With the current recession that plagues us; there is growing concern of the number of unqualified landscapers that are working within the landscape contracting industry. Concern of unqualified landscape contractors is growing within many Homeowner Association Communities who are trying to uphold standards regarding landscapes within their communities to aid in maintaining home values in an already challenging housing industry. HOA’s aren’t the only segment that this concern is growing among, many licensed, experienced landscape contractors and manufacturers of building materials are also being affected by unqualified “landscapers.” Professional landscape contractors are being undercut in bidding wars with these so called landscapers along with manufacturers are being affected by the bad name their product is getting because these “landscapers” will almost always blame the product not the installation when their work begins to turn bad.
There are numerous unlicensed, unqualified, uninsured landscape contractors within the Phoenix area that many homeowners are hiring to provide landscaping services especially in the area of concrete thin overlay landscape paver installations for new driveways, patio’s, sidewalks and pool decks.
Landscape pavers are an alternate to poured concrete surfaces that provide brilliant color, shapes and sizes that can provide “curb appeal” and value to homeowners. There are currently several different manufacturers here in the Phoenix area that produce superior products at reduced prices due to the collapse of the building industry.
The success of any landscape paver project depends on the willingness of the installer to install landcape pavers correctly. This often seems to be the big problem! Almost all paver installations should be installed over 2″ of base material (referred to as ABC) that needs to be compacted with 1/2″ to 1″of finish sand over the ABC to provide a proper bedding platform on which the pavers rest. To do otherwise results in project failure (heaving and shifting movements that look like ocean waves) that often gets blamed on the paver itself, when in fact it is the installation process. If paver projects are installed correctly by a licensed, experienced contractor, they will provide a lifetime of beauty and functional service.
There are a flood of purported contractors that leave business cards on homeowner doors. Many of these are people that have no business being in business. The only attraction they present to the unsuspecting homeowner is the cheap price. Many of the prices we see out there are below the cost of what a legitimate installer can charge, let along the idea of making a profit to enable them to stay in business. Usually it takes a year or so for paver project failures to present themselves- by then the cheap-guy in long gone. Try calling him to stop by to correct the problem – more than likely he is long gone and you are stuck with a mess. The blame for these failures are then unfairly placed on the pavers themselves.
Thankfully, there is an organization named “I.C.P.I. of Arizona” short for “Interconnecting Concrete Paver Institute” that can provide homeowners with certified and licensed contractors to call for bids. Dream Retreats is a landscape contractor that serves the Phoenix area that is ICPI Certified. At Dream Retreats we have gone through the professional training and certification through the ICPI Institute. We will provide to homeowners the professional proper installation of landscape pavers.