As many of you have already noticed, a company we promote on Block Paving Direct is called "Bark". Bark offer a range of different services, with 1 being the ability for Driveway installers to reach out to you after submitting your requirements.
If you're not up for laying block paving yourself, then searching for local installers can often be time consuming, and quite overwhelming not knowing who you can trust.
I recently received an email from David, who in fact used Bark, and how it helped him secure a local driveway installer.
David's review of Bark for Block Paving Installation
Hey Block Paving Direct!
I just wanted to drop you an email regarding my recent experience with Bark. I live in the Midlands, UK and after several years living at the same house, we decided that our patio and driveway needed replacing.
Our original choice was Stamped Concrete, however after reading some concerns online (and on your site - link), we decided that although pattern imprinted concrete looks the business, we felt concerned that if a piece if damaged - it becomes difficult and costly to replace.
We settled on block paving and started to hunt through different directories, driving around looking for recent work completed (you know - those pallets that get left outside peoples houses).
Unsure of the actual costs involved, I used your Free Block Paving Calculator to get an approximate price based on my loose (most likely incorrect) measurements.
Bark - Finding local Block Paving Installers
On your block paving costs page, I did see you linked to a company called Bark, who I was able to quickly enter the information about my project, and was even able to add photographs of the areas we wanted paving.
To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about entering my details (more on this later), but bit the bullet and was eventually shown a screen where I could not only select the local paving companies I wanted contact from - but an option to "Send to All" (I think that's what it was called).
Being in a rush, I selected the "Send to All" - maybe a mistake....
Companies wanted my business Instantly
Within 5 minutes of submitting, I began receiving phone calls and messages from local companies all interested in the work and wanting to arrange an appointment to provide me with a quote.
I did try to ask for a price over the phone, but all insisted on seeing the area first (totally understandable), and in the end I chose 3 companies to come and quote for the block work.
Reading "real" reviews about the Block Paving Installers
One thing that I really liked about Bark is the ability to see reviews from verified customers. As each new installer responds to your job ad, you can then view more details such as:
- Company Information (Website, Email, Telephone Number)
- Insurance Details
- Reviews from Customers
- Photos of completed work
The Paving quotation process
Having arranged a time over the next week for different companies to come to my house and "measure up", I sat patiently and 1 by 1 they arrived, quoted, and left - with each offering more insight to the project and each more professional than the previous company.
I say this because the first company that came out took a look at the area, and ball parked a number..... not great.
The 2nd and 3rd companies both came with measuring sticks and spent time with me going through different options (block type, colour etc).
Having also read your "How to Spot a Cowboy Block Paving Company" article, I did have my guard up, and asked for written quotations.
Prices - How much did they vary?
Knowing a ballpark figure based on your calculator, I was pleasantly surprised at how accurate your block paving cost calculator was, with all 3 prices ranging from "cowboy builder" to "professional".
As an example, the prices I was quoted:
- Company 1: £16,000 (Standard Blocks)
- Company 2: £18,000 (Standard Block)
- Company 3: £24,000 (Premium Blocks)
The square meterage of the area (driveway and back garden) was around 240sqm.
The blocks we wanted were the premium blocks (the ones with differing widths - rectangles / squares)
Who did I choose for my Block Paving Project
The 3 quotes received were all of differing standards, with 1 sending me a text message via the Bark website for the completed work, to one company emailing me over a fully written quotation, insurance cover note, 3D render of my driveway, payment terms and a local address of work recently completed.... it was fairly obvious who I chose.
The 3rd company was a local guy who was not only professional, but went above and beyond to go through all different options.
Closing my Job within Bark
To be honest, I was quite overwhelmed at the amount of interest my "job" had created, and continued to receive calls from installers - even after deciding on a company.
In Bark, there is an option to "Close" the job which then prevents any more Block Paving Companies from contacting you - I've done this now and have received 0 further communication.
How did the installation go?
We booked the installer for September 2023, so I'd love to send you a follow up email after the work has been completed
All the best,
Have you got a story to share about Bark an Installer - please get in contact. We'd love to feature your letter on our site.