Do you need a new driveway? Great, all you need to do now is find the best driveway contractor for the job. But as many people have discovered, that’s far easier said than it is done. What’s the first order of business when choosing a driveway contractor. Know what kind of driveway you want. As famed iconic baseball player Yogi Berra, known for his tongue twister logic once said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
The same is true with driveways. If you don’t tell a contractor what kind of driveway you envision, asphalt, concrete, basalt paver tiles, or brick, the two of you are not on the same wavelength. The contractor can’t read your mind. So the first thing when talking to a contractor, unless you are 100 percent sure what you want is to ask, “What are my options?”
Discover where the driveway contractors are
You’ll also want to discover where the driveway contractors are in your area. And naturally, Google is your friend. But do your research. In larger cities, many companies specialize in driveways and paving. In smaller cities, your choices may be limited, and you may need to make telephone calls to some general contractors to find out if they too are a driveway paver. If given the choice, then a company that specializes every day with driveway work is preferable to one who only does driveway work occasionally, but in smaller cities, your choices may be more limited
Ask friends and family for recommendations?
Do the best recommendations usually come from friends and family? If they had driveway work done, get the name of the contractor. If that doesn’t work. do a Google search for Asphalt Supply Companies near you. Once you locate one or two, explain that you need some driveway work done and ask if they have contractor recommendations. If you still strikeout, then go to places such as Angie’s List or Yelp to find recommendations. Just be sure if you go Angie’s List or Yelp avenue to choose the contractors with the most reviews. A single review won’t cut it.
Pay the driveway contractor a visit
Next, call the concreters contractors and ask for an appointment. Pay attention to even their telephone manners. If they are not friendly and professional, then pass. When you get to the contractor’s place of business, look around and see if the business seems orderly, or if the place a mess. Also, pay attention to how long you have to wait. If you have an appointment, is the owner or the manager ready to meet you on time?
Once you sit down, describe your driveway needs. Have they done recent similar work? Do they have any photos or videos they can show you? Remember, you are judging their professional ability.
Then ask a number of intelligent questions. We suggest:
- Asking how long they have been in business to start. Experience counts in all levels of construction work.
- Ask if they are licensed and insured? They should be happy to show you both.
- Ask them to describe their most recent driveway work similar to yours. Judge carefully as well whether questions like this seem to fluster them.
- Ask how soon they could get started on your driveway work. If they are too busy, there is no point in going further with the interview.
- Ask if permits are necessary and whether they handle the permit. Sometimes this is not necessary but just as often it is required.
- Ask who will be responsible for the work? The owner, a manager, a supervisor?
- Ask if they take care of all clean-up work.
- Ask how long the driveway surface will last and what maintenance is required.
- Ask for references. Never hire any contractor without references. A good contract will always comply and will be ready for your question. Run from anyone who will not provide any. By all means, call the references up. You may hear quite a different story when on the phone with other clients, either good or bad.
- Finally, ask for a written estimate. Never rely on a verbal estimate, only a written estimate counts.
Get at least three written estimates and then compare them. And don’t rush to sign the contract with the cheapest. If the other two estimates are a thousand dollars more expensive ask why? There may have been things that the cheapest contractor did not tell you about that matter greatly to your project.