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Contractors - ugh!!

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Dreamboat posted 1/21/2014 11:24 AM

In about 1 hour I am meeting with a foundation contractor that basically ripped me off. I hired them to fix a settling issue by one of my windows. Several thousands of dollars later, the window is not fixed and in fact they now say that I need a different type of contractor to really fix it because the settling is caused by wood rot. And oh, the work they did do actually damaged my house. After saying they would work with me and reevaluate what they did and what they can do for me after I get the window replaced (the wood rot is extensive and the window cannot be saved), they then submitted the paperwork and demanded payment in full! They did this without even calling me to follow up.

So today they are coming out to undo some of what they did (they work that damaged my house) and I will meet with one of the executives to discuss what they will charge me. I have told them that given they did not fix my house and actually damaged it then I don't think I should pay anything. However, I am willing to pay 50%. I am dreading this because they are arguing that what they did actually helped my house. But if they fix some things and only charge 50% then I will go away quietly.

If not, they have unleashed the my wrath. I will contact the BBB and every other organization that I can think of and tell them that this company took advantage of a single mother and ripped of a single mother. I am doing a lot of work on my house, so I will also bad mouth them to every single contractor that I talk to about other fixes in my house. I hope they realize this and do right by me, or at least as right as they can at this point.

Pentup posted 1/21/2014 12:18 PM

Good Luck!

TrulyReconciled posted 1/21/2014 14:20 PM

- What did they actually do?
- How did it cause damage?
- How exactly did 'wood rot' cause your foundation to settle?
- Do you have before and after photos?

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 2:21 PM, January 21st (Tuesday)]

Dreamboat posted 1/21/2014 14:58 PM

- What did they actually do?

They added foundation piers outside the alcove in my kitchen. The inside corner of the alcove, which is between a window and a door to the deck, has obvious settling.

- How did it cause damage?

The pressure that the pier put on the alcove cause the other windows in the alcove to bow and become out of alignment. In addition, they had to rip up part of my patio to install the pier. To be fair, I knew they would have to tear up the patio. My issue is that I did not even need these damn piers so my patio should not have been torn up to begin with.

- How exactly did 'wood rot' cause your foundation to settle?

Ah, here is the crux of the issue. It didn't cause any foundation issue! The settling in that corner was actually cause by rotting of the window and door frame and perhaps rotting in the framing behind the siding (the extent of the rot has yet to be determined). It turns out that I did not have any foundation issues! That was confirmed today when they came out and lowered the piers and then took measurements with a laser level. Gee, I sure wish they had done that BEFORE they tore up my patio, installed piers, and charged me thousands of dollars for something I did not need. Of course, they are still arguing that the alcove is "stable" now. Well, it was stable before too!

I originally called them because I assumed that the settling was caused by foundation issues. I did not know that the window and door frames were rotting because I did not know what to look for. They did and they are the ones who pointed it out to me...AFTER they installed the piers. And I mean immediately after they installed the piers. If they had told me before hand then I would have gotten the window and door fixed and then reevaluated the foundation. Even if they had just pointed out it immediately before installing the piers then I would have gladly paid for the labor to come out to my house.


- Do you have before and after photos?

Yes.

I am still working with them to get closure. They pretty much conceded today that the corner where I have issues appears level in the basement and does not appear to have a foundation issues. They are getting with the CEO tomorrow to discuss this. This has been hard because I want to go bat shit crazy on them, but I know that will not be productive. So I spend a lot of energy trying to stay calm when I talk with them when all I want is to cuss them out

TrulyReconciled posted 1/21/2014 15:07 PM

Well that sucks. Did you get two or three estimates? Somebody should have figured out what was causing the problem in the first place (obviously).

However, window and door frames should not be supporting any structural loads and should not have any consequences for settling of a building. Unless you have an older, historic house or similar.

Dreamboat posted 1/21/2014 15:42 PM

I tried to get multiple estimates. However I got frustrated because companies were not calling me back or would make an appointment for an estimate and then never show. This is a reputable company that really does have a good reputation, so when they said "We know what your problem is and we know how to fix it!" I just jumped on it. Silly me, I actually trusted someone. I should know better than that at this point in my life

dazdandconfuzed posted 1/22/2014 09:30 AM

That is horrible - I seem to have similar luck with contractors so I know how easy it is to keep calm. In this case though, I would be seriously considering keeping calm in small claims court.

LisaP posted 1/22/2014 13:32 PM

I get the same treatment with contractors! I pushed back on one by going through the contractors board in our state. I won and received a full refund....

Does your state have a contractors/licensing board to help homeowners and contractors in dispute?

Dreamboat posted 1/24/2014 11:24 AM

Update

T just talked to the general manager and they have agreed to reduce the price by 50% which is what I asked for. While I wish I did not have to pay anything, I realized early on that it would not be an option. So I am as happy as I can be regarding this issue and I no longer have to stress about it! I have seriously been losing sleep.

And because I am an honest person I will not bad mouth this company or write any bad reviews or anything like that. I won't recommend them, but I also won't say anything negative.

As soon as the financial transaction goes thru, I can completely cut ties with the company and put it in my past, with the knowledge of a lesson learned. Kinda like when I D my X

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