Patios are now known as “outdoor rooms” because they extend the common living space of your home and increase its resale value.
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Woodbury, NJ – November 10, 2016 – Patios are now known as “outdoor rooms” because they extend the common living space of your home and increase its resale value. Like any home improvement, good planning is essential for good results. Before you hire a contractor to install a pool, patio, or other outdoor Hardscape, take some time to prepare. Here are 4 things to do now that will help guide you down the path to a perfect patio.
1. Learn your town’s municipal zoning rules. Environmental regulations are common but many homeowners are unaware of them. Rainfall and water runoff are concerns you must address with any plan that covers your land with an “impervious surface.” Your home’s footprint and driveway contribute to the total percentage allowed for your property. Fortunately, there are permeable surface coverings that use pavers and a drainage system that lower the percentage of impervious coverage of your land. Search for "eco pavers" for ideas.
2. Ask around for contractor recommendations. You can start with online review sites, but asking neighbors and friends for a contractor they used is more effective in finding a good match. If you can see the work completed, ask to take pictures to keep for reference, and find out if the contractor stayed within budget and finished within the original timeline. Paver manufacturers usually have a list of contractors they recommend. Take advantage of the installation recommendations that a reputable paver manufacturer often provides. They know which contractors do the best work. Look for something like this contractor recommendation page from paver manufacturer EP Henry.
3. Determine all the needs of your project. Do you want only a patio or a patio with a water feature like a pond? Are you incorporating lighting (this should be a yes if you want to use your outdoor space at night)? Added expertise is needed for these types of details. Again, a paver manufacturer will know just which experts your idea will need to become reality. They will recommend a contractor that has great relationships with expert designers, electricians, plumbers, and landscapers who can help with the planning and installation. All of this extra help may sound expensive, but it is usually included in the general contractor’s fees. The extra effort will be worth it in the end.
4. Do your own research on contractors. Check the Better Business Bureau and search online for the contractor’s name, especially in “news” and “images” searches. The US government’s Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) suggests you check if the contractor has the current required licensing and insurance for your municipality. The site says, “Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. Licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process.”
When you do settle on a contractor, make sure your rights are protected. The FTC site advises homeowners to contact their local or state consumer agency to see what percentage of the final bill is allowed as a down payment. Also, ftv.gov says to pay with a credit card instead of cash. This adds an extra layer of help if a dispute occurs. Visit the FTC.gov site for other details and links about homeowner’s rights.
Preparing well for a big outdoor project is more than simply collecting pictures for a pin board. A little education and planning will go a long way in ensuring the healthy contractor-owner partnership that will produce the perfect patio or other Hardscaping project for your space and needs.
About EP Henry®
EP Henry® provides the highest quality and broadest product offerings in Hardscaping(™). EP Henry is the oldest family-owned and operated manufacturer of unit concrete products in North America. Aside from their commitment to quality products, EP Henry is committed to providing you with the best finished project. As a market leader in both consumer and commercial Hardscaping EP Henry is 100% American made, owned, and operated. From humble beginnings in Edward P. Henry's Woodbury, NJ basement, EP Henry has evolved into the recognized industry leader in paver product innovation. For more information visit EPHenry.com or call 800-44-HENRY (800-444-3679).