Choosing a contractor can be a bit intimidating. After all, it’s one of the most important decisions that homeowners or other property owners make each year. Finding a contractor that’s a good fit for your project – and you – helps ensure that the entire process runs smoothly and to your satisfaction Making a poor choice can, quite frankly, be an expensive mistake.
If you’re in the market for a new asphalt driveway or parking lot, the steps below are designed to help you navigate the process of choosing a paving company. (These guidelines can help those of you searching for a contractor in other fields of construction too.)
To get started on the path to success, follow these five steps:
1. Define your project. What prompted you to want a new driveway or parking lot in the first place? Take your time and jot down your answers.
Has the pavement reached the end of its lifespan? Do you need more space for parking? Would you prefer a smaller paved area to accommodate additional green space? Do you prefer the appearance of an asphalt driveway over your existing gravel or concrete surface?
Any and all of the reasons that brought you to this point are important. Define them. This will provide both you and your prospective contractor with a clearer vision for your project.
2. Make a list of contractors. Do a quick web search for asphalt paving companies in your area. Use trusted sources such as the Better Business Bureau. Read the reviews that past customers have posted on Google, Yelp and other popular sites. Check out neighborhood forums such as Nextdoor. Keep your eyes open for contractors while you’re on Facebook and other social media. Ask your family, friends and neighbors for the names of paving companies that they know of or have used. Finally, visit the potential contractors’ websites to see whether they do the size and type of paving projects that you want done.
During the process of making this list, you are simultaneously narrowing down which companies do and don’t seem right for you. Trust your instincts.
3. Get proposals from your top three. Now look at your short list of paving contractors and choose your top three. Contact these companies by phone or request a free estimate through their website. And yes, the estimate should be free. Be leery of companies that charge you a fee to provide this service.
4. Evaluate the proposals. If you’re like most people, you look at one line first: The price. That’s a good starting point, but also compare the details within each estimate. Are the dimensions for your new driveway or parking lot correct? Is the type of work that each contractor is proposing comparable? Look at the specs. Are the materials (rock base and asphalt mix) and the depth of installation similar? What about the proposal itself, is it straight-forward and professional looking? Most of all, if you have any questions while reviewing the proposals, this is the time to ask!
By weighing all these factors, you can make a confident decision as to which paving contractor is ideal for you and your project.
5. Award your project. Now that you’ve completed the first steps toward finding an asphalt paving contractor, take the final step and call the winning company with the good news!
If you are in the Minneapolis area and are looking for a paving contractor, Alpine Asphalt would love to be on your short list.