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Homeowner concerned leaky driveway may cause sinkhole

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Jeri Fisher says her driveway started leaky after she hired a contractor to expand it. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Jeri Fisher says her driveway started leaky after she hired a contractor to expand it. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Fisher says the contractor didn't move the irrigation box while expanding her driveway (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Fisher says the contractor didn't move the irrigation box while expanding her driveway (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The contractor, John Heywood, said he offered to repair the work but claims Fisher is being unreasonable. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The contractor, John Heywood, said he offered to repair the work but claims Fisher is being unreasonable. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Fisher is worried all the water will cause a sinkhole. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Fisher is worried all the water will cause a sinkhole. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

An East Valley homeowner says an unexpected problem happened when she tried to have her driveway widened.

She blames the contractor she hired, but he says, not so fast.

It was supposed to be a relatively simple job, but it's turned into a lot of finger pointing and disappointment.

“I've been doing improvements and I needed to extend my driveway because the HOA frowns on parking on the street,” Jeri Fisher said. 

Fisher has a dilemma. She has too many vehicles and not enough place to park them.

So about a month ago, she decided to widen her driveway and hired a company called JW Heywood Backhoe and Concrete Services, owned by a guy named John Heywood.

“He came over, gave me a bid, and I liked the price," Fisher said. "He wanted cash and I said, 'OK, I can do that.' I liked the price. It was reasonable.”

The company is licensed, so Fisher felt comfortable paying $1,300, the cost of the entire project up front.

But after the job was finished, she noticed a problem. Water was literally coming out from underneath the newly poured concrete driveway.

The reason? Well, she blames Heywood and his company for striking one of her irrigation lines and expanding the driveway right over it.

She says she wanted him to move the irrigation and sprinkler box first, but he didn't and he cemented around it.

“So I called John and said, 'Hey, I have a leak under this concrete that you poured. I need you to come see what's going on and fix it, did you sleeve the bottom' and he said, 'not my problem and hung up on me.”

Upset and concerned that all that leaking water could eventually cause a sinkhole under her driveway, she had other contractors come out to assess the problem.

And, according to Fisher, many of them seemed to agree the job wasn't done right.

“He needs to tear out the concrete that he poured," Fisher said. "Move the sprinkler valves like I asked him to do and move my piping and get the bottom sleeved and I think he should pay for it.”

3 On Your Side got a hold of Heywood, who was eager to talk with us. He acknowledged the problem and claimed he’s always been willing to fix the problem, but can't.

“I've been there twice, every time I go she tells me 'no' I don't want you to do anything, so she won't let me do anything, how am I supposed to fix it?” Heywood said.

He went on to say that Fisher is being unreasonable with some of her demands and that what she's asking him to do things that are outside his scope of work.

“When she decides what she wants to do, then I can go over and get it done, but when she decides what she wants to do and she keeps asking me to do something more, and something more and something more, where does it end?” Heywood said.

One sticking point he says is that irrigation box. Heywood says he's not licensed to work on irrigation and says if you look at his contract with Fisher, nothing is mentioned about the irrigation system. He says Fisher should have hired a qualified party to move the box before he expanded the driveway.

Fisher disagrees.

“I think that's the right thing to do, fix your mistakes and do it right and be done with me," Fisher said.

3 On Your Side tried to resolve this one but it's now going to fall into the hands of the Registrar of Contractors.

That agency will have to decide what, if anything, needs to be fixed.

We’ll let you know what happens.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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