Pavement Maintenance Precautions: 5 Warning Signs of a Bad Contractor

Pavement Maintenance Precautions: 5 Warning Signs of a Bad Contractor

Every capital expenditure project carries with it a bit of stress. However, the right contractor should mitigate your concerns while guiding you seamlessly through the entire process from preconstruction to project completion in Schaumburg, IL.

Unfortunately, hiring an unethical or unprofessional contractor happens.  It often feels concerning and stressful from the beginning, resulting in your relatively straight-forward project running over budget and not being completed as planned.

While it’s important to check references and get multiple bids, there are other things to be mindful of throughout the bid and hiring process.  To mitigate your risk of potentially hiring the wrong contractor for your paving or preventative maintenance work, be on the lookout for these common warning signs:

1. Contractor Isn’t Specific with Line Items, Materials Used, or Project Scope

The project estimate is a critical piece of every pavement project.  Line by line, the estimate should break down the cost of individual items and include a detailed analysis of what you can expect.

Without a professional estimate, an unethical contractor could “uncover” overages throughout the project and request more money while doing the work.  Without knowing the line item quantities and pricing, it would be nearly impossible to hold them responsible for the original bid.

Understanding the products or materials used is just as important as knowing the quantities needed.  Substandard materials often fail faster than expected, resulting in a shorter life cycle of the pavement.  When it comes to material selection, make sure your contractor uses the materials defined in your project specifications.

Like A&A Paving, reputable contractors will visit the project site to go over the project scope with you.  Furthermore, we initiate zoom meetings with potential clients to ensure both parties understand the project parameters, materials required, and are happy to proceed to the pre-construction phase.

2. The Contractor Pressures You to Make Immediate Decision

In most cases, contractors know pavement owners need time to review bids and select the right contractor for their job. Contractors who pressure you to make immediate decisions relating to the project award should be of concern.

Furthermore, avoid paving companies who offer discounts or price reductions to sway your project award. Not only are those tactics unethical, but they also provide a clear indication of most-likely other untrustworthy business practices to come.

Our team at A&A is excited to start work on your project in Schaumburg, IL; however, we will never pressure you into making quick decisions.  Completing every stage of the construction process in a timely fashion is critical; however, that should never involve high-pressure tactics.

3. The Contractor Is Slow To Relay Insurance, Bonding Information or Their Portfolio of Work

We realize that laws for contractor licenses and registrations vary from state to state and city to city.  However, a reputable contractor will hold the proper credentials required to perform work in their area legally.  If a contractor is slow to relay bond and insurance information or suggests it isn’t necessary to share those details, you may want to reevaluate your partnership with them.

Remember, licensing helps regulate the construction industry and serves as a reminder of continued education. Pavement construction projects carry many unforeseeable risks. Mishaps such as accidentally knocking over a mailbox or having a customer get asphalt on their vehicle are real problems that occur on the job.  Having a licensed and insured contractor gives you the peace of mind that, regardless of what happens, you’re protected.

Furthermore, any reputable contractor will have a portfolio of projects along with recent client testimonials to share with you.  It’s essential to know how satisfied clients are with a contractor’s work.  If you ask for and don’t receive any references, this should be a red flag as well.

We understand that project planning is cumbersome.  However, at A&A Paving, our goal is to minimize the stress of handling all those details.  That starts with providing all our clients with proper insurance and bonding information, along with a detailed portfolio highlighting similar work completed.  We have an entire team that focuses on getting you this information and are also available to answer any questions you have while working with us.

4. Contractor Requests Odd Payment Arrangements

Although construction is full of ethical contractors, there are still a few that unfortunately give the industry a bad name.  When it comes to payment terms, a sure-fire way to decipher a reputable contractor from another is by their payment terms.

A contractor generally does not ask for large sums of money upfront or inquire about cash-only payments.  If your contractor does, that should be an area for concern.  Odd payment requests get elevated if the contractor came in far below other contractors’ bids.

Ultimately, trust your instinct on payment arrangements.  If the interaction feels off, it most likely is.  A&A Paving and many other contracting firms request only 1/3 of the project upfront.

5. Contractor Exhibits Poor Customer Service Skills

It’s understandable for a contractor to run late or even cancel an appointment from time to time.  Most local contractors have hectic schedules that involve juggling multiple projects at once.  Being upfront about the need to cancel and proactive with rescheduling is typically needed to remedy any hard feelings.

However, if a contractor continually shows up late, cancels, or even misses appointments with no warning, that should be a warning sign of things to come.  The flow of a project depends on communication.  If your contractor is an inadequate or ineffective communicator who doesn’t value your time, it makes you wonder if your project will be a priority after you hire them.

Reading Contractor’s Google and Facebook reviews will give you more insight into how proficient they are in dealing with clients.  Although no contractor has a “perfect” rating, it is crucial to be in the 80th to 90th percentile on each rating scale. Furthermore, looking at how many 5-star ratings a licensed contractor has received will add insight into how satisfied clients were with their work.  As an example, our team at A&A Paving has fifty 5-star ratings!


Having paving work or corrective maintenance work completed is a huge financial undertaking. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that you enlist the services of a reputable contractor.

Unethical contractors will always say and do things that seem a little different, which is why trusting your gut when hiring a contractor is critical.  There is a chance that your job won’t be completed correctly or to your specifications if you hire a contractor who cuts corners or lacks the qualifications needed to complete your project.

For more than 60 years, our highly-trained and caring crews have provided Chicagoland with Asphalt Paving, Sealcoating, and Concrete services using the finest quality materials, at fair prices, with superior results. Our consultative approach allows us to deliver a well-planned paving or maintenance and repair project in Schaumburg, IL, that is within your budget, no matter the size or scope.  Give us a call today!