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SOLVED: Are Groundworks Always Included?By admin
Friday, 5 October 2018
We are always told that getting at least three quotes for any home improvement work is essential – after all, you need to be able to make comparisons, and to judge what is an average amount for the work required.
However, if your quotes are for different things, you will be left feeling confused, and unable to choose between the quotes you have received. Driveway quotes can often fall into this category because some contractors will quote for groundworks, whilst others will not.
What Are Ground Works?
When it comes to your driveway, groundworks refer to any work that is done to prepare the ground beneath the new driveway before it is laid. This can include a variety of things including:
● Removing the old driveway. This can involve breaking up old asphalt or concrete, lifting stone pavers or scooping up old gravel. This also needs to be disposed of.
● The bare earth then needs to be graded and levelled to prevent water run off towards your home. The surface should be left as level as possible to prevent cracking of the upper surface.
● The ground may then need to be covered with a weed barrier to prevent weeds growing through your driveway.
● A layer of crushed stone is often added at this point to aid in water drainage.
● The next layer of the base will depend on the type of driveway you are having installed, but it could involve a layer of asphalt, further gravel layers or sand for pavers.
All of these groundworks need to be carried out before the actually upper driveway layer is added; it can be a very involved and drawn out process compared to the actually laying of the driveway. Groundworks can be a substantial part of your quotation simply due to the amount of work that needs to be done.
Any Instances Where Groundworks Are Unnecessary?
There may be times when your quotation does not include groundworks because they are not needed. This will almost always be the case if your driveway is being resurfaced rather than replaced.
This should only ever happen if the current driveway is in excellent condition and not prone to cracks or crumbling. If the driveway needs to be repaired before it is resurfaced, you may find that this repair work is shown as a separate item on your quote.
Why Would A Contractor Not Include Groundworks?
Some contractors may be specialists in the laying of your driveway. They may be excellent pavers and skilled craftsmen when it comes to delivering the perfect driveway – but they do not provide groundworks.
Groundworks require heavy equipment, the use of a skip, experience with diggers, and access to aggregates, rollers and grading equipment. Some contractors may simply not be willing to undertake this work.
They may therefore expect you to either complete this work yourself, or to hire a separate groundworker to carry out the preparation. Any contractor that refuses to do the groundwork should make this very clear from the outset.
They may sub out this type of work and therefore may not include it on your quote. You may receive a separate invoice for the groundwork from an entirely different contractor. Unless this is made very clear from the start, you may be very surprised to receive this.
Finally, the last reason your contractor may not include groundwork is because they will not provide any. They will simply resurface your driveway instead of replacing it. Unless you are very sure this is what you want, you should be wary. Resurfaced driveways do not last as long and are prone to cracking and failing.
Choosing The Right Contractor: An Overview
Once you have your quotes, you need to choose between them. A huge part of this is to go with your gut feeling.
If you get on with your contractor, if they were open and accommodating to your needs, if they were willing to present the quote to you in the way you needed and you have felt comfortable with them, you can feel much more confident.
Recommendations from friends and family are also a great place to start from and are often the way that the best contractors get their jobs.
That said, you should always do due diligence when deciding on a contractor for your driveway work. This will include following up any customer reviews they have offered you. Ask to see examples of their work and to visit previous customers.
You should look up the company online and check their company status. Check to see that the company address actually exists. Be wary of a contractor that only has a mobile phone and no fixed premises.
Most of all, familiarise yourself with the process of laying the driveway you have chosen so you can watch progress carefully. If they appear to miss out a step that you have been quoted for, you need to step in. Knowing the ins and outs of laying a new driveway will help to you get exactly what you are paying for.
If your new driveway quote includes groundworks, you should ask further questions; a credible contractor knows that the best driveways always start from scratch. Groundworks are the most important part of any long lasting driveway – so look for a contractor who includes them in their quote.
Comparing Quotes: 7 Key Questions
Being able to compare your driveway quotes comes down to asking the right questions in the first place. Here we give you a list of questions you should ask your contractor at the quotation stage to establish if you are paying for groundworks:
● Will you be removing my old driveway, and if so, how much will the groundworks cost?
● If you are not removing my driveway, can you guarantee that the current base is suitable, and that there will be no cracking or crumbling as a result?
● If you do need to do groundworks, will it be shown as a separate item on my quotation, so I can see how much of the overall cost is dedicated to this aspect?
● Will you provide all of the material and equipment needed for the groundworks, or will the hiring charges be passed on to me?
● Will you sub out the groundworks, and can you guarantee the work of the sub-contractor if this is the case?
● Will the sub-contractor charge me separately, or is the quote all-inclusive?
● Do you guarantee all work including the groundwork?
The main factor here is that the groundwork is shown as a separate component on your quote. This will allow you to compare quotes from each of your potential contractors.
If it is broken down into the costs for driveway removal, grading, gravel costs and sub-base costs, it will be even easier for you to make a comparison.
Seeking out a cost-effective surfacing solution that stands the test of time? Resin bound material offers exactly that. Take the first step to transforming your existing driveway today, by giving us a call on 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!
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