Extra Blacktop

BBB has received several calls about companies knocking on doors around the area claiming to have “extra” blacktop.  This is a reminder that just because a company knocks on your door and says they have extra material or that you need a roof repair, driveway work or some other type of home improvement, doesn’t mean you necessarily do. 

Red Flags of transient work crews include high pressure to have work done NOW because the contractor is in the neighborhood or has “extra” materials.  Also, if you have the work done NOW, the price is cheaper than if they have to come back, or the price keeps lowering the more you say no.

Before having any work performed BBB suggests the following:

  • Take time to research your project.
  • Solicit two or three bids for any work you are planning. Don’t automatically accept the lowest offer. Make sure all bids are based on the same set of specifications and materials to be used.  The estimate should also detail itemized costs, options and debris removal. 
  • Ask for references and inspect finished projects.   
  • Check to see if the contractor is a member of a professional association, which has standards for members, such as BBB.
  • Make sure the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bonding, and insurance requirements, and that any necessary building permits are obtained.
  • Obtain a detailed written contract of the work to be performed, materials to be used and the contractors name, address and phone number.  Be sure the contract includes a beginning and ending date.  Never sign a blank or partially blank contract.
  • Ethical businesses will provide: warranty information (if applicable), references, proof of insurance, and proof of license, if applicable.

Before paying, get a sworn statement that all bills for material and labor have been paid for by the contractor. Typically a down payment of one third of the total contract price is made with additional payments made after completion of each phase of work; final payment should not be made until work is completed and you have inspected the work.

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About Christine Hayley

I started with BBB|Cincinnati in 1997 as a Co-Op. Today I am the Dispute Resolution Director.