Let’s be honest, how often do you inspect your asphalt driveway? Do you scan it once a year looking for cracks? Do your repair pits before they become potholes? Probably not. If you’re like most you won’t look for an asphalt contractor until the situation is already out of control and then you’re scrambling.
You need an asphalt contractor on call before something goes wrong. Choosing an asphalt contractor before you’re facing a disaster means you don’t have to spend unnecessary time researching contractors or browsing the Better Business Bureau – you’re ready to go. Having a regular asphalt professional also gives you the added benefit of yearly inspections to keep things from going wrong to begin with. Let’s figure out how to choose an asphalt contractor so you’ve got piece of mind about your asphalt.
Finding a Contractor to Repair Your Asphalt Driveway
Don’t know where to start? Try using as many of the resources below as you can to make a list of potential hires.
Most homeowners head online to find several services, including asphalt contractors. Look for companies with high reviews on at least two different sites like Google Reviews or the BBB. Don’t just look at the overall rating, read the reviews to get a feel for the company. You can use reviews to make a short list but don’t use them as your only measuring stick before hiring.
Why the phone book? Because disreputable companies skip it altogether. Though considered archaic, a contractor must have a valid address and represent a legitimate business to garner a phone book listing.
Friends and Family
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find an asphalt contractor. Simply ask your friends and family if they’ve worked with anyone and how their experience was. You can get many questions answered before you’ve even called the contractor with a personal recommendation.
Local Resource Guides
Many mid and larger towns have their own local resource guides which can be a boon to homeowners looking for high-quality contractors. Most contractors in local resource guides have already been vetted for certification, insurance registration, high-quality work, and other factors. Pick up one of these local resource guides at your local coffee shop or library for a bevvy of reputable local contractors including asphalt contractors.
Questions to Ask Potential Hires
There are many questions you should ask an asphalt contractor before hiring, but you should always ask the following questions and note the answers.
How long have you been operating locally? Only hire companies with several years of local service. Years of experience across the nation doesn’t help much for your local asphalt project.
Are you licensed and insured within the state? All asphalt contractors should be licensed with your local building department, insured, and should be able to prove it.
Can you give me referrals that I can call? If you can’t get a word-of-mouth hire, referrals are the next best thing. Referrals allow you to ask direct questions to someone who has already utilized the contractor and can let you ask questions you might be uncomfortable asking your contractor directly.
What materials would you use for my project and why? You should know what type of asphalt is being used, why it’s being used, and other details for the project.
Getting a Quote on an Asphalt Repair
Ideally your regular asphalt contractor can take care of any necessary repairs but if you’re facing a big project like a large repair or asphalt replacement, you should still obtain at least three quotes. Use the tips above to make a short list for quotes. Any reputable asphalt contractor should be able to give you a no-obligation quote for free and explain all the different factors that go into the quote.
Examine Your Contract
Don’t just sign on the dotted line and give a thumbs up because you like an asphalt contractor – read the contract! Go over any quotes, estimates, or proposed work contracts line-by-line so you know where additional money might be necessary, what you’re expected to pay, and what type of timeframes you should expect from the contractor.
Choosing the Best Asphalt Contractor
Choosing an asphalt contractor can seem like an intimidating task, but not if you do your homework. Use several resources to make a short list of potential hires, talk to at least three contractors, and ask the important questions to make sure your job is done right at the expected price. With these tips you’ll find the perfect asphalt contractor regardless of your project.