Selecting a Municipal Asphalt Contractor
So, the city has placed you in charge of selecting a municipal asphalt contractor. How do you find the right municipal asphalt contractor that matches the city budget, and, just as important, how do you find a contractor that excels in laying asphalt pavements?
First Things First
Selecting a municipal contractor requires you to follow a logical sequence of steps. The first step should be to visit the Better Business Bureau (BBB) web pages dedicated to the companies that have made your short list of candidates. The BBB should accredit any asphalt contractor on your short list, as well as give the contractors on your short list the highly coveted A+ rating the consumer advocacy organization hands out to businesses that excel at what they do. Companies listed with the BBB are rated on factors that include morals, work ethic, and the consistent delivery of superior customer service.
Visit Customer Review Sites
After reading what the BBB has to offer on asphalt contractors, move on to reading the customer reviews left on reputable sites like Yelp and Google. You want to focus on factors such as the timeliness of similar projects, as well as the performance of the company’s customer service representatives. If you can, try to find reviews left by customers that hired an asphalt contractor to complete a city funded project.
Highly rated professional asphalt contractors do much more than the grunt work required to complete a municipal project. The companies will also help you make smart decisions when it comes to the logistics of a municipal asphalt job. Companies that have accumulated years of experience successfully applying asphalt for city projects will give you the sound advice you need to complete the project on time and within the city budget.
Municipal employees often work under tight budgets, so you can expect price to be a major consideration for an asphalt project completed on city property. However, because the scope of city jobs is usually large, many contractors will reduce rates to win lucrative asphalt contracts. Make sure you are capable of negotiating a favorable contract and if you lack strong negotiating skills, find a colleague to help you stay within the city’s financial constraints.
What Kind of Work?
Some asphalt contractors specialize in adding new asphalt to create a parking lot or the foundation for a new building. Other asphalt companies earn their professional stripes by repairing asphalt pavements. Make sure you hire the right type of asphalt contractor for the job your city wants to complete.
Licensed and Bonded
Although experience is important in hiring an asphalt contractor for a municipal project, experience means nothing unless the company employs licensed and bonded professionals. In addition, you want to work with a contractor that has earned at least one industry sanctioned commendation, such as a certification for passing a rigorous skill assessment test.
Peace of Mind Insurance
Most municipal asphalt contractors are insured because of the legal requirements imposed by the city where they operate. Still, you have to make sure the company you hire to complete an asphalt pavement project has enough insurance to cover unforeseen accidents and other mishaps. After all, Murphy’s Law is alive and well for extensive road and building construction projects.
Finally, reach out to one of your colleagues in another city that has experience managing asphalt projects. Networking remains one of the most effective ways to discover the right asphalt contractor for municipal projects.