Tips to Hire an Asphalt Paving Contractor for Your Driveway

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Jay Jorgenson

Subject: I agree with what you said

I agree with what you said about choosing a quality contractor because it avoids flooding. I remember living in this one house where the asphalt paving was poor that all the water ran off into my basement. We had to use sandbags and that still that didn't work that well. Do yourself a favor and hire a great asphalt contractor!

Dorien Rawlinson

Subject: asphalt vs concrete

I currently have a concrete driveway that is bad shape and needs replacing. I am considering having the down slope section done with asphalt to save on cost. Can asphalt be put down over existing concrete or do I need to tear it out?

Dominic Stanley

Subject: asphalt vs concrete

As a longtime AL certified paving contractor who installs both asphalt, and concrete (Dominic's Paving)... I can tell you that asphalt can indeed be installed over concrete. As with everything, there are pros, and cons.

Pros: Assuming the existing concrete is not badly cracked/sunken the driveway will have outstanding weight capacity; Asphalt will provide more traction, and melt ice faster on inclined surfaces; Rough areas (spalling/pitting) will not come up through new asphalt layer; Cracks will be more camouflaged with asphalts dark color; driveway can be reallocated.

Cons: Any cracks, or expansion joints will come through new asphalt layer within the 1st year; Asphalt may not adhere to concrete in areas where asphalt needs tapering to meet joints at garage, or sidewalks.

bill

Subject: when to re-pave or tear up and do over

So far have two quotes both in the $6,000 range.

One states will re-pave and the other suggests tearing up old asphalt and replaced with gravel and then 3 inches of black top

who is right?

James Figy
James Figy

Subject: Repave vs. Replace Asphalt

Hi Bill,

Either method is viable according to the experts I talked to, as long as the contractor who wants to repave applies at least 2 inches of new asphalt. It does sound like you will get more for a similar price from the contractor planning to tear out and replace your driveway. That said, it depends on the state of your driveway, how torn up it is, and whether the stone base was installed originally. If you're not sure of the quality of the original job years ago, then it might be wiser to just replace it with a reputable company. Hope that helps!

-James

Garry Hunter

Subject: Pitting in newly paved driveway

I recently had my driveway repaved by a company recommended by my neighbour. My neighbour's driveway was done about 7 years ago & is in excellent condition. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this company was sold 3 years ago. My driveway has several large areas which appear to be pitted, and some gravel has worked loose. I had the company have a look at it, but they say there is nothing wrong with it. Someone else suggested that the asphalt may have been not hot enough when it was applied & rolled. I don't know what to do.

James Figy
James Figy

Subject: Tipping driveway technicians

Hi M Chapman,

Generally speaking, contractors do not expect tips. They charge prices they believe are accurate, which will keep them in business, and on-time payment is all they really require. That said, this article has some tips for tipping if you believe the contractor has really gone above and beyond—and if you've asked them if it's approproate, too: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/should-i-tip-my-service-provider.htm . Thanks for the question!

-James

Emily Smith

Subject: paving

James, this was just the information I was looking for about paving contractors. My husband and I have been wanting to get our driveway repaved for quite some time now. We were thinking of hiring a contractor to help us with it. The tip about contacting at least three companies to ask about their prices seems like a good idea. We will have to keep that in mind.
Emily Smith

James Figy
James Figy

Subject: Thanks!

Emily, I'm glad the information helped! I hope your paving project goes smoothly (excuse the pun). -James F., staff writer for Angie's List Magazine

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I am facing just such a project and have received a number of bids (all from Angie's List reviewed contractors). The lowest bid was a bit over $5/sq ft and the highest was about $9/sq/ft for my 630 sq ft driveway in Rockford, IL. 
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Generally about $1-3/SF (note - measured by SF, not SY) - $1 range is for a 1 to 1/2-2 inch overlay, $2.50-3.00 range normal for two 2" layers for a new driveway or a rebuild (remove and replace) you really want to last.

Most people pay around $2/SF for a 2-3" thickness.

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If the state requires a contractor's license, then he needs to have a license in each state he intends to work in - plus state/local business licenses as applicable.

 

This does not mean there are not a lot of contractors who cross state lines without proper licensing - the penalties in may cases are not real severe and are just a fine, not criminal, so many take the chance.

 

As you say - argh  - many contractors are not really businessmen and have zero legal education, so many people get burned.