Having a new driveway installed is not a job that occurs on a regular basis, so as a homeowner, you need to be sure to get it right. This starts with ensuring that you are working with a professional and experienced contractor. Most of the problems that occur during driveway installations are a result of poor communication before the work even starts between the contractor and the customer. This can result in unexpected costs coming to light once the work is underway, as well as the level of customer expectation not being reached. So if you’re looking to build a new driveway, before signing an agreement, here are a number of important questions that you need to ask.
WHAT GUARANTEES ARE IN PLACE FOR THE JOB AT HAND?
You need to check that the contractor has all the required insurance policies in place, and do ask to see a copy of current documentation. As with all forms of contracts, make sure that you keep a copy of everything that has been agreed upon, ensuring that everything is in writing, before the work begins.
HAS THE CONTRACTOR CARRIED OUT THIS TYPE OF WORK BEFORE AND CAN THEY PROVIDE CONTACT DETAILS?
The design and layout of your driveway should work for your own use and also fit in with the overall look and ambience of your property. If the contractor has carried out similar work in the neighbourhood or with properties of a similar age and layout to yours, then ask for details so you can go and check out their handiwork. This is especially useful if the driveways that you are viewing are a few years old, so you can see if they have stood the test of time.
ARE THEY A MEMBER OF A PROFESSIONAL TRADE ASSOCIATION?
Reputable driveway contractors will aim to work to a national standard and often are members of a local business guild or trade association. They will usually have to work to set quality assurance standards, so do check out their credentials by contacting the association website.
HAVE THEY CARRIED OUT A PROPER SURVEY OF THE SITE?
Dips, cracks and hollows that appear in newly laid driveways often occur because of problems with the substrate. An experienced and professional driveway installation team will have carried out a survey of the site, noted angles and slopes as well as access points for drains, and also reviewed the surface underneath the driveway.