Unbelieveable. Brand new homes. And I mean BRAND NEW. As in people either JUST moved in or haven't moved in yet. I'm getting calls for pricing patios. I get all excited about the possibility of making a new relationship with a new, valued client. Then through the course of initial conversation I ifind out it's a brand new home. And....through the course of conversation I find out that they've already received 3 to 4 other quotes. This is when I politely say "ok, you have a new home, we usually recommend that you wait AT LEAST 12 months to allow for settlement, has any of these contractors you've met with addressed the potential of settlement to you?" 3 times out of five, this is when the home owner says "I was wondering about that......" And I then go on to explain the excavation process that took place during the excavation of their foundation, and I then go on to explain that the backfill is not compacted because the new, uncured walls can blow out. Look guys, I realize we're in tough times. But for pete's sake, get your heads out of your cula. It costs a lotta production hrs to have to come back and rebuild a set of block steps that settled with the over-dig. TRUST ME.....we learned this first hand. Not to mention, you usually need to buy new block and caps, as they break when you try to seperate them. We serve Frederick County, Washington Co, Montgomery Co, MD, parts of WV, and parts of Northern VA. I know for a fact that some local hardscape contractors lurk and or participate here. And I'm talking to you guys. If you're pricing a patio for a new home - you BETTER BE HONEST AND UPFRONT with the home owner. Because if they call me for an estimate, I WILL use my 13 years of hardscape experience (not 13 years of mowing experience cleverly worded) and explain to them how settlement takes place. In the past I used to get calls from new home owners asking if they should wait. And they would explain to me that other contractors they contacted have advised them to wait. Well, with local contracors hurtin - I seeing no evidence that anyone (other than myself) is being forthright about settlement concerns. I was at the local home builders show this past weekend. And there was a middle aged couple with a new home under construction. They are DETERMINED to have a patio constructed as soon as their house is complete. They told me it WILL need steps. Therefore, I know it's not a walkout basement. The lady told me they have 5 contractors scheduled to meet with them. And I KNOW that NOT one of them addressed the settlement potential. Unbelievable. And it makes my blood boil. If a home owner insists on building that patio for a new home you MUST excavate the overdig all the way down to the FOOTER. This takes time. And it costs money. But if done correctly - settlement will be a non-issue. Now, if it's a walk out basement - different story. To my knowledge we have never had any settment issues with a patio constructed at a new home with a walk out basement. New home? Walk out basement? We'll build that patio in a heartbeat, and we'll guarantee it. My favorite line?? "Well the contractor we met twith last night said they will run one of those tampers that jumps up and down over the ground." LOL - They're gonna compact 8-10 feet of fill with a jumping jack tamper??? It's not the top of the ground that settles....the ground settles from the bottom up. Honesty can go a long way.