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Aim High and Create Your Dream Landscape!

It’s spring and you’re ready to start landscaping your backyard! You have called every contractor, responded to every ad, and still unable to find the right provider.   This close to planting season many contractors are unavailable and are booked many months ahead of time, so don’t wait until it’s too late!

Don’t be stuck waiting for a phone call from a second rate company.  Start early, do your homework, and chose the contractor that’s right for YOU.  Make sure that you have a realistic budget and some idea about what you want your home and garden to look like BEFORE you begin calling potential landscapers, this will save both you and them time and avoid headaches.

It is important to have a basic idea of what type of landscaping features you would like to see in your space before you begin searching for contractors.  Do you wish to install an outdoor fireplace or water feature? What about flowers and planters? Take a piece of paper, grab a coffee and spend some time sketching out ideas.  You will be surprised at how much this will aid in the landscaping process.  Landscaping companies charge for every official design plan they create for a customer, and being sure about what you want from the get-go will save you both time and money!

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!

 

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!

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!