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WAPA Pavement Note on Driveway Paving Scams

Unfortunately, salesmen going door-to-door offering to pave driveways at very low cost is a common home construction scam. The typical scenario (but by no means the only scenario) begins with a salesman at a customer's door offering to pave their driveway for a very low cost because they have some "left over mix" from another close-by job. If the customer agrees to the work, the scam artist will often request payment up front or in cash. They then either do a poor job using inferior equipment and materials, do an incomplete job and leave, or just leave without doing any work. These scams typically result in unsatisfied consumers who end up paying for inferior work that often must be replaced. A driveway paving project should be treated like any other major home improvement project. The Attorney General of Washington Consumer Protection Division has some basic guidelines for contractor selection.

Undergoing road work - Asphalt Paving in Lynnwood, Washington
New Road - Asphalt Paving in Lynnwood, Washington

Some of the driveway paving scam warning signs are:

  • Claiming they have "left over mix ". Often, a scam artist will claim they have HMA left over from a previous job that will go bad if they do not use it so they must offer you a great deal. Reputable contractors carefully compute their HMA requirements and rarely have substantial left over HMA, Additionally, once HMA cools below about 175OF it becomes too viscous to compact. Therefore, someone driving around with "left over mix" for several hours looking for a driveway paving job will likely have HMA that is uncompactable. Poorly compacted HMA can result in a myriad of problems.

  • Pushing you to make a quick decision. Reputable contractors will provide a quote before doing any work so that you may shop around.

  • Cash only sales. Most reputable contractors take checks, and don't require cash only terms.

  • No contract offered. Most reputable contractors will offer you a contract in advance of the work to be performed.

  • Deals that seem too good to be true. If the quoted price seems very low, chances are the quality of work will also be quite low.

A quality hot mix asphalt driveway that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing can be built at a reasonable price.

Recommended References

  • Asphalt Institute. Full-Depth Asphalt Pavement for Parking Lots, Service Stations and Driveways, 5th Edition. IS-091. Asphalt Institute. Lexington, KY. (www.asphaltinstitute.org)