Installed properly, an asphalt surface can last for 20 years or more. To achieve such long-lasting results for your driveway or parking lot, you must hire a quality paving contractor for the job. Let this list of eight things to look for in a paving company guide your hiring process.
#1 Experience Tells You That the Team Is Knowledgeable
It is imperative that your driveway or parking lot professionals know exactly how to lay a surface with speed, care and accuracy. Where does that sort of knowledge come from? It comes from having years of experience.
When it comes to paving, not just any sort of experience will do. The company you hire should be particularly experienced in the material you want for your surface. For an asphalt surface, select a company that specializes in laying asphalt. They'll know the ins and outs of working with this material.
#2 Layman's Terms Ensure That You Know What's Going On
When contractors are communicating with customers, that's not the time for them to show off how much they know. Rather, professionals should use clear, understandable explanations so that both the company and the customer will be on the same page. When specialized terms must be used, the professional should take the time to explain what they mean.
As the customer, you should ask as many questions as you'd like before hiring a paving company. A good, reputable company will be willing to field your questions and provide thorough answers.
#3 References Give You Confidence
It's not enough for a paving representative to tell you that the company does good work. He or she must be able to prove it. The best evidence is a job well done, so ask for references of past clients whose projects were similar to yours.
#4 Quality Asphalt Lasts Longer
All asphalt jobs are not the same. The materials used and the care with which they are laid go a long way toward helping your surface be an investment that lasts for years to come.
For a parking lot, the paving contractor must analyze your property and how you plan to use the surface in order to determine the necessary asphalt depth.
For a driveway, you need a company that will lay a full-depth asphalt surface. A typical job may involve 4 inches of recycled concrete blend aggregate, and 2 inches asphalt. Keep in mind that commercial-grade asphalt holds up longer than residential-grade, so you may want to ask for that.
#5 Drainage Plans Care for Your Property
A poorly laid driveway can mean disaster for water management on your property. It may cause water to pool or run toward your building.
Experienced paving companies know how to handle drainage. For example, they should lay a base that encourages drainage and design the slope to accommodate runoff where applicable. If you have a flat property (less than minimum of 1% grade), a dry well may be required.
Before agreeing to work with a paving contractor, ask what drainage plan will be used for your property.
#6 Reasonable Quotes Limit the Chances of Shortcuts
Even if a paving contractor checks out according to all of the above criteria, it's still a good idea to get quotes from three different businesses. This gives you the opportunity to compare the quotes to ensure that your preferred option is offering you similar services to those from other companies.
Keep in mind that the cheapest option may not be the best one. Quality labor and materials may cost more, but you get what you pay for. An unreasonably low quote is a sign that the company may not do work that holds up. Rather than looking for a cheap price, expect a fair price.
#7 Signed Contracts Let You Know What to Expect
Once you have selected the best company for your residential or commercial paving job, it's time to sign a contract. Don't let the contractor convince you that a contract is unnecessary. If the company refuses, it's time to start your search over.
A clear, specific contract serves as protection for you as the property owner. It should include details such as: