Everyone wants their home to look their best, and having a new or refurbished driveway is a great way to give your home a lift. Asphalt driveways are a popular way to improve the appearance and value of your property but there has been quite a bit of coverage in the media recently about a range of scams operating, taking advantage of homeowners, and leaving people out of pocket and upset.
Who are the scammers?
Generally they will be an organized gang who are targeting vulnerable people in a specific area. They are unlikely to be from a local firm. If someone is offering you an amazing deal to repair or upgrade your driveway it is important to ensure that you investigate it fully and be wary of becoming the victim of an asphalt driveway paving scam.
Why are asphalt driveways commonly used in scams?
Successful scams rely on being able to give the appearance of being legitimate while at the same time giving the gang a speedy exit with your money. Some of the equipment used in creating asphalt driveways gives the impression of a lot of work being done and of a surface being finished. But if the job hasn’t been done properly, you will still be seeing the handiwork of the scammers and this could mean an expensive repair job that you will then have to pay for.
What are some of the common signs relating to asphalt driveway scams?
Here are some of the common warning signs relating to asphalt driveway scams:
1. Door-to-door sales. It is very rare for established asphalt driveway contractors to approach potential customers door to door. Reputable companies generally receive most of their new business either through their website or via the telephone. If someone is approaching you door to door you need to be cautious.
2. Leftover asphalt. A common hook that is used in these scams is that they will say that they have leftover asphalt from another job nearby – that is why they are approaching you door to door and that is why they can offer you such a cheap price. http://www.amateurdiy.com/landscape/the-asphalt-driveway-scam/ Professional driveway firms estimate the amount of asphalt required with great accuracy to avoid any wastage – it would be very unusual for a reputable firm to have leftover asphalt.
3. Quick decision. Deciding to install an asphalt driveway is a major decision and isn’t something that you should do quickly. Reputable firms will conduct a site visit and provide you with a detailed written quote. If someone is pressuring you to make a quick decision then you should be cautious.
4. No contract or documentation. Driveways are expensive and reputable firms will always have clear paperwork specifying the work that is to be done and the costs involved. If there is no sign of a contract then you should be cautious.
5. Cash only. Reputable driveway installer will not be offering you discount if you pay in cash or insist that you have to pay in cash. This is a clear warning sign.
6. Unmarked vehicles. Professional driveway firms have worked hard to establish their brand and their reputation. The vehicles that are driven by their employees will be proudly carrying the branding of the firm – it is an effective form of advertising. If someone is trying to sell you an asphalt driveway and they are driving an unmarked or unbranded vehicle you should be cautious.
So when you are considering making home improvements, don’t fall victim to and scams – if a deal looks too good to be true then you probably need to take a closer look at it.