A paved driveway gives a residential property a more polished appearance while providing safety for foot traffic. It makes the area easier to maintain and generally adds to the elegance and curb appeal of the property.
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There are many options to consider when deciding to pave an area. These include paving stones, interlocking bricks, stamped concrete or asphalt to name a few. In order to save money, some homeowners ponder doing it themselves instead of hiring a paving contractor.
The type of paving, the size of the area and the availability (and cost) of the proper tools, equipment and the ability to safely operate that equipment are all considerations to be weighed in a DIY decision.
Many home owners prefer to hire a professional to insure that the project is done properly and will stand the test of time. A properly installed paved driveway will add to the value and curb appeal of your property and require minimal maintenance.
Depending on the type of paving project you may wish to hire a paving contractor with experience in that specialty. So, for instance, if you are planning a stamped concrete driveway (which can be tricky and require skill, experience and knowledge to get the job done right) you should hire a paving contractor who regularly deals with stamped concrete. With asphalt driveways, not laying a proper base can end up creating a substandard product that will deteriorate quickly.
When hiring a paving contractor it is important to choose carefully and check references. Start by getting three or four written estimates, as prices can vary greatly. Don't necessarily choose the least expensive paving contractor. Check references, licenses, insurance and the Better Business Bureau. You can also ask the contractor if he or she has recently completed any projects in your area so that you can drive by and see the finished product.
Lastly, determine what guarantees and warranties are attached to the project. Even the most professionally done paving projects completed by experienced paving contractors can encounter problems down the road. Who will be standing behind the work?
Once you have hired a paving contractor, make sure you understand exactly what the responsibilities of the paving contractor will be and detail it in a written quote. The quote should contain the following:
- An itemization of all costs involved including: materials, supplies, cost of labor, equipment rental and any other expenses. They organize to purchase the required volume in various laying materials according to measurements quoted.
- A timetable for start and completion of the project coordinated with the home owner to insure that inevitable inconveniences are minimized.
- An outline and explanation of the paving contractor's responsibilities in the event of unforeseen problems or issues along with proposed resolutions.
An experienced paving contractor will have all the tools and skill sets to ensure the best result is achieved. It is up to the homeowner to communicate with that paving contractor to ensure that the project meets or exceeds their expectations.