Do you have a driveway you need paved? If so, you need a reliable, experienced paving contractor you can trust. Unfortunately, finding that contractor can be easier said than done.
Don’t worry, though – you’re not alone.
At Betz Works, we have more than 30 years of experience in the asphalt paving industry, and we know what it takes to provide excellent paving services.
In this blog, we’re sharing tips for finding the right paving contractor for your project and information about what red flags to avoid.
What to Consider When Choosing a Paving Contractor
Finding a reliable paving contractor you can trust is the key to getting beautiful, paved areas for your home.
With that in mind, here’s what you should consider as you search for a reliable contractor:
1. Customer reviews
One of the best ways to determine if a paving contractor is right for you is to read customer reviews.
Former customers are a great source of information and insight and can provide lots of detail about what a company is like to work with.
How to do this:
- Check the contractor’s website, Google listing, Yelp page, or other public resources.
- Consult the Better Business Bureau to learn more about the company.
- Some contractors even provide customer references or case studies where you can learn more about their services.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are also great options.
Contact your family, friends, and neighbors, ask a local realtor, speak to your HOA, or do some online research to find a paving team with a good reputation in your area.
2. Experience with similar projects
Residential paving contractors work on various projects, from small driveways to paved surfaces that stretch for a mile or more.
To ensure you’ve found the right contractor for your job, make sure they have experience with similar projects. Ideally, the contractor should be able to provide pictures and references for similar previous projects.
You should also consider how long the paving contractor has been in business and what reputation they’ve established during that time.
This is a great way to ensure the contractor you’re interviewing has the knowledge, skills, and experience to deliver the result you want.
3. Licenses and insurance
Any contractor you work with should be licensed and insured and able to provide you with a certificate of insurance as proof.
Being adequately licensed and insured protects the contractor and their crew, as well as you and your property.
Bear in mind that if you work with a contractor who is not licensed and insured and something goes wrong, your homeowner’s policy will have to step in to cover costs for damages and injuries, which could cause your premium to double or triple in the coming years.
4. Pricing and work warranties
As you search for a paving contractor, remember that the cheapest company is not always the best choice.
With paving contractors, you get what you pay for, and many factors affect pricing. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Equipment and material quality
- The type of asphalt mixture the team uses
- The complexity and size of your paving project
- The preparedness of the surface and whether the paving contractor needs to remove existing surfaces
To determine how much your paving job will cost, we recommend requesting a quote from the contractor you want to work with (the best paving contractors offer free quotes).
This quote should outline terms like the project’s overall cost, the estimated time duration, the presence of a work warranty (if applicable), and the payment schedule you and the contractor have agreed to.
To make sure you’re working with a reputable team, make sure that the contractor also provides their contractor’s license number and information, as well as their mailing address and phone number on the estimate. This allows you to look up the licensing online via the California licensing board.
5. Equipment and crew
A paving contractor needs the right equipment and crew to provide outstanding work. To assess this, we recommend considering how many crew members are on the contractor’s team and learning what equipment the team utilizes.
Most paving teams have about 5-8 workers but may be larger or smaller depending on the project size. To make sure the team can complete your project in a timely and efficient manner, ask what kind of machinery they use.
Since asphalt is a time-sensitive material that needs to be placed and completed quickly to avoid water damage and other problems, advanced paving equipment is a good sign of a competent and efficient team.
6. Material selection
Not all asphalt is created equal, and the quality of the asphalt and materials your paving contractor uses will determine the quality of your finished product.
For best results, we recommend working with a paving contractor that uses high-grade asphalt, which contains less recycled materials than low-grade asphalt and can improve the appearance and longevity of your paved surface.
Remember that a good paving contractor will offer you professional advice on materials, maintenance, and other relevant considerations for your project.
7. Whether the business is locally owned
Work with a local crew rather than a large national business for the best service and quality.
Here at Betz Works, we’re proud to be locally owned, and we know that our reliable crews are uniquely equipped to address your concerns and provide customized, tailored service.
Plus, you’ll probably enjoy faster responses and lower prices with a local crew than you would a large company.
8. Appointment scheduling
Before hiring a paving contractor, consider booking an in-person appointment to meet with the team and establish a relationship.
Organizing a face-to-face meeting is a great way to get your questions answered and learn more about the contractor you’re considering working with.
This is also an excellent time to discuss the contractor’s quote, a “scope of work” document and contract, and any other considerations surrounding your project.
While it seems like it should go without saying, the best paving contractor for your job is one that’s available on your timeline. If you’re ready to begin your project as quickly as possible, ask your paving contractor about their timeline to ensure you’re both on the same page.
That said, it’s also wise to avoid contractors who say they can be available tomorrow. While you want someone who can provide timely service, it’s a problem if a contractor isn’t busy.
10. Customer service
Last but not least, look for a paving contractor that provides excellent customer service. While you’ll be able to learn a lot about the company from reading their reviews, you should also pay attention to how you feel when you talk with the company on the phone.
Is the crew polite and informative? Do you feel you’re working with, rather than against the team? Paving jobs can be big projects, and it’s essential to partner with a contractor that helps you feel supported throughout.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Now that you know what to look for in a paving contractor, let’s discuss what to watch out for.
Whatever you do, DON’T hire a paving contractor with these red flags:
- No references. If a company has no references, it means one of two things: either they’re brand-new to the business, or they’re actively avoiding references so that displeased customers can’t give voice to their complaints. To protect yourself and your project, avoid companies with no references at all costs! You should also be wary of companies that don’t have business cards, since it demonstrates a lack of professionalism.
- No proof of insurance and licensing. If an asphalt company isn’t licensed and insured, you could be held liable for damages or injuries that occur during the project. With this in mind, choose a contractor who can (and will) provide valid proof of licenses and insurance before beginning your job.
- A rude or dismissive attitude. If customer service is lacking, the entire company may be unprofessional and disengaged.
- Cash-only contractors. Whatever you do, avoid companies that claim to be cash-only.
- Contractors license mismatches. You should always look up a contractor’s license number, and avoid companies with contractors license numbers that do not match their business name.
- A history of negative reviews. While one or two negative reviews may be inevitable, especially for a company that’s been in business a long time, pages of negative reviews indicate that the company has a poor customer service history.
- Evasiveness or vague answers. When you ask your paving company questions, they should provide thoughtful, detailed answers. Beware of any company that’s evasive, vague, or avoids answering you entirely. Transparency is critical when it comes to working with a paving contractor!
- No website. Watch out for paving contractors that don’t have a website, or that show up at your door to hard-sell you on their services or claim they have extra asphalt. Additionally, avoid contractors who don’t have their name printed on their work trucks.
- Large deposits. Be wary of paving contractors that require deposits over 10%, or that require checks to be made out to individuals, rather than the business.
Are you Looking For an Asphalt Paving Contractor in Santa Cruz County? We can Help!
If you’re looking for a reliable, trustworthy paving contractor, you’ve come to the right place.
Betz Works provides residential paving services for customers in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Santa Clara counties.
Ready to learn more?