As a householder or homeowner who is looking to install either a new drive or pathway, it might be confusing to know whether you can attempt this job yourself, or you need to call the professionals.
And then there are other considerations. Like what materials to use and where to look for a contractor, if you have decided to go with one.
Fortunately, we feature a directory of driveway paving contractors, up and down the country, for you to choose a trusted professional from.
CAN I DO IT MYSELF?
This is the first question to ask yourself. Should you even attempt this yourself, or opt for an asphalt paving contractor to do the job for you.
A lot of this depends on your skill level and the size of the job being undertaken.
Have you ever laid paving before? Have you laid the same type of paving covering to the one that you are thinking of doing?
Are you attempting this job alone, or have you got someone to help you?
What is their experience with paving?
Lastly, what is the size of the project that you are considering? Is it relatively small garden path or a more ambitious project, like a driveway?
For the amateur, a smaller project might be more manageable. For example, a garden path might be a better idea than trying to lay an entire driveway. Especially if you have never done it before.
WHO CAN I CALL?
If you have decided to go with a contractor, you want a driveway or paving expert such as those found at SaveOnPaving.com. You can find them in the directory of that website.
HOW CAN I SPOT A COWBOY?
Although all the contractors on that website are trusted professionals, there are also other ways of checking whether you ought to hire a contractor.
The best way is the go through word of mouth. Have you a neighbor or friend who has recently had their driveway done?
Ask them who they used and if you would recommend them or not. Anyone who can personally recommend a contractor is probably the one to go with.
Other than that, check that the person you are thinking of hiring is a member of the relevant professional bodies, to the trade that you want them for. A contractor who has no membership or qualifications is probably not someone to hire.
Likewise, if the person can’t provide any references or even any photos of their finished work, this is probably someone to avoid.
WHAT SHOULD I USE?
The materials for paving a driveway could vary, depending on what you want it for.
The main choice is usually between concrete and paving flags.
The advantage to concrete is that it is generally more cost effective than paving flags.
But the most obvious disadvantage of concrete is that, unfortunately, it is prone to cracking. It is probably almost impossible not to lay concrete without a crack appearing.
Although these can be managed and dealt with, they won’t ever be completely invisible.
With a flag stone, if it cracks, you can simply replace that paving slab. It isn’t a big job and it won’t cause you as many headaches.
The downsides to paving flags, are that they cost more to lay than concrete does. Also, there may be maintenance issues and weeds may grow in between the paving slabs.
But these are things that can be sorted, with the right sort of maintenance.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK A CONTRACTOR?
The most important questions to ask a contractor are;
Is your quote completely inclusive of everything?
Do you have full insurance?
Is your work guaranteed?
By following these tips, you should find the right professional for your paving job.