A busy property or facility manager embodies the term multitasking. Every day is a hectic scramble, constantly juggling an endless stream of things to get your job accomplished. Choosing and hiring the right paving contractor should be a task you give a special priority. It’s important to set aside time to carefully do thorough reference and background checks before you interview a paving contractor or a parking lot management company.
The relationship between a property manager and a paving contractor is often a long-term affair involving large outlays of time and money. Doing your homework and asking the right questions in the beginning helps to ensure hiring a paving contractor best suited to your needs.
Customer Bill of Rights
Most contractors are diligent and honest individuals who know that honesty is integral to growing their business and gaining new clients. There are some dishonest characters in any line of work. Some less reputable paving contractors may resort to these underhanded methods to get work:
- Providing estimates that include unnecessary work
- Offering low estimates based on the use of substandard materials and workmanship
- Intentionally completing work that is below industry accepted standards
- Intentionally giving low estimates knowing the total cost will be higher in the end
A “Customer Bill of Rights” is a handy tool many property owners can use when choosing a paving contractor. Using it helps you identify what your needs and requirements are, which helps you to communicate them to a perspective paving contractor.
In the end, getting the work done properly is your responsibility. Check in regularly with the parking lot maintenance company or paving contractor to deal with any issues or problems that might arise as the work goes on. You or someone on your staff should regularly monitor and inspect all ongoing work.
Contractor Check List
Often a property manager will regularly deal with more than one contractor at a time. Create a contractor checklist detailing the basic information every contractor should be able to produce upon demand. These include:
- Up-to-date insurance certificates
- Professional references and client testimonials
- A portfolio detailing work previously done including jobsite information and photographs
- Lien releases after completion of work
- A written warranty or guarantee
Ask the Right Questions
Any reputable paving contractor should be able to supply these items on demand. You have to decide if a paving contractor is competent and can meet your business needs. Here are several questions you can ask that will shine a light on whether or not a particular contractor is a good fit for your facility.
Before you interview a paving contractor, make sure you understand the terminology and details of the work you want them to do. The lowest bid is not always or even often the most important factor when choosing a competent contractor. Integrity, experience and a reputation for doing quality work are often more important.
Things to consider when hiring a paving contractor:
- Does the contractor clearly identify the service, equipment and products used to complete the work?
- How much time does the contractor estimate the job will take?
- Is the time estimate realistic in comparison to other bids?
- Are product data sheets and Material Safety Data Sheets available?
- Does the contractor offer any warranty or guarantee for the work?
- Can the contractor safely and properly manage traffic control while the work is being done?
- Is the contractor licensed and bonded?
- How much liability insurance does the paving contractor carry?
- If applicable, is the contractor’s crew certified to do the work?
- Does the contractor have a reliable credit rating?
- Does the bid clearly define the work to be done and estimated cost?
Know your rights and responsibilities as a customer before contracting the work out. A reputable paving contractor will work hard to satisfy every client by providing the best and most experienced personnel. They know that job training and certification is an ongoing process and are willing to invest in technical training for their staff.
Tip: Take a careful look at the paving contractor’s website. Is certification and licensing information available? Does the company have any awards for excellence and are they Better Business Bureau listed?
Your rights as a customer include:
- Clear communication
- traffic control and work timing that provide the least disruption to your business
- Choosing the best contractor for your needs at the lowest cost
- Complete satisfaction with any and all work finished
Remember, a reputable paving contractor is eager to answer all your questions. They hope to develop a profitable long-term relationship with your company and are willing to make the effort needed to do so. If at any time, a prospective paving contractor evades or doesn’t fully answer your questions it might be wise to look elsewhere. There are many reputable contractors eager to gain your business.
We hope you find this information valuable, and we are available to answer any additional questions you may have. We welcome the opportunity to compete for your paving contractor and parking lot maintenance needs. For additional support, please call PLS at (813) 880-9100.