Using paving stones for driveway paving has become a popular choice over the past couple decades. Paving stones will out perform other surfaces, such as stamped concrete and asphalt since its interlocking, flexible surface will not crack.
Comparing Driveway Paving Companies in Southern California
Choosing the best of the driveway paving companies can be difficult, but it’s worth investigating to make sure your investment is going to hold up over the next few decades. Here are essential questions to ask about the companies you are considering and their quotes.
1. Can you provide me with proof of a Contractor’s License?
Make sure the number and name match. You can also check on California State Contractors License Board.
If a contractor is being sneaky and using another company’s license number, what else are they not being honest about?
Make sure the copy of the insurance clearly states the company name, is up to date, and provides coverage for up to $2 million.
If something tragic happens, it should be on the company, not the homeowner. Be very careful.
3. Do you carry Workers Compensation Insurance?
Even though the company can show you proof of workers compensation, it can be difficult to tell if the employer is in fact paying for all the hours that workers are on your job if they are paying them in cash instead of on payroll.
If a driveway paving company that isn’t playing by these rules, what else are they neglecting?
4. Do you use your own, employed installation crews or do you subcontract?
The best driveway paving companies will have all their operations from design to installation done by people employed by their firm.
A lot of driveway paving companies use subcontractors. This could mean illegal employees, inadequate insurance coverage, and not paying proper payroll taxes. Big risk!
A great company should have 10 or more locations within one mile. Looking at the map to the left, Pacific Pavingstone can provide you with close to 100 jobs that we’ve installed within a mile of the property.
If they can only provide a couple places, it may be better to look for another driveway paving company.
6. Can you please give me your Better Business Bureau number and direct me to places to read reviews of your company?
Organizations like the BBB and review sites such as Angie’s List are a valuable place to find out more about the integrity of the company and the quality of their work.
If they can’t give you this information, end the conversation.
What to Avoid When Comparing the Quotes from Los Angeles Driveway Paving Contractors
When comparing quotes, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. There is a lot of technical jargon to compare. Any trustworthy driveway paving company in Los Angeles should be happy to help you to make an informed decision. Here are 7 questions to ask about driveway paving contractor quotes.
Most manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on the material but these warranties won’t cover issues caused by improper installation or other potential problems. Find out what is covered and for how long.
Driveway paving contractors that don’t offer a warranty on their installation should be avoided at all costs.
2. What is the square footage of the driveway?
There can be some minor alteration of the finished surface area during site installation, but the quote should be clear on the size of your new driveway. If a driveway paving contractor won’t give these kind of details, beware!
3. What is the price and are there any discounts?
If the project is estimated properly by using exact measurements, the ending bill shouldn’t fluctuate substantially. Ask if there are any discounts available.
Driveway paving contractors that offer 20% or more of a discount, are just marking up their prices and discounting as a gimmick.
Additionally, companies that offer to buy your old driveway are just doing it as a sales gimmick. For instance, a well known paving company makes this statement:
“Let us buy your ugly driveway, walkway, pool deck or patio so you can save money and earn cash towards transforming your home’s outdoor living areas. System Pavers is offering demolition and removal of your ugly concrete or asphalt absolutely FREE with every new outdoor project ordered.”
The truth is: if they were going to charge $3/sq ft for the demolition and $7/sq ft for the installation, now you get the demolition for free and pay $10/ sq ft for the installation.
4. What specific paving stones will be used?
Some brands and products are more expensive than others for varying reasons. Ask the salesperson to show you choices to not only reflect your style, but to meet your budget.
If a driveway paving contractor states that they are the manufacturer or they have exclusive rights to colors, they are not telling the truth.
Some sites may require specific drainage solutions installed under or around your new driveway so it won’t wash out or settle unexpectedly.
Four inches of base is typically added under a driveway compared to only 2-3 inches under a patio. Most times this is sufficient but there are times when a high clay content under the driveway warrants a thicker base.
Every contractor should bring up this topic. If they don’t discuss drainage and the base materials, it may be wise to question their experience.
6. What say do I have about the design?
A driveway paving contractor should be willing to work with you to get a design you love. If your contractor doesn’t ask for your ideas and discuss options, you may not like the finished product.
7. How believable is the salesperson when discussing my quote?
An ethical salesperson should be helpful with the design and answer your questions. Be suspicious of anyone from a driveway paving company that is trying to sell you with high-pressure tactics. Here are some false claims I’ve heard in the past:
- Angelus pavers make special colors for only us.
- We have an overstock of pavers on which we can give you a discount.
- We use a special mixture of concrete to make the pavers stronger.
When your comparing quotes, be sure your comparing apples to apples. Get everything in writing as to exactly what’s being provided. The important elements to have in your contract are:
1. The depth of the base.
2. If any geotextile is being used.
3. The type and thickness of the stone.
4. The type of restraint being used to keep the stone from moving sideways.
5. The type and manufacturer of the stone.
6. The square footage of the work being done.
The Right Choice for a Driveway Paving Contractor
Pacific Pavingstone is ready to answer these questions and any others you may have about your new driveway. We’ve installed tens of thousands of projects for happy clients in Southern California.
We would be happy to discuss how we rate among the other driveway paving companies and their quotes that you may be considering.
At Pacific Pavingstone, we offer a full suite of in-house design-build services. Contact us now for a FREE, No Obligation Estimate or give us a call at (818) 275-8613. We can’t wait to talk about your driveway paving project!