How to Hire the Best Paving Contractor

Businesses face plenty of challenges. One of the biggest challenges is always deciding on who to use as a contractor when paving work has to be done. There are plenty of ways to pick out a good choice, from seeking a colleague’s recommendation to jumping on Google for a quick search.

The question will often boil down to this: do you want the cheapest serviceable work, or do you want to pay for quality? Is there a better way to ensure getting the best bang for your buck?

Choosing the right asphalt paving company for your business

Paving is a pretty specific, specialized industry. You should look for the right traits in a company to make your choice of paving contractor.

There are a few special things to look at when you make your decision, including:

  • Reviews
  • Licenses
  • Equipment
  • Workers
  • And previous work and company history

Reviews

Thanks to the internet, reviews are one of the easiest things to find. Yelp, Google, Yellow Pages, Amazon, the Better Business Bureau…the list goes on. A search on your choice of directory or search engine should get you what you want.

What to look for in reviews?

Remember, look for the average review, not the outliers. There will always be someone out there with an ax to grind. Maybe some client had a bad day and decided to take it out on the company they hired. Maybe the customer is always difficult, and uses online reviews as an outlet. Don’t get too bothered by the worst reviews.

Look at the vast majority of reviews, and look at the best reviews, too. What did the people who got the best service have to say? If an overwhelming majority of the reviews are positive (for example, 80%, a 4-star average or higher), then the company probably has good customer service and does good work.

Also, be aware that some companies will fill a site with fake reviews to look better online. This is an instant red flag, and without a doubt, you should avoid companies that fake their feedback.

Finally, be sure to check the dates of the reviews. Companies change over the years; they can go from bad to quite good…or vice versa.

Licenses

Insurance

Paving companies—and construction companies at large—often save a few dollars by skimping on the required (or prudent) insurance. The low price may look great to the end consumer, but your risk is greater. If any accidents happen, then your business’s insurance will be what covers damages. This could lead to a vast increase in premiums down the road. There could also be legal fallout.

You should look for a paving company that has general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. That way, any accident should be covered, whether it results in material or personal damage. They should also have insurance on all commercial vehicles for paving equipment, and an insurance umbrella policy.

How do you find out if the company has insurance? Ask them.

Professional licenses

Professional licenses are a strong guarantee of professionalism. A proper paving company should have business and contractor licenses. This helps you ensure that the workers are trained professionals, and it shows that the business is legitimate.

When vetting a company, be sure to ask what licenses they have.

Equipment

Obviously, you want to hire a company with good equipment. If you can, visit the company headquarters. What does the equipment look like? Is it old or in bad condition? You can ask about the makes and models of their vehicles as well, including what year they were built.

Do a little research and check out the average lifespan of their paving equipment. Find out when the paving vehicles become unreliable. Check out the online reviews again too, look for a lot of complaints from customers about old or damaged equipment.

Workers

You would prefer to hire a company that uses reliable workers. There are a few ways to check out how good the workers at a company are:

  1. Check online reviews again. See what other customers had to say about the employees. Were the workers helpful? Did they do a good job? Did they go above and beyond?
  2. Look at websites for rating employers, too. Glassdoor and Indeed are two of the biggest, but there are many. Use your favorite search engine to find worker reviews. What have current and former employers said? Did they like the managers? Did they think they were fair and were dedicated to good work? How did they feel about their coworkers? What was the climate at work like? If you see huge number of complaints from employees about it being a bad work place, then you can guess that the workers there don’t have high morale.
  3. Finally, ask about the longevity of employees when you are vetting companies. If many workers have been at the company for a long time, it’s a good sign. It means the company invests in its workers to improve them. It also means that workers like the company, so they stay. A company that treats its workers well and has high retention rate is usually more professional and has good employee morale.

Previous work and company history

Commercial paving companies often take big jobs, like airports, stadiums, and large entertainment venues. If the company did work on things like airports or other government property, then their work is public record. You can even go to these public places and see their work for yourself.

Looking back at a company’s history, you can see how long they’ve been in business. Usually, the longer a company has been in business, the higher the standards, and the better work you can expect.