Licensing Board

UPDATE!   Pat Gorman and Gorman Paving have been cited and fined by the Virginia Department of Occupational and Professional Regulation as a result of their investigation of our complaint.  The board's determination of misconduct by Mr. Gorman is now part of his official record. 

Printed below is the complaint we filed with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation against Pat Gorman and Gorman Paving of Northern Virginia as a result of the events described on this Web site.  The DPOR determines whether a contractor's misconduct should result in suspension or revocation of his license.  We have not yet been notified of any action that will be taken as a result of our complaint. 

Our Complaint

We hereby submit a formal complaint against the license of Gorman Paving and its owner, Patrick Gorman.  Mr. Gorman’s Class A license number is 2705075084A.  His published business addresses are 12216 Sour Gum Court, Gainesville, VA  20155; and 9532 Liberia Avenue, Manassas, VA  20110.


On August 29, 2009, we hired Gorman Paving to 1) adjust the size and grade of our existing asphalt driveway and apply a new coat of asphalt, and 2) lay patio stones along the side and portion of the front of our house and on our front porch, after properly grading the areas.


During our initial meeting with Mr. Gorman on August 29, we walked the site with him and explained the details of the work, including the necessity of controlling the flow of water between our house and detached garage and the driveway and detached garage.  We explained that it was crucial that water not settle against, or enter the garage or house.  Mr. Gorman represented himself and his company as expert in asphalt paving and laying patio stones in such a way that the flow of water would be properly controlled.  Specifically, he assured us that the work would be done in such a way that water did not drain against, or enter, either the house or detached garage from either the driveway or the area between the house and garage.  He further assured us that he would do whatever it takes to satisfy us and would stand behind his work.  Based on all those assurances, we hired him to do the job. Work commenced on Friday, September 4, 2009. 


After Mr. Gorman’s crew finished laying the patio stones in the area between the house and garage, it was evident that the stones had been placed in such a way that water would flow directly against the detached garage.  We addressed the problem with Mr. Gorman immediately, while the work was still on-going.  Mr. Gorman assured us that the patio stones had been laid in such a manner as to direct the water away from either the house or garage.  To prove this, Mr. Gorman used a garden hose to direct water onto the area between the house and garage.  The water immediately formed into a large pool against the garage and stayed there for approximately 20 minutes.  The area was still quite wet over an hour later, despite the fact that it was a hot, sunny, dry summer day.


Upon seeing for himself that he had in fact created a drainage problem rather than correctly controlling the flow of water as promised when we hired him, Mr. Gorman became irate and refused to take up the stones and re-grade the area.  At that time, he stated that he is not concerned with drainage, thus directly contradicting the assurances he had given us in order to induce us to hire him. 


At that time, Mr. Gorman threatened to put a lien against our property if we did not accept the work “as is.”   He also threatened to put a lien against our neighbor’s house, should they attempt to cancel their contract with him. He then proceeded to become extremely insulting to us at our home and in front of his entire crew, and later became so angry that his own crew had to forcibly remove him from the premises.  Despite the fact that work continued for several more days, Mr. Gorman never returned to the worksite, nor did he ever again review or supervise the continuation of the work by his crew, thus leaving unqualified and unlicensed workers to make decisions about, and perform, work on our home without qualified direction, advice, or guidance.


On Monday, September 7--two days after pointing out the drainage problem to Mr. Gorman--water did in fact enter our garage from the area where Mr. Gorman himself had observed the water pool.  The water came in at the base of the garage wall, where it was directed to travel by the angle and height of the patio stones that Mr. Gorman’s crew had installed.  We took a photograph of the water coming into the garage and e-mailed it to Mr. Gorman with a request that he remedy the situation.  Our e-mail exchange with Mr. Gorman, including his reply to us and the photograph of the water in the garage are attached for your review.


In his e-mailed reply, Mr. Gorman agreed to send one person to look at the area the following day, with no guarantee that he could or would fix the problem.  Because Mr. Gorman expressed uncertainty regarding how to grade the area to allow for proper drainage, we offered to hire—at our own expense—a drainage expert to consult with him on the matter.  We offered Mr. Gorman the opportunity to review and approve the credentials of said expert before agreeing to implement the expert’s solution.  Mr. Gorman would not agree to that arrangement.


The next day, Tuesday, September 8, Mr. Gorman sent an employee who, by his own reporting, had only been employed by Gorman Paving for one day previous thereto and was a brick mason who had never professionally installed patio stones.  That employee, and other members of Mr. Gorman’s asphalt crew, then spent several hours discussing what should be done to correct the problem.  It was quite clear that Mr. Gorman’s crew had no idea how to correctly grade an area for patio stones, as evidenced by the following events:


  • Mr. Gorman’s crew did not know what grade should be used to control the water flow.  We explained that a 2% grade is the minimum recommended by the industry, and we provided documentation from the patio stone manufacturer to support that assertion.   A copy of the stone manufacturer’s printed recommendation is attached for your review.
  • Mr. Gorman’s crew did not know how to calculate a 2% grade over the site area.  We calculated it for them, and told them exactly how many inches the area needed to be graded downward from side to side and lengthwise to allow the water to flow away from the two structures and into the yard.
  • Mr. Gorman’s crew did not know how to grade the area to the required slope, even having been given the depth in inches.  They had the proper tools, i.e., a string level with grading marks on the level, but they did not know how to use it, as evidenced by the fact that the string was installed backwards, with the grade marks facing in the wrong direction.  We pointed this out to them and explained what to do, but they could not understand how to use the tools correctly. 
  • Mr. Gorman’s crew then proceeded to “grade” an area of approximately 140 square feet one patio stone at a time using a small level.  Not surprisingly, this approach was not successful in accomplishing the required slope over the entire area.
  • At the end of the day, Mr. Gorman’s crew had managed to install only about 4 feet of stones.  Placement of a long level on those stones revealed that they were consistently sloped downward from the house and toward the garage and that they were placed to end up at the same height as the garage foundation.  Thus, the crew had managed only to recreate the same problem that they had created the first time, and it was extremely likely that, with the first heavy rain, we would have a flooded garage.

The next day, Wednesday, September 9, the brick mason on Mr. Gorman’s crew returned—now his third day on the job—and started to continue installing the patio stones in the same manner as the day before, following the same inappropriate slope as the day before. We pointed out that all the stones installed so far were sloped toward the garage and were placed high enough to force the water between the garage wall and foundation.  Mr. Gorman’s employee agreed with the problem but wished to finish laying the stones anyway, without correctly grading the area.  At that time, we terminated the work in an effort to mitigate our damages, as it was obvious that our garage and its contents would be flooded during the next heavy rain.  We asked Mr. Gorman’s crew to remove the stones that they had installed incorrectly so that water would drain into the ground rather than into the garage.  We are now seeking another contractor to install the stones correctly.


During the course of the work, we were provided with an e-mail written by Mr. Gorman and directed to a potential subcontractor.  That email is dated just a few days after we hired Mr. Gorman.  Mr. Gorman’s intent in the e-mail was to subcontract the paving stone work, because he did not have the crew to handle it, despite having presented himself as fully prepared to do such work when we signed the contract with him.  That email message is attached.  Mr. Gorman was not successful in subcontracting the laying of the stones in the area between the house and garage, and instead used his asphalt paving crew to do the work.  (He did, in fact, subcontract the expansion of our front porch to King Construction--the recipient of the attached email—as well as the application of patio stones on that porch.  That work appears, at this point in time, to have been done competently, so we do not take issue with that portion of the job.  Moreover, although we have concerns about the driveway paving performed by Mr. Gorman, we are not presenting those issues in this complaint.)


In summary, we assert that 1) Mr. Gorman deliberately misrepresented his intentions and the ability of his crew in order to induce us to sign a contract with him; 2) Mr. Gorman took on work that he and his crew were not qualified to perform;  3) Mr. Gorman made assurances and promises to us regarding the control of water flow that he did not fulfill, and, in fact, later denied that he had any intention of fulfilling; 4)  Mr. Gorman’s workmanship was negligent and did not meet industry standards by failing to grade the area in such a way as to control the flow of water and avoid damage to nearby structures; 5) Mr. Gorman’s manner in dealing with us was highly unprofessional, insulting, and inflammatory, eventually resulting in his own crew physically removing him from our property;  6) Mr. Gorman abandoned the worksite, leaving unqualified workers to determine the scope and method of performing the work without any level of qualified, licensed review or instruction; 7) Mr. Gorman charged us the full, original contract price of $16,786.00 for work that, portions of which, he misrepresented to us and could not competently perform; 8) Mr. Gorman damaged our property, in that he severed our electric fence line--including completely removing a section approximately 50 feet long--despite having been cautioned repeatedly about its location and importance.  He has offered no reimbursement for that damage; 9) Mr. Gorman’s contract terms are unconscionable and were used by him--after we complained about a problem with the work--to threaten and intimidate us into silence.  Specifically, he threatened to walk off the job and sue us for breach of contract, to put a lien against our house, and to cancel all warranties simply because we expressed dissatisfaction with the work.


We assert that, based upon the above related facts and occurrences, disciplinary action should be taken against Mr. Gorman via suspension or revocation of his license, and that he should return to us $10,000.00 of the funds paid to him to cover the cost of having the patio stones laid correctly and the electric fence reinstalled.  We make no claim, at this point, for our distress and inconvenience, which has been considerable.




  • Contracts for patio stone work and asphalt paving
  • Mr. Gorman’s e-mail seeking a qualified crew from another contractor to do our job
  • The stone manufacturer’s recommendation regarding the proper grade for laying patio stones
  • E-mail exchange with Mr. Gorman regarding water leaking into our garage and offer to retain a drainage expert
  • Photograph of water penetrating under garage wall








Supplemental Complaint