5 Things to Look For When Hiring a Paving Contractor

hiring a paving contractor

When you are looking for a professional contractor to lay new asphalt, or maintain/repair your existing asphalt, you have lots of choices. Make the most of your investment by taking time to learn about the companies who are bidding on your job. 

Here’s what we recommend you look for to determine if a pavement contractor deserves your business.

1 – Insurance Coverage

Every professional asphalt paving business needs to have insurance coverage to protect their team and the home or business owner in the event of an incident.

Look for: 

  • General Liability coverage to protect the customer against bodily injury or property damage. Example: Contract’s roller backs into property causing significant damage.
  • Auto Liability to protect the customer in case of a vehicle accident while on the job. Example: Contractor’s dump truck hits neighbor’s new car.
  • Workers’ Compensation Coverage to protect their professionals in the event of an accident.

Ask to see copies of this insurance coverage and workers’ compensation certificate.

2 – Professional Equipment

To ensure your pavement project is done right, and that your investment lasts, you want to work with a contractor who has professional equipment

Asphalt Services of Ohio Commercial Job

The ASO crew paving a roadway for a commercial property in Columbus, Ohio.

Look for: 

  • Motorized Asphalt Roller for proper asphalt compaction. (Not a pull-behind or man-powered roller.)
  • Motorized Asphalt Paving Machine. (Not a drag box on the back of a dump truck or a crew that paves by hand. A paver puts down a smoother asphalt mat and improves compaction, which improves the longevity of the pavement.)
  • Skid Steer with bucket and broom for proper cleaning of the job site.

3 – References

A reputable paving company will have plenty of references to share! Ask to see testimonials and for contact information for clients who have had similar jobs completed or are in similar industries.

4 – Ability to Answer All of Your Questions

You’re making a big investment when you hire a paving contractor, so make sure to properly vet them! Here are some questions you recommend asking.

  • Are they BBB accredited or members of chambers of commerce?
    • BBB accreditation means the business has committed to BBB standards and works to resolve any customer complaints. Involvement in local community groups, like a chamber of commerce, can also provide business accountability.
  • Are they based locally?
    • Some regional or national paving companies might have sales reps locally, but not local staff. Depending on the level of service you require, a locally-owned and operated outfit will likely provide more timely responses and customer service.
  • How long have they been in business?
    • You want a pavement expert who has seen it all, and can offer solutions any bumps in the road. If a contractor is newly in business, ask about their experience before starting their own company.
  • How many employees in the company? How many on the paving crew?
    • A solid paving crew should include at least 5 crew members. It takes a minimum of 3 crew members on the paver, 1 on the ground and 1 on the roller to successfully complete a paving job. 
  • Does the company do their own paving, or hire a subcontractor?
    • Some paving companies may “sub out” for specific project (like drainage to accompany a new parking lot) but they should NOT use a sub contractor for their core services. This leads to lessened quality control and a potential gamble for you.
  • Ask for a written warranty for services. 

5 – Red Flags

If the price or the promises sound too good to be true, they probably are. Here are some red flags you should look for when interviewing paving contractors:

  • No permanent address
    • Some companies are fly by night, moving to a town to work a season with rented equipment before packing up and heading to a new town. To ensure you have the best service, warranty, and follow up, make sure your contractor is headquartered near your property.
  • Door-to-door solicitation
    • There is a sneaky tactic some asphalt reps use, saying they have “extra” asphalt from another job that they don’t want to go to waste, so they can give you a great deal. End the conversation there. They more than likely have a truck waiting to load up once they get a bite on their line. Plus, any leftover asphalt wouldn’t be able to maintain the right temperature for proper paving for your job.
  • Up-front payment
    • If a business wants the money up front, just say no. Most reputable paving contractors ask for a percentage down and then give a customer up to 30 days to pay the balance, allowing time to rectify any quality issues that need to be addressed. We’ve heard many stories of customers paying in full before a job is completed and then dealing with a contractor who does not complete the job or does not respond to customer concerns. 

There are many fantastic paving contractors who can provide quality service and maintenance for your asphalt surfaces – you just need to know what to look for!

Have questions about your job? Contact our team today!