How to compare different bids for your parking lot?
Comparing bids is one of the best ways to vett contractors for your project.
There are a lot of asphalt paving contractors out there and if you’re undertaking a big project like a new parking lot, you’re going to want to do your research to find the best one for you. While there are many factors to consider, we are going to break down the key questions to ask so you can get the most value out of your investment.
Here are 5 questions you should ask when you’re comparing an asphalt project bid:
- How many courses of asphalt are you paying for?
- Do you need a base course of gravel and are they including it?
- Have they considered ADA compliance and written it into the bid?
- What does their paving schedule look like?
- Do they include concrete curbs and gutters?
How many courses of asphalt am I paying for?
Asphalt is paved in separate courses. Each course is made up of a different mix of binding agent (asphalt or bitumen) and crushed rock. They also might have different sizes of crushed rock in each course.
In most paving projects you pave a base course and a wear course. Your base course is generally made of larger sturdier rocks with less bitumen and the wear course is generally smaller rocks with more bitumen.
Ideally, you get both courses and you get a customized mix design for every part of your parking lot.
Wait, you didn’t know there are different parts of a parking lot? It’s true. You have your drive lanes, turn lanes and parking stalls and each one can have a different mix design depending on the kind of traffic being used.
Go into your bid and see if they did that for you. If they didn’t, you might want to clarify with your estimator as to what the plan is for the courses of asphalt you’re getting for your money.
Do I need for a base course of gravel and are they including it?
We also call this “soil modification” and sometimes it is an absolute necessity. Simply put: if you don’t have a proper base for your parking lot or blacktop then you’re just going to end up paying for someone to put one in later after this one breaks down in a few years’ time.
Does your bid include soil modification? Did your contractor do a soil test to see if that soil can actually support a parking lot without modification?
Putting in gravel if it’s necessary is critical to the success of your project. If you don’t see it, make sure to ask your contractor why it wasn’t included. If they didn’t even test the soil, you may want to get them to do that and revise the quote accordingly.
Don’t just take their word for it if they say you don’t need one. Make sure to ask them why and how they know that.
Have they considered ADA Compliance and is that written into the bid?
ADA compliance. We talk about it all the time at Goodmanson Construction because it’s the detail that can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits.
We go over ADA compliance and parking lots here in our blog. Did your contractor mention ADA compliance or an ADA review of your parking lot? Did they write in an ADA compliance guarantee? Did they offer to do that?
If they can’t guarantee ADA compliance, why not? Make sure to ask these questions so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible!
What does their paving schedule look like?
Contractors get busy. Asphalt contractors are doubly busy because they have a much shorter season to get their work done. So their schedule can fill up really fast.
Make sure that you take into account when they can get started and how that works with your business’ schedule. Ask them about their schedule and how long they expect the project to take.
Then you can not only weigh bids based on what they are offering, but how their offering works with your business’ schedule!
How much work do they do in-house? Concrete curbs and gutters? Storm drains and Catch Basins?
Even more importantly, do they take care of all of that in house? It’s important because your parking lot isn’t technically finished until you have concrete curb and gutter systems installed or unless you have a drainage solution. If they do it in house, like we at Goodmanson Construction do, you can get your parking lot online faster than if they have to coordinate schedules with another contractor.
Make sure you ask about the curb and gutter and storm drains, and ask if they get it done in house or if the have to subcontract that work. If they subcontract, there could be delays in the schedule that cost you time and money!
Picking the Best Asphalt Paving Contractor
One of the biggest factors when determining how long your asphalt will last is whether or not it was installed correctly. This is why it is worth taking the extra time to compare asphalt paving contractors to find the best option for your project.
If you have heard enough and want to get started on a parking lot right away, send us an estimate request! Not only will we get back to you fast, but our company has been trusted for over 50 years to get the job done right. If you are looking for an asphalt contractor you can trust, give us a call today. We would love to work with you.