What Makes Platinum Stone Design Great?

As a client you really need that support network that a company like Platinum Stone Design Inc offers. The pace of change is constant. New products. New installation techniques. If you’re a contractor invested in offering the best products and service you possibly can, you have to keep up. The old ways just aren’t going to cut it anymore. The consumer is too educated these days and has high expectations for their hardscape investment. This is a good thing because it forces me to become better. Its win all the way around. The consumer gets a very high quality end product. Our suppliers do however keep close ties with those select few, their authorized contractors. It’s assurance for the homeowner, they’re getting the best products installed by the best contractors. And I’m highly honored to be included in that group.

Here is my personal list of what sets Platinum Stone Design Inc. apart from the others.

  • Extensive product lines. Paving stones and retaining walls that consumers really gravitate towards.
  • Passion for Innovation. Exciting new products, and design!
  • Unparalleled Service. Always a good thing.
  • Support, support.. support. Our suppliers are always close by to help us, the contractor, so projects are executed to the highest standards.
  • Seminars and continuing education.
  • Unilock awards program.
  • Techo Bloc showcases.

To become a certified installer for Unilock and Techo Bloc is a fairly involved process.   There are certain minimum requirements that have to be met. But in reality It’s the training and certified installers that make our installs so incredible. It’s the people at Platinum Stone Design Inc that sets us apart from the competition. Highly dedicated and passionate people that have pushed this industry to where it is today. I would also like to mention the sales reps that go out of their way to help us certified contractors grow our business. I have to personally thank James Roth and John Lavoie my local Techo Bloc and Unilock representatives. It’ a collection of professionals and a caring team of employees that makes Platinum Stone Design Inc great!

 

Design Time

Here we are, Christmas is just around the corner. Homeowners are busy with shopping, parties, spending time with family. You have managed to let that landscape project slip thru the cracks this summer and you say; we will do it next year! The winter time is the best time to meet with your landscaper and start to plan that project you have prolonged.    The truth is this is the best time to get the most of your Landscape designer because of the slower months. He or she can spend more time with you to create the space you always wanted. Most companies that you sign with in the month of December will price with that years pricing. You can save sometimes 5% on the project not waiting to sign in the new year! I hope this sheds some light and helps you make that decision now and not put your landscape plans on hold until spring. Your pocket book will be happy you did!

Getting your landscape ready for the fall season!

It’s September and fall is approaching, children are going back to school and the summer vacations are over. Now you might be thinking we should have our gravel driveway completed so we are not snow shoveling gravel onto the lawn, or maybe start thinking and planning the fireplace install. This is one of the busiest times of the year for landscapers. I hear it quite often ” the contractors are not calling me back” Frankly we are just as busy as the spring. So it is important to get down to business and sign your contracts soon as possible to make sure your project can be completed  before the snow fly’s. That being said this could also be the best time to install plants and not to mention the prices will drop and you will get the best pricing of the year. So change those seasonal planter’s and add some color to the front entrance way! So get those projects you were putting off done, you will be glad you did!

Installing a Pool

Custom stone work and pool.

Why Choose Interlock?

When investing in your property, you want to choose a paving material that can stand up to Canada’s winter weathers, require minimal maintenance, be the most cost-effective (long term), provide durability, look it’s best and add value to your investment.

  • Interlocking pavers will do just that, because pavers are individual stones, the natural joints between each pavers will “give” with pressure, expansion and contraction, eliminating the cracking as you would experience with asphalt and concrete pavement.
  • Paving stones are one of the strongest paving materials and can withstand heavy weight load.
  • Stone pavers may be used immediately after installation, unlike concrete or asphalt that require days to cure.
  • Stone pavers tend to come with long term warranty.

One the biggest advantage of using stone pavers is that if a repair ever does become necessary from example oil spills in your driveway or city repairs, pavers can therefore be easily replaced without leaving ugly patches or mix matched colors.

Paving stones come in a wide variety of surface finishes, colors and shapes that will compliment your style and can provide you with a more custom design.

Concrete/asphalt will crack at some point in time, some causes of cracking are freezing, thawing, changes in weather or when the base moves due to heavy loads or settlement . Concrete tends to shrink over time, fade or flake if choosing stamped concrete. Unfortunately to repair this usually requires the entire structure to be replaced as color matching to the existing is nearly impossible. Not to mention that stamped concrete needs to be sealed evey fall to have protectionTherefore will cost you more in the long term.

Interlocking Stone Installation

Base excavation and base preparation.

Relaying a patio or driveway

Today’s topic is relaying a patio or driveway. We get asked to repair poorly completed paver projects and the clients expect for the issue to be 100% corrected. Well I got news for you, the problem will come back again and again because the base material has failed and to correct the situation the project needs to be removed and project started from scratch, ie …full excavation and new pavers etc most times the pavers are deteriorating from the bottom and when removed or recompacted are broken and or crushed. Stop throwing money year after year and have the project completed new with a new warranty. Then you will have years of enjoyment!

Choosing the right contractor

It’s spring and everyone is calling every contractor in the phone book, but how do you know which one to call? Do you go with the company with the largest advertising? Or do you go with who is a part of the BBB. Maybe they are too expensive and charge a crazy price, with large size advertisement. Maybe we should pick a contractor with a smaller advertisement!  They might be cheaper. Or this is my favorite! Call all the contractors and tell them what we want over the phone and ask “how much per square foot”. Well the question I have for you is, “how much is a car” they all have wheels and drive but not created equal. Here are some tips next time you are hiring a landscape contractor. Tip number 1) if the contractor gives you a price per square foot get rid of him. He clearly does not know what his costs are and he has not given you a material range cost. This should narrow your search by 50-75% of landscape contractors. The reason we don’t charge by square foot is because every job is different. A patio in the backyard with no machine access can’t be the same price as doing a front walkway of 60 square feet. A contractor that operates at $2000 a day can’t start his trucks and send his crew for a 60 square foot walkway for less than $3000. So therefore don’t go by square foot pricing. Tip 2) if the contractor is giving you an estimate over the phone without coming to see the project get rid of him. Every project has different obstacles to overcome and you can’t account for them over the phone. This is where the homeowners get taken for more than what was proposed by the contractor.

The best way to find a reputable contractor is to speak to a few stone suppliers and ask there recommendations, than go to websites and look at the work and see what suits your taste. If the contractor does not have one get rid of him. In this day and age it’s expected to have one if you are a true professional. Next is the contractor part of any professional associations? You ask any professional if they want to better the industry and they all will give you the same answer,  And are usually all part of similar associations. Next is the contractor a certified interlocking stone installer?  This is a big one. I would never let a dentist do my plumbing nor would I let a non certified dentist work on my teeth. These are just a few tips on helping you find the right contractor! Don’t just ask for referrals ask to look at the project they are currently working on and see for your self. Next ask what there warranty is? Is it a two year or a five year. How long have they been in business? If they have only been in business for 2 years and are offering a 5 year warranty get rid of them. They probably won’t be in business long enough to fix there mess. Last but not least if the contractor does not give you a design to go from when hired than you really don’t know what you are getting. Also a estimate on a card! What’s that nonsense. The proposal should be so indepth that you could probably teach the other 50% of contractors how the job should be completed. Well hope this sheds some light and helps you find the right contractor for your project!

Working with new clients

Today, I decided to talk about what professional contractors go through on a daily basis when it comes to dealing with potential clients. It usually starts with the contractor receiving a call or a lead from a customer or a supplier. We will book an appointment for a free consultation; this is an expense for the contractor, but it’s a cost of doing business. Then we meet; so the homeowner can explain the dream backyard oasis that they would like to have installed. The million-dollar question every homeowner hates to hear is, “What is your budget?”

That nearly ruins the mood of the meeting. What should they say? Clients may fear that if they say $50 000, the contractor will instantly mark the project up to $49 999! Here is a secret that you probably didn’t know, we don’t want to know your budget so that we can mark you up to the last penny. We need to set a budget in order to design a realistic project without wasting the contractor’s valuable time designing an overly lavish landscape project!

If we don’t know the client’s budget, we can go way overboard and make a design so over-the-top that future generations would have to pay it back! The homeowner usually hopes that the contractor will come under the budget they want to spend, and fears that they will take them to the limit on their maximum amount.

I hope this explains the reasons why contractors ask for a budget. No contractor wants to hear about champagne dreams on a beer budget. We can’t give you what you want without knowing your true budget.