Choosing a Contractor

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Tips on Selecting a Paving Contractor

On small construction jobs, such as residential driveways, it is very important that a reputable, competent contractor be chosen. Since private homeowners generally do not have the benefit of strict specifications, trained inspectors, and the technical expertise that a public contracting agency has at their disposal, the following may be helpful in selecting a reliable contractor:

  1. Select a contractor known for high-quality work and who has an established reputation in the community.  SBI has been an established and highly reputable contractor in the Northland since 1988.

  2. References. Don't just ask for references, check them. Call customers near you who had work done some time ago. Ask if you can come visit to look at the work.  SBI has a number of both commercial and residential references. Feel free to ask for a list of past work or check out what others have to say here.

  3. Obtain proposals from more than one contractor and insure that all are bidding on the same type of mix and construction. In order to make true and valid comparisons, all proposals should cover the same units.  SBI has two options of mix design: 1. 100% angular material with a recycled asphalt mixture. 2. A virgin aggregate mixture.

  4. Make sure the contractor has both general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. If not, you could end up paying for damages to your property, lawsuits from your customers, or even lawsuits from the contractor's employees.  SBI has both general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. Proof of insurance is available upon request.

  5. When discussing a project, be sure that the thickness of the asphalt is "compacted" thickness.  We recommend 2 1/2 inches of compacted volume bituminous over a satisfactory sub base.

  6. Insist on a written contract in addition to any verbal guarantees offered by the asphalt contractor. A good contractor will give a detailed written quote with all specifications, materials, and costs included.  SBI uses a standard contract for all projects. Projects do not start until both parties have a signed copy of the agreement.

  7. When getting bids from contractors, make sure the services suggested are the services needed. In addition to accepting bids from single-service contractors, always obtain a quote from a multiple-service contractor. Single-service contractors may not be able to offer a maintenance program for your project. A multiple-service contractor will be able to install your asphalt as well as offer a preventative maintenance program to help insure a long-lasting product.  SBI offers a full compliment of maintenance options for your property, from seal coating and patching, to overlays and striping. SBI will deliver you the service your property needs.

  8. Avoid the leftover materials line. An example is when someone stops by and says they have some materials left from another job and offer you a great deal right now. Reputable contractors calculate materials carefully and seldom have more than a small amount of leftover materials, certainly not enough to do an entire job.  SBI never asks for a decision right now. All quotes are good for a minimum of 60 days.

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