Beyond Recommendations: 3 Tips on Finding a Good Contractor from EP Henry

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Recommendations are still the gold standard in construction, but getting them can be challenging. Approaching strangers isn’t easy and online reviews aren’t always trustworthy. Thankfully, good contractors usually stand out from the crowd, and often are recommended by the product manufacturer.

“EP Henry stands by their product. … They’re a stand-up company,” he said.

Energetic and playful kids Aiden, 9, and Caitlin, 8, from Monmouth County, NJ, were ready to do tricks when their parents installed a new pool in the backyard. “I do a front flip [into the pool],” said Aiden. “I pushed him in once,” said Caitlin.

Over a year ago, Caitlin’s and Aiden’s parents wanted their uniquely-shaped lot transformed into a year-round oasis. Many homeowners quickly discover that finding a good contractor can take time. The common refrain is to get recommendations.

Recommendations are still the gold standard in construction, but getting them can be challenging. Approaching strangers isn’t easy and online reviews aren’t always trustworthy. Thankfully, good contractors usually stand out from the crowd, and often are recommended by the product manufacturer.

Here are 3 things a good contractor does:

Communicates with and listens to the customer

Errol Ramirez of Errol’s Landscaping collaborated with Aiden and Caitlin’s parents to design the backyard of their dreams. “They had a lot of their own ideas, I had a lot of my own ideas, and we put it all together,” he said.

Years of experience will lend a contractor expertise in design and installation. But while contractors may be experts on installations, homeowners are the experts of their own lives. A good contractor will ask the homeowner many questions about the space. A combination of ideas from homeowners and contractors will result in an outdoor living space that is a great fit.

Offers a long-term plan that can be phased if needed

Ideally, the outside areas will be considered before the footing is poured for the house, but this is often not the case. More likely, the family renovating the home is not its original owner. Either way, every project should be a part of a holistic plan for the home and landscape. Even if building a dream spa or a wedding gazebo is not on the near horizon, a good contractor will design a landscape that includes the homeowner’s long-term goals. Good contractors know it is the most economical and efficient option to design one comprehensive plan first and build it out as budgets allow.

Uses quality products

Major renovations affect all aspects of the home and landscape, which in turn affect the property’s value. The top contractors use the top manufactured products and don’t compromise. Nothing is worse than a 2-year-old pool deck showing signs of deterioration because of poorly-manufactured supplies. Mr. Ramirez uses EP Henry products. “EP Henry stands by their product. … They’re a stand-up company,” he said. Using the best products helps ensure a solid, long-lasting structure. Contractors who provide warranties on their work will use only the most reliable products.

Aiden and Caitlin’s dad agrees. “I have friends who went with the cheapest bid or product but you get what you pay for,” he said. Building something to last means finding a contractor who uses high-quality materials, plans ahead and listens to the customer.

About EPHenry®

EP Henry®, the oldest American family-owned and operated manufacturer of unit concrete products in North America, provides the highest quality and broadest product offerings in Hardscaping(™). Based in Woodbury, New Jersey, EP Henry manufactures a wide range of paving stone and retaining wall products, including permeable pavers which are a best management practice (BMP) for stormwater management. EP Henry also offers beautiful patio pavers, outdoor kitchen kits, garden wall solutions and more. For more information on EP Henry Hardscaping products, visit EPHenry.com or call 800-44-HENRY (800-444-3679).

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