When it comes to hiring any contractor for a project, extensive research is required to select a quality company. Choosing the right commercial paving contractor will save you money, time, and help you establish a relationship that will last a lifetime. There are many factors to consider when selecting candidates for your project, and here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Interview Multiple Contractors
When choosing a commercial paving partner, you should take the time to interview at least three different contractors so you can make sure the best candidate is selected to complete your project. Be thorough in your interview process and ask as many questions as you can. There are times when a paving company may look good on paper and seemingly cover all your bases; however, their project experience may be focused on residential or their reviews may not meet expectations. It’s essential to find a candidate that is experienced in the commercial market and one that checks off all your boxes. There are many excellent questions you can ask during the interview process, but here are a few to get you started:
- Who are you?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Can I see testimonials?
- What can you tell me about my project?
Upon selecting a contractor for your commercial project, you should inquire about their credentials as you want to be sure that the company has the necessary licensing and insurance to complete your project efficiently and correctly. There shouldn’t be any resistance coming from the company when asked to provide documentation showing that they are licensed and insured. Proper licensing and insurance will protect their team members and equipment, as well as you and your property. Be sure that any vehicles utilized by the company and paving equipment are adequately insured. You should also verify that the company carries workers’ compensation and general liability insurance as well as an umbrella policy.
Verify References and Reviews
Do your research when hiring a contractor for your project. While a company may have an outstanding rating online, that may not be what you find on paper or when reading reviews. Reputable paving companies will eagerly share customer reviews and references, and if they seem hesitant, it may be a red flag for you to carry on in your search. Ask all potential candidates for at least three references for similar projects and speak to these customers regarding the quality of service and craft. Utilize online resources such as Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List to check a company’s standing.
Review of Project History and Experience
Ask your potential contractor what experience they have with commercial paving projects. In some cases, companies may have you visit project sites that are underway or recently completed to help you get a better idea of their work. If a company is experienced in commercial paving, they’re a valid candidate as the team will be knowledgeable, make good choices for your property, and save you money in the big picture. Many companies have online portfolios available for inquiring clients to explore.
Equipment and Materials
Verify whether the company has their own equipment and materials or if they will have to purchase material and rent equipment. If a contractor owns machinery and manufactures the material used, the company will likely be able to control the costs of the project more efficiently and guarantee the quality of the material. Additionally, be sure to check that all equipment is adequately insured and accounted for.
Ask About Industry Certifications and Memberships
You should also inquire about the team that will be working on your project, and check if any of them or the company at large has any industry-specific certifications, memberships, or areas of specialty. If a company or select team members have any of these, it’s a step up as it displays that the company is interested in continuing education and bettering themselves to stand out when compared to the competition.
Most contractors will offer to provide a complimentary site visit and quote when you inquire about their services. Each company should be able to give you an accurate quote that details what’s included in our project and how much it’s going to cost. Compare the different quotes you receive and be sure each contains all the work being done along with applicable charges as you don’t want to be caught off guard with surprise costs or completed work that wasn’t approved by you. Keep in mind, the least expensive bid isn’t always the best, and the most expensive bid may include hidden or overpriced charges. Along with the quoted price, you should also account for the following:
- Quality of Equipment
- Type of Materials Utilized
- Complexity of Project Area
- Municipal Ordinances
- Removal of Existing Surfaces
- Environmental Factors
- Available Recycling Options
Get All Project Documents in Writing
The contractor you choose will eventually provide project specifications, timelines, pricing information, and warranties for you to review. Ensure that all these items are properly documented and in writing, so there are no areas of uncertainty, and everything agreed upon in your initial conversations is backed. Having the timeline in writing will provide you with the ability to make sure deadlines are being met, and the project is completed on time. Review the contract terms and conditions and ask any questions before you sign to be sure you’re on the same page with your contractor. This is also the perfect time to inquire about any special discounts, but be sure those are in writing, so they’re not forgotten.
Remember to inquire about project warranty with each company as well. While they’re not always offered or have limitations, a warranty will guarantee that your project is completed to industry standards and with the eccentric needs of your property in mind. If a warranty is an option, make sure to get this document in writing before the start of your project, as most vary by individual project circumstances.
Be on the Lookout for Scams
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be thorough. Address all your doubts and gather all information needed to make you feel comfortable with your choice. Unfortunately, there are disreputable companies out there, and it’s essential to dig into every detail regarding your candidates to protect yourself. Contact information should be obtained for all candidates and verified later. There are instances where unqualified contractors solicit business and cannot be tracked down after a less than quality job because the phone number or address provided wasn’t correct. It’s vital to be aware of this and protect yourself. If an offer sounds too good to be true, trust your gut because it probably is.
Make a Selection
Choosing a contractor for your commercial paving project may seem intimidating, but with the suggestions above, you’re well on your way to making the best choice for your property. Establishing clear communication with each of your candidates and compiling all necessary information from credentials and references to project history and written documents will help support your decision. As with any project partner, it’s essential to cover all your bases and remain cautious as there are companies that will try to undermine you. Begin choosing your candidates and get started on your search today.