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How to Choose a Driveway Block Paving Contractor

Block Paving Chelmsford

 

There are many benefits of using a professional contractor over attempting a DIY job but it can be difficult to find a competent local firm to build the new driveway of your dreams. It’s advised not to go for the cheapest quote, as like most things, you get what you pay for.  More often than not, the cheapest quote is from an unreliable firm who will cut corners and not do the job properly.  Before any blocks are laid, proper ground preparation is key to long lasting paving that ensures your driveway will not sink; this step is often sacrificed by lower priced firms.

We recommend you get a minimum of 3 quotes in order to adequately compare service standards and pricing. To help with your due diligence, below is a recommended checklist of criteria that potential contractors should be subjected to:

 

Are they insured?

Always check that a contractor has public liability insurance, so that if any accidents occur as a result for their work you can claim against them. Reputable firms will have at least £3m worth of cover, preferably £5m.

 

Do they provide a free guarantee?

Many firms charge to guarantee their work, which doesn’t exactly convey the right kind of message to the customer.  If they need to charge then they obviously don’t have much confidence in their own skills as a paver.  A reputable firm will always offer a free guarantee to give you the peace of mind you demand.

 

Do they have a code of conduct?

A code of conduct is a set of rules that outlines a contractor’s responsibilities to you, the customer.  If a firm has a clear code of conduct, it gives you peace of mind that they care for their customers. This is very important when you consider that the work they will carry out will have a big affect on your properties appearance and value.

 

Do they have testimonials from previous clients?

Don’t just take a company’s word for how great they are, always ask for any testimonials they may have.  Obviously, most contractors will only let you have the positive ones so asking friends and family for recommendations is also a good idea.

 

Do they provide written quotes?

Always insist that quotes are given in writing, as verbal quotes are completely worthless.  Trustworthy contractors are unlikely to give you a written quote there and then so ask them to email or post the quote to you.

 

Can they show you a portfolio of previous work?

Check their previous work to get an idea of the standard of craftsmanship and to see if they have completed similar projects before so that you know what to expect.

 

Are they members of any trade associations?

Credible companies will be members of trade associations such as the Marshalls Approved Contractor scheme and have the necessary qualifications from recognisable bodies like City & Guilds. Before becoming approved, their quality of work will be scrutinised by experts who will check that their work complies with the high standards required.  Membership can be checked by calling the relevant association.

 

Do they have a local telephone number?

Dishonest firms tend to use non-geographical 0800/0845 numbers or just a mobile phone number to make them more difficult to trace. Honest companies always have a local number answered by a human.

 

Are they a limited company or a sole trader?

Company due diligence should always be carried out to make sure that they are who they say they are.  Limited companies are generally more reliable as their information is publicly available for all to see, meaning they have nothing to hide.  A company registration number should be displayed on letterheads, quote forms, invoices and on their website (if they have one).

 

Do they have the knowledge and experience to do the job correctly?

When potential firms visit your property to provide a quote, be sure to ask them plenty of questions to ensure they know what they are talking about.  Also be sure to check their website; the best firms will display their knowledge by providing useful tips and advice, free of charge.

 

 

Are you looking to add significant style and value to your property? Are you looking for a professional, reliable driveway installation service in Essex, which includes block paving in Chelmsford, Brentwood and Billericay? For a free written quotation with a Marshalls Approved Contractor call us today on 01245 80 71 80 or click here for more information.

 

 

 

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