Finding a Contractor, part 2

March 21st, 2009 by Douglas

Earlier this week we discussed choosing a contractor based on price and the types of asphalt sealer they use. Today I will talk about a one more.


This should be one of the major factors that plays into you choice of contractor. To put it simply, if other people are happy with the work they had done, the odds are that you will be happy as well.

Finding references can be done in a couple of ways.

Simply ask people who have had their driveway sealed recently who did it and the price they paid. If this small talk doesn’t give you the information on whether or not they were happy with the work, ask them. Usually, if they were unhappy (or pleased) this will come out in the conversation on its own.

Now, in mentioning references, do NOT be so quick as to approach a contractor doing work close by. When the sealer is still wet, or freshly dried, it is easy to notice how good it looks and get caught up in wanting yours to look the same. In the early stages it is hard to tell how good of a job the contractor really did, even to the trained eye. Things like:

How well did they clean any dirt and debris off the driveway – these spots will not hold sealer as well (if at all)

Did they use watered down sealer – It may look good initially, but after some wear (usually within weeks or months) the driveway will start to look as if nothing had been done. Good asphalt sealer should last about 3 years, or longer.

What type of sealer they are using – I mentioned this above. I would definitely note the color of the material wet, as it usually is an indicator to the type. Black is going to be coal tar based, brown is asphalt based.

Don’t be afraid to have them quote you a price, but do not accept it initially. It is worth waiting a few weeks to see how they did instead of spending hundreds of dollars and finding out you have been scammed.

Other ways of finding references is from the sealer manufacturers themselves. They know who they sell to and have an idea on the work they do. Many of them will have a changing list of people they will recommend. They are a great place to start.

Getting references is the most powerful, and reliable, way you have in finding a good contractor to seal your driveway.


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