If you hire a contractor to do your driveway and make a walkway and it is not what you asked for what are my options

Asked about 4 years ago - Matawan, NJ

driveway-contractor pitched driveway towards house and it is causing flooding problem, brystone loose all around driverway, hole in concrete near garage, and the walkway is like a floating concrete slab, it streches out towards the hosue instead of going to driveway. contractor refuses to fix this because he said to fill cracks and holes you have to put in sand and the contract does not say sand, states the water problem was told to us yet he did not put in contract that because he did not say this. After filed complaint with service magic about contractor, contractor sent ficticious bills for 900 for additional work, he did this 30 day later and backdated bills but postmark states july 2. Service magic will not help even though they say they will in their ad.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Joseph Patrick Kreoll

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . There are three potential issues to consider. The first question is whether there has been negligence. On a very simple level, negligence is a breach of duty owed that causes damages. In a case like this, the duty is to perform the job in a good and workmanlike manner. If you want to pursue this type of claim, you will need an expert (such as another driveway contractor) to not only render a written opinion, but to come to court and testify on your behalf that the work was done improperly.

    Second, you may have a contract cause of action. Of course, this will depend upon the wording of the contract, but there might have been a violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing read into every contract.

    Third, and most importantly, you may have a cause of action under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("CFA"). The CFA has specific provisions that address Home Improvement Contractors like the driveway contractor who performed the work on your house. The CFA generally provides for claims based upon three legal theories: (1) misprepresentation; (2) knowing omission; and (3) technical violations of regulations that govern home improvement contractors. The last category of violations is extensive, and includes defects in the original contract and billing practices.

    The CFA remedies can be helpful to an aggrieved homeowner like yourself. These remedies include treble damages (three times the damages you actually sustained) and an award of attorneys' fees if you demonstrate an ascertainable loss.

    You should always keep in mind that these causes of action are governed by statutes of limitations, so if you want to pursue a claim against this contractor, you should retain an attorney or file a claim as soon as practicable.

  2. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If the land slopes towards the house to begin with the contractor may or may not have been able to do anything anyhow. So unless the driveway contractor did excavation work to slope the driveway toward your house it may not be their issue. From all of the problems recited in your post it sounds like there should have been more site preparation work prior to the laying of the blacktop. Perhaps the driveway contractor should have either made this clear or refrained from doing the work until the site prep was done.

    Into each contract there is interpreted an implied covenant of good faith. And, if the driveway work itself was not done in a workmanlike manner, then you may be able to prevail in a contract claim or even a consumer protection claim.

    Best bet: retain a business attorney to help you.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.

  3. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If the land slopes towards the house to begin with the contractor may or may not have been able to do anything anyhow. So unless the driveway contractor did excavation work to slope the driveway toward your house it may not be their issue. From all of the problems recited in your post it sounds like there should have been more site preparation work prior to the laying of the blacktop. Perhaps the driveway contractor should have either made this clear or refrained from doing the work until the site prep was done.

    Into each contract there is interpreted an implied covenant of good faith. And, if the driveway work itself was not done in a workmanlike manner, then you may be able to prevail in a contract claim or even a consumer protection claim.

    Best bet: retain a business attorney to help you.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.

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