Can you tell us the best way to redo a driveway? We have an asphalt driveway that is in poor shape. There are major cracks, and the surface is lifting and dropping. Water is collecting on the surface and around the drive.
Any driveway replacement needs an evaluation of how water flows. You want water to flow around the drive in order to reduce wet, soft soil under the drive. Good drainage also limits frost heaving with our beautiful Wisconsin weather.
Next, decide if you want asphalt again or concrete. Asphalt is typically less expensive, and with southern exposure the snow and ice will melt faster. Concrete will be physically stronger and more durable, but also more expensive.
With either choice, you need to make sure the surface under the drive is prepared properly. You need several inches of compacted granular fill. With a replacement, this requires removing quite a bit of waste material. When comparing contractors, consider the materials they are using, the thickness, application methods, sealers, reinforcement, connection to the garage, removal of waste, and base preparation.
Finally, I suggest you look for a contractor who is a member of an organization like the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Membership means that the contractor has taken the time be involved in the industry and they have met membership requirements. Most organizations like this also help resolve issues if they ever arise. Milwaukee NARI will provide a list of over 900 members in over 200 categories of work.