Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ottawa residents out thousands for shoddy work, unfinished driveways after company takes deposits

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Residents of an Orléans neighbourhood are sounding the alarm after they say they were scammed by a paving company whose attractive prices and quick turnaround only left substandard and incomplete work, damaged driveways, and massive bills.

Lynnette Raffin and her husband Mike Trahan’s exterior renovation turned into a nightmare after choosing Broadway Paving and Masonry.

“Our old driveway had sunk quite a bit, about 6 inches, and we wanted it redone with interlock and asphalt,” says Raffin. “We saw the Broadway Paving signs all over our neighbourhood and we thought if this many people are doing their driveway with this company it must be good.”

A company representative arrived at their home and provided a quote of $23,000, for the removal of the existing driveway, adding three interlock-paver steps at the front door, concrete pavers around the driveway, and new asphalt.

“There’s a bit of pressure there too because contractors book up fast and you want the work done quickly as possible,” says Trahan. “This company was in the area so it seemed like the right time to do it.”

After paying a $10,000 cash deposit, work began quickly, but the couple soon questioned the quality of the work being provided.

“Little by little, every time they were here, which was not consistent, I would see what they did and I just noticed with the steps. There were some issues with them,” says Raffin.

“It was always a different individual here and just the work and the materials they were bringing… We both started having concern concerns of the quality of work,” adds Trahan. “They did not dig deep. They didn’t remove anything that you would normally see removed to be able to provide a proper base for the steps. They didn’t even remove the underlying interlock that was originally there.”

Multiple residents showcased their damaged properties and poorly constructed projects by Broadway Paving and Masonry. Some allege the company even lied about work orders to pressure payments.

The couple halted the work. A neighbor who was driving down the street saw the company’s sign in the lawn and stopped to warn Raffin.

“He told me that he was a victim of their work and warned me against using them,” says Raffin.

More neighbours began to come forward as well, who said they too fell victim to this business, including Naila Kaff.

“They fixed one of my front steps. It’s not great, but it’s fine. Then the man who was here told me I should do my driveway. I said I don’t need to do it this year, I plan to trim the trees,” she says. “And he took two seconds and he said we do trees also.”

Kaff says she was quoted around $2,000 to trim branches from two trees, but never agreed to the job.

“He came and my husband was here. He told him ‘your wife approved’ and then when I said, why did you do that? Why did you start? He said your husband approved,” says Kaff, who ended up paying about $500. “I just don’t want to think about it now.”

Kaff was left with a mess of branches on her front yard, which she and her family had to clean.

Down the street, a similar story, but much worse. Raffin points to a double car driveway with piles of gravel and torn up asphalt and says Broadway did this without the family’s approval – then refused to take responsibility.

CTV News reached out to Broadway Paving and Masonry. Its email is not in service and the phone number goes to voicemail.

Earlier this year, police warned residence of this type of paving scam, something Greg Collins, CEO of WCI Paving and Concrete, has seen before.

“There’s plenty of other legitimate paving companies too that have come across this in Ottawa,” he says. “They’re around, just making a mess and giving us all a bad name.”

Collins, whose company has been in operation for more than 30 years, pointed to another house in the neighbourhood, where he says it’s obvious the driveway was poorly installed. The asphalt is too thin, uneven, and laid by hand, instead of using the proper heavy equipment to compact the surface, he said.

“I encourage people to get three estimates and to do your research and look them up on the internet,” he says. “And check out their reviews and they can’t just have 12 reviews. They should have a couple hundred reviews that they’ve been in business a long time.”

Mike and Lynnette say they asked Broadway to return half their deposit, but their request was denied and will likely not pursue legal action.

WCI Paving and Concrete offered to complete the couple’s renovation at cost, for which they are thankful, and share their story in an effort to prevent others from falling victim.

“It breaks my heart that our neighbours have also been victims as well,” says Raffin. “It’s just unbelievable that they can continue taking advantage of people and taking advantage of these situations, especially seniors.” 

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