Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- My neighbor just had their Patio and Driveway installed with pavers. They went with a Brand Named Company for the back Patio and went with Install-It-Direct for the driveway. I saw the same crew working on both projects and noticed that they had different shirts on the second time around. Did the same crew really install both jobs?
My neighbor just had their Patio and Driveway installed with pavers. They went with a Brand Named Company for the back Patio and went with Install-It-Direct for the driveway. I saw the same crew working on both projects and noticed that they had different shirts on the second time around. Did the same crew really install both jobs?
Yes, the same crew did both projects. The only difference between the two projects was that the homeowner saved a lot of money the second go around by educating himself and selecting Install It Direct to complete his project. He also ended up with a much better design, as all of our consultants are Professional Designers as opposed to “Salespeople” looking for a BIG commission check.
Can you give me a “Ball-Park Estimate,” in regard to how much a Paving Stone Driveway Installation might cost?
Are there different prices between different 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 project?
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 paving stone driveway?
A typical 1000 sqft “square driveway” will take on average 3-4 days from start to finish.
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. 99.99% of 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. A lot of “salespeople” will state that their company uses in-house crews as a sales tactic; however, don’t be fooled. If you do your research, you will find out that the crew is really a subcontractor, or worse yet, unlicensed illegal workers, which is the absolute worst case scenario. If anyone were to get hurt on your property who is not covered, the burden reverts back to your homeowner’s insurance. This can be a costly mistake. The key point here is to do your own research, as the people coming out to your house are “salespeople,” who are extremely good at what they do, which is to “Sell You!”
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 as well too. 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).
There are so many companies to choose from, I am having a very hard time choosing a company. How do I make an educated choice?
Yes, you are correct! There are a lot of companies to choose from and it can be very confusing, especially when all the salespeople you see claim that their company is the best for x, y, and z reasons. So how do you make the right choice? First thing to note, is that a lot of the companies that exist today, are products of past failures. What do you mean? If you do your research you can trace back a lot of the current companies to other entities that went bankrupt, didn’t pay their bills and left liens on customer’s homes, or have been dissolved by the state due to current litigation filed against them, etc. If you go to the CSLB and BBB and start looking up the owners, officers, managers and salespeople of the companies you will be able to find their skeletons in their closet that they don’t want you to know about. Since most of of the companies hire “Clever/Crafty Salespeople” who are extremely good at “Selling,” it is going to be up to you, the consumer, to decipher the truth, as they are not willingly going to disclose this information.
Here are a few resources to help with your due diligence process:
How do I make the right choice when choosing a paver for my project?
Having a deeper understanding of how the industry works, both on the outside and inside will open your eyes to the companies that you will want to do business with. Just getting a lot of bids is not the answer to doing your proper due diligence as each company is going to try to skew your thoughts in their favor, which is only fair as that is what the salesperson was hired to do. You must do your own research to have a complete understanding that the company you are going to select is truly the best fit for your project, both short and long term.
My Landscaper says he can do the Pavers, Artificial Grass, Fire Pit, Everything for that matter. This sounds GREAT! Is this a good way to go, since it sounds like a 1-Stop-Shop?
Be very, very careful! There are a lot of great landscapers out there, however, there are also “others” as well too. It may seem like the easy way; however, your pocketbook may be paying the price. Make sure you have the landscaper breakdown your entire project into separate components, so you can see exactly what everything is going to cost. Often, you will find that they will try to hide extra costs here and there and when you have them break the project down, they are forced to divulge the actual costs. You might find that their irrigation price is great, but their Paver Price is 30 or 50% more than the Paver Contractors quoted. The old saying “Jack of All Trades, Master of None,” is often true. If you have the choice to work with a company that specializes in the field of pavers, artificial grass, etc., it will behoove you to work directly with those companies since that is ALL they do and consequently, you will end up with a much better installation and SAVE a lot of money at the same time!
Why is Install It Direct a great option as opposed to going with a Brand Named 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.
There is a paver company that gave us an estimate that claims that they offer a Lifetime Guarantee on their installations. Is this true?
Here is a recent story from a customer that called in:
The customer called regarding a repair from a poorly installed paver project. After speaking with the customer further, we find out that the paver project was installed by a “Brand Named Paver Company” that claims to offer a Lifetime Guarantee on their installations.
We asked the customer why they didn’t go back to the Brand Named Paver Company to fix the issues and he stated that he did go back to them and they refused to honor the contract, which is why he was calling us to fix his paver installation. The paver install was sinking in various areas and the steps were falling apart. It was frightening to say the least, and it wasn’t even 3 years old.
Moral of the story: “Don’t be fooled by these Sales Tactics.” Your Lifetime Guarantee is only as good as the company that is going to honor it. That is if they are still in business that long.
If I go with Install-It-Direct, how do the guarantees and warranties work?
The paving stones come with a manufacturers’ Lifetime Guarantee against breaking and cracking. The warranty in regards to labor and install is 2 years.
This seems too good to be true?
Believe it! You have nothing to lose, besides a lot of money if you don’t call us. The call is FREE, the Design Consultation & Estimate are both FREE and the savings is REAL! Fill out a FREE Estimate form located up top or give us a call/email today (858-925-3000 or [email protected]) and see the difference for yourself. You will be glad you made the call.
What type of license must a contractor have to install Artificial Grass?
According to the CSLB (Contractors State License Board), 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?
The 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 also important. For instance: How many 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 these variables and more into consideration when choosing only the absolute best artificial turf available world-wide.
What is the appropriate 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. Some of the many benefits include; Animal Urine and other external elements are not absorbed which eliminates building bacterial spores within the infill product. Durafill does not degrade over time and does not need repeated applications. Durafill does not become blistering hot in the heat which would otherwise cause more heat by transfer to the synthetic grass. Durafill 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. All of the synthetic turf products contain NO detectable traces of lead or other RCRA hazardous waste heavy metals.
What is the difference between different artificial grass companies?
Compare face weights, stitch rates, nylon thatch percentage and backings. There are less expensive backings now with many “wonderful claims” and 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 cleaning/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 synthetic turf good for pets?
Yes, Yes and Yes! Turf 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 the brown spots which are an eye soar.
How do I clean the Synthetic 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 as a result limits bacteria and odor as well as many other benefits. For a thorough cleaning, which should be rarely needed, flush the turf with a mixture of 50% white distilled vinegar and 50% water. This will neutralize the bacterial spores.
Will the 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, therefore not transferring that intense heat into the blades of grass.
What is the difference between infill and non-infill products?
“Non-infill products” make an install easier and less expensive and we do not advise non-infill products. There are important, functional reasons for the infill. The primary reasons are the following: the 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, which is the softness under your feet, it’s safer too. Infill also offers a base for increased blade recovery. We believe a more appropriate name would be minimal infill products.
Does the sheen go away? Do some products shine more than others?
The sheen 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 must a contractor have to install Artificial Grass?
According to the CSLB (Contractors State License Board), 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 three, D06, D12 and C-27.
Does the Artificial Grass Drain?
The backing is perforated and will drain as natural grass typically would. If drains would be needed with natural grass, synthetic grass should be treated the same. Many of the synthetic turf products that we install drain 28 in. of rain per hour, per square yard.
Can you give me a “Ball-Park Estimate,” in regard to how much an Artificial Grass Installation might cost?
We have created a few resources to help with your due diligence process:
Why should I go with INSTALL-IT-DIRECT?
INSTALL-IT-DIRECT was born in 2009 and has been thriving on their innovative, yet simple business model:
Hire only the best crews in the industry in each trade (Pavers, Artifical Grass, etc.), recruit them to our team exclusively, implement extremely efficient methods with every process, eliminating unnecessary overhead, and in turn, pass the savings onto you!
Read more about why you should choose IID over the competition here:
Is IID the right fit and company for my installation?
Read more about why you should NOT choose IID for your installation here:
When you say, “Eliminate the Middleman,” what do you mean?
The “middleman” refers to many factors; all of which drive the price of your project higher and higher. A few of them include: the Clever/Crafty Salesperson looking 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 are looking to add Beauty and Value to your home. By going Direct, you are receiving volume pricing directly from the best installation crews in Southern California without any fluff or hidden costs, which other companies must include to pay for all their “middlemen.”
I saw a company with an A+ BBB rating and another company with a B+ rating; I assume the better the score, the better the company. Is my assumption correct?
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.
FYI: 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.
If a company has been in business longer, I assume this means the company has more experience and is most likely a better choice to do business with. Am I right to assume this?
It depends on many factors. First, please note that there are very few companies in Southern California that have been in business actively and legally for more than 9 years. Secondly, keep in mind that approximately 10 years ago, 99.99% of all companies 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 99.99% of companies use subcontractors to do the work, then the question should really be, how many years has the subcontractor been in business, as they are the ones that are going to be doing the installation.
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.
Are you having a hard time choosing the right paver or synthetic turf company?
A comment and question that we get a lot is in regard to choosing the “right contractor” to do business with. Customers tell us that they are having a very hard time choosing a company and want to know how to make an educated choice on their home improvement project. Here is our response:
Yes, you are 100% correct! There are a lot of companies to choose from and it can be very confusing, especially when all the salespeople you see claim that their company is the best for x, y, and z reasons.
So how do you make the right choice? First thing to note, is that a lot of the companies that exist today, are products of past failures. What do you mean? If you do your research you can trace back a lot of the current companies to other entities that went bankrupt, didn’t pay their bills and left liens on customer’s homes, or have been dissolved by the state due to current litigation filed against them, etc.
If you go to the CSLB and BBB and start looking up the owners, officers, managers and salespeople of the companies you will be able to find their skeletons in their closet that they don’t want you to know about. Since most of the companies hire “Clever/Crafty Salespeople” who are extremely good at “Selling,” it is going to be up to you, the consumer, to decipher the truth, as they are not willingly going to disclose this information.
Here are a few resources to help with your due diligence process:
How do I make the right choice when choosing a paver company for my project?
Having a deeper understanding of how the industry works, both on the outside and inside will open your eyes to the companies that you will want to do business with.
Just getting a lot of bids is not the answer to doing your proper due diligence as each company is going to try to skew your thoughts in their favor, which is only fair as that is what the salesperson was hired and trained to do.
You must do your own research to have a complete understanding that the company you are going to select is truly the best fit for your project, both short and long term.
Here are a few resources to help with your due diligence process: