All reputable contractors who seek your business in good faith will provide references and phone numbers of satisfied customers. Some firms even maintain a list of recent customers and phone numbers. A few quick calls will help protect your investment. Ask references about qualifications such as contractors’ quality of work, attention to details, on-time performance, and ability to finish work completely.
Here are some other points to consider:
- Check gates for clearance; know who’s responsible for re-hanging them, if necessary.
- Decide whether you, a plumber, or someone else will raise any water valves or sewer inlets to meet the new asphalt around them.
- Assign specific responsibilities and make notes.
- Surface drainage is very important. Make sure your contractor plans and builds adequate surface slopes to produce good drainage. So-called “ponding,” or standing water, on or near the driveway, is undesirable.
Once you have taken bids and selected the contractor you want, you’re ready for the contract. A construction contract should detail such items as the responsibility for grading work and accuracy, for compacting the subgrade and base, for measuring compacted pavement thicknesses, for pavement slopes and smoothness, payment schedule, and guarantee of the finished product. It’s important to make sure your contractor has adequate liability insurance. Ask for written proof of it.