How to Choose The Correct Paving Contract

CD PAVING & SEAL COATING is happy to give tips on picking the correct paving contractor for any of your paving needs.

Tip # 1 –                                                  Call CD PAVING & SEAL COATING they are your best choice in a paving company!

Tip # 2 – Uncover the Contractor’s Reputation

Word of mouth remains the best form of advertising for contracting companies, but it also helps consumers to choose wisely. When choosing whom to call, or when comparing the various quotes you have obtained, be sure to dig for the contractor’s reputation around town.

Check their website and local listing in the phone book. How long has the company been in business? Did the estimator supply a list of current references? Have they completed any work in your neighborhood? Is the firm listed with the Better Business Bureau, and how have they handled past disputes?

These basic questions give you a profile of the reputation. Plan to conduct further research on your preferred contractor(s) before signing the contract.

Tip # 3 – Ask About the Contractor’s Experience

Although the general reputation helps to narrow down your choices, homeowners should have in-depth information about the contractor before making their final decision.

Start with the sales staff or estimators. How many years have they been in the industry? Can they handle your questions and educate you on the processes? The installation crew needs to have experience as well, with at least one well trained crew leader on site at all times. Ask for the name of that contact.

Certain questions help you to gauge the experience of a contractor. Discuss what type of traffic control the installers will implement (especially important for suburban and urban properties). Ask about any local bylaws regarding heavy trucks and machinery and find out whether the contractor will obtain the necessary permits. Find out what asphalt mix will be used, and what thickness you can expect (compacted thickness). If the contractor cannot confidently and honestly answer these questions, move on.   

Tip # 4 – Consider Scheduling

Good paving contractors often book up quickly. Remember that weather and other factors can shorten the installation season, but an experienced paving contractor should be able to provide an estimated start date.

Some contractors can offer immediate service, tempting you to pay more or settle for lesser quality work. Although timing is important, always remember that quality workmanship and durable materials are worth the wait. Be wary of “too good to be true” scheduling offers.       

Tip # 5 – Get a Detailed Written Contract

Many disreputable paving contractors have their sales pitch down pat, and can fool even the most discerning consumers. Protect yourself by insisting on a written contract before paying any deposit or signing any papers.

Your written contract should include:

Total job cost,
Payment terms
Details of the project, such as asphalt thickness, base specs and size of area to be paved
Warranty coverage
Terms and conditions
Read everything through carefully to be sure that you will receive exactly what the estimator outlined during the sales pitch. Due diligence has saved many homeowners from hiring mistakes, lost investments and severe headaches.

Negotiate payment terms that support both parties. Many contractors require a deposit, either to secure your position on the schedule or pay for materials up front. The balance of your project will likely be due upon completion, but be sure to have a good look at the paving before releasing final payment. If your project does not comply with the details set out in your written contract, appeal to the estimator and insist on proper completion.

Examples of Poor Business Practices by Shoddy Paving Contractors

We like to highlight professional, hard working contractors, but sometimes homeowners need fair warning about shoddy companies to make the right hiring decisions. Disreputable paving contractors tend to follow the typical pattern, and keeping an eye out for these signs may help you to avoid trouble.

Shoddy paving contractors tend to offer:

Inferior materials – a weaker mix or a mix not suited to your climate
Less materials – always insist on compacted asphalt at least 2-inches thick
Completion of unnecessary work – if one of the quotations covers excess work, and you cannot obtain a reasonable explanation from the estimator, it may be unnecessary
Next day or nearly immediate installation
Limited warranty coverage.

Look for above average work, fair prices, experienced installers and a solid warranty when hiring the best paving contractor. Follow these tips to find a paving company you can rely on for quality work and dependable service. Your property is worth the time to research and hire wisely.

Info on Chip Seal

  Tar and chip driveways are very similar to blacktop or standard asphalt driveways. Both are usually installed on a compacted gravel base. The base is the foundation or strongest part of the driveway. Blacktop and/or tar and chip surfaces are actually flexible. They are the actual wearlayer and prevent the erosion of the gravel base.

A tar and chip driveway differs from a standard blacktop driveway in that it is made on site. The hot liquid asphalt and stone chips are actually applied simultaneously on the gravel base.

                                                                                             Blacktop, a mixture of asphalt, sand, and gravel,on the other hand, is usually mixed at an off site plant. It is delivered, much like ready mixed concrete, to your house and applied with a special spreader. If you are installing a brand new or reconstructed driveway, you will do well to have tar and chip done by a  reputable company that gives a nice thick coating when they install.      (Advantages of Tar & Chip)

Standard blacktop pavements require protection from the sun and air. The asphalt that bonds the sand and gravel together can become brittle. If you have a blacktop driveway you have probably had to seal it with a liquid coating. Tar and chip driveways do not require this periodic maintenance.

Tar and chip driveways are slightly rougher than a standard blacktop driveway. This characteristic comes from the fact that small, cubical shaped stone chips are dropped directly into the liquid asphalt. The surface, after it is compacted with a heavy roller, resembles a chunky chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie. The surface isn’t smooth, yet it isn’t sharp and abrasive. It is in between. This surface provides excellent traction in wet or snowy weather. 

What Makes up the Paving Surface

Asphalt – Two Types

The liquid asphalt that is used to coat the driveway and act as the adhesive for the chips can come two ways. It can be a cutback asphalt which is specifically formulated for your region. These asphalts are sticky and release hydrocarbons into the air as they cure. Their use is sometimes curtailed when ozone production poses a smog problem.

An alternative asphalt is an emulsified mixture. This is similar to many blacktop sealers you buy in a 5 gallon pail. The asphalt is atomized into small tiny drops and coated with an emulsifying agent. Sometimes these emulsifiers are water based. As the water evaporates the asphalt is released so it can bond to the surface and to the stone chips. If you can arrange to have the old fashioned cutback asphalt, use it. That is what I used on my own driveway.

Loose Chips

If your driveway is fairly level you may wish to top the driveway with a layer of loose chips. It is extremely attractive. The look is just like that of a country lane or a roadway in a park. A 1/2 to 3/4 inch layer is all you need. The loose chips protect the asphalt from the damaging effects of the sun. In addition, should a crack develop in the driveway, the loose chips fill and disguise the imperfection.


Who Does This Type of Work?

Tar and chip pavement surfaces are nothing new. In fact, there is a strong possibility that you have driven across hundreds of these roads. Many counties use this surface on secondary and rural roads. It is a cost efficient method of repaving and sealing an asphalt roadway.

Businesses and manufacturing plants often pave large parking areas with this material as well.

There is a good chance that a large paving contractor like         (CD PAVING & SEAL COATING) is in your city or town that does the work. If you are really fortunate, you may find a smaller company that does it as well. But CD PAVING & SEAL COATING does Chip Seal Paving all over Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.