i have recieved 4 quotes now, and they are all different.
Wondering what i am looking for to get the best deal? How much soil is best, how thick should the ashphalt be?
And any advice and help to make a wise choice.
should i ask for a testimonial from a customer?
Like any parking surface, all the work is where you will never see it.....meaning the base underneath. The black top will be about 4 to 5", but that doesn't matter if you don't have a solid compacted base using 3/4 inch crush and sand.
Quotes will vary on any job, but the cheapest are generally cutting a corner. Anyone ripping the old out and putting a new surface in without checking the base, adding or compacting......run.
I don't know very much about asphalt paving but you are asking for help on making a wise choice.
First, I would not recommend getting 4 quotes. It's bound to confuse you and you'll just be wasting the contractor's time with unnecessary estimating. Do some research on your own about contractors that provide the service that you are looking for. Ask around and see who has a good reputation. Check with BBB or ask for references. Then get 2 quotes and make sure that they are quoting apples to apples. If one is way lower than the other, I would ask the higher priced contractor to explain to me exactly what I will be getting for the extra money. Take that information and see if the lower priced contractor is offering the same material and service. You should be able to make an educated choice after that but if not, then you should consider getting a third quote.
Most of my business comes from the testimonies of past clients. You can get some valuable information on a contractor from a past client that you will not get anywhere else. Hope that helps.
You should be looking at the details of the quotes, so you are comparing apples to apples. Even if they have all the same specs, you will still get a wide range of costs. Driveway ashphalt is usually 1 1/2" - 2" compacted thickness, this is very important to have stated in the contract. Otherwise you might get 2" thick, but when it's compacted you will loose 1/2"-3/4" thickness.
The rock base is the most important aspect of a long lasting driveway. If your existing driveway doesn't have any uneveness, rutts or settling of any kind. You should be OK with just replacing the ashphalt. If it's not in good shape, you'll need to have the rock base removed and replaced. When it comes to the base, the deeper they go and the larger the rocks they use, the better. For the rock, the min. should be 3/4" crushed run. Which is stones from 3/4" big down to rock dust size.
Testimonials are nice, but don't rely just on them. For one they are usually all less than two years old, which tells you nothing as far as how the driveway's hold up over time. Truthfully even the worst contractors have done 3 good jobs over the years. I think the BBB would be your best bet, as they recieve a lot of complaints for certain trades, and paving is one of them.
Thanks guys for the replies.
One of the quotes said they would go with 6" of gravel and the second one said 8" but the difference in price was pretty significant.
Does it make much difference the amount of gravel base? Or the type of base? how thick should the ashphalt be? both are doing 3"
Is there a certain grade of ashphalt they should be using or i should be requesting? or its more important the gravel type as mentioned by your replies 3/4 inch gravel
Appreciate your time
I am the forth or fifth to respond. Tha basic information provided is for you to do the research. By this I mean consult with your local people (contarctors, government, even landscapers, to determine what your ground is made up of. Is it clay, sang, loam, marsh, etc.? It all makes a difference. The gravel is to provide a solid sub-surface and gives some degree of drainage beneath the asphalt. The base is important and the asphalt is just a surface coating. Recommended thickness for the asphalt is 3" to 5". Being a driveway (assuming no heavy traffic) the lesser amount may suffice. As to the quotes, I agree that the more you get the more confusing it becomes. Two or three should provide you with a ballpark figure. Too low ... well, ... sometimes you just get what you pay for.
References are good. Ask for some and MAKE A CALL!. Don't be shy, just explain you want to know a former customer's opinion. Having said that, most contractors will not give you any names of clients with whom they have had difficulty with, only the good ones. Common sense should prevail.
i 2 and half inches would be ideal.
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