What to look for in a paving contractor

By Lina Carter – Compliments of WEST LONDON PAVING LTD.

The entry to your property begins with your driveway.  A newly paved asphalt driveway will add to the appearance of your home or business. 

When looking for a paving company, always avoid ‘fly by night’ contractors offering deals.  There are registered paving contractors listed in your local directory willing to offer free estimates. 

Your contractor should have the necessary paving equipment and vehicles to meet your needs such as commercial dump trucks, asphalt pavers, and compaction equipment including vibratory asphalt/soil compactors and asphalt rollers.

Commercial and residential paving must be carried out in accordance to rigid specifications.  It is important to note that the strength of the pavement is in the granular base. Your salesman should be able to advise you on how much gravel is necessary for your application. The base must be compacted to density prior to laying asphalt.  In addition to gravel thickness and compaction, it is important to ensure that proper grade allows water to run away from foundation walls.  Spectra Precision Laser’s allow us to ensure proper elevations on commercial sites, when required.

The asphalt used must meet strict standards.  There are various grades of asphalt.  HL8, HL4 and HL3 are primarily used on commercial applications and HL3F is used as a residential mix (more sand in the mix provides a smoother finish).  A standard driveway requires no more than 2″ on compaction of HL3F (residential mix)   or HL3 (commercial mix for driveways supporting heavier vehicles).  A commercial application may require any where from 2″ to 4” of commercial hot mix asphalt.   Your salesman will be happy to discuss your individual needs.

Cheaper is not necessarily better.  A good contractor will not cut corners in order to cut his price.  What is written in your agreement is what you should expect from your contractor.  The contractor you choose to deal with should provide in writing:

– a contract stating description and specifications of the work, including asphalt thickness and type;

– a diagram of the area to be paved, including measurements;

– cost breakdown; and

– guarantee, when applicable. 

Locates must be carried out prior to excavation to ensure your safety and the safety of our workers.  Confirm that your salesman – upon signing – will contact the utility companies (Union Gas, London Hydro, Bell Canada, Rogers Cable, etc.) to request locates on your behalf. 

Before you pave, you should know that Zoning By-laws in your city may contain specific restrictions and requirements regarding the location and design of the paved parking areas.  You may contact City Hall (Zoning Information) in your city to find out more information about certain restrictions that may apply to your paving work.

Before making your final decision, call the Better Business Bureau (519-673-3222) or go on-line (www.london.bbb.org) to find out more about the company you are considering doing business with. 

Should you have any questions regarding your residential or commercial paving needs, please do not hesitate to email us at info@westlondonpaving.ca