How do I choose a driveway contractor?
In order to choose a good driveway contractor, you need to do your research. Go online to find driveway contractors near you, and compare their ratings and customer reviews. Look for photos of driveways the contractors have previously worked on so you can see examples of their work. Do the driveways look pristine? Or are there large cracks and missing pieces?
Get cost estimates from several contractors. When you’re requesting estimates, give the contractors plenty of information about your project (do you want an asphalt, concrete or gravel driveway? What’s your budget? How soon do you need it done? How big is your driveway?), and ask them plenty of questions about their pricing, process and experience.
Make sure whoever you hire is properly licensed and insured in your state. Check with your city and state governments to see what's required.
Once you’ve done your research, decide which contractor fits your price range and offers quality service. But remember: don’t skip high-quality services to secure the lowest price.
How long do asphalt driveways last?
The lifespan of a typical asphalt driveway is between 12 and 20 years. However, some companies say they can last up to 30 to 35 years.
Your driveway’s longevity will depend on several factors. The first is the quality of the installation. An asphalt driveway is only as good as its underlayment, drainage and root management.
The next is maintenance. Keeping the driveway clean is imperative, and any cracks should be immediately sealed to prevent water infiltration and freeze-thaw cycles. Lastly, the amount of use and heavy equipment on the asphalt can impact how long it lasts.
How much are asphalt driveways?
On average, an asphalt driveway costs between $3 and $5 per square foot. That means a small 10’x20’ driveway, which is big enough for a single car, will probably cost you between $600 and $1,000.
However, the total cost of your asphalt driveway will depend on several factors. Get free estimates from asphalt driveway contractors to find out exactly how you can expect to spend.
Read “How much does an asphalt driveway cost?” to learn more about the cost factors.
What do paving contractors do?
Paving contractors can be hired to install a concrete or asphalt driveway at your home, office or property. They can also repave an asphalt or concrete driveway that has been damaged by time, weather or heavy loads. When you are looking for a driveway contractor, request quotes from at least three professionals who are in good standing and have great customer reviews. They should do a site visit and write you a bid, detailing the work involved, materials needed, approximate length of the project and estimated cost.
The site for your new driveway will determine costs and the work required for your contractor. First, the ground must be excavated to lay a clear path. This means removing any trees, bushes and stumps. Next, the driveway contractor will grade the area, making a level surface for the concrete or asphalt. To ensure proper drainage, driveway contractors should install a sub-base of compacted gravel (or similar) 4 inches-8 inches deep, depending on your soil type. Then the concrete or asphalt may be poured and smoothed over the top. Your driveway contractor should recommend an appropriate sealant for your climate and advise you on curing time. When hiring a paving contractor, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.
What is the best sealer to use on concrete?
Because unsealed concrete is porous, it readily absorbs liquids, leading to unsightly stains and freeze-and-thaw cycle damage. For this reason, it’s important to seal concrete that will see spills or outdoor weather.
The best option for garage floors and other high-traffic areas is epoxy, which forms a hard and extremely durable surface on top of concrete. Epoxy, acrylic, and polishes are often used on indoor floors, while acrylic-resin sealers and reactive penetrating sealers are used on outdoor surfaces to repel water and salt. Locate a concrete contractor in your area to help find the best solution.
How much does it cost to redo a concrete driveway?
Here are some examples of average costs:
- The national average cost to hire a concrete specialist is $2,750, but that price can vary greatly depending on the work needed to repair and resurface your concrete driveway, the square footage of the project, current costs of concrete, and regional labor rates.
- Driveway contractors average $2-$3 per square foot to smooth and resurface your asphalt driveway.
- Resurfacing concrete driveways averages $3-$10 per square foot. Pricing can depend on repairs needed, project size and geographic location.
- Nationally, the average cost for resurfacing a 500-square-foot driveway ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
- Sealant for a concrete drive can cost $20-$80 per gallon.
- Sealant for an asphalt drive averages 25 cents per square foot.
What is the best finish for concrete floors?
The best finish for concrete floors depends on your personal taste. An acid stain is a bold, varied look with lots of texture and the potential for earthy tones and a natural stone appearance. A water-based stain might not last as long as an acid stain, but it gives you the choice of many different colors. Epoxy is great for high-traffic areas, kitchens, bathrooms, basements and garages. It provides a glossy, damage-resistant, non-slip coating on your concrete floors. To find out which finish is the best for your concrete floors, contact a concrete contractor near you.
Does a concrete contractor need to enter my home?
If the concrete job is 100% outdoors, a concrete contractor will not need to enter your home. However, certain jobs may require a professional to enter your home, including pouring a slab floor or laying a foundation for a fireplace or other heavy object.
If a contractor needs to see the inside of your home during the consultation, you can ask to video chat and share photos through email and text messages to reduce exposure. Put a plan in place as you talk to local concrete contractors.
What's the difference between masonry and concrete contractors?
Masonry contractors build structures with smaller units like bricks and stones, binding them together with mortar to form a larger structure. Concrete contractors, on the other hand, only use concrete to form structures. This mixture of cement, water and other materials is poured into a premade structure and left to cure, forming a single structure made on one part.
What can concrete contractors do?
Concrete contractors can build foundations, structures, driveways, concrete storm drains, raise or level concrete patios and much more. They can handle every step of the process, starting with framing the mold that the concrete is poured into. They then cut, assemble and tie together the rebar, giving the concrete its tensile strength. Finally, they pour the concrete in, mixing and conditioning it to ensure it cures properly. They will also take steps to ensure that no air pockets are trapped within it.
If you have a project that requires the help of a concrete contractor, reach out to one today to get a price estimate.