Contractors, Part 2


I had a knock on my door last week.  Guess who it was?  That’s right, Roger Hussey from R J Property Maintenance.  He wanted to know why I was taking the porch down.  He wanted to know why, if I was not satisfied with the work, I didn’t call him.  The porch was still under warranty and he would be happy to honor the warranty.  I explained that I don’t like conflict and that I had talked to another contractor and was going to have them build a new porch.

He asked if I would give him another chance to build it.  I gave him the deck plan that I had printed out from Lowe’s with all the instructions and supply list and told him that if he would build it exactly like that, then I would give him another chance.  He said he would call me later that week and we would go to Lowe’s to get the supplies.

No call.  No nothing from him that week.  He calls me on Monday of the next week and wants me to give him another check to go get the supplies himself.  I say, No!  I will go with him to make sure that we get the supplies and materials we need and that I will pay Lowe’s directly for the supplies myself.

So I meet him at Lowe’s and pick out the materials.  He tries to run me off at least 3 or 4 times because “he can come back tomorrow and pick the materials out and take them with him.”  Each time, I said no, I will stay until we have what we need and I will pay for them tonight.  Well, in the process, I find out the guy can’t do math and is still trying to cut corners.

Oh yea, as we are up at the front checking out, he lets me know that the stairs were not part of the original porch and that he will charge me $200 to tear them out, rebuild them, and give me a 90 day warranty on the porch and the new stairs.  I say, No.  I calculate in my head the square footage for the porch is about 20 square feet and I price it at $3.50 per square foot, based on the figure that the other contractor gave me and come up with $70 for the new stairs.  Then he tells me that he charges $100 per job for the warranty.  I said, I am not paying you for a warranty.  I will give you $70 for building the new stairs.  He calls me later that night and says he will build the new stairs for $50 and give me a 30 day warranty on the new porch and stairs.  Fine, I say.

One hour later, we finally get finished up and get the materials paid for.  He picks up the materials the next morning and shows up at my house.  When he gets there, he decides to back trailer up the steepest part of my front yard and tears up the grass that has finally grown back from where all the tornado debris had been.  He and “his girls” start in on the work and take apart the deck floor and the old staircase.

Throughout this first day, he keeps calling me to come out there and look at his work.  He tells me that the original stairs were not level.  He tells me that the original porch was build in line with the original stairs and that is why it was not level.  However, he never once asked me during the original build if they should do that!!  Had I been asked, I would have told the numnut to build the porch level and fix the damned stairs.  Then he shows me the string with the level on it and asks me if it is level and then says that’s where they are going to start the framework.

About 3 o’clock they call it a day and leave.  I come around from the back of the house to go somewhere and am appalled at the work they have done.  Again, the front beams of the porch are bowed.  The one joist they put up is crooked.  I get out my tape measure and my level.  The joist is 23 1/2 inches from the side of the deck at one end and 22 inches from the side at the other end.  The one spot that they called me out to look at and see if it was level, is not level – again.  They left all the wood from the deck floor piled up in front of the old structure with the nails still in them, all with the nails sticking up in the air.  And the one board they used for the joist, still has the old nails in it.

Click on this image to see the rest of them.

Ok.  I’m done.  It is painfully obvious to me that this guy does not know what he is doing.  This new structure doesn’t look anything like the plan that I gave him.   And the work that has been done is completely unacceptable.

So, I spend the rest of my evening unloading the materials from his trailer.  Call Lowe’s to get a copy of the receipt from the materials to make sure that I only take what is mine.  I find that half of the brackets are not there and the $55 of screws are not there.

When he shows up the next morning, 2 hours later than he told me he would be there, I tell him that I would like him to hook up his trailer and leave.  I do not want him working on my property any more.  He wants to know why.  I tell him that I am not satisfied with his work so far.  I explain about how crooked the joist is and how the end of the deck is not level.  He gets out his tape measure and level and tries to tell me that the joist is straight and the deck is level


You know what.  None of this matters in the big scheme of things.  I just got a phone call that one of my old friends may not make it through the night.  I’m out.


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