Thoughts on Hiring a Paving Contractor
You would need to search for a qualified (and experienced) paving contractor when you are planning to do paving work on your driveway, adding in a new pathway, resurfacing your old asphalt pavement or parking area. All of these projects will definitely add value to your property with the condition that it is done correctly and is built to last. The following tips will definitely help you choose the best paving contractor.
Ask the contractor’s experience - Even with general reputation helps narrow your choices, you should still have a detailed information about the contractor before making your decision.
You can start with estimators or with sales staff. Find out how many years are they in the industry? Would they be able to handle inquiries and educate you on the process? The crew also should have experience and have at least one crew leader on site during the entire process.
Certain questions can help you estimate the experience of any contractor. Try to discuss what type of traffic control the paving crew will have (which is fairly important for suburban and urban properties). Try also to ask local laws regarding heavy trucks and machinery and if they have all the necessary permits. The best question to ask is what asphalt mix would be used and what thickness you can expect it to be.
These are just basic questions and if you have doubts with the prospective contractor’s answers or approach to answering your questions, it will be best to move on.
Find out on the contractor’s reputation – word of mouth is still the best form of advertising, especially for contractors. You can do initial research by checking out their website and their online local listings. Some few questions to find out:
- Have they worked around your neighborhood?
- Can they supply client references?
- Are they listed with the Better Business Bureau?
- Have they handled disputes in the past?
These basic questions will give you a good profile of their reputation. Do the extra research and your will be guaranteed of good quality work.
Get multiple quotes – This is general of thumb and is applicable even with home improvement jobs. Try to get at least three quotes on your project. It is advised to do so in order to compare warranty, project inclusions and price.
When comparing these quotes, let each contractor know that you have multiple quotes and rank them based on the initial meeting, overall professionalism, pricing and other service add-ons.
Get a detailed contract – There are contractors out there that have the best sales pitches and are able to fool even the experienced, shrewd clients. You can protect yourself by insisting on a written contract before paying any type of deposit or signing any papers.
On your contract, it should include the following details:
- Total job cost and the applicable taxes.
- Payment terms.
- Specifics of the project; base specs, size of area to be paved, asphalt thickness.
- Service warranty coverage.
- Terms and conditions.
Make sure to read everything carefully and make sure that you receive exactly what the estimator outlined while making the sales pitch. It would not hurt to do due diligence as it will save you the headache, lost investments and hiring mistakes.
To ensure you have made the right decision, avoid out-of-state or even out-of-county contractors (unless they worked extensively in your area). Reason for this is that, there are many dishonest contractors who work from location to location, moving on when their poor workmanship and bad business practices are catching up to them.
It is best to look for above average work, fair prices, a solid warranty that is backed up by a crew that has years of experience under their belt. Follow these tips to find the perfect paving contractor for your project, a contractor that guarantees quality work and dependable service. Your property is worth the research and inquiries. Good luck and hire wisely.