The first thing is to do research and get an idea of the products that might suit for use. Get pictures and connect magazine to help the envisioning of what is wanted for the outdoor environment. The shortlist should be created of qualified brick paving contractors to evaluate the project and prepare estimates. It should be ensured that the shortlisted contractors are brick paving professionals and not professional in areas such as softscape or professionals who claim to also do brick paving without actually specialising. It should be ensured that work done by them in previous years has been thoroughly inspected and attention should be paid to the lines of cuts and paver patterns. In choosing a contractor, the cheapest is not necessarily the best and often a low price means a low quality of work. Consideration should be given for qualifications, the number of years spent in the business, insurance, track record, references and knowledge.
The prospective employer should find out how long the brick paving contractor has been installing pavers and what is the primary business. The contractpr should have a decent track record of experience and be fully focused on installing paver systems. There are contractors who claim to have been in business and doing pavers for a long time when actually they may have been in business for a reasonable length of time but have only been doing pavers for a short proportion of this time without the benefit of any proper training. For instance, landscapers usually have no certification certifying the competence and should be considered unskilled labour. This is important and to ensure that the job is done by professionals, estimates should only be accepted from qualified professionals.
The prospective employer should check whether the brick paving contractor uses his own staff who are covered by workmen’s compensation of whether he uses subcontractors. The best paving contractors only use trained men on their own payroll and never subcontract, especially to unqualified workers. Any contractor who claims to do everything is almost certainly subcontracting work to unqualified people who will work at cheap rates. They charge low rates because they have no training or insurance and might be tempted to take shortcuts for which the employer may have to face the consequences.
The employer should check whether ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) certified. The best contractors use ICPI training and manuals to train their staff from the very inception. They conduct continued education with ICPI and the manufacturers every year. They are also authorised by a major brick manufacturer and their staff have been attending seminars with these manufacturers for many years.