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  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom

    Londonderry resident Glenn Jackson is upset about the paving job he had done to his driveway on Mammoth Road. He said Ace Paving of Derry was the contractor.
  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom

    Jackson shows a photograph he took of his driveway with the mess the pavers left after finishing up.
  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom

    Jackson shows photographs he took of his driveway after the paving was finished in 2008.
  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom

    Londonderry homeowner Glenn Jackson painted his large sign expressing his displeasure with Ace Paving, which he feels did a substandard job on his driveway. The sign struck a chord with someone, as two have been ripped down from the tree.
  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom

    Glenn Jackson of Londonderry shows a canister of tar-covered stones crumbling from his driveway he says he's been picking up since he had the driveway paved by Ace Paving in 2008.
  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom^^After the first sign was taken off, Londonderry homeowner Glenn Jackson made a new one to reflect his thoughts about the paving job done to his driveway.
  • Staff Photos by Bob Hammerstrom

    A Londonderry homeowner complained about the paving job done to his driveway on Mammoth Road. The thin top coat of asphault keeps crumbling, a telltale sign of a poor job.
Monday, February 22, 2010

Piles of broken promises

LONDONDERRY – A few summers back, Glenn Jackson decided to do something about his driveway.

It wasn’t in such bad shape, really, but he only had one lane, and he liked the idea of a space to turn around, so he could pull out of his driveway in drive, not reverse, and park a car without blocking his garage.

He called three local paving companies, Tate Brothers, Stan’s Paving and Ace Paving, and got three estimates. The work included taking out a stump for the expansion and laying a new coat over the existing driveway, he said. Ace Paving got the job in June 2008 with a $3,400 bid, he said.

“I took the cheapest one, which I guess was the wrong thing to do. It was only a few hundred dollars cheaper,” Jackson said. “I was assuming that Ace Paving, because they had been in business for so many years, were legitimate and would do good work.”

Ace Paving, run by Esau “Ace” Stanley, 57, of 146A Rockingham Road, Derry, has been around for decades, and the Better Business Bureau recently upgraded the company’s rating from an “F” to a “B,” after the company resolved one of the two complaints pending against it. Stanley’s son, Esau Stanley Jr., 34, was going to take over the business but was killed in a car crash in 2008, months before Jackson hired the company.

Ace Paving finished the job, but Jackson wasn’t happy with it. The crew left a lot of dirt over the fresh asphalt. When Jackson called to complain, they sent someone who sprayed it with what they said was seal coating, he said. It smelled strongly and it looked better, he said.

In the following weeks, however, he said, crushed gravel stones started coming loose from the asphalt on the top half of his driveway, nearest the house.

“The driveway started to come apart,” Jackson said. “I complained to them about it, and they said there was nothing wrong with it, they weren’t going to do anything about it.”

Jackson did something about it himself. First, he kept sweeping up the loose stones, and gathering them in a big bucket. Second, he took photos and called the company to complain.

“I was trying to get through to these people that there was something wrong with the driveway,” he said.

He didn’t file any complaints with any agency or try to sue. He did, however, paint a sign reading, “Ace Paving – Bad Job,” and posted it near the end of his driveway at 156 Mammoth Road in Londonderry that fall. He kept the sign up for a few years, though he’s had to make new ones twice since.

“Two different times, the sign has disappeared on me,” Jackson said, and recently he took it down for the winter, reasoning that no one is doing, or thinking about, paving just now.

“They’re not even around in the winter,” Jackson said.

Several people have commented on the signs and stopped to ask about it, Jackson said.

His driveway is still holding together – even the extension, which lacks a base layer – and he’s still sweeping stones, Jackson said.

“It was a very bad mix in that one area,” Jackson said. “It just doesn’t look good. It wasn’t a good job.”

Andrew Wolfe can be reached at 594-6410 or