When evaluating quotes, a paving company who has not shown these five elements may not be the best one for the job – whatever their price.

Guarantees and insurance will vary

A reputable contractor will be keen to put plans and promises on paper. Don’t hesitate to ask about their level of professional insurance. The thickness of the topping should be agreed in advance. Expect guarantees and quotes on repairs and maintenance to be included.

Nothing beats expert ground surveillance

A reputable company will have highly trained staff who can assess the ground and make informed decisions about the topping required. Qualified staff should also have knowledge of local soils and weather conditions as well as regulations and industry standards. Skimping on the thickness of the surface can lead to problems further down the road. They will want to know what kind of vehicles that will be using the surface as this too will affect how it is engineered. If the planning and assessment phase seems long, that’s probably a good thing.

You can measure quality work by quality maintenance and repairs

Nothing is perfect, and a professional will be able to show a portfolio of examples where sites that have been modified or repaired. If a potential contractor is happy to do so, you know you’ve found the right one.

Teamwork matters as much as experience

Asphalt is laid and modelled hot – a team needs to work quickly to prepare the surface for optimum results. An established company is likely to have crews of people used to working together, so don’t be surprised if the team is larger than you might expect.

Materials and Equipment.

Question a company who is against recycling materials: the result is the same, but better for the environment. The equipment used on the job should be highly specialised. Ask about the machines they will use. If the contractor is planning to send two blokes with a shovel, look elsewhere.