There is a lot of moving parts, research, traffic control, details, and regulation knowledge that goes into planning for your blacktop paving project. Because of this, it is ideal to leave yourself plenty of time to properly plan and prepare. There are 6 major steps you should include in the process of planning for your parking lot paving plan. There are several areas to focus on within each of the 6 major steps.
Step 1: Do A Site Inspection Of The Blacktop –
- Look for faults, major areas of deterioration, standing water, etc. It’s helpful to go out just after a rainstorm.
- Drainage problems (also helpful to evaluate after a storm)
- Line striping or parking issues that may need to be addressed.
- Are there traffic and speed issues? (install speed bumps)
- Any need for major construction? If major changes are in order, then you may want to consider hiring an engineer. Are there major changes to the existing parking lot, like; retaining walls, permits and entitlement work, major drainage initiatives (particularly near wetlands), erosion control, etc. Most standard “re-paving” jobs however, do not require an engineer.
During your inspection, it is key to take notes as you will need to discuss all areas of concern with your paving contractor during the next step of the process.
Step 2: Get The Advice Of A Pro Paving Contractors –
- Now is the time to schedule a walkthrough with a reputable paving contractor. Qualified and experienced paving contractors will help you address all of your pavement problems and recommend multiple solutions to mitigate those problems. If it’s a large project, seek multiple recommendations. At this juncture, you can invite them to provide detailed written proposals outlining the work discussed, and cost structure for various options.
- If there were multiple options or methods proposed, you’ll want to narrow down your choice to the best one that suits your budget.
Step 3: Build Your Contractor “Roster” –
- It is important to make sure that you are finding reputable paving contractors for all areas of the job.
- Wondering how to tell if a contractor is reputable? Look for things like, online reputation, recommendations, references, previous work, insurance, customer service, etc. Read more on this in our blog How To Know If Asphalt Contractors Are Reputable.
- When considering online reputation for major contracting projects, it is important to remember that although google ratings are great for deciding which taco restaurant to try, when you’ve got potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, you’ll need to dig a little deeper. Most contractors will list notable local companies they’ve worked for or testimonials on their website.
Step 4: Create an RFP (Request For Proposal) –
- Many samples of Request for Proposal documents can be found online. It does not need to be formal.
- Simply type up a letter with an overview of the project making sure to outline the scope of work requested and to make mention of any required bid support documents you’d like to get back with each bid. For example, you may request copies of Acord 25 Insurance Certificate, list of equipment, references, proposed start date, etc.
- As far as pricing structure goes, you can elect to request specific unit prices, or a lump sum.
Step 5: Send It To Bid
At this point, you have chosen several contractors and created your RFP, so now it is time to send the project to bid.
- Using your roster of contractors, request bids from each that match the scope of work you’ve decided on.
- If you’ve built your roster with the best of the best, you have an excellent chance of getting great results any route you choose.
- When reviewing bids, it is important to consider the following;
- Look for exclusions, or special exemptions. This is anything that may alter the scope of the work requested.
- Did all bidders follow instructions and include all bid support documents?
- Review the condition of the bids. Are they clean, neat and professional? Were they early? On time? Late?
- Review all the prices and the pricing structure. What stands out? What’s the high price? Low? Average?
Step 6: Choose Your Contractor!
After you’ve carefully reviewed all bids, take some time to think about which contractor, or contractors, stood out from the rest. When considering who stood out, be sure to evaluate each in areas of professionalism, reputation, and most importantly qualifications. Also, establish what your priorities are. Once you come up with these priorities, determine which one is of highest importance. Finding a contractor that can successfully meet your highest priority is key, and may play a big role in determining your decision. Of course, when making your decision, price is always a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only one. The lowest bidder could certainly be the best contractor, but more often than not, they aren’t.
As you can see, the process of planning your blacktop paving project can be a bit time consuming and intricate. But it is very important to ensure that your project is done to your satisfaction. Parking lot blacktop paving is a big investment, making the research and planning phase even more important. The trained professionals at EastCoat Pavement Services have over 20 years of experience in commercial blacktop paving jobs. Using that experience, as well as state-of-the-art technology and machinery, and a team that is highly trained in ADA regulations in all areas we service, we can ensure a smooth and successful process from start to finish. Contact us today for your free consultation and get started on your planning process!