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Pros and Cons of Unit Pricing in Asphalt Paving Repair Projects

By September 13, 2023Uncategorized

Asphalt paving repair projects are an integral part of maintaining our roadways and infrastructure. One of the methods commonly used for cost estimation and project management in these endeavors is unit pricing. While unit pricing has its advantages, it’s essential to weigh them against the potential downsides to make informed decisions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing unit pricing for asphalt paving repair projects.

Benefits of Unit Pricing

  1. Transparency: Unit pricing offers transparency in cost breakdown. It allows stakeholders to see the cost of each unit, such as per square foot of asphalt laid or per ton of materials used. This transparency fosters trust and accountability in project management.
  2. Accurate Cost Estimation: Unit pricing provides a more accurate means of estimating project costs. By breaking down costs into smaller units, it becomes easier to calculate the overall budget, reducing the risk of cost overruns.
  3. Flexibility: Unit pricing is adaptable to various project sizes and scopes. Whether you’re working on a small patch repair or a large-scale resurfacing project, unit pricing allows for efficient cost evaluation.
  4. Comparative Analysis: Contractors and project managers can compare unit prices from different suppliers, allowing them to make cost-effective decisions when sourcing materials or labor. This competition can lead to cost savings for the project.

Downsides of Unit Pricing

  1. Complexity: While unit pricing can be more accurate, it can also be more complex to calculate and manage. Different units may be used for various project aspects, making it challenging for those not well-versed in construction cost analysis.
  2. Scope Changes: Unit pricing may become less accurate if there are significant scope changes during the project. Unexpected modifications can lead to disputes over pricing for extra work, potentially delaying the project.
  3. Potential for Manipulation: In some cases, unit pricing can be manipulated to inflate costs, especially when there is limited oversight. This can result in unfair contracts and increased project expenses.
  4. Lack of Incentive for Efficiency: Contractors may be less motivated to complete tasks more efficiently under unit pricing contracts. If they are paid per unit rather than for the overall project, there may be less incentive to work quickly and efficiently.


Unit pricing can be a valuable tool in asphalt paving repair projects, offering transparency, accurate cost estimation, and flexibility. However, it also comes with complexities, the potential for scope change disputes, the risk of manipulation, and a possible lack of incentive for efficiency. The key to successful project management lies in understanding when and how to apply unit pricing effectively.

When considering unit pricing for asphalt paving repair projects, it’s essential to strike a balance between the benefits and drawbacks. Clear contracts, effective project management, and regular communication among all stakeholders can help mitigate the downsides while harnessing the advantages of unit pricing to ensure cost-effective and successful outcomes.