Embarking on a new project is an exciting time, however it can be a minefield sifting through various websites and Google looking for a driveway installer you can trust to create your driveway vision. How do you know which one to choose and ensure you aren’t caught up in one of the many disaster stories we hear on Watchdog and Rogue Traders every week? Don’t rush your decision, take time to research a driveway installer and make sure you meet them to discuss the project and get a written quote.
Here are our tips on how to choose a driveway installer:
- Meet with the installer, get a feel for them, ask questions and see how they respond. If they are knowledgeable, they should be able to answer your questions and offer advice of how you might go about the project.
- Ask for a quote – how does this come back to you – is it presentable and written with detail so you know exactly what is and isn’t included in your price. At this point I would also expect to receive an estimated start date if you were to accept the quotation and an estimate of how long the project will take.
- Do some research on your shortlist. There are a wealth of things you might be able to find out about them online.
- Have they won awards? This is not critical to success, but it does show creativity and a level of expertise.
- Are they VAT registered – again not to be used on its own as a way of choosing a supplier but another indicator that the owner runs a legitimate bona fide business. Plus, you can review them on Companies House and see any relevant past history when it comes to finance.
- Do they have any accreditations? One of the well-known ones within the industry is Marshalls approved installers. If they are Marshalls Approved you can ask for their most recent assessment. You might need an installer with a streetworks licence particularly if you need to introduce a drop kerb to your driveway.
- Do they offer any guarantees? This will help reassure you that their workmanship is built to last.
- How long has the business been established – a well-established business shows a wealth of experience and years of building a reputation alongside a good level of knowledge. Test this knowledge when you meet the driveway installer – are they able to answer your questions, do they offer suggestions about how to approach a project?
- Reviews – look at online reviews and ask for references. You can ask to see previous work and talk with previous customers to get a feel for how the installer works. Compile a list of questions for the customer before you speak with them to help steer the conversation and to help make a comparison between the different installers.
- If you have any warning signs or doubts in your mind about the driveway installer, perhaps you haven’t found the right one and it would be better to start again.
If you do find yourself in the awkward situation of not being happy with the work completed, speak with the company in question and give them the opportunity to rectify the situation. If you feel their work is still below standard you could report them to an official body like Trading Standards.
Whichever driveway installer you choose, we hope your project is a success!