Any paving gurus here?

This spring I want to get our driveway paved. Here in New England, that’s done with asphalt. In our county there’s one big asphalt plant (for the making of asphalt). They also offer paving service. Grading, spreading, rolling, etc. Everything necessary for a finished driveway.

There are probably two dozen different paving services that buy their asphalt product from the BAP (big asphalt plant) and then do the grading, spreading, rolling, etc.

Before I start collecting estimates for my driveway, can anyone fill me in on the background of this industry? Since the BAP is buying product from itself, it seems likely they have the best (lowest) overall cost basis and price. But, the two dozen other services have also been around forever.

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone???

Material cost is only one part of if it. If one company has cheaper labor or less overhead they can price their services less than someone with more expensive labor or greater overhead.

It also depends on the amount of profit they want. Or perhaps one company has more business than they need so they increase their pricing to make each incremental job more profitable for them.

Get 3 random quotes and see how different they are, or ask around and find a company that has decent pricing and satisfied customers.

Eh, I don’t want to sound like a nazi, but don’t hire a gypsy family to do it. Seriously, it’s a common scam…

Yeah, we have them locally as well. 2 or 3 families that open for business each year under a different name. This area is still small enough that anyone who cares to check can ferret out the scammers fairly easily.

I’d want referrals from several jobs a few years old to see how the paving is holding up. The asphalt on the top layer is all the same in your case, but the prep work under it determines how well it holds up. Ask about things like base-course and grading.

Sorry, can’t offer detail beyond that. One job I had, the boss had a side business that was a gravel pit that we ran out of the same office. I once had to fill in at the weigh house. Base-course was the big seller, so I looked into it a little, just out of curiosity. It is a mix that compacts well, and offers a solid foundation to the layer above.