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Question DetailsAsked on 7/30/2013

Percentage of deposit for cement work on driveway.

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1 Answer


This is a type of work where the contractor is not paying for any materials or such up front, so the "deposit" is basically a reservation fee, to hold the time slot for the work. This is a nasty habit contractors have picked up in recent years, requiring up-front payments. Unfortunately, homeowners committing to contracts and then backing out at the last minute has contributed to this trend, because it is a lot easier (and cheaper) for a contractor to just keep the deposit payment for cancelled jobs than to sue for damages. However, it is an open invitation to sheisters and scammers who use the up-front deposit trend as a way to con people out of money, and then split without doing any work.

Anyway, since he has no up-front cost involved, I would say not more than 20%, and hopefully 10%. I would write the contract so 20% is retained for 21 days before final payment, so you can tell if it is going to crack right off after you start using it. Generally, the recommendation is not to drive on it for 4-7 days (longer term for large vehicles like SUV's or pickups), don't park on it for 7 days with compacts or 14 days for larger vehicles, and no commercial vehicles (contractor trucks, etc) for 28 days.

I assumed above you meant new concrete driveway - if just surficial patching of cracks or popouts with quick-setting patching mix (drive on in 4 hours), than retention is probably not necessary.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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