Planning for paving during the winter may seem counterintuitive, but in a post-COVID world, Niki Pickett says there’s no better time than now to get started.
As the owner of Ital Paving, Niki says she and her team were reminded this year how important time and communication are to any project, especially in the wake of a pandemic.
“We are so grateful to our clients for their patience this year,” says Niki. “They stood with us as we managed a backlog that pushed our projects.”
The backlog, caused by a perfect storm of pandemic restrictions and supply chain shortages, paralyzed the construction industry and pushed back the start date of many paving projects.
These issues were then only intensified by a rise in new projects. While the influx is fabulous for the economy, she says these factors have changed the way paving projects should be booked and coordinated.
Booking early & taking photos
For starters, Niki says, it is important to think one or more seasons ahead. If you’re wanting your driveway to be paved in the late spring or summer, now’s the perfect time to call for a consultation or quote.
Even if you’re only contemplating having it done, take photos of your driveway when it’s not covered in leaves or snow. Include photos of potholes, vegetation, and water drainage areas.
“Once the ground is covered, it is difficult to give an accurate quote,” says Niki. “But if you have photos, we can give you a rough estimate of the cost and timeline for your project.”
While it’s tempting to shop based on price alone, it is important to ask the right questions. Look for a company that will lay 3¼ inches of asphalt before compaction, creating a 2½ inch finished product.
“A thin layer of pavement will only survive one to two seasons, at best,” says Niki. “Especially with our region’s weather extremes.”
It’s also important to select local trades that have experience working with the landscape and its challenges.
“Paving is never just paving,” says Niki. “You have to consider elevation, water drainage, environmental factors and weather extremes.”
With 36 years of experience paving in Simcoe and Muskoka, Niki says supporting local is something that will save our communities in the long run.
“This pandemic has been challenging for all trades. I’ve seen too many ‘For Rent’ and ‘For Sale’ signs across our region,” says Niki.
While supporting local trades helps the community, it also provides you peace of mind.
“We are your neighbours. If anything goes wrong, we will be there to make it right, no questions asked.”
TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN