Your quest for the perfect patio designer has begun.
Imagine spending lazy afternoons on your custom patio, stretched out in a lounge chair with a cool drink in hand and a good book by your side. But at the moment, there are some important questions to ask potential contractors.
You’ve got the basics covered. You know you need to ensure that anyone you hire is licensed and certified, bonded and insured, and willing to provide a handful of solid references. But there are a few more questions that will help you make the best possible hire.
Make sure to cover the following five questions when interviewing prospects:
- How long have you been a patio designer?
No, longevity doesn’t guarantee your project will go off without a hitch. However, it typically signifies that a patio designer has done something right to stay afloat in the dog-eat-dog construction industry. Multiple years on the job means a larger portfolio, a longer list of reference and testimonials, and unique problem-solving skills garnered from previous projects.
- What kind of stone/material is right for my space? For my budget?
You’ve hired a patio designer to help you fully realize your vision for an outdoor entertainment area. However, some of your grand schemes may not gel completely with your home’s architecture or layout. Your contractor will be able to offer you alternative suggestions, while adhering to your concepts as closely as possible.
Dry-laid bricks or pavers are the easiest and most low-maintenance materials to use, by far. Laid in sand and set without mortar, they can endure freezing temps without cracking.
Flagstone, on the other hand, offers a more attractive and natural option, albeit a slightly more expensive one. Because they are laid directly into tampered soil and/or sand, flagstone pavers are often subject to plants and moss growing between their joints. These are minor issues, however, and easily remedied. Ask your patio designer for more information.
- Do you offer 3D designs?
Many patio and landscape designers have begun to offer 3D modeling capabilities, allowing customers to digitally view new and proposed features from every angle – in three dimensions. The practice goes a long way in removing guesswork, ensuring customer satisfaction, and saving time, money, and effort.
- What will the day-to-day schedule be like?
Your patio designer should provide an overview of the project’s timeline in a contract. Estimates for daily start and end times will allow you to plan your day and activities accordingly. While asking about scheduling, you should also find out if your contractor uses subcontractors. Generally speaking, a company that maintains its own workforce is ideal – these specialists are typically trained by your patio designer and well-versed in their practices and standards of quality.
- Can I get a contract in writing?
A solid contract should include a complete description of all work being done, the materials required, a detailed timeline, and precise costs. You should also receive all warranty information, as well as any guarantees against defective materials and/or workmanship.
Bainbridge Outdoor Design Build is certified by the International Concrete Paver Institute and the National Contract Management Association. All patio design work is done in-house, from small backyard seating areas to complete pool deck overhauls. Our specialists are proficient with all materials, from flagstone to brick to concrete, and our 3D modeling services can ensure your project is completed to your every specification. Call us at 703-296-8759 today to learn more.