Roadway Repair: Is It Your Responsibility?

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about the condition of the roads that surround your home. But if you've recently purchased property that contains access roads or private drives that aren't maintained by the county or the township, you might be surprised to realize that maintaining them is your responsibility. What do you do when the little country lane that leads back to your dream home is need of asphalt repair?

Contact Your County Roads Department

If you're not sure who's responsible for maintaining the road that leads to your home, call your County Roads Department and inquire whether it's a class 1, 2, 3, or 4 road. In Vermont, for instance, maintenance on all classes except 4 is the responsibility of the town. This means they're required to plow it in winter and keep it in usable condition throughout the rest of the year as well. If you live in Vermont and find out that your road is a class 4, then it will be up to you to hire a paving company to come in and perform the needed roadway repairs. This rule may vary according to state, however, which is why it's important to contact the roads department in your area before making repairs on your own.

Collect Several Estimates

Once you've ascertained that maintaining the road is your responsibility, the next step is to call in several paving contractors to take a look and provide you with estimates. Your contractors will base their estimates off of several factors, including:

  • The distance of your road from their asphalt plants
  • The current cost of the aggregate and oil used in the paving process
  • The condition of the existing stretch of road

HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost for U.S. homeowners to repair a simple asphalt driveway in 2015 fluctuated between $769 and $2,562. Your estimate will increase with the length of the road needing repair, however. 

Contract With a Paving Company

Once you've made an educated decision to pursue having your roadway repaired, it's time to choose the right paving company for the job. Though it might be tempting to go with the cheapest bid, that's not always the smartest option. There are other factors to consider before hiring the contractor who will perform such an important job on your property, including:

  • Local Reputation -- Find someone who has used this contractor before, and talk with them before entering into any agreements. If possible, check out the work he or she performed in the past to see how well it held up to wear and tear.
  • Experience -- Although everyone was new to the job at one time or another, hiring a paving contractor who lacks experience might not be the best move for a job this big. Save your willingness to help out a newbie for something smaller, such as resealing your driveway in the future. 
  • Price -- Of course, if you're like most homeowners, money definitely is a consideration. And while the cheapest estimate may not provide the best work, there's also no guarantee that taking on the priciest contractor will ensure that the job is done correctly either. Your best course of action is to educate yourself on the going costs of supplies, materials and labor for this type of job, and then make your decision accordingly. If an estimate sounds too good to be true, it's probably one to avoid. And that goes double for those estimates that seem completely out of the ballpark.

The best way to keep the road that leads to your home looking attractive and functioning well, is to educate yourself first on whose responsibility it is to maintain it. Once you've determined that it is, indeed, yours -- set about gathering estimates and hiring the right paving contractor, like those at Bituminous Roadways, Inc.,  for the job.