A staggering 56.9 percent of the roughly 879,000 single-family homes built in 2019 had patios. These days, patios have become more than just an outdoor space to relax and enjoy the fresh air. Patios have become status symbols and have morphed into “outdoor living rooms,” complete with kitchens and dining areas.
If you don’t have a patio or your current patio layout is somewhat lacking, the new year presents the perfect opportunity for a new one. There’s no law barring you from building your own patio, but you might want to hire a patio builder for the best results.
The problem is, with so many contractors and professional patio services, how do you find the right one for the job? If this describes your predicament, worry not; we’re here to help. Today, we’ll be highlighting a few things you should look for when hiring a patio builder.
A Valid License and Proper Insurance
The first thing you need to look for in a patio building company is a license. Most states require all building contractors to have valid licenses to operate in their respective states. Any contractor working without a license is doing so illegally and isn’t worth your time or money.
Aside from the license, you also want to check whether the company has proper insurance coverage. A proper company should have both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. At the very least, the company should have general liability coverage.
General liability insurance shields you from any out-of-pocket costs in the event of damage to your property during construction work. Workers’ comp, on the other hand, protects you from legal and financial liability should a worker get injured on the job.
Ensure the company has both a valid license and insurance before signing any papers. It’s also worth noting that an expired license isn’t valid.
Experience Building Patios and Outside Enclosures
Not every contractor is well versed in the construction of patios or outdoor enclosures. That’s why you need to look for a company with considerable experience in building patios. Ask to see their portfolio or pictures of any recent patios they’ve worked on before.
Don’t settle for word of mouth, and instead ask for tangible proof. Just because they say they can build it, doesn’t mean they can. Check the company’s portfolio before settling on the contractor in question.
The contractor should furnish you with an estimate of the cost of building your patio. This estimate is only an approximation of the actual cost. However, it’ll give you a good idea of how much you should expect to pay for the patio.
The problem with most homeowners is that they pick the contractor with the cheapest quote. This makes perfect sense but only works to their detriment. Lower rates usually translate to substandard work with low-quality construction materials.
It’s best to play it safe and find a contractor with reasonable rates. We’re talking not too cheap, but not too expensive either. Request multiple quotes from different contractors and find one that matches your budget.
A Detailed Contract
Although building a patio seems like a minor job, it’s still important to have everything entailing the project in a contract. The patio contractor should create a contract that outlines all the crucial details of the project. It should delve into the items to be installed, costs, duration of the project, and much more.
Ensure you read the fine print diligently before giving the contractor the green light. If everything checks out, sign the contract so the contractor can get to work. However, make sure the contract leaves a little room for any unexpected changes.
Does the patio building company offer a warranty for its services? Reputable contractors offer warranties for their projects because they’re confident in their work quality. Some even offer follow-up repair services for free.
Plans and Specifications for the Job
The contractor should furnish you with the plans and specifications for the project. These plans should include the patio layout, required materials, and much more. They will give you a firm idea of what to expect from the contractor.
Request multiple bids so you can find a plan that matches your taste and budget. You can also forward them your own patio ideas and see whether they’re up to the task. Choose the best option from the lot, but don’t overlook the rates.
The Number of People Working on the Project
You need to have a firm idea of how many people will be working on the patio. After all, you’re inviting complete strangers into your home. If you have too many people working on the project, you might feel a little uncomfortable.
Also, ask about the contractor’s work schedule and see whether it aligns with yours. Maybe, you’re not a morning person and you don’t want anyone coming in before 9 AM. Talk this out with the contractor so you can create a schedule that works for both of you.
A Solid Demeanor
Arrange a one-on-one with the contractor when you have time. During this meeting. take a close look at their demeanor. Ask them about their educational background, experience, and core values.
Also, ask a few questions about patios to gauge their knowledge of patios. Ask about the building process, the timeline, and even the benefits of a patio. You can ask anything as long as it enriches your understanding of the contractor and the project.
Steer clear of any contractor that seems anxious, jittery, or can’t answer simple questions. They’re either hiding something or don’t have the knowledge or experience you need for your project.
Only the Best Patio Builder Will Do
When in the market for a patio builder, remember to settle for nothing but the best. Explore all your options and find a patio contractor that checks all the boxes. Lucky for you, one such contractor is only a phone call away.
Contact us today for professional and expedient patio-building services.