Residential Paving: How Much Sidewalk Are You Responsible For?

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When sidewalks and walkways become broken, messy eyesores, you know that they need to be redone. Safety on these sidewalks and walkways to your front door could be an issue for anyone walking by or walking up to your house. The last thing you want and/or need is for someone to get hurt and then sue you, but how much of this concrete mess is your responsibility? When you hire a paving contractor, you should already know how much of this project is your responsibility and how much of it belongs to the city.

Walkways up to Your Front Door Are Your Responsibility

There is almost no city in America where the path up to your front door is not your responsibility to repair and maintain. Most cities consider this walkway private property. Therefore, they leave this section of concrete up to the property owner. Even though your walkway runs right into the sidewalk and looks like it is one continuous path, the city will not touch your walkway when the sidewalk itself also needs repair.

Sidewalks Are Typically the City's Responsibility

In almost every conceivable situation, the sidewalk that goes through and past your property is considered city property. As such, the city is supposed to repair and maintain the sidewalk. Some cities will give property owners the option of repairing the sidewalk in front of their properties. In exchange for you doing the sidewalk repairs for the city, the city cuts down on your property tax bill, but this situation is rare. If your city allows and provides for this option, make sure you secure a copy of the receipt for the repairs made to the stretch of sidewalk in front of your house.

Asphalt Requirements

Unless a city wants to turn a sidewalk into a bike path or hiking trail, they do not pave these areas. Additionally, you are free to cover your driveway and walkway with asphalt, but the city does not want the sidewalks black-topped. Again, that is city property, so you cannot (and should not) cover the sidewalk in front of your home with asphalt.

When the Sidewalk Needs Repairs

In the event that the sidewalk in front of your house clearly needs repairs, you need to call the city office/organization that is responsible for this task. Let them know what your address is and the condition of the sidewalk in front of your house. They will send a crew out to first view the damage, and then, repair it.

For more information on residential paving, talk to a city or paving contractor.

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29 May 2018

Maintain Your Paved Driveway With Ease

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