionals. You hire a company with the expectation that it will be done by experienced tradesmen, not by unskilled people that are not up to the job, and it is only fair you get what you pay for. The last thing you want is to have to repair or replace your driveway before normally necessary due to inferior workmanship.
Do you offer a warranty or guarantee?
Most paving contractors will be happy to provide you with a guarantee on their workmanship and products to give you complete assurance. This is because they are confident in the quality of their work and the materials they use. Generally, a workmanship guarantee starts at around three years minimum, and a product guarantee is usually ten years plus, some will offer a lifetime guarantee. It is unrealistic to expect a lifetime guarantee on workmanship. Why? Because more often than not, the damage is caused by problems out of the contractor’s control, such as invasive tree roots or setting erosion. It’s important to note, that while many will offer a guarantee, it generally won’t cover damage caused by your own wrongdoing such as dragging garbage bins across them or exceeding the recommended weight-bearing limits.
How many years has your business been around?
A well-established company that has been in business for many years won’t necessarily do a better job than a company that has been in business for a shorter period, but the reality is, most businesses go bust within the first two years, so who’s to say the new company will still be around in twelve months. Where does that leave you if there is an issue with your driveway down the track? Generally, when a company has been around a long time, they have a breadth of experience working in all different terrains and settings and know how to pave using a variety of techniques and styles. The likelihood of your guarantee being honoured is greater.
How much will it cost?
This is the number one question for many, and understandably so, we work hard for our money and want to be sure we are spending it wisely. The price can vary significantly depending on how big your driveway is, the amount of groundwork that needs to be done to prepare the area, the materials you choose and the design. When conducting your research, it’s a good idea to ask the contractor whether their price is fixed or subject to change. If it is subject to change don’t be surprised if there are additional expenses tacked on when you get the final bill. Take the time to ring around before committing to a paving contractor to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Your driveway can take up a big chunk of your front yard, so you want to be sure it not only looks good but is highly safe too. A paved driveway that has been done well can increase the overall appeal of your home and can add substantial value to your property.
If you are looking for some of Western Australia’s finest quality pavers, look no further than Bonita Stone. We have set the standard in paving and would love to help you choose the perfect pavers for your driveway. Get in touch with our friendly team for more information.