2018 Paving Cost Guide for Asphalt & Concrete Driveways
Table of Contents
- Paving Costs Overview
- How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost in 2018?
- How Much Does a Concrete Driveway Cost in 2018?
- How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Driveway in 2018?
- How Much Does Asphalt Sealcoating Cost in 2018?
- How Much Does a Concrete Sidewalk or Pathway Cost in 2018?
- How Much Does a Stamped Concrete Installation Cost in 2018?
- Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Paving Pro
Asphalt and Concrete Paving Cost Guide for 2018
To help you make a well-informed decision about which material will be the best choice for your driveway paving installation, below are some key points about these common types of paving surfaces:
Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveways
|ASPHALT DRIVEWAYS||CONCRETE DRIVEWAYS||PAVING STONES|
|Less expensive but requires more upkeep. Average cost $3-$6 per square foot.||More expensive but requires less upkeep. Average cost $4-$10 per square foot.||Most expensive but requires the least upkeep. Average cost $5-$20 per square foot.|
|Average lifespan up to 15-20 years with proper maintenance.||Average lifespan up to 25-30 years with proper maintenance.||Average lifespan up to 30-40 years with low maintenance.|
|Easy to repair. Sealcoating recommended every 2-4 years.||Difficult to repair. Should be sealed every 5 years.||Easy to repair and replace with minimal upkeep.|
|Normally installed within 24-48 hours. Ready for use in 1-3 days.||Normally installed within 24-36 hours. Ready for use in 7 days.||Normally installed within about a week for an average-sized driveway.|
|Asphalt is flexible pavement, less likely to crack, and highly weather resistant.||Concrete is rigid pavement, extremely durable, and exceptionally strong.||Stone pavement is among the most durable surface coverings on the planet.|
|Ideal for colder climates as it melts snow faster, can expand/contract with temperature changes, and won't deteriorate from salt use. Prone to softening in hot climates.||Ideal for warmer climates as it will not overheat and soften in hot temperatures. Prone to cracking from freeze-thaw cycles and salt can damage it.||Ideal for all types of climates, but are particularly useful in areas that get heavy snowfall as they can withstand frequent freezing and thawing cycles.|
|Limited finishing options available but dark color makes it easier to maintain a neat appearance and hide stains.||Many finishing options and colors available but typical light gray surface can stain easily and show every imperfection.||An extensive amount of colors and laying pattern options are available to customize a look to suit any home's exterior.|
These guides will provide you with up-to-date cost estimates for various paving projects around the country, but they are obviously not set in stone.
Each paving job is unique and your specific project will still require one of our trusted contractors to visit your location for an exact quote.
The average cost per square foot of an asphalt vs. concrete driveway in 2018 will vary depending on your location, size of the project, and quality of the materials being used, so contact us today or fill out our free estimate form.
Driveway Installation Costs
How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost in 2018?
Asphalt is one of the most versatile, durable and budget-friendly building materials on the planet, which is why it's always at the top of the list for a wide variety of paving jobs.
One of the most popular uses for asphalt is driveway installation, as it is a relatively inexpensive way to upgrade the look of a home's exterior while providing important functional value as well.
Perhaps you've been thinking about getting your driveway paved with asphalt in 2018, but have been unsure about what type of costs are involved.
What many people don't realize is that pricing this type of paving job is rarely as simple as it seems.
While it is possible to call up a contractor and ask them for a general price per square foot estimate, there are still several variables that have to be accounted for that can influence the overall cost of your asphalt driveway.
Any legitimate paving company will readily tell you that just providing you with a price per square foot quote without visiting your property first, will not be a 100% reliable indicator of the final cost for your asphalt paving project.
Asphalt Driveway Installation
Asphalt Driveway Scams: Watch Out for the "Door Knockers" and "Extra Asphalt" Offers
Like any other multi-billion dollar industry, the asphalt paving world is not immune from crooks and shady characters.
However, if you've been empowered with the right information on how to quickly spot these scam artists, you can save yourself a lot of money, stress, and headaches down the road.
One of the most common paving scams out there involves a so-called contractor who knocks on your door because they happen to be "driving through the area" and just so happen to have some "extra asphalt" that they're trying to get rid of.
They might even use the excuse that they just finished paving a driveway in a nearby neighborhood and since they're already in the area, why not take advantage of this cheap asphalt that's available right now?
Of course, they will try to persuade you to quickly agree to this and get your driveway paved that same day because after all, you'll be getting a "great deal" on the paving job and nobody would want this perfectly fine asphalt to go to waste, right?
Don't fall for it. While this scenario might seem fairly harmless, there are quite a few things wrong with this picture:
* First of all, any paving contractor worth their salt is very adept at estimating and measuring their material quantities very closely, since those materials cost money.
It's very rare for a contractor to be so far off the mark with their estimated material quantities, that they can afford to cruise around town looking for someone who can use a full driveway's worth of extra asphalt.
While this doesn't mean that paving contractors will never have some asphalt left over after completing a job, it won't be anywhere near enough to justify going from door to door to try and sell their excess asphalt.
More often than not, any asphalt that is left over after completing a job will be recycled or discarded, as it will have already been accounted for in terms of their overall operational cost.
* If a paving contractor is going door to door trying to dispose of their "extra asphalt", the odds of them finding a ready and willing customer for a same-day installation are slim.
Even if one of these door knockers do happen to find someone who's interested in doing a deal, the asphalt would already be too cold to work with anyway and it would be nearly impossible to install it properly. The truth of the matter is that these scam artists typically have a truck on "standby" just waiting for the door to door salesman to close the next sale.
Once the customer (or victim in this case) agrees to have their driveway paved, only then will the truck be dispatched to get loaded up with asphalt. Before that happens, however, these scam artists will use high-pressure selling techniques such as telling the homeowner that the asphalt is "getting cold" and they need to act quickly in order to avoid missing out.
* What about correctly preparing the underlying subgrade?
Like all scam artists, these paving crooks want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. That means rushing through the entire job, including the all-important task of preparing the subgrade soil for asphalt pavement.
More often than not, the subgrade preparation will be marginal at best, and far beneath the standards that a reputable paving company would use to accomplish the job. Because of this, there will be high spots, low spots, flat spots, and other surface issues that will eventually cause water to collect in certain areas of the driveway once the asphalt has been installed.
While the basic mission will have been accomplished – i.e. your driveway has been paved with asphalt – the long-term durability of this type of shoddy workmanship will ultimately cause you far more trouble than it's worth. This can include cracking and settling issues, as well as rainwater being misdirected towards your home or garage due to improper grading and inadequate drainage preparation.
Not only that, but these scam artists will typically use very little asphalt when paving your driveway, which means that the actual layer of asphalt will be very thin. This lack of proper thickness will cause the asphalt to cool off far more quickly than it should, which will prevent the contractor from achieving decent compaction when it's time to use their roller.
The resulting surface of the asphalt may look okay at first, but after a few weeks it will often become rough, rocky, and the entire installation will be far more susceptible to crumbling or cracking since it's been installed so poorly.
The moral of the story is that you should only work with reputable paving contractors who have your best interests at heart. Avoid any door knockers or contractors offering you extra asphalt, as these scam artists are only interested in taking your money and laughing all the way to the bank.
One more thing: Make sure that the paving company is willing to visit your home first and assess the various features and details of the proposed installation area. That way, you can get a better feel for them, and they can get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to pave your driveway – the right way.
Factors Involved in Pricing an Asphalt Driveway Installation
Paving contractors must take a wide range of variables into consideration when pricing an asphalt driveway installation. While material costs will obviously be one of the largest expense categories, there are other important factors to consider as well.
Below are some of the primary factors that influence the final cost of a driveway installation:
1. Size and Expected Weight Capacity of the Driveway
When evaluating a job, one of the first things that your paving contractor will consider is how large the driveway area is, as well as the size you want it to be upon completion. Simply put, how many square feet are you working with?
Expected weight capacity is another factor that must be considered. For example, how many vehicles are expected to park on your driveway and what kind of vehicles are they? If you will be parking heavier vehicles (e.g. RV, boat, semi-truck, etc.) on a regular basis, you will probably need what's known as "full-depth" asphalt.
Full-depth asphalt driveways are exceptionally strong because they are made using a specialized asphalt mixture from top to bottom. This creates a much stronger and more durable pavement that is able to withstand significantly heavier loads than a normal asphalt driveway.
Another factor that can come into play is whether or not the driveway has an unusual shape, length, or slope to it. The more difficult the installation is, the more it will tend to cost to complete.
2. Cost to Move Equipment, Tools, and Crew (aka Mobilization Cost)
There's a lot more to a driveway installation than just the asphalt itself – your paving contractor also has to factor in the cost of transporting tools, equipment, and personnel to and from the work site. Also known as the"mobilization cost", this can vary depending on how far away the project is from the asphalt plant.
When you think about the fuel and transportation costs necessary to bring the compactors, dump trucks, paving machine, roller trucks, and various other tools to the job site – and don't forget about the crew of 5 to 10 workers – you can easily see how these expenses can quickly soar before an inch of asphalt has even been poured.
3. Preparation Costs
Similar to building a house, a driveway is only as good as its foundation. That is why your paving contractor will go through several steps to ensure that your driveway has been properly prepared before installation begins.
The subgrade is the foundational soil component of your asphalt driveway. If this vital area is not taken care of with top-quality workmanship, it is almost guaranteed that you'll have problems with your driveway in the not-too-distant future. The main job of the subgrade is to provide the support needed to adequately maintain your driveway's structure.
Since the natural soil beneath your driveway typically goes through several expansion and contraction cycles, it will need to be tightly compacted in order to properly support the asphalt layers that will be laid down on top of it. In addition, the soil will need to be free of various organic materials such as plants, roots, and other loose debris.
On top of the subgrade is the supporting aggregate material that is known as the subbase. There are two major types of subbases that are commonly used in asphalt driveway installations: crushed gravel and coarse recycled asphalt.
Most paving contractors will shoot for a thickness of 4 to 6 inches or more with crushed gravel subbases. However, this thickness will largely be determined by the type of vehicles that the driveway is intended to hold. For the recycled asphalt base, there is a greater amount of crushed aggregate in the mixture.
Many paving contractors will recommend recycled asphalt as a subbase if the area that is to be paved is plagued with poor drainage issues, or if there is a lot of clay in the composition of the underlying soil. If the driveway area has obstructions such as small trees, stumps, or roots, they will probably have to be cleared out so the subbase can be applied properly.
As previously mentioned, a major factor that must be considered during this phase is the issue of drainage. If there's one thing that can ruin a driveway installation from the very start, it is poor drainage due to substandard grading practices.
Your paving contractor should take great pains to ensure that the driveway area is properly graded in order to direct storm water away from your home or garage – after all, what good is having a paved driveway when all it does is cause water to run towards your property during a rainstorm?
Not only that, but poor drainage can also lead to puddling in certain areas of your driveway. If water is allowed to collect in these uneven spots, it can actually cause long-term damage by weakening that area of the asphalt over time.
If you need to have your current asphalt driveway completely removed and replaced with a new one (i.e. resurfacing is not an option), your contractor will also be responsible for digging up, hauling off, and disposing of the removed materials, all of which can definitely move the needle in terms of the overall cost.
4. Cost of Materials
As you probably have guessed, the cost of the materials makes up the majority of the price estimate for an asphalt driveway installation. The cost of the subbase will also be factored into this equation and will be indicated on your contractor's bid by either the amount (in tons) or the thickness and square footage of the subbase being installed.
The cost of the asphalt itself will vary based on the size of the project. The prices of these materials will be influenced by factors such as current market prices, freight charges, and surcharges for fuel. In addition, geotextiles and other materials may be used by your paving contractor to improve drainage and increase the durability of the installation.
5. Truck Deliveries
One of the trickier parts of formulating a price estimate is figuring out how many trucks will be required to haul materials to and from the job site. Your paving contractor will need to consider factors such as the distance between the job site and the asphalt manufacturing plant, as well as the proximity of the project location to various suppliers.
When you think about it, your paving professional has to assume a pretty significant risk either way: If they schedule too many trucks, they risk wasting money by paying drivers to sit around and basically do nothing while they're waiting for the previous load to be installed. If too few trucks are booked, they run the risk of paying their workers to stand around and wait for the next truckload of materials to arrive.
Either way, one slight miscalculation can come back to bite your paving pro in the wallet, so your contractor has a vested interest in making sure that they are as thorough and precise as possible with their cost estimations.
6. Installation Costs
This is the actual cost of the labor that is required to install the asphalt. For a typical paving job, your contractor will apply two layers (or courses) of the asphalt mix over the highly compacted subbase. As mentioned earlier, the thickness of each layer will largely depend on the expected weight capacity of the driveway.
Installation is a very precise process since your contractor is dealing with a hot, gummy mixture of materials that is only workable at high temperatures. The more it cools off, the harder it is to manipulate. If this mixture is not properly installed within the correct time frame, your driveway can turn into a huge mess in a hurry.
Keep in mind that installation costs will include the wages for the crew members, as well as all of the expenses that are required by law such as liability and worker's compensation insurance. The process of installation can easily cost hundreds of dollars per hour due to these highly important expenditures.
7. Profit for the Contractor
Once all of the above expenses have been accounted for, your paving contractor must then figure out a way to price the job at a rate that will cover all of these costs while still producing some type of profit so that they can stay in business.
As you can imagine, this is quite a balancing act and if they don't know how to competitively price their services, they can quickly be put out of business by rival contractors who do.
8. Miscellaneous Considerations
* Sometimes the cost of a paving job can increase based on additional engineering services that might be needed to accommodate the specific layout of your property. This can include certain angles, curves and/or slopes that lead out to the road. If any additional drainage considerations will be required, the cost of hiring a specialist to solve the issue will be added to the estimate.
* Permits can occasionally be an issue, especially when you're dealing with a driveway that connects to a public street or roadway. Your paving contractor might be required to obtain a permit from the governing municipality that is responsible for the maintenance of that public road.
* Weather and climate may also influence the final price of the job, since it's easier to install asphalt in certain regions compared to others.
* It is a relatively common practice for paving contractors to offer certain add-ons such as berms (i.e. the 4-6 inch curbstones that outline the edges of a driveway). Most of the time, berms are installed for purely cosmetic reasons, but they can also serve a dual function in terms of helping to direct water runoff, or to outline certain landscaping elements.
Bottom Line: Asphalt Driveways Are an Investment
As you can see, there are several variables that must be taken into account when calculating the cost of an asphalt driveway installation. A well-designed and professionally installed blacktop driveway can last for up to 15-20 years or more before needing to be resurfaced, making asphalt one of the most cost-effective paving materials on the market.
If you are really serious about getting your driveway paved, you'll be pleased to know that Save On Paving has done all the hard work for you by selecting only the highest quality paving contractors in your area, all of whom are eager to earn your business.
Contact us today to see how we can connect you with a highly qualified, reputable paving contractor to install your brand new asphalt driveway.
How Much Does a Concrete Driveway Cost in 2018?
Concrete has long been a popular building material for driveway installations due to its exceptional strength, attractive appearance, and rugged durability. Not only does concrete hold up remarkably well under a wide range of environmental conditions, but it also requires a very minimal amount of maintenance.
Understandably, one of the biggest concerns that many people have when considering a concrete driveway in 2018 is the installation cost.
On the surface, it would seem fairly straightforward for a contractor to provide a precise figure for a concrete driveway installation by simply naming a set price per square foot. But this doesn't really tell the whole story.
Pricing concrete actually involves quite a few variables that must be factored in before your paving contractor can arrive at an accurate price estimate. That being said, you should check out the estimating tool below to get a realistic idea of what kind of investment you're looking at for a concrete driveway.
Concrete Driveway Installation
Concrete Driveway Scams: Beware of the "Fly-by-Nighters" and "Name Droppers"
Let's face it: Any industry where a lot of money is trading hands is going to have its fair share of crooks in the mix, and unfortunately the concrete paving industry is no different.
A "fly-by-night" contractor will typically have no problem giving you an extremely low price per square foot over the phone (sight unseen), in hopes that you will quickly take the bait and agree to meet with them. What you might not realize is that once they come out to visit your site to prepare an official bid, these fly-by-nighters will then try to ratchet up their initial low estimate.
The price per square foot will start to magically increase based on all of the things they "discover" once they evaluate your driveway in person. While you could just say "no thanks" and walk away, it's very tempting to do business with these shady characters because of the ridiculously low price they're still willing to offer you.
"Name droppers" are another type of concrete scam artist that you need to be aware of. They typically show up at your door unannounced, and tell you that a couple of your neighbors – who they can correctly name – have just hired them to install or repair their driveways for cheap. They'll offer you the same low price but only if you act quickly.
What they don't tell you is that more often than not, they just knocked on the door of your neighbors who politely declined their offer, but also provided their first names during the brief conversation. All you need to do with these scammers is simply offer to call up your neighbor to confirm, and you'll see how quickly they disappear.
So for future reference, keep in mind that if you're just looking for the lowest-priced paving contractor you can find, it's not always the wisest move to make. Too many home and business owners are ripped off by these concrete scam artists who will take unethical liberties with their pricing estimates just to take your money.
As we all know, you get what you pay for in life and unfortunately the only thing that is usually lowered in these instances is the quality of the work – not the cost.
Factors Involved in Pricing a Concrete Driveway Installation
As mentioned earlier, pricing a concrete driveway installation is not as simple as just throwing out a fixed price per square foot number. Experienced paving contractors know that there are several other variables that need to be taken into account to arrive at an accurate quote.
While a large part of the estimate will be dependent upon the cost of the physical materials, there are many other factors to consider which include:
1. Size and Functionality
How big (or small) is your driveway? What is the square footage of the entire area that needs to be paved? What kind of vehicles will the driveway hold? Answers to questions like these will determine important factors such as the thickness of the driveway, type of materials needed, etc.
2. Preparation Work
As you are probably well aware, installing a concrete driveway is not as simple as just arriving at a worksite and pouring the concrete. There is quite a bit of preparation involved to ensure proper drainage, which is one of the biggest factors influencing how the installation will proceed.
Nobody wants excess water being misdirected towards their home or flooding into their garage, so special care and attention must be given to drainage issues before the first inch of concrete is poured.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all template that can be applied to every single installation. Each driveway project is unique and the work required to achieve adequate grading and drainage will vary based on factors such as the natural lay of the land, the type of native soil, and so forth.
This is an element of the installation process that can only be addressed by way of a professional contractor who can survey the land and lay experienced eyes on the project area. Only after making provisions for this all-important design phase of preparation can an accurate price begin to be determined.
3. Mobilization of Crew and Equipment
This is one of those areas of cost that can easily get out of control if a paving contractor does not diligently monitor their workflow and resources. Commonly called a "mobilization fee", this factor involves the amount of money it takes just to transport the crew and equipment to and from the job site.
Within this expense category there are several factors to consider such as the number of crew members required to complete the job, fuel costs for the vehicles that transport the equipment, the labor costs required to have the equipment offloaded, etc.
Depending upon the size and scope of the job, these costs can obviously vary. As it is with many other businesses, concrete installation has its own version of a "volume discount" for customers. In other words, oftentimes if the overall square footage of the job is significantly higher than average, the price per square foot will tend to decrease.
There are several different types of materials that go into a concrete driveway installation, each of which will be accounted for in your paving contractor's proposal. Below is a rundown of the basic components involved in a concrete price estimate:
* Subgrade Material: While it is possible in some regions of the country to pour concrete directly onto an area of compacted soil, there are many other regions that require the installation of a subgrade material in order to provide enough support to keep the concrete from failing or cracking under heavy load stresses.
Otherwise, if the natural soil base underneath a concrete slab contains any kind of soft spots it can actually cause the edges of the concrete to bend, creating a concave or dip in the middle. This causes tension on the bottom side of the slab, which increases the likelihood that it will crack.
The same thing is true if there are other areas of the soil base that do not provide solid support near the free edges, which can cause the slab to bow up (like a pitcher's mound) in the middle. This can also cause cracking or what's known as "differential settlement", which occurs when the foundation settles unequally and can result in an unsightly bump in your once-smooth driveway.
For these reasons, subgrade and subbase material (e.g. sand, gravel, etc.) will often need to be installed before the concrete slab is poured. This will increase the overall cost not only in terms of the materials themselves, but also in terms of the expenses associated with transporting those materials to the job site.
* Forms: This refers to the wooden barriers or braces that are set in place to give the concrete mixture a type of mold or outline in which it can be poured. This gives shape to the driveway and determines the boundaries of the slab so that you won't end up with bits of concrete on the ground in random places.
There are newer forming systems that have also been developed to serve additional purposes, such as achieving decorative effects or even providing insulation. However, the basic function of forms continues to be shaping the slab into whatever configuration is most suitable for the driveway project.
* Reinforcement Materials: Practically all concrete cracks at one time or another, but when and how severe those cracks appear will largely depend upon the type of reinforcement measures the contractor has put in place. Common reinforcement materials in use today include steel rebar as well as fiber and plastic mesh.
* Concrete Mix: The actual concrete mix makes up the largest percentage of the cost of a driveway installation. As you have probably guessed, this component of the price estimate will depend upon the size and scope of the project, along with the proposed thickness of the concrete.
While your paving contractor might charge you a lower price per square foot for a larger-sized installation, many folks don't realize that the contractor will still have to pay the same amount for their materials, regardless of the size of the job. The reason for this is simply because there is no volume discount in terms of material costs for paving contractors; they basically pay a fixed price for the concrete mix they're using.
Your contractor will also take into consideration the "mix ratio" (the ratio of cement to sand to aggregate), which plays a large role in the compressive strength and durability of the finished product.
Other variables to consider include what type of "slump" (concrete thickness) the job might require, whether entrained air will be needed, and a host of other important details that your paving professional will have to nail down in order to come up with the right mix and the best price for the job.
5. Mix Delivery
This is one of those areas that is perhaps more of an art than a science, because there's a delicate balance between having too many mixer trucks on standby versus too few. Especially for larger concrete jobs, if there are too many mixer trucks, the paving contractor will lose money by paying truck drivers to sit around and wait for the previous truck to unload.
However, if there are too few trucks on standby, the paving contractor will lose money by paying the crew to stand around and basically twiddle their collective thumbs until the next mixer truck arrives.
So in order to achieve the most accurate estimate possible, your paving contractor will have to factor in the total amount of concrete mix that the job requires, along with how far away the concrete or "batch" plant is from the worksite.
If the worksite is a good distance away from the batch plant, more mixing trucks will be required. If the batch plant is relatively close to the worksite, fewer mixing trucks will be required.
Remember, your paving contractor is dealing with a material that begins to harden as soon as it is poured out, so they have to be as precise as possible in terms of how far apart to space out their mix deliveries. This requires some careful calculations and if for whatever reason these calculations are off, it will eat into your contractor's profits.
Since nobody enjoys losing money, you can rest assured that an experienced, reputable contractor will take great pains to provide an accurate estimate that includes precisely how mix delivery will flow to and from the worksite.
6. Installation (aka "Laydown")
Now here's where the rubber meets the road: The actual installation or "laydown" of the concrete slab.
Installation costs will be calculated based on the amount of physical labor that is required to perform the job, as well as the total time needed to install and finish the concrete. In addition, there will obviously be some wear and tear to the contractor's tools and equipment during the installation which also must be taken into consideration.
Another important factor to consider is whether or not there will be areas of the driveway that will be difficult for large or heavy machinery to reach. In these cases, the preparation and installation will need to be done by hand, which will obviously increase the cost due to the extra time required to complete the job.
We also can't forget the wages that need to be paid to the workers, as well as the expenses associated with maintaining the proper worker's compensation and liability insurance to keep everything above board. With all of these factors taken together, you can easily see how installation costs can end up being hundreds or even thousands of dollars per hour.
Now the tricky part to all of this is that your paving contractor must take all of these expenses into account, but still offer a price that is fair and competitive. If they're too optimistic and underestimate the time needed to complete the job, they will lose money. But if they allow for too much time, the customer might end up overpaying and will not be a happy camper.
This is why pricing a concrete driveway installation is very much a balancing act, one that paving contractors must know how to successfully navigate if they want to stay in business and give their customers the best possible service at the lowest possible rates.
7. The Contractor's Profit
The last element of the pricing estimate is the contractor's profit. As you can see, there are several very significant risks involved in properly pricing a concrete driveway installation and in many ways, paving contractors must walk a "tightrope" in order to remain profitable.
If a paving contractor doesn't get this aspect of the business figured out rather quickly, it won't be long before they will find themselves completely out of business. If something goes wrong or a job hits a major roadblock, it can easily put a massive drain on the contractor's cash flow. Potential problems can range from broken down equipment, to sick or absent employees, to bad weather conditions, etc.
Also keep in mind that in many states, concrete work is very much a seasonal business. Therefore, without a sober understanding of all the risks involved in a successful driveway installation, paving contractors can lose a ton of money in a hurry if they're not careful.
So when you receive a pricing estimate from a qualified, experienced contractor, hopefully you will now have a better idea of the various factors and risks that are being accounted for in their final quoted price.
Bottom Line: Price Should Never Be the Ultimate Determining Factor
This might sound a little counterintuitive to some, but when you're evaluating and considering various paving contractors, it's not necessarily the smartest move to go with the one offering the absolute lowest price.
Before making your final decision, there are other highly important factors that should be taken into consideration such as:
* Experience: How long has the paving company been in business? Are they bonded, licensed, and insured?
* Quality of Work: Does the paving company have a track record of happy customers who have used them in the past for various paving jobs? Do they have any examples of their work that they can show you via pictures or videos?
* Reputation: The ideal paving company will have a reputation for being trustworthy, accountable, and for treating customers with fairness and respect. This includes not only the professionalism of the staff, but also the level of price transparency the company has in place.
Reputation is everything in the paving industry so if they're worth their salt, they should be willing and eager to earn your business. In addition, your paving contractor should offer some kind of warranty to show you that they stand behind the quality of their work.
* Flexibility and Resourcefulness: You should only work with companies who have demonstrated a willingness to work with you and adapt or improvise when a project poses unique challenges. This shows their resourcefulness in terms of adjusting their game plan in order to accommodate a difficult installation.
When you combine the above factors together – along with price – you will have a much better chance of landing a high quality paving contractor. When you really stop and think about how many details are involved in accurately estimating the cost of a driveway installation, it only makes sense to deal with contractors who know their stuff.
That is why Save On Paving offers only the most qualified and trusted paving contractors to compete for your business. We want to make sure that you deal with a paving outfit that has a hassle-free pricing process, with no headaches or nasty surprises at the end.
We go to great lengths to ensure that the paving contractors we recommend have been fully vetted and hold all of the appropriate credentials that reflect a professional and experienced paving company.
Contact us today to see how we can help you find a local paving contractor that will be the perfect fit for your new driveway installation.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Driveway in 2018?
How Much Does Asphalt Sealcoating Cost in 2018?
How Much Does a Concrete Sidewalk or Pathway Cost in 2018?
How Much Does a Stamped Concrete Installation Cost in 2018?
Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Paving Pro in 2018
Whether you're installing a new driveway, repairing a sidewalk or resurfacing a parking lot, you're going to need the help of a qualified paving pro to get the job done right.
Unfortunately, finding the right contractor can sometimes be a stressful process as they are definitely not all created equal.
Keep the following tips in mind to help you hire the best professional for your upcoming project:
1. Don't hire the cheapest paving company you can find.
It is all too common for home and business owners alike to make the rookie mistake of hiring the contractor with the lowest quote.
When comparing estimates from paving contractors, price should only be one of several important factors that you take into consideration.
For example, are all of the contractors properly licensed and insured? Do they have a track record of satisfied customers? What type of warranties do they offer?
At Save On Paving, our trusted contractors provide outstanding paving services at competitive rates that match their level of skill, experience, and workmanship. But our referral service is not a good fit for those who are just looking for the lowest price they can find, regardless of quality.
You get what you pay for in life and we take pride in connecting our users with paving professionals who deliver excellent results at fair prices. In other words, our contractors are generally not the cheapest or the most expensive price in town.
2. Double-check to make sure that your pro is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Don't be afraid to ask your paving contractor for some written proof of licensing, bonding, and insurance.
Not doing so is a gamble at best and could end up costing you dearly should something go awry on the work site.
Below is a brief explanation of each of these terms and why they're so important:
- Licensing proves that your contractor has received the appropriate training to perform the work that is in accordance with industry standards. Based on the laws in your particular state, an unlicensed contractor might not even be allowed to work in your area.
- Bonding is considered to be a form of insurance but there is an important distinction to keep in mind. A bond is basically a type of guarantee that protects the homeowner in the event that a contractor fails to perform the work as agreed upon.
- Liability insurance is needed to protect you in the event that your contractor causes damage to your property. Worker's compensation insurance will relieve you of any responsibility should one of your contractor's employees get injured while working on your project.
Save On Paving conducts thorough research to verify that all of the paving companies we refer to our users are professionally certified.
Whenever possible, we also take it a step further by researching their historical business conduct through consumer protection services such as the Better Business Bureau and/or the Office of Consumer Affairs.
However, we always recommend that you confirm these licensing requirements yourself before proceeding with your project. Please read our FAQs section for more information.
3. Get a written contract.
We all know that talk is cheap. And verbal contracts are nearly impossible to prove.
You should always get a written estimate that outlines a complete description of the work being done, type and quality of materials being used, and your project's start and completion dates.
By getting everything in writing, there will be no confusion or misunderstandings when it comes to what the job expectations are.
At Save On Paving, we go to great lengths to ensure that the paving companies in our network have a well-established reputation for fair and transparent business practices.
However, it is ultimately up to our users to carefully review all bids and project estimates before agreeing to move forward with your contractor.
As a rule, all prices should be clearly stated in writing and if something is unclear, be sure to ask questions before signing your paperwork.
There's no such thing as a silly question and both you and your contractor should be on the exact same page before giving your paving project the green light.
4. Pay attention to scheduling.
Paving contractors that are worth their salt typically book up quickly, which means that you'll need to carefully consider scheduling when deciding who you want to hire.
It is not uncommon for installations to be delayed or postponed due to weather and/or other factors, but a quality paving contractor should still be able to provide you with a fairly accurate estimate as to when they can start on your project.
That is why it's always better to be proactive and call well ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute before booking your paving job.
This will ensure that your contractor will have enough time to schedule your project in, as well as perform the quality of work that you're looking for.
5. Make sure they provide an on-site inspection.
An experienced paving contractor understands that providing exact price estimates "sight unseen" is not a reliable business practice.
While price estimates can be given, there are still a number of variables involved that require a physical visit to the site before your paving project can be accurately priced.
For example, a contractor will need to determine:
- The soil conditions of the property.
- The natural topography of the area to be paved.
- The projected dimensions and thickness of the pavement.
- Drainage considerations.
- The grading of the paved surface.
- Load bearing capacity of the pavement.
- The type of materials needed for the base and layers.
Look for a contractor that is willing to spend the time visiting your property in order to determine the scope and requirements for your specific project.
Once they do this, they will be able to arrive at a much more precise cost estimate.
As you can see, there are quite a few factors to consider when deciding which paving contractor should earn your business. By following the tips outlined above, you can be confident that you will hire a paving contractor who will give you the results you're looking for.
Call us today or fill out our free estimate form and we'll connect you with a locally trusted pro who will do the job right.
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