To choose the best driveway paving contractor, it generally is best to meet with multiple individuals to receive the best overall pricing. It also is important to verify the selected builder's credentials and qualifications prior to allowing him or her to begin work. When reviewing quotes, make sure the project pricing is written down as well as a list of any additional work to be performed. This will help set expectations for the contractor as well as the home owner during the project.
Paved driveways are typically made from brick, concrete, or asphalt. The construction site should be prepared initially with crushed stone or gravel that will provide a stable, hard surface on which to build. Brick driveways may also require a layer of sand for added stability. Concrete and asphalt may be installed directly over crushed stone and gravel, and can be mixed and poured at the job site directly into pre-formed molds outlining the project area. Homeowners may wish to receive a separate price quote for this step of the project, as it is not necessary to have the same contractor lay both the gravel and the paving materials.
A good driveway paving contractor can be found through multiple communication channels. You may want to begin by speaking with friends, family, and neighbors about the proposed project and ask for recommendations. Firsthand knowledge is typically the best source of information concerning the work habits and pricing of any contractor.
Contractors also can be found by searching a business telephone directory for driveway paving contractor listings. This may be done through a physical telephone book or on the Internet. Telephone directory ads often feature discount coupons on pricing as well that can help lower the overall price of the project.
To choose the best contractor, it usually is best to schedule to meet with multiple contractors and try to receive up to four different quotes on the price of the job. Some contractors may work with both asphalt and concrete, and may be able to provide two separate quotes for both materials. Asphalt is generally less expensive than concrete, but can require more patching over time. Ask that the quotes be written down to guarantee your pricing.
It also is important to determine what services and features the driveway paving contractor should complete during the installation of the project. This can include bringing in gravel to prepare the site, compacting each layer of paving materials during installation, and re-installing any garage doors or driveway gates once the project has been completed. These needs should be discussed in detail with each contractor to ensure an accurate price is given. This will prevent the escalation of additional hidden costs later.
Also be sure to discuss proper drainage for the area. Water should be directed around or alongside the proposed driveway before asphalt or concrete has been laid. This will ensure that the paving materials are allowed to cure properly after installation. It will also prevent water from pooling on the paved driveway, which can create weak stress areas over time.
Finally, make sure that the driveway paving contractor selected to complete the job is both licensed and insured. Most countries require any construction specialist to receive a license from the government to certify his or her credentials. License certifications often include a test in that individual's area of expertise as well as a credit check and criminal background check. Insurance serves to protect the homeowner from assuming liability should the contractor or any of his or her employees become injured on the job site. Unlicensed and uninsured workers can hold homeowners financially responsible for unpaid bills and injuries that may occur during the course of the project and occasionally will try to collect payment up front and then abandon job sites without completing the specified work.