My driveway replacement experience
by Vernon Campbell
As the Vice President of the MCA for the last couple years, and a member of the Board in various capacities over the last dozen or so years, it has come to my attention that one of the things most homeowners are interested in is experience with various types of contractors. Over the last couple of years, my wife and I have completed the following renovation projects on our home:
- Roof replacement
- Solar panel installation
- Window replacement
- Basement drainage system replaced and renovated
- Screen porch installation on back deck
- Patio and sidewalk installation
- Lots of landscaping!!
- French and other types of drain installation in our lawns
- Interior whole house painting
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the more important items that I had on my list was the replacement of the driveway I share on our 2 home cul de sac with our neighbors. Our family moved into our home in 2005, and since then the driveway had sunken in spots, been upturned in spots due to tree root growth, and suffered at least one small sinkhole that could never seem to be repaired. I was determined to finally get the driveway I wanted.
Our driveway in over 40 yards long from the top of the street to my garage door, two thirds of the way down it splits off to my neighbor’s home. The total square footage is impressive, to say the least. Prices for this replacement ranged from almost $20,000 to just around $15,000. And to be honest, you do get what you pay for.
My first task was to identify a minimum of three local paving companies to supply bids. Based on some internet searching and some personal sleuthing, I identified these three paving companies to address our issues with and receive bids. The most expensive was H&H Paving in Manassas. I have known of their work for many years, and the quality of their work indeed does justify their prices. The second company I identified was Standard Paving in Manassas, VA. The third company I selected was Metropolitan out of Leesburg.
My neighbor and I both met with all three of these companies in person at our location. All of them showed up (half the battle in Covid times) and were very responsive in addressing our concerns. After receiving all three proposals, we discussed our thoughts on the selection. While H&H was very responsive, has a definite footprint in the area, and was the only proposal that identified a drainage solution for me, the cost was just too much to justify. The third company, Metropolitan, was managed by a much younger person, who was managing the driveway business for his father, who managed the parking and commercial side of the business. While his price was the lowest, we decided that we would rather deal with a more mature organization. So our selection was Standard, whose representative was a third-generation family member, grandson of the founder, and had been in the business all his life. Their price fell in the middle, and had a two-year guarantee, as opposed to the others one-year warranties.
After we signed the contract, we had to wait over two months for them to begin replacement due to scheduling, and my desire to not have my driveway ripped up over a weekend. We ended up allowing them to remove the driveway on a Saturday and pave it on Monday.
Replacing a driveway, as opposed to refinishing one, means that the driveway and its foundation was dug up to the dirt base, up to four inches of bluestone and gravel was then installed over the rolled base, rolled and filled as a base for the asphalt. Minor issues occurred, such as them finding things (old cable—from where, was it still connected—what would we lose if it was pulled out) to ensuring that the edges were where we had specified, they be (both of us widened particular areas that were not in the original footprint).
The only real issue we had was with the foreman, who reported back to the company some outright lies that were relayed to us by their management/owners and proven incorrect. This did not delay our final product, but certainly ended up that we do not feel comfortable providing a whole hearted recommendation.
A part of my thought process was to be able to provide our MCA members a recommendation on driveway replacement as we approach the Spring. Overall, I would say then to investigate each paving company and make your own decision based on your criteria.
Here is the info for the companies we got quotes from:
- H&H Paving Asphalt Specialist, Inc. (p) 703.392.5400 | (f) 703.392.8822
- Standard Paving Inc. 8803 Sudley Road, Suite 206 Manassas, VA 20110 Phone: 844 – 266 – 7283
- Metropolitan Paving, email@example.com PH: (571) 577-3531