Scam Alert: Summer Paving Jobs

by Categorized: Scams Date:

As soon as the heat wave breaks, expect an increase in contractors scouring neighborhoods offering low-cost driveway paving. Be careful. It could be part of a seasonal scam.

The Connecticut Better Business Bureau received 1,371 complaints against paving contractors nationally last year. In Connecticut, the BBB processed 225 complaints over the past three years.
The BBB offers these 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 the BBB.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.