When people drive past your home or business, you want them to see a nicely paved driveway and walkway leading up to it. A clean driveway is worth a lot. It adds to the appearance of buildings, and improves the overall impression you make on guests, neighbors and customers. It also protects cars, and adds value to your home or business.

With these things in mind, you want a pavement specialist who gets the job done right the first time — the last thing any of us needs is a company who makes costly errors during the pavement installation process.

Here are 5 common mistakes that less experienced contractors frequently make — and how these blunders cause issues for homes and businesses.

1. Laying the foundation improperly

This just might be the single most common mistake made by inexperienced pavement specialists. As they take the first step to lay your new driveway, a contractor must install the base layer correctly in order to make sure that every subsequent step falls into place. Newer (or disreputable) contractors may be tempted to rush through this part of the process in order to produce a result in a shorter span of time — but that result is going to be structurally weak and prone to problems in the future. Good base and sub-base layers keep the entire structure of the driveway intact, and also allow water to drain efficiently.

2. Poor communication with clients

As in any field involving construction, communicating frequently and openly with the client is essential. Taking into consideration exactly what the client’s wishes are, and taking time to discuss all the finer points of the project (dimensions, pricing, timeframe for completion) should be foremost on the list of every contractor.

3. Hiring an inexperienced work crew

As you conduct research about different contractors and compare prices for the job, you may find it helpful to ask about the company’s work crew. What’s their level of experience, and how long have they themselves been doing this sort of work? Even though a contractor may be experienced, the actual work crew scheduled to install your pavement may not be as knowledgeable. You’ll want to know these things up front so that you can make an informed decision, rather than letting a pavement company pull the wool over your eyes.

4. Using old equipment

Updated equipment is expensive, and many pavement companies (especially the newer ones) simply don’t have the resources or wherewithal to invest in the latest gear. The problem is, your installation won’t be as good as it could have been with modern equipment. Always look for a specialist who invests in the latest equipment. Quality, safety, and affordability will all increase.

5. Paving too quickly

There are many situations in which a pavement company simply goes too fast. One example would be the roller too quickly when the pavement is being compacted, which makes the pavement bumpy after it dries.

Hiring a reliable pavement specialist

Since pavement is a long lasting that takes a lot of effort and money to re-do, hiring a reliable and experienced specialist is really important. As you speak with different companies, go over each of these aspects with them and make sure that they’re the right company for you.