Hiring Contractors

Questions To Ask When Hiring Contractors

When Hiring Contractors, Don’t Hire “Storm Chasers”

Hurricane Irma is a good reminder to ask questions anytime when hiring contractors for any job around your home. So many times when people are at their most vulnerable time in their lives, there are others (called Storm Chasers) that arrive on the scene out of the clear blue offering repairs and services you need.  How convenient that you didn’t have to call someone and wait for them to put you on their schedule! Many times these people provide a “quick fix” to your problem and haven’t done a thorough inspection of the job and then the job has to be completed all over again, costing you more money.

Are They Bonded or Insured?

This is a very overlooked and important question to ask, because if something happens and they get hurt on your property, guess who they are going look to for medical costs…YOU! Protect yourself with this very simple question. Any legitimate contractor will carry liability coverage on their employees and if they don’t provide this info then you will be wise to look for another contractor.

Are They Licensed In The State of Florida as a Contractor?

Ask them for a business card or other document with their Company Name and state license number. Then simply go online at the Division of Corporations and check them out. It takes only a few minutes and can save you a lot of grief.

Do They Provide an Estimate of the Job?

You have the right to know what the job should cost. They should be able to provide a close, reasonable estimate of their services and put it in writing. If they leave an open ended price and tell you to just pay them the deductible and we will work the rest out with the insurance company, “Don’t Sign Anything”!

Can They Provide Any Referrals?

Any legitimate contractor will be happy to provide referrals of their work. If they give you a hard time or try to sidestep this, maybe you should look for another contractor.

These are just some basic common sense practices when looking for any work to be done around your home, not only after a climatic event but anytime you need a contractor for any situation. Don’t get in such a hurry that you take the chance.

Call West Coast Pavers today for a FREE Estimate of your new driveway or patio project!

 

Paver Replacement image

Brick Paver Replacement | Brick Paver Restore

Should You Consider Paver Replacement or Just Restore Your Existing Pavers?

When considering paver replacement vs just restoring your existing pavers, an assessment of the current condition of your pavers is necessary. It is usually much cheaper to restore your pavers than to replace them. So long as the pavers are in good structural condition and you still like the color and patter of the pavers, with a little work, they can be restored and made to look almost as they did when they were new.

The structure of the base of the brick pavers is very important to check when you’re considering paver replacement.  If you see a lot movement in the pavers and there are large gaps or areas that have settled or raised and is uneven, then you could have a serious problem with the base that is going to be difficult to remedy without a total brick paver replacement. If you do,  then any repairs may be short lived and will continue to fail costing you more money and time.

Keep in mind that any brick paver patio, walk or driveway is designed as a complete unit that must built properly in order to provide a beautiful, long lasting surface that requires little attention and care. It starts with the initial excavation and compaction of the sub-base. Then a base with a minimum of 4-6” of crushed stone must be spread and compacted in several intervals to achieve the proper density. Once the pavers or brick are laid and cut in, an edge restraint (usually concrete) needs to be installed around the entire perimeter to keep the brick pavers from spreading or moving. The pavers then need to be vibrated with a plate tamper to set them in place and even the brick surface. The final process is to spread sand (preferably polymeric sand) over the pavers and vibrated into the joints to create interlock between the brick pavers.

We often see where the previous contractor or homeowner took shortcuts in this process reducing the life span of the surface consistency.

Occasionally, we see such poor construction that we recommend the entire brick paver area be reconstructed. This can be more expensive initially, but over the long haul its a better investment than restoring a poorly constructed project.

Contact West Coast Pavers for a FREE Consultation at 239-590-9834!

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Brick Paver Maintenance

Why Is Brick Paver Maintenance Important?

When was the last time you thought of brick paver maintenance for your driveway or patio? Don’t be surprised if brick pavers look worn out, dirty, or even weedy if you have not done anything to prevent it. Brick pavers can even start to move and shift if gone neglected.

Here are tips of how you can help restore your brick paver driveway or patio

  • Determine if there has been any movement or settling of pavers. Repair these areas according to the brick paver manufacturer’s specifications. This will require digging up an area to confirm that the base was done correctly in the first place. If not, you have bigger chore on your hands of redoing the base of that area or possibly the entire brick paver walk, patio, drive, etc.
  • Pressure wash your brick pavers with about 2700 psi power washer or greater. You may or may not need to use a paver cleaner during this process.
  • Spread joint sand into the joints of the brick pavers and spray the driveway or patio with a light spray from a garden hose. Sweep sand and spray with water a second time to ensure joints are full of joint sand. Once the bricks are dry, make sure the joints are full with joint sand. This helps with brick stability.
  • Next apply joint stabilizing sealer on the brick pavers. The sealer hardens the sand and helps prevent water intrusion in the joints.
  • If desired you can apply a brick paver sealer. There are many options when choosing brick paver sealers. Some will have a glossy wet look which often darkens the color of you pavers (the choice is yours). Some paver sealers have a matte finish while others are completely invisible. The sealer will create a durable barrier against liquids on the brick paver itself. Brick paver sealers will help prevent stains and will keep your pavers looking cleaner much longer.  Some high end pavers have a stain resistant surface and this step is unnecessary. Follow the instructions of the sealer’s manufacturer on how to apply it properly.

By following this tips you will enhance the look, help maintain the structural integrity, and lower the amount of yearly maintenance on your brick pavers.

Contact West Coast Pavers of Fort Myers for professional brick paver maintenance.

Brick Paver Install Sanibel Project

Sanibel Island Brick Paver Project

This brick paver install video was taken on a project at 764 Rabbit Road, Sanibel Island. It shows time lapse video from start to finish what to expect throughout the process of a typical brick paver install with West Coast Pavers. We create brick paver masterpieces, on brick at a time! See our brick paver photo galleries for more samples of our work on driveways, walkways, patios, parking lots and more.  See why West Coast Pavers is one of Southwest Florida’s favorite go-to-brick-paver company.

Follow West Coast Pavers on our Facebook Page

You can find many more photos of our work on our Facebook page and see what’s going on our current projects. Check out our reviews on Yelp, and Google Plus.

Contact Us For a FREE Estimate Today!

Travertine Flooring

Benefits of Using Travertine for Flooring

Why Use Travertine Flooring?

Travertine flooring is a natural stone tile which makes one of the best materials for patios and flooring. It has been used for many years as a versatile and durable building material. Even though it is highly durable, the type of finish that you want on your travertine tile also adds or takes from how durable it is. Polished travertine is one of the most durable finishes and is similar to marble with a high-gloss appearance. Honed travertine tile is a matte finish that also gives the tile a smooth texture. With a matte finish it is equally as durable as polished travertine. If you desire a brushed or tumbled finish for your tile it yields more texture though it then becomes less durable.

Travertine is a sedimentary stone which means it is a material that is easier to cut and shape than other materials. Since it can be cut easily it makes the process of installation easy and cost-effective. Another added benefit is that travertine is available in an assortment of colors. These colors vary from ivory, to beige and tan, and gold to reddish brown. Because of this you can use the colors to create a uniformity in color or add some contrast and add a different level to your décor. When it comes to upkeep and maintenance, one of the best benefits is how easy it is to replace individual tiles. The best places to have a travertine floor is either in your kitchen or bathroom.

See Our Travertine/Marble Gallery

www.wcpavers.com

Brick Maintenance

How To Clean Brick Pavers

Regardless of how well a pavement might be installed, or how much was spent on quality materials, all pavings require basic maintenance and care to keep them looking their best and weed free. Companies that promise “maintenance-free” paving of one form or another are not being entirely truethful. Regular maintenance keeps paving in prime condition and looking good for years. Lack of care will deteriorate your investment very quickly.

Even if it’s just a basic wash-down with soapy water, all types and forms of paving will look so much better with a little effort on your part, while certain types of paving tend to need a bit more care and attention to ensure they always look as smart as possible. The good news is that cleaning is usually easy and even the most neglected brick pavers can often be given a new lease of life with just a little effort.

Weeds

Weeds can usually be pulled off the surface of most pavers, or scraped off using a hoe or similar tool. Where roots have been sent down into the jointing, removal of the weeds often removes some of the sand as well and this should be replaced as soon as the surface is clean. Partially-filled or empty joints are detrimental to pavement performance. Weed sprays are one of the easiest ways to control this as well as a good quality brick paver sealant. Sealant will also protect the brick pavers against stains mildew and other elements that discolor the bricks.

Basic Cleaning

The simplest and safest way to clean paving is to scrub it with soapy water. Some people will swear that hot soapy water is more effective than cold, but in reality, ANY soapy water will do. Use wash-up liquid or an acid-free soap-based floor cleaning product. Other than a bucket or pail in which to keep the soapy water, the only equipment needed is a stiff brush, that is, one with tough, rough, thick bristles rather than the finer bristled types which we refer to as soft brushes.

 

Brick Driveway Interlocking Pavers

Benefits of Using Interlocking Pavers

The Benefits of using Concrete Interlocking Pavers versus other paving solutions are numerous:

  • A large variety of paving styles
  • Multitude of color possibilities
  • Create your own design
  • Low cost, low maintenance
  • Long life expectancy
  • No cracking
  • 3 times stronger than poured concrete
  • Pavers move with soil conditions
  • Fast installation

Design Flexibility of Interlocking Pavers

There are many design options available for interlocking pavers whether you choose a hexagonal, herringbone or diamond design, there is something to suit all individual tastes. Interlocking pavers can create a casual or formal design.

The many options of interlocking concrete pavers allow for design creativity, as well as delineation of pavement areas, such as parking lanes, cross walks, and intersections. The beauty adds value and visual appeal to any property and adds flexibility and can flow with any existing landscaping not possible with rigid pavement.

Many Shapes and Colors

Pavers come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes which can be used to match a theme or for practical purposes. For example, light colored pavers offer a cooler surface around patios and pool decks.

Initial Paver Installation Cost

Generally, concrete interlocking pavers are less expensive than other types of pavement.  When considering maintenance and replacement costs, pavers offer an economical long-term alternative to other types of pavement.

Paver Strength

Concrete pavers are extremely dense units which possess exceptional strength and durability, superior stability under severe loads, and are unaffected by the extremes of heat and frost. Each unit has joints that allow for a small amount of movement without cracking and can last for decades.

They are manufactured to tight dimensional tolerances, and are stronger than regular poured concrete surfaces and more durable than black asphalt. They can take more abuse and last for many years. An interlocking paving system allows for expansion and contraction without producing surface cracks, unlike monolithic concrete surfaces and stamped concrete.

Easy Repair and No Cracks

An interlocking paver system is so easy to repair, as they can be lifted and replaced relatively easy, unlike repairing a concrete slab, where you would have to demolish it and start over again, making the maintenance costs for concrete pavers very low.

Not only are interlocking pavers easy to repair, but the likelihood of them being damaged is slim. Each unit has joints that allow for movement, so the chances of cracking is very rare. Pavers can be removed and reinstalled with the same pavers with no ugly patches after repairs to the base or underground utilities. Asphalt, concrete, and stamped concrete can’t make this claim. Pavers are low-maintenance and offer low life-cycle costs.

Maintenance

Broken pavers can be easily replaced without patches. Pavers can be repaired by lifting the affected area, re-grading. re-compacting the base and bedding sand and then reinstalling the same pavers. This is an inexpensive procedure that leaves no unsightly repair patches.

Pavers are easy to maintain when properly sealed. All that is needed is a regular sweeping and occasional rinsing are usually the most maintenance needed. For heavy soiling or stains, pressure washing with appropriate clearing solutions or a simple spot treatment with a brush, cleaner, water and some elbow grease will solve the problem. If you prefer, you can also hire a local professional in your area to pressure wash your pavers.

Durability

Interlocking pavers are designed with ridges on the wall of the paver. During installation fine sand is used between the pavers. When installed correctly, the sand creates the interlock, and the pavers will not shift. They can withstand being walked and driven on, without buckling. This makes interlocking pavers a very strong and sturdy surface material.

  • Concrete Interlocking Pavers are a flexible system and allow for movement.
  • They are almost indestructible.
  • Paver systems move in unison with the ground’s usual tendency to swell and contract over time, thus avoiding any serious damage.

Versatility

Pavers can be applied in both residential and commercial settings, including surface coverings for driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, pool decks, patios, and walkways. Interlocking concrete pavers are a sensible and aesthetically attractive choice for all outdoor surfaces. In most remodeling projects ,pavers could be installed over existing concrete surfaces like pool deck and walkway without the expense of concrete removal.

Safety

On both vehicular and pedistrian applications, pavers have a non-skid surface even when they are wet and they are safe to walk or drive a vehicle over them.

Brick Paver Installation

Brick Paver Installation FAQ – West Coast Pavers

Is It Necessary To Use Sealer On My Brick Paver Installation?

IF SO, WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

Answer: It is not necessary to use sealer at all in your brick paver installation. However, sealer does help to resist stain penetration and certain sealers will enhance and deepen the color of the paver. If you decide to do it yourself, we recommend testing any sealer you are considering using, on a hidden area or on an extra paver and follow the manufacturer directions for application. This will allow you to see the effects of the sealer to the appearance of the paver and to its slipperiness for safety.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO INSTALL PAVERS?

Answer: The cost will vary based on what are your needs, the size of your project and which type of pavers you would like to use. We understand that cost and quality are must haves in all home projects. That’s why we offer free estimates to all our customers .

Call or Email us today and ask for a in-home estimate.