Looking for tips to hire a Toronto residential driveway paving contractor?
First, an introduction…
Driveway paving is somewhat like roofing: most homeowners don’t know anything about it, they don’t hire a contractor until they absolutely need to, and they can’t judge the process, only the end result – and only then when something is visibly wrong!
Repaving an asphalt driveway is a home improvement that can add significant value to a property, whether you are planning to sell your home or hope to enjoy it for many years to come. That’s why it’s so important to hire a reputable, skilled and professional Toronto residential driveway paving contractor right from the get-go.
We are often hired to fix a botched asphalt driveway and it’s not pleasant for the homeowner to go through the expense and hassle of having the job re-done.
The Dangers of a Poor Driveway Paving Job
Some easygoing homeowners don’t expect perfection in an asphalt driveway, but may not realize the downright disastrous results they could get from hiring a substandard residential driveway paving contractor in the GTA. Poor work could cause:
- Water collecting in the garage
- Water pooling around the foundations and seeping into the basement
- A driveway that falls apart and decays within 2 years – instead of the 20 it should last
- Costs to correct bad workmanship that exceed the original cost
Asking asphalt contractors the right questions before hiring will help ensure a quality job that lasts for decades.
Before Interviewing an Asphalt Contractor to Pave Your Driveway
Doing your due diligence before you ever call a contractor out for a consultation will save time down the road.
- Ask friends, neighbours and family members for a recommendation
- Ask whether the contractor has proper insurance, licensing and bonding
- Ask about any guarantees or warranties on workmanship and materials
- Ask to view completed work (not just pictures)
Now you’re ready to actually meet the contractors! We recommend speaking with up to 3 companies to get a feel for how they work. The end result is obviously what you’re paying for, but the process is also important as well.
The Hard Questions to Ask Toronto Residential Driveway Paving Contractors
Some of these are questions you might never think to ask, but it’s important that you do.
How come your price is so low? Proper asphalt paving isn’t a quickie job. Expensive, specialized equipment, top quality materials and many hours of labour is required. If a contractor says they happen to be in your neighbourhood with leftover asphalt, beware – you don’t know what type of asphalt mix they are using. If the price is extremely discounted, you may end up paying more in the long run – to have the job fixed by a professional.
What do you know that others don’t? Some companies claim to have revolutionary new methods, but proper asphalt paving hasn’t changed in the last 25 years. Blacktop is blacktop.
How many inches of asphalt will you lay? A brand new driveway requires a new gravel base and 3 inches of asphalt to be laid, not a thin coating. Two inches should be sufficient for a re-coat.
How will you fix my drainage problems? A good Toronto residential driveway paving contractor should have an answer for this, not just tell you that all you need is a re-coat on top of your badly cracked driveway.
Can I have a copy of our detailed, written contract? Even if the contractor is a friend of a friend, don’t just take their word for anything. Protect yourself by insisting on a written contract that outlines:
- Job estimate plus agreeable terms for any additional costs that may be incurred
- Project specs and scope of work, including quality and thickness of asphalt and square footage of the area to be paved
- Warranty and guarantees
- Deposit and payment schedule
- Contact information for team lead who will be assigned to your project
Hiring a Toronto residential driveway paving contractor involves a lot of common sense. If the contractor seems knowledgeable, can answer all your questions honestly and anticipate the ones you don’t ask, has a procedure in place and can explain it all to you confidently and honestly, you may just have found the right company to repave your driveway.