Home off The Plan with Driveway Defects

Hi all,

I need a bit of advice here..

My parents are building a house off the plan. The builder is pushing to settle in 11 days, however there are some issues on the driveway. The driveway is chipping around where it's cut. My parents are super unhappy about this and the builder's solution is to use polyurethane to patch it up. They've done it on one section and showed it to them. It looks patchy and also it effectively cover the cutting which needs to be there to prevent cracking.

What are our options? Can we push back on settlement until we are happy with the resolution? Has anyone had any similar experience?

Image 1: https://imgur.com/a/nqpGub0
Image 2: https://imgur.com/a/h8MUVXe



    Driveway is made of Concrete, Correct?

  • +13 votes

    Once your parents settle the builder will always be too busy to see to their problems.

    • +6 votes

      That's right, never settle until all resolved. Pay interest, your solicitor has to fight to get it back. Everything must be in perfect brand new order.

      Can I ask, what is the nationality of the builder? I'm not racist or anything but I find Lebanese really cut corners and has many dirty tricks you have to be careful of.


    When you say cut you mean the expansion joints?

    Do you have any pics?

  • +3 votes

    You need pictures mate. You're not using any terms familiar to anyone.


      New years eve raveling?


      I've added an image


        It is just chipping.

        The concrete probably set hard against the expsnsion joint seperators and the builder had to hack it out.

        There are prpducts to resurface ghe entire driveway. It is just a thin layer of specialized product that goes over the entire driveway.

  • +4 votes

    Get a quote to repair and negotiate to deduct from outstanding amount owing


    As per the other comments, it will NEVER get fixed after you settle. If they really want to settle, agree to hold back a sum (say $2-3K) payable when fixed to your satisfaction. Worth remembering that the final payment likely represents their profit, so they are keen to settle and move on. Use this to your advantage.


    hard to tell without a visual….could you illustrate the issue further with perhaps….an mspaint diagram?


    Soooo what's the defect?


    That's a shocking job. Looks like the blade from the concrete saw was super blunt. I thought that expansion joints were supposed be done as the concrete was laid, given that as concrete sets there can be un even drying and shrinkage cracks can occur, the line they score in whilst the concrete is wet should focus the cuts along that line.


      Correct, expansion joints are formed during the pour. The one in OP's photo is a contraction (saw cut) joint. This is done after the concrete has sufficiently cured.


      Yes its a poor workmanship. My parents previous house had the same driveway finish and it was very well done.


    Based off the photo, it looks like the builder has saw cut too early. Saw cuts have to be done after the concrete has sufficiently hardened to prevent chipping from the saw but before it has hardened to a point that random contraction cracks start appearing elsewhere. We generally recommend saw cutting 7 hrs after concrete pour. This way they can pour the concrete in the morning and saw cut before they leave for the day.


      You sound like a builder? What can be done in this case?

      • +2 votes

        Not builder. Engineer. I often draw up pavement plans ie tell the builder where to put a saw cut joint, where to put expansion joint etc.

        Have another pass of the saw on the joint gap to get rid of the chipped edge. Push a backing rod in and cap off the joint with a sealant and it will not look like a patch. Doing this will also make the joint look like just another expansion joint (your driveway should already have an expansion joint elsewhere. They are wider than saw cut joints and look like they have been filled with something from above.) Nothing wrong with putting a sealant inside a joint. The joint will still function as intended.


          Thanks, really appreciate your comment. The builder was going to use polyurethane (I think this is the sealant that you're talking about) but they didn't say they were going to do another cut. So, do you think that the joint will still work after the sealant? Is it because the sealant is "soft" (not sure if this is the right term)?

          Also just found out that they cut it 3 days after, so it's probably cut way too late. I've attached another photo of the joint filled up with polyurethane, it looks messy as!

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