An attractive, well-kept driveway can help your 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.
When it’s time to improve the curb appeal of your driveway, Better Business Bureau advises choosing a contractor you can trust. Start with these 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 on bbb.org before doing business with them. Before you agree to a new driveway or 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 subgrading, 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. Be extra cautious if you are dealing with a traveling contractor. 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: In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has a three-day cooling off rule for in-home purchases.
Start With Trust. For more consumer tips and information, visit wynco.bbb.org.