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What to Look (Out) for in a Bid

There are lots of clever ways contractors can cut corners — and some may even look good for a short time. But in the long run, you want concrete and paving that will perform better and last longer — that’s the best value. You’ll see our detailed proposals spell everything out clearly and are written so everyone can understand them. If you’re checking out our competitors, please make sure you’re comparing apples to apples so you know what you’re buying. And if a contractor is unwilling to share similar details with their bid — you should be extremely wary!

Require “Standardized” Bids

Make sure each contractor is bidding on the same scope and quantity of work. If different materials, quantities, or even different services are quoted, you’re not comparing apples to apples. If a bid isn’t clear, ASK!

If it’s not listed in their quote, chances are, it’s not included.

Never assume each contractor is offering the same services, materials or project follow-through. Determine that every contractor is bidding on the same quantity of work, because quantity directly affects the unit price. Additionally, some contractors don’t point out “incidental” work that is not covered in their estimate but assumed to be part of the scope of work. Make sure you understand what is and is not included — and insist on predetermined unit prices for additional work that may be required.

If you go for the lowest price, you may be making a costly mistake in the long-run.

A quality job is different from a minimum job. Substantially different prices likely mean the bidding contractors plan to use different materials and different standards of work to offer you a lower price.

Ask for Technical Data Sheets and Drawings.

Even if you don’t have any blueprints to begin with, you should ask for drawings that confirm the areas of work and data sheets that describe the installation procedures. This is the best way to make sure your expectations match the bid you’ve been given. At Asphalt General, we offer an online reference that includes all of our Data Sheets, a Case Studies, and a list of Resources.

Remember that craftsmanship counts.

For example, how is an asphalt repair being handled? Are they removing the bad asphalt and patching with new asphalt (the industry standard) OR are they patching the current asphalt with millings and spraying it with liquid asphalt (a common shortcut)?

Be careful to fairly compare contractors.

A driveway contractor may be cheaper, but does he have the proper manpower and equipment to do a commercial job? Is the company bondable, licensed and insured? These factors allow contractors like Asphalt General to provide a superior level of service and value — and afford you greater peace of mind.

Other important considerations:

• How many mobilizations are included?
• How long is estimate valid?
• Ask for references and sample work sites.

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