Choosing a driveway paving contractor is one of those things that sounds like it is going to be simple, but then when you actually come down to it, you’re not really sure how to go about it.
So, we asked some actual asphalt paving contractors out there to tell us how they would go about choosing a company to pave their driveway.
BEWARE THE ‘GREAT DEALS’
The first and probably the most important thing to beware is the unscrupulous contractor who goes door to door, offering great ‘deals’.
Let us guess, they have got some ‘left over asphalt’ from a previous job and want to sell it to you on the cheap?
Take it from us, no respectable or even half competent asphalt paving contractor would ever have enough asphalt left over to adequately cover a driveway. If someone is promising you this, it is a scam, pure and simple.
Furthermore, the people offering the “left over asphalt” ‘deals’ are demonstratively not professional contractors.
THERE IS NO MAGIC WAND
Like there isn’t a fab cheap deal out there (sorry to disappoint you!) there also isn’t some hidden super ingredient out there that will transform your driveway into the golden highway.
Anyone offering you some revolutionary new way of laying asphalt is almost certainly fibbing.
Similarly, you should beware any vendor who has a ‘secret ingredient’ in their asphalt; it’s a road surfacing – not Coca Cola!
UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS
When you’re hiring someone to do your driveway, it helps if you have even the vaguest clue of what you are asking them to do.
To put it simply, there are two things your asphalt paving company can do; either to put a new layer on top of your existing driveway, or rip the whole thing out and do it again.
For the first option, the contractor should be putting no less than a two inch thickness onto the driveway. Some people think even more.
It should be commercial quality asphalt, rather than a residential one. This may look more rough, but it is far more durable.
For the second option, you will need a properly laid gravel base and then a three inch depth of asphalt. Sometimes, some soils may need a deeper one.
If you have the nerve to, we would even advise you get out there and measure the depth of the asphalt as it goes down. After all, you are paying for this.
WHO IS DOING THE JOB?
Don’t assume that the person you are speaking to, or who knocked on your door (although, you aren’t going to hire someone who knocks on your door, are you?) is the person who will carry out the work.
This very often is not the case, or at least they won’t be alone. Or at least you hope they won’t be alone.
You don’t really want your asphalt paving contractor to be a one man band Billy No Mates.
If the contractor says they’re doing the job by themselves to keep down costs, then it might be best to tell them to jog on.
This is because driveway paving is a big job and you really want some muscle on it, especially if you’re paving in Texas.
You should be looking for a competent and reasonable sized team effort for the paving of your driveway.
Unless, you know, your driveway is really short.
CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN
Lastly, and this applies to the hiring of any contractor to do work around your home – check their credentials.
This means everything, from their business license to their professional qualifications.
Take the time out to go and inspect their previous handiwork – don’t just take the word of someone on the end of a phone line for it.
But at the very least, do enquire about those references.
And if they don’t have any? Then run for the hills!