Unfortunately, there are a lot of general contractors out there who are willing to install your patio but probably shouldn’t be. It’s not that these people want to give you a subpar product; it’s that they don’t have the knowledge to even understand their paver patios aren’t properly installed. Then, they don’t stick around long enough to see the problems that result from them. The good news is that you can identify these contractors before you hire them to install your patio. Here are the six questions to ask to figure out if your patio contractor is worth hiring.

1. Are You ICPI Certified?

The ICPI, or the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, is the leading educational organization in the industry. It offers both basic and advanced knowledge for paver installation in all kinds of hardscaping projects. While certification isn’t a requirement to install a patio, we think that it should be a requirement of any professionals who want to install pavers because it helps them provide a much better product.

2. What’s Your Warranty?

Professionals should be able to offer you a warranty from the manufacturer and a warranty for their own workmanship on all new installations. Repairs are a bit different because the team doing the repair can’t control how great the installation was. But they do control every aspect of a new installation. We offer thirty-year warranties on every new paver project we do.

3. How will My Patio Drain?

You might surprise a novice paver installer with this question. While you can put in a garden bed without needing to worry about drainage, hardscaping is different. It changes the flow of water through your property and, if drainage is not considered in the design, can end up harming your home’s foundation, harming your landscaping, or simply being a wet mess.

4. What Will it Look Like?

Your patio designer should offer you a glimpse into what any new hardscaping project should look like with 3D landscape design software. Sure, paver patios are flat, but the landscaping around them is not, and you want to see what it will really look like when you’re standing on it before you approve of the installation.

5. What if You Make a Mistake with the Pattern?

Naturally, many homeowners are concerned about whether their pavers will have the pattern they envision. Your professionals should be able to tell you what they do to make sure they install the pattern right and how they treat mistakes if they happen.

6. Will You Seal My Patio and When?

The answer to this question might not be what you expect. Yes, most paver products need to be sealed, but never right away. When inexperienced installers seal pavers immediately, they trap natural salts in the pavers, and they end up discolored. You need to let the process of efflorescence take place before you seal them. Your professionals may include the cost of their return to seal the pavers in their quote.

Working with paver professionals is a simpler, stress-free process that will also help you get a better paver patio that will last longer. Asking these six questions should help you have the best experience possible.