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The Bottom Line: Preventing Paving Ripoffs

Updated: Wednesday, April 30 2014, 12:17 AM EDT

TROY -- Springtime signals the start of home improvement season, and for many homeowners, that means hiring contractors to help take care of the work.
Unfortunately, it seems stories surface all too often about contractors trying to take advantage of customers.
One area we've seen that time and again in our area?  Driveway paving companies.
In fact, CBS 6's Dori Marlin has already alerted viewers this season to suspicious paving propositions in both Colonie and Schenectady.
Now, Dori's helping you to stay ahead of any possible scam, by getting The Bottom Line on how to get the "best" paving job for your money.
"You might have 15 quality contractors, and you get two scammers - and it does get the industry a bad name."
That's what Bill Smith, owner of Smith's Paving based in Troy, has to say about the recurring trend.  He's owned his company for close to 25 years.
For starters, he tells consumers to get a written estimate.  On there, he says, should be the company's name, address and phone number.
And just as important, he stresses to read what's written.  That way, you make sure you get what it says.
"If it says you're going to get three inches of blacktop, then you want to make sure you get three inches of blacktop - because that's really a big difference between 1.5-2 inches, and 3 inches," Smith says.
Something extremely important to ask, he says, is whether the company is paving on sand or clay.
If it's sand, it's simpler: You typically need six inches of stone, plus 2-3 inches of blacktop.
If it's clay, you first need stabilization fabric.  That's followed by 6-12 inches of stone, a binder course, and a top course.
So Smith says to ask the company, 'What do I need?  How far will it have to be dug out?'
Dori asked him, "Do you generally require a deposit up front?  If so, how much?"
"We don't," he answered, and adds that most reputable companies won't either.

The Bottom Line: Preventing Paving Ripoffs

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