When paving your driveway, you need the best paving contractor for the job. Whether it’s for adding an asphalt pad, adding walkways and pathways, or for adding outdoor parking in your landscape. Before you search for “paving companies near me” you need to know what to ask and other steps that need to be taken to choose the right paving contractor. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Search the market and get numerous quotes – Whether you’re getting a cleaning service, a home improvement service, or a paving contractor, you need to get multiple quotes so that you have many choices and fail-safes. There may be a contractor who has paved most driveways and pathways for your neighbors. You may have a favorite contractor who has done several projects for you in the past. However, it’s still important to get a few quotes. This allows you to assess the best in the business by comparing prices, what’s included in the project, and the warranty on your paved pathway.
You should also let the contractors know that you are getting numerous quotes and set a time limit in which you will let them know about your decision. This will prevent the contractors from getting complacent and they will try to come up with the best quotes possible. After you get the quotes, compare them thoroughly based on the quotes as well as the professionalism of the contractor on the initial meeting. Disregard bids that seem too inconsistent and too good to be true.
2. Investigate the contractor’s reputation – Most contracting companies usually have their business operations set up in a small section or a region of the city. That’s why word of mouth is the best type of advertising for them. This also allows you to choose the best by inquiring with the previous customers. You need to dig out the reputation of the contractor. Check for their local listing in the phone book as well as in Google Maps. and other digital review platforms.
It’s usually a good sign if your contractor gives you a list of recent references. Check how long the company has been active in this business and if they have done any projects in the neighborhood. Investigate about the company in the Better Business Bureau and check out how they resolved issues in the past. You need to do thorough research on your contractor before you ink the contract.
3. Ask the contractor about his experience – You have conducted a thorough investigation about the contractor and have a rough idea about his or his company’s reputation. However, nothing beats a personal assessment. Talk to the estimators and sales staff. Ask them how many years they have been working for the company and how long they have been in the industry. If they have decent experience, they would be able to handle complex questions and would be able to tell you in detail about the project. Here are some questions you should ask your contractor to know about their experience:
- What type of traffic control would be implemented during the project?
- Will you obtain permits for operating heavy trucks and machinery if the local bylaws require it?
- What is the asphalt mix you would use? Will it be compacted?
Watch your contractor for discrepancies in his answer. A good contractor should be able to easily answer these questions. Move on to your next choice if the contractor isn’t being honest with you.
4. Preparation and Thickness – Bad contractors will quote you a bargain price by taking shortcuts. One of the most common shortcuts for delivering an inexpensive project is a poorly constructed base. You won’t be able to know that the shortcut has been taken until 2 years have passed and cracks and holes start appearing on the asphalt. When water gets in those cracks and holes and freezes, your pathway will slowly crumble.
That’s why the base needs to be thick and stable enough to last you for a long time. Dishonest contractors will skimp on the asphalt application. They will put down at most two inches of asphalt and won’t wait for it to compact down to quote you a seemingly competitive price and a shorter deadline. In the long run that low price would cost you dearly. That’s why you should make sure if the contractor is going to deliver an asphalt base with a compacted thickness of at least 2.5 inches.
5. Don’t pay a down payment – This tip may sound weird, but it needs to be done. You hear several stories about contractors not showing up after getting a down payment. It’s an unfortunate reality that plagues a lot of neighborhoods. If your contractor gives excuses about not being able to start the work due to lack of funds you need to move on. Any reputable contractor with enough experience has lines of credit with multiple suppliers. So, they won’t have any trouble starting the work and getting paid in installments throughout the progress of the work.
6. Insurance – Another way that dishonest contractors can quote you a low price is lack of insurance. So, if there is an accident you would be liable to pay it from your homeowner’s insurance policy. Ask your contractor for all insurance-related documents including:
- Worker’s Compensation
- General Liability
- Auto Liability
- Umbrella Policy
To be extra careful you can verify the policies on the insurer’s website. The policy coverage should be at least half a million dollars.
7. Warranty – A reputable contractor and capable businessman will prioritize customer satisfaction for future business or to make you a happy reference for other clients. That’s why they would be confident in their work and provide you a long-term warranty on the paved pathway pad or walkway. A great contractor will also provide you tips to make the asphalt last as long as possible.
Now you know what to ask the contractor and things to watch out for. Now you can search for “paving companies near me” and make a list to choose from.
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