If you are responsible for the paved areas in your city or town, your decisions can have major impacts. Your residents and local businesses count on safe streets, sidewalks, sports courts, trails, and parking lots to provide access, attract visitors, provide outdoor recreational opportunities, and efficiently move their inbound and outbound shipments. At the same time, taxpayers expect officials to be trustworthy financial managers who understand the difference between price and value. Selecting the wrong contractor for your municipal paving project can result in pavements of extremely poor quality that require major repairs or total replacement long before they should. With so many contractors clamoring for your business, how can you make sure that you hire a reputable, competent contractor? If you know the right questions to ask, you will greatly increase your chances of hiring the right asphalt company.
How to Hire an Asphalt Contractor for Your Municipality Project
What Paving Services of a Similar Type and Scope Have You Completed for Other Municipalities?
Your ideal contractor will have previously completed municipal paving projects of a similar nature. Filling a few cracks in a residential driveway is a far cry from installing a paving overlay on a four-lane divided thoroughfare. Sealcoating a parking lot with room for 5,000 cars is not the same as sealcoating a lot that can only park 10 cars at once. The contractor you hire needs to know how to control traffic properly, efficiently manage the different phases of the project, and effectively communicate with you, his suppliers, and his crew.
Can You Provide Contact Information for Your Previous Municipal Asphalt Paving Projects?
Call your counterparts to determine how satisfied they are with the contractor’s work. Ask about the quality of his work, his ability to complete the project on time and without cost overruns, and his overall management of the entire project.
Are You Fully Insured?
At the very least, the contractor should carry workers’ comp insurance that covers every employee working on your project, vehicle liability insurance, and a general liability policy with a minimum coverage of $500,000. Higher coverage limits are preferable, and an umbrella policy can add a layer of protection to cover claims that exceed the limits on other policies. Obtain the necessary information to call the contractor’s insurance agent or company so that you can verify that the policies are valid.
Do You Own Your Asphalt Paving Equipment?
Without the proper equipment, your contractor cannot deliver the best results. If he is planning to rent equipment, the possibility exists that the piece of equipment he needs may not be available just when he needs it. If he owns all the necessary equipment, ask him how old it is and how well he maintains it. Since the equipment to perform many paving services is quite expensive, most asphalt contractors maintain their equipment well to ensure the longest life possible. However, old, poorly maintained equipment could break down at a critical time.
Most municipalities require written bids that detail every item included in the bid. Even if your town does not, it is still a good idea to request them. Each bid should at least list the type and quantity of every material, the labor costs, the precise services to be performed, the tentative start and completion dates, and the scope of the project. These details help you compare bids from different contractors to make sure that you are not comparing apples to pears. If a bid is significantly lower than the others, you need to make sure that the contractor is not using inferior materials, cutting corners, or failing to bid on all the services you require. If a bid is significantly higher, the contractor may be including work that was not in your request for proposal or that exceeds the proposal’s specifications.
The Surface Masters is a highly respected Marietta paving company offering a wide range of paving services, including asphalt overlays, asphalt sealcoating, asphalt crack repair, pavement markings and striping, asphalt patching, and concrete work. If you would like a proposal from an asphalt contractor known for exceptional craftsmanship, professional project management, and superior customer service, contact us by phone at 770-250-6392 or complete the online form.