WALLINGFORD, CT, August 29, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Warm Weather Brings out Unqualified Door-to-Door Pavers---
Connecticut Better Business Bureau is cautioning property owners to take their time and do their research before hiring a paving contractor.
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.
"As the weather gets warmer, consumers turn their attention to improvements to maintain their property or give their homes more curb appeal," according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti.
However, this is also the time of year when contractors show up in Connecticut neighborhoods and go door-to-door to offer cut-rate prices for paving. Some of them may be operating illegally in the state, lack proper licensing, insurance, qualifications or skills. Unscrupulous contractors may offer to use materials "left over from another job" in the neighborhood, and do poor quality work, don't finish the jobs, and in some cases, take deposits and disappear.
BBB received 1,371 complaints against paving contractors nationally last year. In Connecticut, BBB processed 225 complaints over the past three years.
Consumers said paving contractors didn't grade their driveways properly, causing formation of puddles and flooding, used poor quality or insufficient quantities of asphalt, and that pavement sagged or cracked. Complaints also describe improper application of asphalt sealant or cracking and peeling of sealed areas.
Better Business Bureau advises home owners to take the time to choose a contractor you can trust. When looking to hire a contractor for your driveway, BBB recommends the following tips:
Check references - Obtain at least three bids. 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 on bbb.org 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 will 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. Never make a snap decision to sign a contract without doing the necessary research and verifying the marketplace record of a traveling contractor.
If you get "buyer's remorse," you may be able to change your mind after the contract is signed, under the Federal Trade Commission three-day cooling off rule for in-home purchases.
For more tips, visit http://ct.bbb.org/bbb-news.
Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB helps consumers find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust, offers objective advice and a wide range of education on topics affecting marketplace trust. BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses. Today, there are 115 local, independent BBBs serving communities across the United States and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than three million local and national businesses and charities. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at http://www.bbb.org.
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