When you’re comparing finished patios, it might appear that there’s little difference between them. It stands to reason that, if you use quality materials, you’ll get a quality patio. It’s what’s going on under those pavers, however, that makes the difference in durability, maintenance costs, and long-term value.
This short list of questions will help you see beyond the surface while you’re comparing estimates.
1.) How long have you been installing patio pavers?
Like any combination of science, artistry, and precision, patio installation is a pursuit in which expertise comes with time and experience. While paver systems look simple enough, they’re merely a tool in the hands of a skilled design and installation team. When you’re planning your project, be sure to speak with installers who are planning for the unique characteristics of your property, not just asking which finishes you prefer.
At NOVA Landscape & Design, we have more than 20 years of patio paver installation experience, having started offering patios under the umbrella of Dumfries Nursery before our current business even launched. We invest in regular training for our installers, and we’ve mastered the terrain and conditions of our Northern Virginia region.
2.) Are you certified with a reputable industry organization?
The quality and durability of your hardscaping project depend on the materials and workmanship that go into it. Professional certification ensures that your contractor is experienced, up to date on industry standards, and committed to following best practices on each installation project.
NOVA is a member of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, which provides continuing education opportunities for hardscaping professionals through courses approved by the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Green Business Certification Institute. We hold ICPI’s Concrete Paver Installer Certification, which shows our commitment to meeting national guidelines and expanding our skills through continuing education.
3.) Can you show me up front how my finished project will look?
Modern visualization software takes the guessing out of custom hardscaping projects, saving you time and money. While some projects are very straightforward and don’t need an extra visualization step, 3D modeling is totally worth it for projects that involve significant customizations. If you’re looking for a unique design, be sure to work with a contractor who offers visualization capabilities. When you do a custom hardscaping project with NOVA, we’ll get started on your 3D design once we’ve agreed on your project’s scope, specifications, and estimate.
4.) What are your patio installation procedures?
To see that there’s a lot more to installing a patio than assembling pavers, just watch a patio project unfold! Engineering the base on which pavers are installed is just as important as paver placement. While different companies will each have their own approach to completing the steps involved, you can expect any reputable contractor to be specific when discussing the process and have their systems down to a science.
NOVA’s Patio Installation Process
As part of the education process required for ICPI Concrete Paver Installer Certification, members of the NOVA team have received intensive training in patio installation best practices. We’ve adapted our comprehensive process directly from ICPI’s recommended procedures to ensure our custom patios age beautifully and stand the test of time.
The steps in our process include:
- Site Layout & Excavation
- Soil Subgrade & Base Preparation
- Soil Compaction
- Surface Grading
- Edge Restraint & Bedding Sand Installation
- Paver Cutting
- Paver Compaction & Joint Sanding
Do the answers provided here lead you to more questions? If so, be sure to keep asking until you feel confident in your choice of patio installers. By the time you sign a contract and make your first payment, you should have all the answers you need to feel certain you’re working with the right team. If clarifying questions come up during the course of your project, ask those, too! Any company worth their salt will want you to understand as much as possible about your hardscaping project.
If you live in Northern Virginia and haven’t gotten a patio estimate from NOVA Landscaping & Design yet, request one today!