KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — When you have a contract that comes with a three-year warranty, you expect the warranty work to be honored if there is an issue. That was not the case for a man in White Pine who paid over $27,000 for a new driveway.

The contractor promised he’d be back to start over again. At least that’s what Greg Helinske, the homeowner, expects to happen. Helinske’s driveway was paved nearly a year and a half ago, but, by last summer, the asphalt started breaking up. Only once did the contractor send a repairman. However, that job was never finished. As months went on, the driveway deteriorated even more.

“Well, he was supposed to dig it down to the appropriate depths and then put the appropriate rock, and then asphalt over it, and as you can see you see dirt,” said Helinske. “It’s not level, it’s wavy, it’s starting to sink, it’s starting to bubble.”

Helinske had about 300 feet of driveway paved with asphalt at his home in White Pine. The contractor was Miser’s Asphalt Paving and Seal Coating out of Morristown.

“It’s doing the same thing here that it’s doing back there – cracking, again we’re getting dirt in between it. There’s not an appropriate base. All the way up it continues to get worse,” said Helinske.

The contract with Rodney Miser’s asphalt business was signed in May 2022.

“He offers a three-year warranty. He says he’s licensed and insured, he’s not. It ended up being $27,500,” said Helinske.

Helinske saved months of text messages from Miser.

“He’s saying, I’ll come out and he never shows up. It’s been raining so we haven’t been working, so it will be a few days. It was constant, it went on over and over,” said Helinske.

A crew did show up for a few days late last summer but never finished making the repairs.

“They dug up all the asphalt they laid all the way up to there. This was all brand-new asphalt. They took it out. They put it in a dump truck, then put this rock down. He was supposed to come back and re-lay the asphalt. But he never came back to re-lay the asphalt. So we are stuck with the rock being exposed,” said Helinske.

With chunks of asphalt exposed on the driveway, with promises made to fix the driveway never to be fulfilled, and with that three-year warranty, WATE called Miser.

“Well, I talked to him about it and told him we will be working on that, so I’m getting closer in order to do it. I hate for you to have to call, but I’m glad you did. I know it’s stuff we need to get worked on. I realize there is a problem so we intend to fix it,” Miser said on the phone.

Helinske reminded Miser of the promise he made nearly 18 months ago.

“You gave me your word, did you not give me your word,” said Helinske.

“Yes, sir, absolutely. I have no intention of ever doing any harm to you,” said Miser. “I’ll talk to him soon to see if we can get some kind of plan.”

Miser also apologized several times and said he’s been aware of the problems for quite a while.

Helinske received an estimate and proposal for repairs from another paving company. That proposal calls for a large portion of the existing asphalt to be removed, and the surface to be repaved. The cost would be $25,000. But with $27,000 already invested, Helinske is trusting that Miser will start fixing the driveway next week.