(Cue the “Psycho” music…) It’s out there. You KNOW it is out there. You try to ignore it. It refuses to go away. “Why? Why won’t you just go away?” you ask yourself. What are you going to do? You know that you have to face it, at some point. You don’t want to, but you HAVE to. You slowly open your door, as the sun blazes in your eyes, nearly blinding you. You peek out to look… slowly…. Gah! There it is! It is such an eyesore. It’s the most grotesque thing you have ever seen in your life! You turn your head away in disgust and slam your door. You lean against your door and sigh heavily. You just do not want to go outside. “Now what?” you think to yourself. “I don’t want to be THAT neighbor!” You just cannot bear to think it any longer; you have… a hole in your driveway.
Yes folks, if you are a homeowner, we have ALL been here. Cracked driveways and unwanted trees that must be removed from wear and tear, broken up driveways from tree roots, and even holes from the harsh winter. All of these things are just a part of the fun of being in the “homeowner club.” Aren’t you excited? I can tell that you are. Yes, I was too, the first time I had to have my driveway and trees fixed. 4 quotes and 2 seasons later, it is finally fixed. But it wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t fast. For me, it was about money. It might not be the case for some, but I wanted to make sure I had the money ON-HAND to pay in cash when they came out to fix the issue, rather than survive with it on ‘credit.’
A friend of mine Dan who’s company does a lot of bulky tree maintenance in the area said: “The first thing I went out and did was I took some photographs of the tree.I wanted them for not only personal records – to have a before and after picture, but I wanted to have something I could send to my Insurance company. When I called them, they told me that this sort of thing would not be able to be claimed on “my” insurance policy.” Do not go by what MINE says, I would make a solid effort to check with yours, as it may be covered, depending on the insurance you have for your home. After I got the no-go from the insurance company, I knew I had to ‘eat this’ on my own. Sucking it up, I started to make some calls for quotes. Once I narrowed it down to the company that seemed to give me the best deal, I told them that I would be saving for the next few months and when they could expect my call. When that time came, they came out, performed the work, I handed them the money and off they rode into the sunset. And I had a beautiful repaired driveway.
Here are a couple of takeaways you can do for your own project :
#1 As mentioned, get good photographs of the before and after work. They are great if you need to send them to a professional or insurance company. They are even better when you want to spread the word of mouth craftsmanship of the company you choose with your friends and family.
#2 Make sure when you start looking for someone to come out to do the work that you are only calling LICENSED and BONDED professionals. Some small town person trying to make a dollar may not have the capitol if something goes wrong on your property! Not only that, but just because this guy is “cheap” it might not be the best quality, either.
#3 Get references on recommended companies. Don’t believe the yellow pages. Those ads are THEIR words. Taking the company on their word isn’t as valuable as getting the value for the money from their previous customers. Do your homework.
#4 Be willing to walk away. Just because they say they will offer you 10% off if you allow them to post a sign in your yard, they might not be the best quote. Be open, be fair, but most importantly, be willing to protect YOUR investment.
Being faced with having to do repairs to your home or property is never fun, but it shouldn’t be a scary process. As long as you stick to your gut feelings and do your research, finding a suitable option to fix the issue should be a breeze.