Apples, Oranges, and Price

Comparing Bids for Your Next Paving Project

At Black Diamond Paving we’re firm believers in developing long-term relationships with our customers, but we also realize many jobs need to go to bid. And we’re happy to put our proposals up against anyone’s.

But when going to market for a bid on your parking lot or HOA pavement, there are a number of basics to keep in mind including license, insurance, and contractor responsiveness and communication. There are more factors, of course, but paying attention to those will get you off to a good start.

Then there’s the work itself and the price, and this is where many buyers of paving and pavement maintenance services stumble. In most cases a call goes out to contractors to visit and bid, for example, a parking lot job. So contractors—Black Diamond Paving included—take a look at the pavement and, based on years of experience, make a recommendation about what should be done and offer a price.

So far, so good.

But, once you receive the three, four, or more bids, you realize you’ve got a problem. The prices likely will vary widely, and the reason they’ll vary widely is it’s very likely that each of the bidding contractors might take a different approach to your pavement!

Is the bid for one coat of sealer or two? Three coats in drive lanes? Are any pavement repairs included? Is the overlay 1-1/2 inches or 2 inches? And is that compacted or uncompacted?

The problem is, how do you compare those bids to make a reasoned choice? It’s very difficult because you’re comparing apples to oranges … and while you certainly can make a choice, it’s usually not a comfortable choice.

The point is, it’s important to compare apples to apples (or oranges to oranges). The solution to your pavement issue needs to be the same from bid to bid—only then can you fairly evaluate price.

Of course, if you have a valuable relationship with your contractor, a partner who has a vested interest in helping you get the most out of your pavement investment and your maintenance budget, then price becomes a factor—not THE factor—in awarding a contract.

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