When it comes to choosing the correct material for your house, there are several materials that you can pick from – concrete, asphalt, garden mulch, interlocking pavers and much more. There is plenty of information available online to pick the right material for your driveway and tutorials to pave it as well. In this world of access information, the question remains, should you pave your driveway yourself or hire a professional?
The scale tips in favour of the latter. While there are some things that you can fix around the house, tasks that are fairly simple and do not require a complex set of skills, paving a driveway is not one of them. There is plenty that can go wrong. Let us give you an overview, of what can go wrong, what benefits you get from hiring a professional and how should you pick the right one.
VALUE FOR YOUR BUCK
The advantage with a professional is that you get a solution for your specific conditions. What we mean is, the first thing a professional will do is get a lay of the land – the climate factors, tree cover, drainage, foot level, and the traffic through the day. All of these factors will play in the choice of the material and the laying process. It also gives you some flexibility in terms of customisation. The professional can adapt to certain requirements and requests such as ‘want lesser snow shoveling’, ‘want something that is low maintenance and easy to clean’. We mean, sure, you can Google it, but Google will throw a bunch of generic information at you, without considering your specific conditions.
SAVE UP ON MATERIALS AND MACHINERY
Whatever material and paving method you sign off on will require heavy paving equipment. A contractor owns the machinery and can get you a bulk price for the raw materials. For instance, if you decided to go with concrete, you would have to ensure the mix is done right, build concrete layers, assess whether it requires added strength, apply the aesthetic finishes, take care of the concrete curing process and estimate the optimal drying time.
There is so much that can go wrong, if the mixture is not the right consistency, the concrete will crack, if the padding is not right, it will cause slumping and cracking, so on and so forth. Hiring commercial concrete services can take care of all of these woes. Also, unlike equipment used for building smaller furniture or painting the room, which is cost-effective, easy to store and will be reused much more often, the paving equipment is bulky, costly and requires regular maintenance. Also once you have that driveway set right you are good for at least 5 years. You would be saving a lot more by not investing in them.
Your YouTube video can set you up with the basics of paving a driveway, but will not supplement it with years of experience. Paving jobs need a set of skills that are acquired through practice and the professionals have that in their kit. Grading, laying the base right, fixing cracks, getting the mixture to the right temperature, getting the paving levelled, all takes practise and experience which the professionals have, and an amateur will lack no matter how skilled.
HELPS TO KEEP A TRACK ON THE FINANCES
Budgeting for any repairs around the house is tricky, especially if don’t have much experience with the task at hand. Professionals have done the same task over and over again, under different working conditions and have overcome several hurdles and they have learned from all of these experiences. That won’t be the same for a DIYer. If you mess up the number of materials needed, to restock is time consuming, money consuming and a labour intensive job. A professional has the experience to avoid these kind of lapses and the resources to quickly adapt in case they need extra material.
When you get a professional to do a job, you will likely receive an assurance in the form of a warranty. It’s beneficial for your peace of mind, knowing that minor or major faults will be fixed at no added costs. The same does not go for mistakes done during a DIY. You will once again have to put in resources to get the job done. Also, you can be assured that the contractor will do his best possible job the first time around, as a warranty is not exactly in his best interest. This saves you a lot of headaches and in some instances, money as well. Remember to go with a contractor that offers a warranty.
Now that we’ve taken care of why you need a contractor, let’s look at how to pick the right one.
- Research the topic well, visit forums, gather as much information as you can about the topic, so that you ask relevant questions to the contractor and do not come across as someone who can be taken for a ride.
- Get multiple quotes from different contractors and then narrow it down to the one you like. Do thorough checks on the contractor before you give him/her the job. Ask for client testimonials and reviews.
- Ask if permits will be necessary, and if they expect you to know that and take care of that part of the logistics, it is better to hire someone else.
- Make sure the project comes with a warranty and a written contract.
- Make sure you go through the contract, ask questions and clarifications on the points you are not completely sure of, as a good contractor will be willing to help out, and only reflects the quality of service you are about to receive.
- Lastly, listen to your gut, if the contractor checks out for most of the assessment criteria they might be a good bet and it is beneficial to develop a good rapport to ensure everything sails smoothly.
Here’s a guide on the questions to ask the paving contractor; this should make the process a whole lot easier. You should now feel empowered to find the right contractor for your needs, as well as feeling a burden lifted as you’ll be sure to get your new asphalt project exactly right.