Starting to feel ripped off with new asphalt driveway, what to do?

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-19-19, 02:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
Starting to feel ripped off with new asphalt driveway, what to do?

I just had my driveway paved not even a week ago, and have yet to drive on it. My driveway is roughly 2400 square feet and the contractor was charging me $4 a square foot. A majority of my driveway is flat, stretching across the front of my house and then goes down hill to our road. I graded everything with reground concrete and was under the impression they would be in and out.

They were supposed to come pave last Tuesday, but it rained and the flat area of the driveway became a bit soft. He dropped off some of his machinery and took a trip or two up my driveway with his skid steer which left some ruts in the driveway from being soft. I didn't think anything of it and figured he'd fix it. Wednesday came, and he said it was still too soft. Thursday came, he said it was still a bit wet so he took his torch to sections to try and dry it out some. He then told me he thinks there may be a spring there because it's wet and if it shows we'll have to cut it out and put in a drain. I know for a fact there isn't a spring there because I built up that entire area. It's wet because it rained and the area is flat and IMO he didn't give it enough time to dry out.

Anywho, so he told me they would have to spread it all out by hand and then talked me into using a sealer of some sort that would make it that I wouldn't have to worry about anything for 5 years. He told me it costs $36 per gallon and he thinks i'd need around 30 gallons. Ok, whatever I thought.

He calls me when they're done Thursday while I'm at work that they're done and that he used roughly 75 gallons of this sealer... How do I know they used any sort of sealer? To me it looks like your average fresh asphalt. (I've used a good bit of cold patch at work to know the look). This has me wondering if he bs'd me into this extra charge for "sealer" because they had to spread by hand, and probably didn't use any such sealer?

So on top of this, a good bit of the flat area has low spots that look and feel thin. I see some cracks forming in areas and the flat area by any means is not flat and smooth. I understand you're going to have your imperfections in asphalt but I don't think it looks good to me. This along with valleys and track marks throughout the whole driveway.

My concern is that he voided the warranty on the bill due to the fact that I graded it, yet when he gave me the quote he said the base looked just fine. Is there something I should do about this? I feel at $11,100, I almost should. Advice needed.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-19-19, 02:41 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western NY on edge of eastern Lake Erie (not NYC)
Posts: 6,815
Likes Received: 15
Send some pics of what it looks like. I'm no expert, but it's my understanding that a new asphalt driveway should be left unseal for about year. Then sealed.

 
  #3  
Old 05-19-19, 03:06 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,207
Likes Received: 30
I also have never heard of sealing a new asphalt driveway. With no demolition of an old driveway, this also sounds like a lot of money to me, though 2400 sq ft is a pretty large driveway - did you have anyone else bid the job?
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-19, 03:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
I tried uploading some pictures but the size was too big so give me a minute there. I did have a few other companies stop by but none gave me a number and beat around the bush due to it being busy season.
 
  #5  
Old 05-19-19, 03:50 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 3,661
Likes Received: 22
So on top of this, a good bit of the flat area has low spots that look and feel thin. I see some cracks forming in areas and the flat area by any means is not flat and smooth.
Not a good sign for a new drive, have had several and they were all perfect when installed/

Sealer, on the new asphalt, no!!
 
  #6  
Old 05-19-19, 03:52 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
The dirty spots are low spots where water pooled.

Name:  d1.jpg
Views: 466
Size:  114.0 KB

Name:  d2.jpg
Views: 448
Size:  136.8 KB

Name:  d3.jpg
Views: 441
Size:  138.6 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 05-19-19 at 03:58 PM. Reason: resized pictures
  #7  
Old 05-19-19, 04:00 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,501
Likes Received: 103
For that price and no curbing either......
Please tells us you haven't paid them yet..... or at least in full.
That is what a first coat should like like.... not a finish coat.
 
  #8  
Old 05-19-19, 04:07 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 3,661
Likes Received: 22
That is what a first coat should like like.... not a finish coat.
My thoughts exactly, seeing it's an inch or so down from the garage slab it has to be first coat!

No way would you ever seal a first coat!
 
  #9  
Old 05-19-19, 04:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
Yeah unfortunately he's paid in full... He acted like he was in a hurry to get to the next job when he was waiting for my final payment and I didn't get the opportunity to go up the hill to see the flat, sort of taking his word for it... Damn it , he screwed me, ahhhh
 
  #10  
Old 05-19-19, 04:41 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,501
Likes Received: 103
You need to get in touch with the company. If they don't respond you'll need to send a certified letter to them stating that your are completely dissatisfied with the poor job and you are seeking legal recourse.

Was it a check payment.... stop payment.
 
Norm201 liked this post.
  #11  
Old 05-19-19, 04:54 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western NY on edge of eastern Lake Erie (not NYC)
Posts: 6,815
Likes Received: 15
Call the BBB. Contact a lawyer.
 
  #12  
Old 05-19-19, 05:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
No it payment was cash, he kind of pushed me into cash by offering to knock money off. I'm going to message him tomorrow and at this point i'm not going to speak with him over the phone, I want to have all of this in writing. I plan on starting off with questioning him on what sealer or additive he used that costed me $1600. Following that I'm going to ask him if he's coming back to put the top coat on. Man, this is frustrating. I feel I could have done a better job with cold patch
 
  #13  
Old 05-19-19, 06:12 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 400
Back when I was a younger man, I worked for a paving company for several summers, and based on that experience I can say without hesitation: that is a sh*t job!

Here in CT, there are laws that protect consumers from scammers. Penalties and fines are stiff. The state AG's office actively enforces these laws.

Some of the consumer protections are: A requirement that all home improvement contracts be in writing and clearly provide a 3-day "right to rescind" to the consumer before any work can be started. Any contractor who doesn't abide by these contract requirements, and/or is not licensed with the state for the type of work to be performed, is barred from enforcing the contract, and any money paid pursuant to said illegal contract is to be returned to the consumer. There are many other relevant protections too numerous to list here.

I have to think most states have similar laws, so you might want to contact your own state's AG office about this at some point...
 
  #14  
Old 05-19-19, 06:33 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western NY on edge of eastern Lake Erie (not NYC)
Posts: 6,815
Likes Received: 15
I just hope you can contact him. sounds like a scammer and a fly by night. Good luck. Keep us informed.
 
  #15  
Old 05-19-19, 06:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 470
Likes Received: 2
I worked for a paving company for several summers
I never worked in that business and I can see it's a terrible job. I would have never paid for it without looking it over thoroughly first. So yes, you got ripped off but it's 50% your own fault but you should still pursue all options to get it done correctly or your money back or both.
 
  #16  
Old 05-19-19, 07:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 692
Likes Received: 3
You should contact your state Attorney General, consumer fraud division and let them know. Did you know the contractor's license number ?
 
  #17  
Old 05-19-19, 07:43 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,207
Likes Received: 30
That doesn't even look compacted.

I hoped you learned a lesson from all of this about how to contract a job because I'm going to use you as an example of how not to do it. Not trying to make you feel worse but there's no way to put a pretty face on this.
 
  #18  
Old 05-19-19, 08:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
Yes, I have the contractor's license number. I'm definitely going to look into all of this tomorrow. Thanks everyone for all of your input!
 
  #19  
Old 05-20-19, 12:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 9
I would be legally demanding they fix it, and if they refuse you can check if they are bonded. in several states legitimate contractors need a bond, which is a kind of insurance that pays out to the property owner if you file a claim after you've exhausted other options.

I hope that when you paid cash you got at least a receipt proving you paid

was the talk about sealant all over the phone? because if that's the case they can claim it never happened. if it was in some kind of writing, you should be able to prove whether it was sealed or not. an expert testimony checking the driveway, or even a laboratory doing a chemical analysis. but hopefully you don't need all that
 
  #20  
Old 05-20-19, 12:18 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,501
Likes Received: 103
he told me they would have to spread it all out by hand and then talked me into using a sealer of some sort that would make it that I wouldn't have to worry about anything for 5 years.
It definitely looks to be spread out thinly by hand and then not rolled.
It's very doubtful any sealer was applied.

The two problems here are not enough asphalt and not properly rolled down.
 
  #21  
Old 05-20-19, 01:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
I spoke with him today via text. Told him about how I feel he didn't use sealer and charged me for it and how he has no proof that he used it and how it's not supposed to be sealed immediately because it could mess the asphalt up. He said he used Gilsonite with additives for hardeners. Then proceeded to blow off the questioning of the sealer and told me to call him in the summer when it dries up and he'll bring a load to the top and spread it out...

Yes, I have a receipt showing that I paid, and also showing I paid $1600 for the sealer.

At this point I haven't texted him back since he said to call him this summer. I'm going to ask him to meet me because I want to discuss this, and I also want to get copies of his license and whatever else I can?
 
Norm201 liked this post.
  #22  
Old 05-20-19, 03:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 9
if best practice is NOT to put sealant immediately (because it hardens the asphalt and makes it more prone to denting) then even if he did put it, it means your asphalt may need repair sooner than would have been needed.

as I understand it, if he didn't put it it's fraud. if he put it it's incompetence. either way you're owed. if I were you I'd find the best attorney locally, and have them write this contractor a letter asking for $x money back.

I wouldn't want a fraudster or an incompetent guy to fix their mistakes. I'd want as much money as reasonable back into my account so I can hire someone good.

there may be time limits on you filing a claim on his bond and so on, so he may want to run the clock if you let him
 
  #23  
Old 05-20-19, 06:19 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
I'm assuming I need a civil suits attorney? Is it worth going that route with what they charge?

He told me to give him a call over the summer when its dry and he'll bring a load to the top and fix the top. I highly doubt that.

I've had some good back and forth convo with this guy today, and he seems pretty defensive. Keeps stating he used the sealer and to look on my block wall and see the over spray. I don't see any over spray on the wall, and maybe ever so lightly on some of the gravel on the edges. I told him if he sprayed 75 gallons of whatever this mystery sealer is, there would be over spray everywhere and the driveway would have been drenched in it. I told him I spent $1600 on a product I have no information on, nor any real evidence it was used. Hell, leave some empty buckets.

He got rude, after that, stating he was being nice by offering to take a load up and fix that and if I keep accusing him of the sealer he won't do it. Red flag there.

Basically told him I shouldn't be made to feel as if i'm in the wrong as his customer to question the quality and costs of the job, and he's making me feel as such. - Haven't heard back yet. I need to more forward with finding representation on this because it's not going to get any better.
 
  #24  
Old 05-20-19, 06:47 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,207
Likes Received: 30
Check with the local court system as to whether the dollar amount you spent falls into small or large claims. If the latter, you're in district court and an attorney should potentially be representing you.
 
  #25  
Old 05-20-19, 06:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,119
Likes Received: 6
Most states have a network of "small claims courts" which hear claims up to a $10k -$15k limit, throughout the local county or parish.

Above that dollar limit and you're probably in "county court" (mid atlantic) or "district court" (new england), which is simply the formal name for the Court and Judges at your local county courthouse.

Depending on the state, small claims court Judges MIGHT be attorneys, but can also be average people elected to settle disputes. The procedure is generally what you see in TV court for "Judge Judy" shows,
no attorney needed, bring photos, copies of contracts, print outs of texts (3 sets of everything, #1 to give to the Judge, #2 to give to your opponent, #3 for your own records). Show up, explain your case. Get a decision.

I'd ALSO shop around for a few after-the fact quotes by OTHER paving companies,
You want to get a list of quotes about a) what's wrong and b) how much it may cost to fix.
 
  #26  
Old 05-21-19, 01:49 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 3,661
Likes Received: 22
He acted like he was in a hurry to get to the next job when he was waiting for my final payment
payment was cash, he kind of pushed me into cash by offering to knock money off
told me to call him in the summer when it dries up
He got rude, after that, stating he was being nice by offering to take a load up and fix that and if I keep accusing him of the sealer he won't do it.

As you noted lots of red flags going on.

In retrospect, was this a local company that you contacted or someone who just stopped by!

All the legal stuff is mute if he is not legit, winning the case and collecting the $ are two completely independent tasks!
 
  #27  
Old 05-21-19, 11:05 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 9
if it was me, I would totally be up to take him to small claims court. but you need a business address to serve him (you need a process server for this). in CA, you can easily file a small claim for, I think, $10k, for only $50. It's $25 if the amount is less. I've done so myself when the car insurance of someone didn't want to pay up. after I filed the lawsuit they agreed to settle - it took me 2 minutes to go online and cancel the suit without ever even needing to go to court. your contractor may change his tune when he sees a lawsuit was filed (then again, he may not and you may have to go to court). a letter from an attorney may also work (then again it may not). I think you can get a letter for the cost of 1 hour. sure an attorney can charge $500/hour but I imagine it depends where you live. the reason I said "if it was me" is that I have a tiny bit of experience with the law. if you don't and you think it a daunting process, hiring an attorney may save you time and $.

the reason is that you need to be a bit savvy for small claims because you argue your case without a lawyer, but you still need to provide some evidence. receipts and photos are easy but you also need to provide evidence that he did not follow best practice by spraying a sealer (as you need to convince the judge this is not best practice). it's not enough to just say some people on the diy forum told me so. however, you may be able to find evidence online, for example manufacturer guidelines for sealer products that say never to spray before 6 months, or a building engineering textbook.

lternatively, you need evidence that the sealer was not sprayed, and photos may not be enough because the judge isn't likely to be an expert in asphalt. an expert witness would be great but they are generally also expensive (though a few hundred $ is still a lot less than what you paid). if it were me I'd call around labs to see if anyone would do a chemical analysis, and for how much. I imagine that a nice lab sheet report would look great in front of the judge, maybe enough so to sway the burden of proof towards the contractor. for example, you can do a car oil analysis for very cheap, less than $50. but I have no clue about asphalt. these labs work by mail-in so you can shop all over the country. labs also check for water quality and so on. I would hope you can find one up to check asphalt without charging you a thousand $. in fact, if you tell the contractor you got the asphalt analyzed by a lab and there's no sealer, and you'll be in for fraud in court, he may be willing to settle. I don't know whether this instance of fraud would be a civil case or a criminal case. because if it's criminal, you could contact the local prosecutor and he'd take the contractor to court. if it's civil you'd need to hire an attorney.

a good attorney (and there may or may not be good ones locally to you) may also be able to tell you how much it is reasonable to expect if you go to court. how much would you ask in damage? the entire amount? as the other comment suggested, you could ask for a quote from a good contractor, how much it would cost to fix the driveway, and ask for that amount in court. in any case, small claims court usually REQUIRES proof that you tried to settle the issue BEFORE you file a lawsuit. so you need some evidence, preferably in writing, that you tried to sort it out. this may just be something like a letter detailing the problems with the driveway, the quote from the company to fix it, and asking for that amount back. the letter would say "if I don't hear from you by x weeks, I will file a lawsuit in court". and before you even think to go to court by yourself, you need to understand you'll need some time to think about any argument the contractor may present, and any doubt the judge may have. for example the judge may ask why you did not accept the offer by the contractor to fix it. you need to be prepared and/or quick witted enough to say, I don't trust that, and I don't want an incompetent or fraudulent contractor to fix it. if you get your tongue tied up it may not go well in court and you'd wish you had hired an attorney. I heard some small claim court judges are nice and try to help you but I imagine others may not, at all.

and you need to check whether he's bonded or not since I don't know what state you're in. as I said, you can also file a claim on his bond. you can also contact your state government agency if there is one that deals with this. for example in CA if a car mechanic swindles you, you can call the state agency and they'll help you. once I called the state agency because a car dealer was stonewalling me, and the car dealer sent me a check because the state inspector called him and told him to do so.

in fact, it'd probably be a lot easier for you to find out first if you can get the state to solve this problem for you, before you even think about going to court. a call by a state agent may be all that's needed for the contractor to agree to refund you a portion, just to make it all go away. of course if he's a fly by night non- bonded contractor, he may not care at all. but if he's not legit, he may also risk law troubles by operating not entirely legally, so he may be willing to settle with you. my impression is that right now he thinks that by stonewalling you, you'll give up. that's what most people would do. if you want to do anything about it, you need to make it clear to him that you won't give up.

to summarize, I'd first call for a quote to fix it by another, more reputable contractor, then check what the law about contractors is in your state (bond required?), then check if a state agency can help you. if that doesn't work you can think about the court. at any point during the above you may want to find evidence (quotes, labs). at any time during the process the contractor may settle. if the state agency does not help you, you can always decide it's too much for you, and forget about it. don't force yourself to go to court if the $ is not worth the hassle to you.
 
  #28  
Old 05-21-19, 06:38 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
Sorry I was stuck at work all day and haven't been able to get on here to reply.

He was a local company I that I found his ad via Facebook. I called multiple other companies before this one for quotes and couldn't seem to get any quotes out of them or even a return call from some. His business is on the BBB .org website with his address, contact information, and states his license is issued by Pennsylvania Attorney General List of Registered Contractors. The expiration date of this license is 3/2/2020. (copied/pasted, sorry for the link).

The thing with getting the asphalt tested. I don't have a problem with doing so if need be because personally I don't believe he used anything nor is there any evidence such as overspray or thickness to asphalt to indicate such. But, say he did as he stated on the phone that he would probably only need to use 30 gallons, and then upon finishing he said he used 75 gallons. I have no proof he did use anything even remotely close to that, when even 30 gallons seems very excessive if it's a spray on. My driveway is a mess, he left loose asphalt all over my retaining wall, he dumped excess dirt/gravel on property that isn't mine, he left pop bottles, and he left my road a mess with loose asphalt and excess gravel. (I haven't touched any of that and have taken pictures, and won't touch it nor drive on my driveway until this is settled.) He manages to do such a sloppy job with all of that, yet doesn't leave any empty buckets of sealer, any sticks he used to mix it, any spill spots?

I like the idea of contacting state government agency and putting out some threats his way, or offering he fix this or I'll take him to court but I've already offered to try to fix this. He told me call him in the summer and he would dump a load up top (the really bad section). Never stated he'd fix it, just said he'd dump it up top. At that point I doubt I would be able to get him back here, and theres no saying he'd fix it nor if the new asphalt would bond properly to the existing. I told him my concerns and told him I wanted to meet him and work this out. He then proceeded to tell me if I accuse him again of not using sealer that he wouldn't bring the load and that he was being nice by offering that. Pshh. I have this all in text and will no longer communicate with him in anything but writing.

That all being said, I think I'm ready to more forward with going to court. I've dealt with child custody court in the past and I'm sure that's certainly way more stressful than civil court. I'm going to call paving companies tomorrow relentlessly and try to get one or two out to quote in writing what it would take and cost to fix this.

What amount should I be looking to fight for here though? I would assume for what the quote from another company comes in at? Yet at the cost they quote me to fix this, I still want to add the $1600 for a sealer that most likely wasn't applied since that was an add on charge that has zero evidence used, correct?
 
  #29  
Old 05-21-19, 09:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 692
Likes Received: 3
Irregardless of what path you choose to take....I would promptly send a certified letter to the PA state attorney general (consumer fraud division, if they have one)...and work from this angle. Send a cc to PA contractor's license board. Another cc to the paver.
 
  #30  
Old 05-22-19, 03:13 AM
jjrbus's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: US
Posts: 319
Likes Received: 1
Bunch of fly by nighters in the business. I can see by the garage door slab. Unless your base was down 6 inches from the slab you only got 1 inch of black top. First contractor tried that on me so I threw him out!.
 
  #31  
Old 05-22-19, 11:18 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 9
it seems PA requires contractors to have a bond. so perhaps you don't need to go to court at all. you can recover your damages from it. as long as you get pictures of the mess I think you can clean it up. just don't pour new asphalt without first having evidence there's no sealer.

first you need to find out if this contractor is legit and has a bond. if he does, you can also tell the contractor that you'll file a claim on his bond, last chance to settle. he'll probably say no, or low ball you. then call the state and ask the procedure to file a claim.
 
  #32  
Old 05-22-19, 07:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
Went out today and took as many pictures as possible. Used an 8í 2x6 to show the dips and high points, used a level to show slope toward my garage, got pictures of every possible thing I can. I have two asphalt companies coming within the week to write me up a quote to fix this. What do I tell them? I would imagine I donít want to tell them I plan on civil suit or going after the bond of the company who did this in the first place?

Is it better to go the bond route first and then civil suit if things donít pan out? Iím thinking I want the $1600 back for sealer and almost want to threaten reporting him for fraud on that aspect. So $1600 on top of whatever the quotes come back as to fix the job. I feel thatís fair, correct?
 
  #33  
Old 05-22-19, 07:18 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western NY on edge of eastern Lake Erie (not NYC)
Posts: 6,815
Likes Received: 15
I think I would be up front with the contractors if the subject as to why you want a quote. Explain that you don't think they would want to have their customer base sullied by a scammer and you want to catch him with their help.
 
  #34  
Old 05-22-19, 11:13 PM
jjrbus's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: US
Posts: 319
Likes Received: 1
  #35  
Old 05-23-19, 11:43 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Our asphalt driveway is about 100’ downhill, then curves into an apron about 60’ x 20’, totaling about 2500 sq ft. We just had our driveway taken up and removed. We Relocated the downhill section four feet away from our property line in order to install a privacy fence and green space (as a new house was built next door). They brought in #304 gravel in the new area. We had a sink hole on the downhill section from a mature tree being removed in the 1970’s. They excavated using a backhoe, then filled it with concrete and paved the entire driveway with #448 finish asphalt, rolled it, and tamped edges for $6,664.00. We last used this company in 2001 when they replaced the previous asphalt they put down in 1985. We put on an addition to our home and needed the driveway moved then as well. And no, we never thought we would live here over 30 years or we could have planned it better. The completed look is outstanding. They will come back in 18 months to spray seal it. They never use the liquid version that gets poured on then squeegeed. This company primarily does commercial work such as large parking lots, and city contracts, but will also do residential driveways. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help you.

There are two aspects of your project: your contract and the actual work. A contract should describe the process and expected result, as well as materials used. Even when you renegotiate a contract, it should be in writing. Civil court judges will base the majority of (if not all of) their decisions based on what was agreed, in writing and verbally (if you have a digital recorder handy). Otherwise, a contractor can and will dispute anything else to maximize their profit. It’s IMPORTANT to mention that not all contractors are bad. Many will require detailed contracts to protect the consumer and themselves. If your contractor claims he purchased and used sealer, request the sales receipts and empty cans. I still do not believe any driveway contractor will seal asphalt before it’s cured and hardened for at least one year. After reviewing your photos, I’m sorry to say that your contractor should pursue a line of work other than asphalt driveways, such as demolition work because they clearly ruined your driveway.

Contacting BBB may help warn other consumers, and therefore the contractor should want to get it resolved. I know one shady contractor who had a BBB rating of D-. He simply opened another account with BBB. BTW, the default rating with BBB is A+ which I disagree with. Contractors should have no rating when opening an account. They should earn their ratings. In school, I never began a new class with an A+ grade. I had to earn it through exams and other deliverables.

Your best recourse is to contact an attorney specializing in tort law. PA also has several free Legal Aid Groups to assist. You’ll need to check each one to verify that they cover tort law and provide free services as some are based on income level. The next thing is to identify what you want from this contractor. i.e. a new driveway, a repaired driveway, or a full refund. Maybe you can compromise by paying a bit more to have him install an additional 1”-2” asphalt layer on top of his “incomplete work”, if he’s capable of doing so. If you have no confidence in his work, have another professional install it, making your contractor pay all or a percentage of the cost. Review with your attorney the legal fees required to accomplish each resolution (if they are even reasonable requests). But whatever you decide to do with this contractor or the next one, always put everything in writing. Any future conversations should be recorded, emails (use return receipt), and letters should be certified by USPS. PA has the two-party consent law meaning you cannot record your conversations unless the other party (contractor) agrees to it. OH has a single-party consent law and I use a digital recorder on any calls with issues including healthcare and other contract work. It has literally saved me several times with “he said-she said” issues and finger pointing. Best of luck.
 

Last edited by C03T07C12; 05-23-19 at 01:55 PM.
  #36  
Old 05-24-19, 04:35 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 3
I'm sorry this has happened to you. Hang in there.
 
  #37  
Old 06-01-19, 06:22 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Likes Received: 1
Had a reputable paving company come thursday to quote me on fixing the driveway. The man couldn't have been more nice, spent about an hour with me looking over and explaining what happened. He was in disbelief and said it was definitely one of the worst driveways he had seen. He said no sealer was used, and that diesel was used because it looks like the asphalt got cold. He said the rough patches were due to cracking and the contractor trying to cover the cracks. He said the majority of the driveway varied but was roughly an inch thick. He told me there was no fixing this driveway and that it would need ripped up and redone, telling me to blast reviews online and take him for a full refund. The contractor also pointed out that 3 day consumer protection wasn't offered and it's the law that he has to offer it, and to use that angle as a threat.

I've tried texting the guy who ripped me off, facebook messenger, and email through BBB, along with posting plenty of pictures to the business' Facebook page. I have yet to hear a peep from this guy, so I have my letter written up describing everything and that I'm giving him a week upon receiving the certified letter to refund me or I will report him to BBB, Attorney General, and I'll take him to court for full refund plus damages.

I started driving on it yesterday because i'm no longer walking up to my house, and then when it rain's it pours. Lowes called for a delivery they weren't able to drop off a month ago, and wanted to drop off today. I told them where to drop the things, and the driver used the asphalt driveway and ripped it all up making it even more of a mess, yet it exposed areas of asphalt that measured literally a HALF INCH THICK. Unbelievable.
 
  #38  
Old 06-01-19, 06:28 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,169
Likes Received: 12
Good for you taking him to court and reporting him to the Attorney General! Hope you get it all back.
What a piece of work!
 
  #39  
Old 06-01-19, 11:49 PM
jjrbus's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: US
Posts: 319
Likes Received: 1
I hate to rain on your parade but this guy is likely a ghost and even if you do find him, he will have no assets, no cash no insurance.

The best you can hope for if he is found is a long prison sentence.

I hope you do better but very unlikely!

https://allaboutdriveways.com/asphal...-paving-scams/
 
  #40  
Old 06-02-19, 02:24 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,347
Likes Received: 28
As noted above if that contractor has no assets or insurance it may be hard to collect but I'd still pursue legal action. It shouldn't be hard to get a judgement against him. You can't spend a judgement but in some states they are good for 20 yrs so if he ever inherits anything, wins the lotto or buys/sells real estate he'd likely have to pay.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes