It's time for a new asphalt driveway for your home or business. The sooner that you can hire a paving contractor, the sooner the job will be done. However, that doesn't mean that you should pick the first driveway contractor that you stumble across.
Before committing to a project, ask the contractor these 12 questions to ensure that you're hiring the right team for the job.
1. How Long Have You Been in Business?
Selecting a reputable contractor is a must. You don't want a fly-by-night company that's in your town one week and gone the next. One of the best questions you can ask is how long the contractor has been doing business in your area.
For example, at Palermo Paving, we've been laying asphalt in the Bellport, New York, area for over four decades. Locally owned, we've been in business since 1965.
2. Are You Licensed and Insured?
Professional contractors should always be licensed to do work in your state, and they should have insurance coverage in case anything goes wrong on the job.
When you ask whether a contractor is licensed and insured, don't simply accept "yes" for an answer. Ask to see official paperwork that backs up that claim. A pro should have no issue with producing the correct documentation.
3. How Often Do You Install Asphalt?
A general contractor might be able to lay asphalt, but that doesn't mean you'll have chosen the right person for the job. Instead, it's smart to pick someone who works with asphalt almost every day. When you choose an asphalt company as your driveway contractor, you can trust that you're hiring an experienced team that knows all the ins and outs of paving in your area.
4. How Much Will My Project Cost?
Before your project begins, you should have a clear idea of how much it's going to cost you. In fact, you should have a copy of the estimate in writing.
5. What Do I Need to Know About Permits?
In some municipalities, permits are required before pavement work can begin. It’s important that you check with your governing municipality to see if a permit is required.
6. How Long Will the Project Take?
There are multiple steps to paving an asphalt driveway. For example, the contractor must grade the soil, prepare the base, lay the asphalt and compact the material. How long the process takes depends on the size of your project and the amount of prep work that is needed.
A contractor should be able to provide a reasonable estimate of how long the work will take. You can even ask for a written timeline.
7. Who Will Be Responsible for the Work?
It's nice to know who will be working on your property and how many team members will be involved in the work.
Particularly if your project will take multiple days, you'll want to know who will be working on your driveway. Will the same crew arrive each day? Will there be a supervisor who sees the project through from beginning to end?
8. How Do You Take Care of Cleanup?
You shouldn't be left with a major mess to clean up after your contractor is finished. A reputable team will assure you that they'll clean up their equipment and leave your property tidy.
The contractor should also be honest about any lingering debris that may be present after your project. For example, asphalt sealcoating material sometimes gets on nearby grass. This isn't a long-term issue because it's not harmful and will soon disappear. Even still, being upfront about this and other potential areas of concern can serve as a sign of trustworthiness.
9. How Long Can I Expect This Surface to Last?
A contractor who promises that your asphalt driveway will last a lifetime and require no maintenance is probably not being honest with you. A contractor who's willing to tell you the truth should let you know that, with proper care, an asphalt driveway can last for around 10 to 15 years. You'll need to sealcoat it every few years and make repairs as needed.
10. Can You Provide References?
Before you commit to a contractor, you should chat with other property owners who have recently used the same service. Your contractor should be able to provide address information for previous customers.
11. What If I Need to Get Ahold of You?
Before, during or after your paving project, you may need to speak with your driveway contractor. Find out if there's one particular person who will handle all of your questions. It's a good idea to have a few different methods of contact, such as an email address, a phone number and a mailing address.
12. May I Have a Written Copy of This Information?
Finally, ask the paving company for a written contract that outlines the scope of the project and provides specific answers to the questions that you have asked.Professional paving contractors are accustomed to being asked questions like these, so don't hesitate to ask. A reliable paving team should welcome your questions and provide helpful, thorough answers. When you're ready to learn more about the asphalt paving process from a locally owned company, contact our Palermo Paving team.