One of the best places to relax in the evening is out on the patio, but this is highly dependent on how comfortable and appealing it is. Your patio can be a personal place to retreat if you decorate or build it well. However, before you get to build it, here are a few questions you need to ask your contractor:
- May I please see your license?
The best answer to this question is “Here it is.” The contractor must be ready and willing to produce their active license because this confirms that the government recognizes them as a contractor and are, therefore, not schemers.
Furthermore, a license is evidence that a particular contractor has the relevant skills, knowledge and training to handle any patio-building job.
- Do you have insurance?
Having insurance protects both you and the contractor, in case of an accident or injury. The contractor you are planning to hire for the job must show adequate and relevant insurance. Otherwise, you might end up paying for any damages that the contractor has caused.
- Do you understand what I want and is it practical?
If you want your patio to look a certain way or have specific features, it is important to share this information with the contractor in detail. Get images of what you want, get a sketch or even use a design application to make sure the contractor understands what you want.
However, be open to variations of the idea, especially if the contractor figures that the space you have, your location, or your budget will not allow what you want.
- How long is your warranty period?
First, you have to establish that the contractor will offer you a warranty in case of damage within a specific period. If anything happens to the patio during this period, they should be willing to come and offer repair or touch-up services without charge. The terms of the warranty must be clearly stated in the contract.
- How much will you charge for the whole project?
You cannot work properly without a budget since this will prevent you from spending too much on a project, or keep you from leaving a project halfway. If you do not know the prevailing cost of the materials that you want to use, ask the contractor to help you source affordable and good quality materials. If you cannot afford to pay the contractor their asking price, look for another or increase your budget.
- How long will the project take?
Contractors can project how long a project is going to take, depending on its scale and complexity, including the total number of working hours. This information is vital because you will know when to have guests over or not, and when to use the back door.
- What projects have you done before?
The best contractor is one with a comprehensive portfolio. The contractor should provide you with images of previous and on-going work, so that you see how good they are.
Also, make sure to contact a few of their past clients, so that you understand what form of a business relationship they had, including how well their projects were executed.