If you own or manage an asphalt parking lot in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, hiring a contractor to repair, resurface, or replace asphalt is a considerable investment in your property. Therefore, it is imperative to take the necessary steps and do your research to find the best one for you.
Here at Bituminous Roadways, Inc., it is our goal to help our customers by providing useful information about asphalt contractors.
Key components to consider before hiring an asphalt contractor:
- Scope of work
- Recommending THE “Right” Solution
Scope of Work
Ensuring your competing quotes are “apples to apples” can be challenging. A written scope with clear and concise direction for your project is recommended. Whether you are rehabilitating the existing pavement or constructing a new pavement, there are many factors involved.
Below are some factors to review on competing asphalt contractor quotes to ensure you are comparing “apples to apples.”
Excavation and construction areas or quantities should be comparable to each other.
Make sure the bids are comparable in this area.
Compacted asphalt thickness should be the same on all quotes.
A general rule of thumb is for every 1” of loose paved asphalt, you will lose ¼” via compact. The quoted thickness should state compacted thickness.
The process of performing the work should also be the same.
If cracksealing is listed, it’s possible the contractors will perform the work differently.
Does one route and seal, or do they clean and seal instead? These are two different ways to perform cracksealing.
Asphalt mix design should be the same on all quotes.
The mix design will be dependent on the type and amount of traffic in the paving area and the desired performance. There are hundreds of different mix designs and the difference in costs and performance vary greatly. Consult with your estimator for recommendations.
When reconstructing the aggregate base, make sure the depths of compacted thickness of the new aggregate base are all the same on all quotes.
This will ensure the appropriate amount of aggregate is being quoted to complete the project.
Discuss with your contractor to determine if reusing the existing aggregate base is suitable or if your project requires a new aggregate base.
Find out if they can help with your specific project needs.
Finally, can your asphalt contractor handle any special project needs, including phasing a project for customer access, strict start and completion dates, Saturday work, etc? These are important questions to ask.
Recommending an Appropriate Solution
Based on the project’s end goal, contractors should be providing the right solution to solve your asphalt pavement needs.
For example: If the end goal is to sell a property and you are looking to make it aesthetically pleasing, a reconstruction probably isn’t going to be the best financial decision, but rather a sealcoat could be recommended.
An alternative example might be that a client is budgeting for a full reconstruct in the next 2-3 years, so making smaller asphalt maintenance repairs than dig out or full depth patching makes sense, because everything is going to be ripped out when the reconstruct begins.
Finally, there may be a situation where one contractor is recommending cracksealing, but another is recommending a mill and overlay. As the client, it is important to understand the difference in these recommendations. It’s possible that cracksealing is just a band aid to a major problem that a mill and overlay will fix.
Bituminous Roadways will always provide clients with the right solution for your needs – not necessarily the cheapest!
Everywhere you look, technology is rapidly changing, and so is the equipment asphalt contractors work with. Sending staff to training and certification programs should be high on a contractor’s to do list. It is critical their field crew and superintendents stay educated on current practices and changes to equipment technology.
The Minnesota DOT provides many different certification classes on each step of the pavement construction process. Bituminous Roadways sends our entire team of estimators and our field supervisors to be certified through MnDOT.
Additionally, our field workers are required to be certified to operate certain equipment, and our foremen are sent to trade shows yearly to stay up to date with the newest equipment, technology, and techniques for quality construction. It might be wise to ask your contractor for more information about their certification and training programs.
What do you know about the company you are hiring to place or repair your asphalt? What is their reputation in the community and what type of direct experience do they have performing the work you need them to perform?
There are many ways you can find this information!
Word of Mouth
Who do you know that has recently had pavement work done on their property? Asking fellow business owners for their advice is a great resource.
When discussing the job with a pavement contractor, ask for at least three references. Make sure to follow up on these references and ask specific questions.
Thanks to Google, Yelp, and social media, you can now go online and look for ratings and reviews of the company you are considering for an asphalt project. We encourage you to visit our website and look through the customer testimonials.
One last piece of information that might be helpful in choosing your asphalt contractor is their experience. How long has your contractor been operating? What do their operations look like? Do their core competencies match up to your project needs?
If you are constructing a new building and in need of an industrial parking lot, you might not want to choose a contractor who only works on residential projects or has little to no experience with industrial paving.
You Can Trust Bituminous Roadways
With more than 75 years of experience, Bituminous Roadways, Inc. strives to provide superior asphalt paving solutions. From commercial/industrial pothole repair to interstate highway paving, no project is too big or too small for Bituminous Roadways.
Our core competencies range from asphalt paving, patching and crack sealing to milling, excavating and grading of all pavement areas; including parking lots, trails, roadways and athletic surfaces. Give us a call today at 651-686-7001 or visit us online to book a consultation.