How to Hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor

Asphalt paved driveways are extremely popular and the most cost effective to install over most other driveway options. Hiring the right asphalt paving contractor however can sometimes be a challenge. If the paving contractor installs the asphalt driveway correctly the driveway should last 25-30 years with only minor maintenance.

Unlike concrete, an asphalt paved driveway is both strong and flexible and is ideal for colder temperature zones where constant freezing and thawing occur.

Asphalt paving, also known as Hot Mix Asphalt paving, consists of an aggregate of stone and sand mixed with liquid asphalt cement. The aggregate is carefully mixed and heated prior to being mixed with liquid asphalt. The mixture needs to be delivered to the job site hot else your newly paved driveway will not cure properly.

In order to ensure a quality paved driveway it is critical that the paving contractor first properly prepare the driveway for the Hot Mix Asphalt. Preparation includes removing topsoil or clay type soil and replacing it with a sub-base layer of crushed stone and gravel.

A typical asphalt paving job consists of the application of two layers of Hot Mix Asphalt over the sub-base layer. In some cases a paving contractor may suggest a full-depth asphalt application. This type of application is best if very heavy vehicles will be regularly parked on the driveway. With a full-depth asphalt application the entire driveway, including the gravel sub-base layer, is constructed using liquid asphalt cement. By additionally binding the sub-base gravel layer with the liquid asphalt cement a much stronger paved driveway is created.

When hiring any contractor you should plan on getting 3-4 quotes to get the best comparison of workmanship and price. Talk with friends and family members, as well as search the yellow pages or the internet to find local paving contractors in your area.

With any contractor you hire, make sure they are insured and bonded to protect you from any liability as well as to protect you from any sub-par performance on the contractor’s behalf.

Lead times for paving a driveway can be up to several weeks, so plan appropriately when talking with your prospective paving contractors.

In order to obtain accurate quotes from the asphalt driveway paving contractors it is best to have a sketch of the home and the desired driveway footprint. You should also walk the site with the paving contractor and have him or you stake or paint lines where the paved driveway is to lay.

When talking to the prospective paving contractors make sure the subject of installing proper slopes and drainage is discussed. Otherwise you may wind up with water pooling on the finished driveway, or even worse, draining into your garage or home.

It is also critical that during the installation of all the various layers to the driveway that they are each compacted prior to the installation of the next layer of material. Quoted depths should be after compaction, not before.

Also, if there are any municipal pipes that need to be raised to the finished height of the driveway, find out if the paving contractors’ quotes include performing this task.

In addition, confirm that the contractor will remove and reinstall any type of gate or door to the new finished level of the paved driveway.

With these few basic tips you are on your way to hiring the right paving contractor for your driveway.

Need to find an asphalt driveway paving contractor? Home Building Estimates will help you find one.

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10 comments on “How to Hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor
  1. Nash Rich says:

    That’s good to know that a good driveway that’s been done correctly should last 25 to 30 years. I was never really sure how long they should last. I bet they last a lot longer if you maintain them really well though.

  2. I like your tip on getting three to four quotes when hiring an asphalt contractor. I would imagine that comparing a few good companies would be the best way to find the right service for you. My husband and I want our driveway paved so when we hire someone for it we’ll have to get a few quotes from local businesses first.

  3. I agree that getting three to four quotes would be ideal when looking for an asphalt contractor. I would image that finding the best deal out of a list of a few would be a good idea. My husband and I are looking for a paving contractor to help us out so we’ll have to be sure to get a few quotes before we do.

  4. Kairi Gainsborough says:

    It’s a good idea to get 3-4 quotes before choosing a contractor. I want my asphalt to look great and last a long time, but I would also like to get a good deal! I wonder if anyone I know has used a contractor that they could recommend. If not, I would think that a good alternative is looking up online reviews.

  5. Jenna Hunter says:

    I loved knowing that if installed correctly that asphalt driveway should last 25-30 years. Our driveway is 40 years old and when we drive on it I am scared our tires will pop. This weekend when we talk to a contractor we will be sure to ask how long it will last so we don’t have to pave it again for some time!

  6. Luke Smith says:

    I really appreciate your advice to plan on getting 3-4 quotes to make sure you’re getting the best comparison of workmanship and price. I would imagine that it could help to ask for references from each of the companies as well, so you can get a visual image of how their work holds up over time. What their past customers have to say about them would probably be a great way to learn whether or not they would be a good contractor to work with.

  7. Jenna Hunter says:

    We are wanting to repave our driveway ever since it cracked over the winter due to the cold. I wasn’t aware that an asphalt paved driveway is both strong and flexible and is ideal for colder temperature zones. I will be sure to get more details from an expert to get my driveway fixed!

  8. John says:

    My wife and I have been thinking of putting in an asphalt driveway since we live in a colder environment. The article mentioned that you should always get multiple quotes in order to determine which contractor you’d like to work with. Does the quote only give you an idea of the price? Or would it also provide you with an idea of what services you’ll be getting?

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the question! You should require detailed quotes from any type of contractor, which should include all services that you’re paying for. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous contractors will provide a low quote by hiding fees for services that will be necessary. You want to make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples, so ask for a detailed quote and carefully compare the lists of services and costs for those services. If you see a discrepancy between the services provided or a large difference in the cost of those services, ask about it! As you discuss the quotes with the contractors, you’ll likely find that one contractor is providing more value or just gives you a better feeling as he/she responds to your questions. I once asked a contractor about a line item that was missing on his quote but present on another. He responded that the item was overkill given the specifics of my job. It prompted me to do some more research and discover that he was right, saving me some money and giving me confidence in that contractor’s attention to detail, which is extremely important.

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