Top Questions You Should Ask When Selecting a Patio Builder

Jayde Ferguson

So, you’ve decided to build a patio! Upgrading your backyard space is an exciting time. Homeowners are utilising the outdoors to create an extra room that can be used all year around. And a well-constructed patio is the perfect place to start. Over the years, indoor and outdoor living have merged into one. We see design trends which have blurred the line between the two, combined all the comforts and transformed the backyard into an extension of the home.

Gone are the days when the outdoor area was used for a quiet drink or watching the kids play. The merge between the two words has lead homeowners to shift their priorities. When it comes to their own enjoyment and the features essential to fuelling what homeowners love, a patio is a wise investment for many. But what questions should you be asking to make sure it goes to plan? Here’s what you need to know when finding a patio builder:

Are You Insured?

One of the most important questions to ask is about insurance. Reputable patio building companies will be covered if something goes wrong during the installation process, but you want to be sure. Depending on the state you’re in, builders will be insured with a licence relevant to the location. All sub-contractors working on your patio should carry a general liability and workers’ compensation liability insurance too. Whilst it’s up to the patio building company to ensure insurance requirements are all met, they usually don’t have to show clients unless asked. To be on the safe side, always ask.

Do You Offer a Guarantee or Warranty?

Before making any investment, it’s vital to understand what guarantee or warranty is offered. Go over the details and agreement with a fine-tooth comb. A general rule of thumb is the longer the warranty, the better the product. Ask your chosen patio builder whether the warranty will still be honoured if the company isn’t operating anymore, what the warranty includes and anything that can void it.

Can a Portfolio of Work be Provided?

Patio builders that are proud of their work will be more than willing to show it off. Seeing a portfolio of work before making a commitment will ensure you’re getting what you pay for. You want to feel confident that this investment is going to add value to your home and meet your outdoor living needs and wants. Asking to see previous work will give you an indication of the quality and style of the builder and may even offer some design ideas. Check social media channels and the company website for samples of work too and always choose a patio builder with similar work to what you want.   

What Selection of Materials and Colours Do You Provide?

Opt for a patio builder with the right selection of materials and colours for the job. Specialised builders will have access to an extensive range of products to give you the best look for your space. Make sure they only use quality Australian materials. A patio is a big investment that can significantly transform your home – so you want to make sure it’s done properly. Choose a builder that has stylish solutions and excellent, functional materials in a range of colours.

Can I See a Schedule or Deadline?

A good patio builder will keep the lines of communication open throughout the project. They will be able to give you a detailed outline of the schedule and how long it will take to complete. Normal start and finishing times will be provided and how many hours in total will be dedicated to building your patio. You shouldn’t be left guessing when the builders will show up and when the design is finished. A reputable company will be transparent about all details and keep you in the loop.

Is the Design Work Included in the Price?

Some builders will include design work in the overall price, some won’t. When getting quotes and estimates from different builders, ask exactly what’s included in the total. Determine whether you want a custom-designed patio or one from their existing portfolio.

Do You Provide the Designs?

If you’re looking for a custom-designed patio, check with your chosen builder about who provides the designs. In most cases, you will be able to sit down with the patio company and discuss your specific needs. Any drawings and plans should be approved and signed off by you. Many patio companies have an in-house designer who can assist with the plan of your project, rather than just dealing with the salesman.

Is a Contract Offered?

Detailed contracts are important to protecting both parties at hand. A professional won’t hesitate to put their scope of work in writing. If they refuse to offer you more than their word and a handshake, move on to a different patio builder. A good contract will be transparent in covering all the costs involved, warranty information and a set of plans for the patio. These plans will include all information from the design work, colours and materials used. The paperwork should outline everything involved and agreed upon expectations so there’s no room for surprises.

What Accreditations Do You have?

Before agreeing to anything, find out what certifications your builder has. They should have all relevant licenses obtained and be members of applicable associations. A good patio builder will take pride in their work and strive to meet industry standards. These accreditations will be shown on their website or social media channels. If you can’t find them, don’t be afraid to ask what ones they would love to show off!

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Patios Plus – Perth’s custom made patios with over 16 years’ experience. You can catch her on Google+.