Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My experience getting my driveway repaved: Part 3

This is Part 3 of my series on getting my driveway repaved, where I discuss the contractor that I decided to go with and summarize the work done so far.

After getting quotes from all the paving contractors I discussed in Part 2, I immediately eliminated Companies B and E. Neither company seemed concerned about simply paving over the portion of my binder coat that moved when I walked on it, a serious structural problem that Companies C and D convinced me of. Further, paying Company B $4200 to replace a small portion of my binder and pave over the rest seemed very expensive considering that Companies C and D would do much more extensive work for less than $1000 more. As for Company E, they just gave me the used car salesman vibe and I did not feel comfortable working with them at all. That left me with Company C and Company D, either of which I was comfortable doing business with.

Ultimately, the cash price of $5000 to remove, regrade, and replace the entire driveway combined with the professional proposal and references put Company D at the top of the heap. Their proposal was valid for 30 days, outlined the work to be done (and paid for) in three stages:
Commencement of work (30% payment), Completion of binder (40% payment), and Completion of top coat (30% payment), and required my signature to get the project started. After having a follow-up phone call with the owner of Company D to answer my few remaining questions, I sent them a signed copy of the proposal and periodically checked in with the owner for my start date since I would need to make a trip to the bank for the cash to pay for all of this.

After a few weeks of delay due to episodes of heavy rain and employee vacations, it was clear that my initial request that this work be completed before the end of August was not going to happen. However, the lack of work ended abruptly in early September when a dump truck and backhoe showed up and made quick work of removing and carting away my old driveway:

The following day, a small army of men and equipment came by and regraded my driveway with processed gravel (to direct water runoff away from the house) and compacted it with a roller:

Once that was complete, a paving machine put down two dump trucks full of asphalt that now make up my new base coat of binder:

As of today, the job is not complete since I still do not have the top coat on my driveway. From our first conversation, the owner of the company recommended that the binder sit for a couple of weeks before he put the top coat on. I admit that I know next to nothing about asphalt, but it was a big contrast to every other company I spoke with who said that they would do the entire job in one day. Oh well... I am an impatient person by nature, but I have to admit waiting an extra couple of weeks isn't really a big deal.

Next up is Part 4 where I will hopefully discuss how thrilled I am with my brand spanking new $5000 driveway. :D Company D is supposed to come by and finish the job this week, so hopefully the weather and their schedule will make that happen.


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