All reputable contractors will provide references. Ask references about contractor's quality of work, communication, attention to detail and cleanliness, on-time and on-budget performance, and final finish of the drive. Were there unpleasant surprises?
Specific considerations in reviewing bids:
- Have you obtained multiple bids in writing?
- Is a written guarantee for workmanship and materials offered?
- Do written bids / contracts clearly define scope of work with related timing and pricing?
- Timing: What is estimated time frame to complete the work? How much time is estimated to complete the work? Inquire about reliability and servicing of equipment used on the job.
- Scope: Do bids clearly identify the same detail of work? Inquire about intended soil and gravel foundation, area, depth of compacted asphalt, edge finish and any extras such as geo-textile cloth, line-painting.
- Compare Reputation, Guarantee and Warranty of competing contractors.
- How have Employees been trained and selected? Do workers appear experienced?
- What Responsibilities with dates are assigned to the contractor; to the homeowner / business owner?
- Are Drainage issues described and solutions defined? Are you experiencing puddles on your drive or ponds around your drive? Poor drainage can lead to premature failure of an asphalt driveway. Did the contractor plan a good drainage solution?
- Visit recently paved sites to examine Contractor's work. The pavement surface should look uniform, smooth, and not have puddles.
- Is Quality described and defined? How will you know your pavement was installed as quoted?
- Did sales personnel explain construction and contracting process clearly? Were they prompt and professional?
- What Communication Process exists between client and contractor?
- What is the company's Reputation for Service and Satisfaction? How does the company remedy dissatisfaction?
- Are there established Safety and Environmental policies and practices?
- How long has the company been in business? Is the company committed to the community and long-term?
- Ask for proof that the contractor's WSIB account is up-to-date. The homeowner is responsible if someone gets hurt and the contractor's WSIB account is lapsed.
- Check the Better Business Bureau (www.betterbusinessbureau.ca)
Homeowners' three most common problems with contractors were:
- their expectations weren't met,
- lack of communication left homeowners anxious about the project, and
- unanticipated charges at the end of their project.
Complaints and disappointments originate in lack of good project definition and inadequate communication; failure is a result of poor and rushed planning.
Our goal is Quality Workmanship leading to the highest levels of Client Satisfaction. We recognize that our reputation for good work at a fair price depends upon satisfied customers. Accordingly, we welcome your questions about how to best build your new driveway before and during installation.