How to Hire a Driveway Paver
Take a careful look at a driveway contractor's qualifications and the details of the bid
By Sabah Karimi
Asphalt and concrete driveways must be laid by a professional driveway paver who uses special equipment and materials to create a smooth and attractive surface. Skilled driveway pavers not only lay the concrete or asphalt, but can also fix cracks and resurface your driveway after environmental damage or an accident. Whether you're building a new home or updating the landscaping of your existing one, there are several things to consider before contracting with a driveway paver.
Contact local builders associations or landscaping firms. These organizations may already work with reputable driveway pavers for their own projects and can refer you to several skilled professionals. Obtain the names of at least three to four driveway pavers.
Request an on-site inspection from each contractor so that the paving specialist can take a close look at the available space and landscaping.
Obtain the professional's general contractor license number and verify it through your state's licensing board. Confirm that the contractor holds general contractor's insurance so the job will be performed safely. It's also possible the contractor must be bonded for work that touches on public roads. Make sure the contractor carries liabiilty and worker's comp insurance. Contact the local Better Business Bureau to confirm how long the paver has been providing services.
Determine if the paving contractor is registered with any trade associations. A reputable paving professional may be a member of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), the National Pavement Contractors Association (NPCA), the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and building trade associations in your state.
Ask the contractor for contact information of satisfied clients the company has worked with. Check out the paver's website to see pictures of driveways the paving contractor has installed or resurfaced so you can assess the contractor's skills and experience.
Discuss with the contractor the proper treatment for your driveway, based on your budget and needs. For instance, a top-of-the-line "full-depth" asphalt driveway is built up from several layers of asphalt on compacted earth and can bear heavy loads while cheaper solutions use asphalt of varying depth laid over gravel of varying depths. A typical asphalt paving job might result in a minimum two inches of asphalt over six inches of gravel.
Request a project estimate. The paving contractor should be able to provide a detailed cost breakdown of all materials needed for the sub-base, base and asphalt, labor, debris removal, estimated time of completion, cost of renting any equipment, subcontractor fees (if any), and taxes. The estimate should include any special work such as moving municipal pipes or landscaping the edges of the driveway after paving.
About the Author
Sabah Karimi is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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