An asphalt driveway, road, or parking lot is a significant investment. With routine maintenance, properly installed asphalt can last 35 years or more. A poor quality job, however, may begin to deteriorate within the first two years. Hiring someone to repair or replace substandard asphalt is often more expensive than simply having the job done right to begin with. Finding a reliable asphalt contractor can be a challenge, but the results are definitely worth the effort. Here are 5 tips to ensure that you hire an experienced, professional asphalt contractor.
1. Beware of Scams
Door to door scams are a real risk in any part of the construction industry, but it can be especially tough for a homeowner to spot substandard asphalt work. If someone knocks on your door offering to sell you discounted asphalt left over from a previous job, be on guard. It might be a legitimate offer, but dig deeper to be sure what you are actually getting and whether the company is trustworthy.
Another common scam is to promise you a newer, better way of doing the job. Asphalt paving has not significantly changed in decades, so be skeptical of anyone who promises a new technique. Also make sure that the contractor uses a paving machine rather than paving by hand, which can be extremely time consuming and result in a poor quality finished product.
Remember that anything that seems too good to be true usually is. Gather at least three estimates, and throw out any that are far lower than the others. Walk away from any contractor who uses high pressure techniques or claims that a particular price is valid today only.
2. Ask Detailed Questions
Licensing, insurance, and bonding are just a few of the areas in which fly by night companies might be lacking. Find out what kind of equipment the contractor uses, how many employees will work on your job, and what grade of asphalt is used. Ask how thick the asphalt layer will be, and whether there are any unusual circumstances that might add to the final price. A good contractor will be eager to sit down with you and review the specifics of your project, go over exactly what will happen, give an estimated timeline, and explain technical terms. Be wary of anyone who shies away from providing concrete information.
3. Get Personal Recommendations
The best way to ensure that you are satisfied with the job is to seek recommendations from someone you trust. If you know anyone who has recently had asphalt work done and is pleased with the results, ask for a referral to that person’s contractor. Otherwise, ask the companies you are considering for references. Call those people and ask detailed questions about their overall experience, likes and dislikes, and anything they would change about the process.
4. Perform Due Diligence
Scam artists can be smooth talkers. If they sense that you know what you are talking about, they can pull out all the right sales pitches to convince you to sign. Therefore, no matter what you are told, do a little research on the company before you commit. Check into the company’s license status. Look for online complaints. Read reviews. If possible, take a look at examples of the contractor’s completed work. Make sure that you know exactly what you are getting before you sign on the dotted line.
5. Read the Contract
It is simply amazing that in this day and age, people still do not bother to read contracts before they sign. In most cases, whatever is written in the contract is enforceable, and not being aware does not prevent you from being responsible for it. Be especially wary of any contractor who tries to push you to sign quickly, glosses over blank spots on the contract, or tries to distract you while you are reading the fine print.
Based in Abbotsford, Topwest Asphalt also serves Langley, Chilliwack, Mission, and Maple Ridge. Are you ready to start your next asphalt project with a team you can count on to do the job right, on time, and on budget? We invite you to call Topwest Asphalt today at 1-800-ASPHALT to discuss your project and schedule an estimate. We look forward to working with you!