Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can you give me a ballpark estimate of how much a driveway pavers installation might cost?
Are there different prices between different paver manufacturers?
Yes, the prices do vary depending on which manufacturer you choose. Angelus/Orco would be the least expensive, followed by Ackerstone/Olsen, then Belgard.
Are there different prices between different paver types (Tumbled, Non-Tumbled)?
Yes, the prices do vary depending on which paver type you choose. Non-Tumbled would be the least expensive, followed by Tumbled, then Slate Top.
Do I need sealer on my pavers?
No, sealer is optional. There are various types of sealers including joint stabilizer sealer, color enhancer sealer, wet look sealer, etc. However, the most popular sealer is the joint stabilizer sealer. This particular sealer locks in the joints to help prevent weeds or any other growth from occurring between the pavers. It also helps with inhibiting staining, however, it does not eliminate all stains.
How long will it take to install my new driveway pavers?
A typical 1000 sqft driveway will take on average 3-4 days from start to finish.
There are so many paver companies to choose from. How do I make an educated choice?
Yes, you are correct! There are a lot of companies that offer paver installation and finding the right one can be very confusing. So how do you make the right choice?
Here are a few resources to help with your due diligence process:
Should I go with a one-stop landscaping shop or a dedicated pavers company?
If someone claims to be a one-stop shop, make sure you have them break down your entire project into separate components. This way you can see exactly what each task would cost separately. You might find that their irrigation price is great, but their paver price is 30 to 50% more than the dedicated paver contractors quoted. If you have the choice to work with a company that specializes in the field of pavers, artificial grass, or whatever service you’re looking for, we recommend working directly with those companies. Because that is their main or only service, you will end up with a much better installation and save a lot of money at the same time! At Install-It-Direct, our crews have more than 25 years of experience in their given field. Our paver installers only do pavers, and our turf installers only do turf, etc.
How do Install-It-Direct paver guarantees and warranties work?
Paving stones come with a manufacturers’ Lifetime Guarantee against breaking and cracking. Install-It-Direct offers a 2-year labor and installation warranty.
What type of license must a contractor have to install artificial grass?
According to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), a contractor must either have their C-27 license or their C-61/D12 license to legally install turf. If a contractor has their C-61/D06 (Paver License) or C-12 license and states that they can also install synthetic turf, this is NOT true, as they are not licensed to do so! They must apply for an additional classification with the CSLB and obtain their Synthetic Products license. Install-It-Direct has ALL 3; C-27, D06 and D12.
What does face weight mean?
Face weight is how much the yarn weighs per square yard not including the backing or infill (yarn only). This measurement tells you how much product you are getting for your money as long as the comparison is apples to apples. Nylon thatch based products are the most expensive to produce although most artificial turf is produced using 28% nylon thatch. Products can also be made with up to 45% thatch, which increases the quality, durability and thickness. Install-It-Direct carries both products.
What does yarn technology mean?
Yarn technology is important when selecting artificial turf. Microns per blade, yarn shape for optimal performance, and stitch rates to balance performance and aesthetics are crucial to achieving a top-quality product. Install-It-Direct takes all of these variables into consideration when choosing only the absolute best artificial turf available worldwide.
What is the best artificial turf for my project?
There are many different styles of artificial turf and many of the synthetic turf applications are installed with generic styles of turf due to an assumption that all turf is the same or a limited variety is offered. This is not true, and the Install-It-Direct team can show you all your options and select the best application for your project. Very low activity areas need to address quality, density, and aesthetics whereas areas with mid-level activity or more should have a thatch product with a higher density turf installed. A high-density, thatch-based product significantly recovers better during activity and grooming, as well as a high-quality yarn.
Are all turf installations relatively the same?
Not at all. Installation quality is very important for aesthetics and longevity. How the sub-surface is sculpted, how the edges are addressed, how the product is secured, and most importantly how the seams are put together. An inexperienced crew will leave you with noticeable seams, which is not aesthetically pleasing and will continue to open up over time.
What is Durafill?
Durafill is the latest technology in infill product for artificial grass. Animal urine and other external elements can not be absorbed by Durafill. This eliminates the buildup of bacterial spores within the infill product. Durafill does not degrade over time and does not need repeated applications. Durafill does not become hot in the heat, is environmentally safe and does not contain silica dust, zinc or heavy metals.
Do any of your artificial grass products contain lead or other RCRA hazardous waste heavy metals?
No. Our synthetic turf products contain no detectable traces of lead or other RCRA hazardous waste heavy metals.
How do I choose between artificial grass products?
Compare face weights, stitch rates, nylon thatch percentage and backings. There are less expensive backings now with many wonderful claims that do not qualify to be used on sports fields. Comparing the latter will reveal the quality of the products and what you are getting for your money. Yarn technology is more difficult to determine, however, Install-It-Direct only carries the latest technology yarns available.
Is there any maintenance involved with synthetic turf?
Yes. Synthetic turf should be rinsed and groomed periodically. The frequency of cleaning should be determined by the activity level. For instance, if your turf is subject to animals and pets it should be rinsed more often. The higher traffic areas should also be groomed more often. To properly clean, and rinse, we suggest you use a stiff bristled broom or rake to groom the fibers. If you have access to a power broom this can work as well too. Occasional grooming will help prevent matting and maintain the appearance. If the turf is not groomed periodically and does mat substantially, we suggest you have it groomed professionally to restore its appearance. We also suggest for areas of heavy path traffic that you place stepping stones or form some kind of path.
Is artificial grass good for pets?
Yes, artificial grass is extremely popular for animal hospitals, kennels, ranch owners and home owners with pets. Animal urine does not damage or stain synthetic turf. Now you can sustain a green lawn year around as opposed to battling the brown spots that are common in natural grass.
How do I clean artificial turf?
It’s Easy! Simply rinse with water as needed. With pets, pick up solid waste and the residue can be sprayed clean. Rinse as frequently as needed to avoid odors which are a build-up of bacterial spores. Install-It-Direct only uses the best infill, Durafill, which does not absorb external elements, and limits bacteria and odor. For a thorough cleaning, flush the turf with a mixture of 50% white distilled vinegar and 50% water. This will neutralize the bacterial spores.
Does artificial turf get hot?
The turf can get hot in temperatures typically above 80-90 degrees in direct sunlight. Blade temperature can be decreased with Durafill infill. Durafill does not heat up like rubber, which other installers use, so it won’t transfer that intense heat into the blades of grass.
What is the difference between infill and non-infill products?
Non-infill products make an install faster and less expensive. That being said, we do not advise non-infill products for several reasons. There are important, functional reasons for the infill. Infill gives a barrier and protects the turf during activity. The infill is used for ballast – on a typical install there will be hundreds or thousands of pounds of infill to weigh down the product. The infill offers G-MAX to create softness under your feet, and it’s safer too. Infill also offers a base for increased blade recovery.
Does the sheen on artificial turf go away? Do some products shine more than others?
The sheen on your artificial turf will progressively diminish and go away. Some products in the market place are shiner than other for various reasons i.e. wider blades refract more light, rectangular yarns refract more light, and some yarns go through a de-lustering process. The length of time depends on the product shape and the chemical makeup of the yarn.
What type of license does a contractor need to install artificial grass?
According to the Contractors State License Board (CSLB), a contractor must either have their C-27 license or their C-61/D12 license to legally install turf. If a contractor has their C-61/D06 (paver license) or C-12 license and states that they can also install synthetic turf, this is NOT true, as they are not licensed to do so! They must apply for an additional classification with the CSLB and obtain their Synthetic Products license. Install-It-Direct carries all three: D06, D12 and C-27.
Does the artificial grass drain?
Yes, artificial grass drains. The backing is perforated and will drain as natural grass typically would. If drains are currently required for your natural grass, any new synthetic grass should be treated the same. Many of the synthetic turf products that we install drain 28 inches of rain per hour, per square yard.
Can you give me a ballpark estimate of how much an artificial grass installation might cost?
We have created a few resources to help with your due diligence process:
What is the difference between in-house crews and subcontractors?
In-house crews are a dying breed due to the overall cost. In order to have in-house crews, the company must have all the crew members covered on their worker’s comp which is extremely costly. It is not enough just to have worker’s comp listed on your license. Ask the company for a copy of their coverage, so you can ensure that the crew working on your property is actually covered under their worker’s comp. They should be able to provide you with an agent’s phone number, and you should do your own homework on the company’s actual coverage as opposed to their stated coverage. Also, if the company has in-house crews, they would own all of their own equipment (i.e. bobcat, dump trucks, plate compactors, saws, etc.), which is also very expensive to own and maintain.
Nearly all paver companies use subcontractors, due to the efficiency and cost savings. It just doesn’t make business sense to have a crew on payroll when you can subcontract the work out when there is work to be done. Claiming that a company uses in-house crews is a common sales tactic, but don’t be fooled. If you do your research, you will find out that the crew is really a subcontractor, or worse yet, unlicensed workers. In that case, if anyone were to get hurt on your property who is not covered, the burden reverts back to your homeowner’s insurance.
Are the contractors with Install-It-Direct licensed and bonded?
Yes, not only is Install-It-Direct Licensed (CA Lic.#947643), but all contractors listed on Install-It-Direct are also licensed, bonded and fully insured. You have double coverage when you go with Install-It-Direct.
Does Install-It-Direct have worker’s comp and General Liability Insurance?
Yes, Install-It-Direct is fully insured. We have worker’s compensation insurance, as all licensed contractors must carry if they have employees (i.e. sales reps, receptionist, etc.). We also carry General Liability Insurance. All crews listed with Install-It-Direct also carry worker’s comp and General Liability Insurance.
What is a Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS)?
A home improvement salesperson (HIS) is defined in the law, Section 7152, as a person who is employed by a licensed contractor to solicit, sell, negotiate or execute contracts under which home improvements may be performed, a swimming pool constructed, or home improvement goods or services installed or furnished.
Who must register as a HIS with the CSLB (contractors state license board)?
If you solicit, sell, negotiate or execute home improvement contracts for a licensed contractor outside the contractor’s normal place of business (regardless of the dollar amount of those contracts) you must obtain your HIS with the CSLB.
Who would be exempt from obtaining a Home Improvement Salesperson License (HIS)?
If you are listed as a part of the CSLB’s official personnel records for the contractor’s license. This includes individual contractors, partners, officers of the corporation and responsible managing employees.
How do I verify if the salesperson that came out to my house is registered with the CSLB and has obtained their HIS?
First look up their License # (check license number here) and check to see if the individual is an owner, partner, officer of the corporation or responsible managing employee of the company which would supersede the HIS License as the individual has passed all background checks and is legally able to solicit, sell, negotiate or execute home improvement contracts. If the individual is not listed as the owner, partner, officer of the corporation or responsible managing employee of the company then they must obtain their HIS License to be on your property. You can verify whether the individual has obtained their HIS License here (check license number here).
Why should I choose Install-It-Direct over a big brand name company?
If you want to pay more (mostly likely a lot more), then go with a Brand Named Marketing Company; however, if you are interested in getting the same product and having the best crews in all of Southern California install your project at a fraction of the cost, then Install-It-Direct is the way to go.
How does Install-It-Direct eliminate the middleman?
The middleman refers to many factors; all of which drive the price of your project higher and higher. A few of them include: the crafty salesperson working to land a big commission check, the unnecessary middle management, the enormous marketing budgets, and other unnecessary overhead. Install-It-Direct doesn’t believe in sneaky sales tactics.
In fact, we don’t have sales people at all. We offer free professional design consultations where we look to add beauty and value to your home. By going direct, you receive volume pricing directly from the best installation crews in Southern California without any fluff or hidden costs, which other companies include to pay for all their middlemen.
Should I just choose a company with an A+ BBB rating?
It depends on many factors. A higher score does not necessary correlate with the quality and service of a company. A higher score has a lot to do with the length of time a company has been in business and the number of complaints filed against the company.
There is a big caveat here. When you join the BBB, they take your stated business start date. What does this mean? This means that you can state whatever date you want as your start date. Yes, you can fabricate a start date. Make sure you cross reference a company’s alleged start date with the date they obtained their Contractor’s License.
It is illegal for any company to contract work over $500 without a valid contractor’s license. So, if a company states that they have been in business longer than their contractor’s license issue date, then they have been operating illegal and could face large fines and/or jail time.
There are a lot of companies operating right now that have fluffed their numbers to make it seem like they are more established and increase their BBB rating, however, it is up to you as the consumer to do your own due diligence and find out the truth.
Should I always choose a company that has been in business the longest?
There are very few companies in Southern California that have been in business actively and legally for more than nine years. Additionally, approximately 10 years ago, nearly every company switched from in-house crews to subcontractors due to the cost.
What does this mean? This means that if a company has been in business longer than 10 years, they do not have the same crews working for them as they did on day one. As a result, their experience is tied to the subcontractors, not the company. A company is only as good as the people they have on their team. Since the majority of companies use subcontractors to do the work, you will really want to know how many years the subcontractor has been in business.
Install-It-Direct has hand selected only the most experienced crews in the industry. We back up our claims by providing our customers with a 2-year warranty.
How do I choose the right paver or artificial grass company?
Educating yourself on the companies you are requesting quotes from is a great place to start. Knowing a company’s history and reputation is just as important as comparing price points.
Here are a few resources to help with your due diligence process: