Did the winter weather take a toll on your driveway? Spring is the time of year many consumers consider re-paving their driveway. An attractive, well-kept driveway can help a home make a good first impression, provide protection against flooding, and even add value to your investment. But replacing a driveway can be a costly endeavor.
Better Business Bureau advises home owners to take the time to choose a contractor you can trust. Don’t jump at the first offer. Some pavers go door-to-door making offers, do some research before agreeing and don’t feel pressured to make decision right away.
When looking to hire a contractor for your driveway, BBB recommends the following tips:
Check references. Ask for local references and verify that the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bonding and insuring requirements. Always check out a contractor’s BBB Business Review before doing business with them. Before you agree to a paving or paving repair job, there are three things to check: the status of the contractor's license, whether the contractor's bond is current, and the contractor's complaint resolution history with BBB. You may want to make sure that the contracting company is a member of an industry trade association such as National Asphalt Pavement Association.
Get it in writing. Be sure that the contract spells out which party is responsible for grading and sub grading, equipment and materials, labor, pavement thickness and smoothness, etc. Make sure the payment schedule is satisfactory and that there is a clear guarantee or warranty for the work. Also, get in writing an agreement that your yard is to be returned to pre-construction condition. Don’t sign an agreement without understanding it.
Know your rights. If you hire a contractor, pay by check or credit card when the work is completed to your satisfaction. If you are dealing with a traveling contractor, be extra cautious and make sure to ask for identification and note the license plate number on the contractor's vehicle. If you get “buyer’s remorse,” you may be able to change your mind after the contract is signed:
The Federal Trade Commission has a three-day cooling off rule for in-home purchases. This allows a purchaser to cancel purchases of $25 or more if the purchase was made at the buyers home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business (with the exception of real estate, insurance, securities, or vehicles). According to the Cooling-Off Rule, you have the right to cancel for a full refund up to midnight of the third business day after the sale.