5 Things to know when choosing an asphalt paving contractor
There are many factors that can affect the price and outcome of an asphalt paving project. Choosing the lowest bid is not always the best choice when choosing an asphalt paving contractor. The following will help you make an informed decision when choosing a paving contractor.
Just like auto insurance, many contractors choose the minimum of insurance required by state law. When accidents happen and they are on YOUR property, you want to be protected as much as possible. To be protected, your contractor should have the following insurance:
• General liability, Auto Liability, Workers Compensation, and an Umbrella policy.
• Minimum $500,000 per policy coverage, $1-$2 million is even better.
Majority of asphalt is recycled over and over again. There are many grades of asphalt with different percentages of recycled material in them. Having low quality asphalt installed can affect the look and longevity of your asphalt pavement. Requesting higher grade asphalt with less recycled material is always a wiser choice.
Type of Equipment:
What type of asphalt paving equipment does the contractor have? Is it run down? Machines that breakdown frequently can delay the completion of your asphalt paving project. Also, asphalt can cool quickly. Waiting too long to install your asphalt can affect the appearance of you pavement upon completion. Properly maintained equipment is important to any asphalt project.
*Avoid hiring anyone that does asphalt paving by hand. Asphalt paving machines can cost more than $100,000. They cost this much because of the technology and efficiency behind them. Be aware of any contractor that tells you he can pave by hand at the same quality and efficiency of a paving machine.
Does the contractor have an adequate crew? A typical asphalt paving crew consist of 5-8 workers depending on the size of the job. Being understaffed not only affects the overall outcome of your asphalt paving project, but it can delay the project even further.
*Insurance note: Is everyone on their crew covered under the contractor’s workers compensation policy?
Unless your asphalt project is over $10,000. You should not be paying a down payment to the contractor for your asphalt paving project. Most reputable asphalt paving companies have lines of credit with most material suppliers. They shouldn’t require any deposits from you. Depositing funds with a contractor may run the risk of misuse of funds by the contractor. It’s unfortunate, but there are contractors out there that use deposits to finish paving other unfinished asphalt projects.
Like the old motto says “you get what you pay for”. It helps to think of asphalt paving as a long term investment. Properly installed, asphalt paving can last over 20 years. Saving a few hundred in the short term may cost you thousands of dollars down the road. Make sure you do your research and ask questions to make an educated and informed decision when choosing your asphalt contractor.