Did the winter weather take atoll on your driveway? Spring is time of year many consumers consider re-pavingtheir driveway. An attractive, well-kept driveway can help a home make a goodfirst impression, provide protection against flooding, and even add value toyour investment. But replacing a driveway can be a costly endeavor.
Better Business Bureau adviseshome owners to take the time to choose a contractor you can trust. “Don’t jumpat the first offer,” advises Nancy B. Cahalen, President and CEO of the BetterBusiness Bureau of Central New England. “Some pavers go door-to-door makingoffers, do some research before agreeing and don’t feel pressured to make adecision right away.”
When looking to hire a contractorfor your driveway, BBB recommends the following tips:
Check references. Ask for local references andverify that the contractor is in compliance with all local licensing, bondingand insuring requirements. Always check out a contractor’s BBB Business Review beforedoing 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 complaintresolution history with BBB. You may want to make sure that thecontracting company is a member of an industry trade association such asNational Asphalt Pavement Association.
Get it in writing. Be sure that the contract spells out which party isresponsible for grading and subgrading, equipment and materials, labor,pavement thickness and smoothness, etc. Make sure the payment schedule issatisfactory 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 topre-construction condition. Don’t sign an agreement withoutunderstanding it.
Know your rights. If you hire a contractor, pay by check orcredit card when the work is completed to your satisfaction. If you are dealingwith a traveling contractor, be extra cautious and make sure to ask foridentification 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 thecontract is signed:
The Federal Trade Commission hasa three-day cooling off rule for in-home purchases. This allows a purchaser tocancel purchases of $25 or more if the purchase was made at the buyers home orat a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business (with theexception of real estate, insurance, securities, or vehicles). According to theCooling-Off Rule, you have the right to cancel for a full refund up to midnightof the third business day after the sale.