According to the Spruce, depending on how well it was installed, your maintenance habits, and the climate you live in, an asphalt driveway can survive as long as 20 years. Many homeowners and commercial building owners opt for asphalt paving because it requires a low level of maintenance and lasts for a long time. Whatever type of paving project you're planning, asphalt is a great option. If you're considering asphalt paving for your property, here are a few questions to ask the companies you're thinking of hiring to make sure they're a good fit.
1. Can I Have An Estimate of the Cost?
Many people like to operate on a handshake. While this can sound great in theory, it's important to get everything in writing. A clearly written estimate followed by an executed contract that's straightforward can help both parties avoid confusion and disagreement in the future. Any estimate provided to you should include a detailed description of the entire scope of the project. It should also include the measurements for the area that they'll pave as well as any prep work that'll be necessary. Most companies provide potential clients with a free estimate for their projects. This is also an effective way to compare companies. Three estimates are sufficient to determine which paving company will best meet your needs.
Asking for an estimate will give you some insight into the firm's work style. Do they show up on time? Is it easy to reach someone to have your questions answered? Do they follow through on the things they say they're going to do? If you're starting to have misgivings about a company before you've even gotten to the contract-signing stage of the process, it's probably a good idea to move on to another option.
Communication and work styles can help you make your decision. Even among the best-qualified firms, there will likely be one or two that you just mesh better with. Trust your instincts, but do your due diligence too.
2. Do You Have Any References I Can Talk To?
Asking for references should be a part of your vetting process. Reputable companies will have a list of references available without a fuss. When you receive pushback after asking to speak with some past clients, you should think of it as a possible area of concern. The best pavers will not only provide you with a list of references to call, but they'll also give you some addresses so you can go and look at their past work. When you speak with past clients, have a list of questions already prepared. You'll want to ask if the project was completed to their satisfaction. Hopefully, the answer will be yes!
Other helpful questions should relate to topics like the professionalism of the work crew if the project was completed on time and if it was finished within the pre-agreed-upon price. You'll also want to pay attention to what the references don't say. A lack of enthusiasm in answering your questions can be a potential red flag. Speak to multiple references to get a full view of the company and how they conduct their business. Once you've had all of your questions answered, it'll be much easier to choose the right paving company to meet your needs.
3. How Long Has Your Company Been Operational?
There's nothing wrong with working with a company that's new on the scene, especially if they're working hard to establish themselves. However, many people feel more comfortable working with a company that has some years under their belt. The longer a company has been in business, the more likely it is that they're reliable. Unprofessional companies that don't do a good job don't tend to stay in business very long.
Professional reputation matters, especially for local, small businesses. When a company's been around for a while, its professional reputation becomes even more important to them. Working with an established company for your paving needs means that your driveway will be properly installed. Experience counts when it comes to paving, and knowing that the company you're working with has years of experience can help your peace of mind. How long a company's been in business should be one part of your evaluation process.
Remember, when it comes to improving your property, you want to make sure that you're dealing with businesses that will help you increase the value and curb appeal. Doing a bit more research before selecting a paver can help save you time. No one wants to hire a service provider only to find out that they can't provide top-notch results.
4. Will I Need to Get a Permit?
You might assume that your paver will handle all permits and paperwork relating to your project. While this is often the case, it's always a good idea to double-check. Working with a well-experienced local company can help ensure that they'll be on top of meeting all regulations and ordinances. If you live in a neighborhood that's under covenants or has an HOA, you'll want to review those requirements as well.
A professional paver should have a strong grasp on what's required for your municipality in terms of permits. It can't hurt for you to also check with your local government office. No one wants to have a project stopped for non-compliance. You can avoid potential fines and work stoppages by making sure that you're following all the regulations for your local area and neighborhood. Make sure that your paver has the information they need to complete your project without any issues. Many property owners are reluctant to get involved with permits and other local ordinances, but it's important to be clear about who is handling what.
5. Are All of Your Licenses and Insurance Up to Date?
Similar to the question about permits is one relating to certifications, licenses, and insurance. Again, many property owners just assume that all such matters are settled, and don't ask for any verification. This can cause problems down the line if it turns out that the company doesn't have the insurance coverage or licenses that are required. Professional pavers will have all of this information ready for you to review.
These questions are an effective way to weed out any less-than-honorable businesses. There's no reason why a firm wouldn't share this information with prospective clients, and it's a warning sign if they refuse to do so. And, while you're on the topic of insurance, it's a good idea to give your agent a call to ensure you have the coverage you need. Projects like paving a new driveway or parking lot can cause injuries. Make sure that your property or homeowners policy has the liability protection you'll need.
These questions are a great way to find the right company for your needs. Don't be afraid to ask questions about any topic that's of concern to you. The best paving companies will be happy to provide any information or clarification that you may want. And, you'll learn a lot about the way they operate by how they react to and answer your queries.
We provide our residential and commercial clients with top-quality asphalt paving services. If you're in need of a new driveway or your parking lot has seen better days, it's time to call us. We'll review your project, provide an estimate, and get to work creating a smooth and long-lasting surface to meet your needs. Give us a call today at A-One Asphalt Paving!