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Old 05-13-2014, 11:36 AM   #1
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


I found someone to redo my driveway. It's a friend of a neighbor. He just did their driveway, and I asked him about doing mine since theirs looked so great. Plus, being a neighbor, I pretty much got to see the entire process from tear out, 3/8" or 1/2" rebar (cannot remember which one he said), and pouring of the concrete.

He came over and we measured mine. He gave me his price and we agreed. They start work tomorrow or depending on the weather, the day after that. He says it will be poured by Monday.

He wanted to drive the rebar 18 inches into the foundation of my garage, but due to the warranty on the foundation work of my garage, I cannot let him do that. The warranty for the garage foundation will be void if any changes or modifications are made to the structure or foundation. He said that wouldn't be a problem and they can pour it as a "floating" driveway, meaning that it won't be connected to the garage. Just up against it.

I asked him if he warranties the work, and he said yes, but to a certain extent. He can warranty the materials and swears by the concrete company he uses. If there's a problem with the actual concrete, he would repair or replace. He said one thing he cannot account for, even with all prep work, sand, and leveling, is if 10-15yrs down the road, the soil sinks or shifts and causes cracks. He also said that with the rebar, that shouldn't be an issue.

He said that they require half of the payment up front and the other half when the job is complete, but only when I am satisfied with the work. He prefers cash, but will take a bank check (I make a withdraw and receive it in the form of a check, which I make out to him), and will give a written reciept upon each of the 2 payments.

I'm going to go with a bank check just to be on the safer side, but what else should I be doing or keeping track of?

Due to my work schedule, I cannot be here when they start tearing out the old driveway, but I should be here on the days after that. Is there any reason why I should be here for the entire process?

Any other info on anything else I have said would be greatly appreciated too. I've never had a driveway done before, and this is my first time hiring someone else to do something, so the whole process is relatively new to me.

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Old 05-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


No reason for you to be there if he knows what he's doing.Get a written contract and make sure he is insured for the work he's doing.The guarantee of 10-15 years means nothing if he's not around then.I have never heard of anyone giving a warrantee on concrete like that.
Rule of thumb: Concrete will crack.It's just a matter of where and when?
2nd rule of thumb: Never do business with friends or family

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Old 05-13-2014, 02:40 PM   #3
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


Thanks for the information.

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2nd rule of thumb: Never do business with friends or family
He's neither. He's a friend of a neighbor whom I have only spoken two twice in the 1.5yrs that I have been here.
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:50 PM   #4
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


As far as a "paper trail" sit down and spell out in great detail what you want done and how you want it done. Then sit down with the contractor and go over it point by point, some you will agree on, some you won't. Keep in mind he is the contractor and has the experience. One thing on his side you have seen his work, next door. Since you are not able to be there this contract is doubly important. Maybe even get your neighbor to over see the project for a good Bar B Q dinner.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:02 PM   #5
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


There needs to be a written agreement to protect both sides, YOU and CONTRACTOR, Things do sometimes displease a person, and they refuse to co-operate, and without a contract you are just shrugged off and forgotten.

But with a contract an agreement is legally binding.
Which comes in handy. My relatives and friends gripe when I make them sign a contract when I loan them money, but are willing to sign when they realize that I am trying to protect them as much as protecting myself.

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Old 05-13-2014, 03:04 PM   #6
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As far as a "paper trail" sit down and spell out in great detail what you want done and how you want it done. Then sit down with the contractor and go over it point by point, some you will agree on, some you won't. Keep in mind he is the contractor and has the experience. One thing on his side you have seen his work, next door. Since you are not able to be there this contract is doubly important. Maybe even get your neighbor to over see the project for a good Bar B Q dinner.
Thanks. As far as work goes, I agree with everything he says. He's going to give me an identical copy of the neighbors driveway. (Both were in the same shape before any work was done, and both are of the same age.)

Coincidentally, my neighbor is out of town for a week and won't be around either.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:06 PM   #7
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There needs to be a written agreement to protect both sides, YOU and CONTRACTOR, Things do sometimes displease a person, and they refuse to co-operate, and without a contract you are just shrugged off and forgotten.
If he doesn't provide a contract, can I make one up myself and have him sign and agree to it? If so, how do I go about doing that? Are there samples or templates to go by as reference?
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:11 PM   #8
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


All good information, but remember the one point that was already made. No matter how good, concrete will crack. All they can do is try to get it to crack in the joints where it won't be so obvious.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:41 PM   #9
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If he doesn't provide a contract, can I make one up myself and have him sign and agree to it? If so, how do I go about doing that? Are there samples or templates to go by as reference?
Yes you can. Look into legalzoom .com or some other legal advice website. It might cost you a few $ , but worth it if just for the peace of mind.

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Old 05-13-2014, 03:41 PM   #10
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


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All good information, but remember the one point that was already made. No matter how good, concrete will crack. All they can do is try to get it to crack in the joints where it won't be so obvious.
Yep, i understand that. Thanks! Anything is better than what i have, but id like to be legally protected in the event that things dont go as planned.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:55 PM   #11
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What kind of paper trail do I need to create?


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If he doesn't provide a contract, can I make one up myself and have him sign and agree to it?
The Contractor should always provide the contract. I've never had a customer hand me one. Just the fact that he asked to be paid in cash tells me that you may not see one unless you ask.

I'd call the guy right now and tell him that you need it before he starts. No contract, no check.
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:00 PM   #12
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I now have a signed contract that states start date, completion date, work being done, amount paid up front, amount paid at completion, contractors name and info, etc... I also have a signed receipt showing that I have paid the first half to get the work started.

Thanks for all of the help!
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #13
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Concrete comes first thing in the morning.

What kind of paper trail do I need to create?-forumrunner_20140518_183925.jpg
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #14
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From the photo, the wire mesh appears to be sitting directly on the sand. Normally there are chairs (small metal supports) that hold the mesh up, so the mesh is installed halfway up the slab. Mesh on the bottom of the concrete does no good at all. Not that you necessarily need the mesh, there are numerous threads on this forum that discuss mesh versus no mesh, but since he is putting it in, and you are presumably paying for it, you might as well have it in the right place.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:19 PM   #15
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Thanks. Ill ask about that.

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