It seems like an easy task – hire a residential paving contractor and you’ll have a smooth, easy-to-care-for driveway in just a few days. However, the number of things that can go wrong when paving a driveway is huge. There are so many variables that need to be addressed, and if your contractor doesn’t discuss them, you should raise the red flag immediately. To be sure you get the best possible paving results, hire an experienced residential paving contractor.
- First, educate yourself on the different applications. Driveways can be asphalt or concrete. Make sure the contractor has expertise in the type of application you choose.
- Interview several contractors and get more than one estimate. Even though a contractor might be referred to you by a friend or neighbor, get cost comparisons and look at each contractor’s work.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for references — and talk to them. Make your decisions based on quality, not only on price. This is an investment that should last for the lifetime of your home.
- Ask about the paving contractor’s crew. It’s important that he have a number of people on the job if he’s pouring an asphalt driveway, because asphalt cools quickly and requires immediate attention. If there aren’t enough workers to cover this phase of the paving, you’ll have issues. Also, the larger the crew, the quicker the job can be completed.
- Inquire about the thickness of the asphalt. It should be no less than three inches. Your contract should specify the type and mix of asphalt or concrete that is used so that if the driveway cracks or sinks, you can easily identify the source of the materials.
- Don’t take price quotes over the phone. Any reputable residential paving contractor will come out to your home and walk the property with you. He will look for possible drainage issues, hills, valleys and any other land anomalies that may hinder the paving.
- Ask for verification of licensing and insurance. Don’t take their word for it – ask to see the certification or get the contracting numbers and check them out yourself.
- Verify any restrictions during and after the driveway paving, such as the length of time before the driveway can be used again, any weight restrictions on vehicles or any special care instructions.
Follow your residential paving contractor’s advice to get the most out of your paving investment.