Do you need a new driveway? Now all you have to do is find the best driveway operator for the job. But as many people have found out, this is a lot easier said than done. What is the first task when choosing a driveway company? Do you know what type of driveway you want. As famous legendary baseball player Yogi Berra, known for his tongue twister logic, once said: "You have to be very careful if you don't know where you are going because you may not get there."
The same applies to driveways. Unless you tell a contractor what type of driveway you have in mind, asphalt, concrete, basalt paving or brick, you are both not on the same wavelength. The contractor cannot read your mind. So when speaking to a contractor, the first thing you need to ask is, "What are my options?" Unless you are 100 percent sure.
Find out where the driveway contractors are
You'll also want to find out where the driveway operators are in your area. And of course, Google is your friend. But do your research. In larger cities, many companies specialize in driveways and pavement. In smaller towns, your options may be limited and you may have to call some general contractors to find out if they are paver too. Given the choice, a company that specializes in driveway work every day is preferable to a company that does some driveway work only occasionally. However, in smaller cities, your choices may be more limited
Asking friends and family for recommendations?
Do the best recommendations usually come from friends and family? If they completed entry work, include the name of the contractor. If that does not work. Do a Google search for asphalt utilities near you. When you find one or two, explain that some driveway work needs to be done and ask if they have any recommendations from contractors. If you're still on strike, go to places like Angie's List or Yelp for recommendations. Just make sure you pick the contractors with the most reviews when you visit Angie's List or Yelp Avenue. A single evaluation won't make it.
Visit the driveway operator
Next, call the concrete contractor and make an appointment. Also, watch out for their telephone manners. If they're not kind and professional, then pass. When you arrive at the contractor's place of business, look around and see if the business appears tidy or if the place is a mess. Also, pay attention to how long you have to wait. If you have an appointment, is the owner or manager ready to meet you on time?
When you are seated, describe the requirements of your driveway. Have you done similar work recently? Do they have photos or videos to show you? Remember, you are assessing their professional skills.
Then ask a series of intelligent questions. We suggest:
- Asking how long have they been in business to get started. Experience counts at all levels of construction work.
- Do you ask if they are licensed and insured? They should be happy to show you both.
- Ask them to describe their recent driveway similar to yours. Also, carefully assess whether questions like these seem confusing.
- Ask how soon they can start your driveway. If they are too busy, there is no point in continuing with the interview.
- Ask if permits are required and if they handle the permit. Sometimes this is not necessary, but just as often it is necessary.
- Are you asking who is responsible for the work? The owner, a manager, a supervisor?
- Ask if they'll take care of any cleanup.
- Ask how long the driveway surface will last and what maintenance is required.
- Ask for references. Never hire a contractor without references. A good contract is always kept and ready to answer your question. Run in front of everyone who doesn't provide one. Be sure to check out the references. You can hear a very different story when you talk to other customers on the phone, either good or bad.
- Finally, ask for a written cost estimate. Never rely on an oral estimate, only a written estimate counts.
Get at least three written estimates and compare them. And do not rush to sign the contract with the cheapest. If the other two estimates are a thousand dollars more, ask why? There may have been things that the cheapest contractor on this project didn't tell you in a big way.