I employed **** to fix a foundation issue. I provided him full access to the house with a key and moved all items from the downstairs to upstairs as requested. He stated that his team would only be downstairs and not go upstairs.
When I visited one day after his workers left I noticed the windows were left open and the doors unlocked. I updated **** of the security issue and he said he would take care of it.
A few weeks later someone entered the house and stole many personal items. They did not have to break in since his workers left the door unlocked. I was updated a worker told **** on Monday they noticed many of the homeowner's items missing. **** did not contact me or perform any follow-up.
It seems someone avoided my driveway camera and entered the back of the house. I reviewed the camera and the only visitors for the last 2 years were myself and ****'s workers. During the police reported I updated the officer that there was a driveway camera and they could not find it. One of ****'s workers pointed it out for them. I have an open police case for them to investigate the theft. Next the worker provided details on many of the missing items that were downstairs and upstairs including make and model. Interesting that none of the workers items were stolen but just mine. **** repeatedly updated me no one would be upstairs and it was secure,
My issue with **** is that his gross negligence of not securing my house upon leaving the job site allowed the theft to occur. The house have been locked for the last 2 years with no incidents. His response was he is not responsible for the security of the job site. My complaint is that due to him not securing the job site it was open to theft and a theft did occur.
I would like the items stolen replaced
Paul Kowalski Builders was hired to complete structural and foundation repairs to this home. The home had no working kitchen, no HVAC, and our work included removing and replacing the entire first floor system. The nature of the work rendered the house un-liveable and it was understood to be vacant. Construction required all of the flooring to be open during repairs. We did not have a key to the home, rather we had access via a lockbox on the front door and are unaware who else, i.e. family, friends, previous contractors, may have had the lockbox code. Our workers did have need to be on the 2nd floor as our painter reviewed the whole house for a paint quote (as requested by homeowner), and the framers needed to check load bearing points throughout the entire home.
Upon learning of the alleged missing items, I readily (on May 21 and again June 4) supplied the homeowner with a list of employee contact info and license plate numbers. I strongly encouraged the homeowner to contact local authorizes and his insurance company and that I would readily help all parties if needed. Paul Kowalski Builders is fully insured, as are all the subcontractors that were working on this home. If there was any proof of liability then our insurance companies would rectify.
The homeowner verbally told me his insurance deductible was $10,000. Coincidentally, he claimed the value of the alleged missing items to be just shy of $10,000 and thus did not want to file with his insurance. Instead, on June 27 he sent me a firm email stating that I needed to resolve (financially) with him, implying that PKB was financially responsible for reimbursing him for the alleged missing items. On July 2 I replied via email and reiterated that he should follow the standard course of action with local authorities and his insurance company. I have not been contacted by authorities or his insurance, yet the homeowner continues to request I pay him for these alleged missing items, without any proof of liability.
I requested that our subcontractors lock the home at the end of the work days, there is no proof that they did not. Per General Provision #5 in our signed contract with the homeowner, "owner shall remove any personal items and/or non-fixtures within the construction work area." We cannot be responsible for jobsite security beyond our working hours, i.e. evenings and weekends. It is our understanding that items allegedly went missing on a weekend.
It is worth noting that the homeowner continued to employ Paul Kowalski Builders and the same subcontractors for this project weeks following the alleged incident.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Mr ********'s reply was consistent with his poor workmanship that failed inspection and lack of accountability that allowed the entire contents of my home to be robbed due to his not securing the premise.
The following information below addresses and corrects many of his misstatements.
Attached is a copy of the work contract signed by me and **** ********. Please refer to Article 9: General Provision #5 stating that the "owner shall remove any personal items and/or nonfixtures within the construction work area prior to the commencement of construction."
Mr. ******** verbally updated me to move the kitchen items to the first floor bonus room and all other items upstairs since his workers would have no need to be up there. This was the work "area" that he defined. Mr. ******** is referring to "entire home was a work site" below which is inconsistent with the contract text above. Based on this uncommunicated expansion of the contract I would have emptied the house which did not occur since he did not communicate it.
He was there many times and he has a fiduciary duty to his client to update me if there were issues that put me at risk. I received no updates.
Paul Kowalski Builders, LLC maintains that we were not negligent, grossly negligent, nor liable in any way in our work at **** ********'s house. Below are a few bullet points:
There was no kitchen, no HVAC, and for a length of time the entire first floor was removed and open. The house was unliveable and assumed to be unoccupied.
Mr. ******** statements are not correct. It is an incorrect statement that the first floor was entirely removed. The kitchen cabinets and kitchen accessories that were stolen were move to a different location in the house "at his request". It is important to note the thief occurred once the floor had been replaced and there was no need for the house to be left open. It was his actions that left the house unlocked for the thieves to enter.
If the house was seen as "un-liveable" then it seems a thief would assume no valuable items were there. This thief had inside knowledge how to avoid a hidden driveway camera and the house was left unlocked by Mr. ********'s workers.
Per contract, he should not have had any personal belongings in the construction site.
o The entire home was a work site as we removed the whole first floor system, leaving the floor open and workers needed to be on the first and 2nd floors to check load bearing points during the repair process.
Mr. ******** statements are not correct. He updated me to move items to the non-impacted 1st floor bonus, secure locked garage and 2nd floor since no one would be up there. These were supposed to be secure areas. The statement above is not a correct reflection of this direction he provided me.
In addition, Mr. ******** is expanding the contract term "work area" to "work site" as an attempt to avoid responsibility for his actions.
Same comment above regarding his incorrect statement that the "entire first floor" was removed.
Also, our painter was asked, by Mr. ********, to review the whole house for a paint quote.
I had no contact with Mr. ******** workers so I could not and did not ask a painter for a quote. I asked Mr. ******** what it would cost to paint the inside of the house. I was updated by Mr. ******** of the quote via email.
I requested my subcontractors to lock the home each day and I believe that they did so....there is no proof that they did not.
This shows a lack of accountability and accuracy as I updated him of the issue and he was responsible to secure my premise. I updated Mr. ******** one evening the entire house was left with doors unlocked and the windows open. If his workers locked the house each evening then who had the key for entry the next day since he states below he never had a key. More inaccurate statements by Mr. ******** to avoid responsibility for his actions that caused the thief.
The Police report states that there was no forced entry. If Mr. ******** workers had locked the house then it would have had to be damaged for entry.
This supports that he was either complacent or negligent in securing the house since he was provided information on an unsecure house and did nothing to change.
o As the first floor was removed for an extended period of time there were multiple access points to the home, not just the front door. I'm not sure if someone outside of our control was able to manipulate a window or door to allow access at a later date.
Mr. ******** workers were the only one at the site. I have repeatedly updated Mr. ******** that his workers are the only people that have access for the last year. I have a hidden driveway camera that recorded all traffic up the driveway to support this statement.
What Mr. ******** misrepresents is the thief occurred after his workers completed the floor foundation work that required access to the house and it should have been secured with the key. He texted me on May 6th regarding a failed inspection which would imply he finished the job but did not do it correctly. The thief was reported on May 19th.
We never had a key to the house in our possession...rather we had access via a code to a lockbox. We don't know who else had lockbox access
Mr. ******** was provided a code for the lockbox that has a key on March 27th via a text that I have that had the "key" to open the box. If he did not use the key then he would not have access. A lockbox is a secure holder of a "key".
I remove the key when there is no need for someone have access. I have had 2 people including Mr. ******** use the lockbox in 2.5 years and none within the last 12 months.
The key point is the house was left open by Mr. ******** for the thieves.
I have been readily available and helpful in supplying Mr. ******** with subcontractor contact info and license plate numbers
I have suggested he work with local authorities and his insurance.
Mr. ******** did not "suggest" I work with local authorities. During the police visit one of his workers stated he updated Mr. ******** on Monday many items were missing. He did not update me of the thief at that time?
My brother visited to provide me an update on Tuesday and he called to ask about all the missing items. I had him call the police to open investigation. Mr. ******** was at the house and then suddenly left before the police arrived. It was one of Mr. ********'s workers that provided the police a detailed list of missing items including the location of the driveway camera.
I have kept Mr. ******** updated on the investigation. He updated me verbally he would replace the items.
He refuses to go through insurance claiming his deductible is $10,000.....the value of the alleged items coincidentally is just shy of $10,000.
I updated Mr. ******** that I have a high insurance premium when he stated the job. He updated that is why he carries insurance in case there are any issues he will take care of the issue.
There is no proof that all the items Mr. ******** claims are missing were in fact were ever in the home
I have filed a police report and it would be crime for me to do this for items that were not there. I have no criminal record and do not plan on committing a crime for this event.
I have many witnesses including one of Mr. ******** workers that provide extensive details to the police on the missing items.
Local authorities have not contacted me
I have provided all the information regarding Mr. ******** and his employees. I am not aware of their investigative process.
Paul Kowalski Builders is fully insured, as are the subcontractors, and our insurance would handle this situation if we were found liable in any way. Mr. ******** has made the choice not to go through proper channels.
I have updated Mr. ******** during the entire process of the police report and insurance activities. I have no idea of what proper channels he is referring to.
That last communication I had with Mr. ******** was that his business would not be responsible for any of the losses. This is a direct contradiction of his earlier statements.
Interestingly, Mr. ******** continued to have our crew work on the house for weeks following the alleged incident....if he truly felt we were negligent or liable, why continue to have us in the house? Why not pay us for work done, let us go, and hire someone else to complete the job?
I continued discussions with Mr. ******** as I updated the police and insurance companies. Mr. ******** verbally updated me he would take care of things to my satisfaction.
Final Business Response
This customer complaint is deceptive and factually inaccurate on nearly every assertion. There are too many falsehoods to respond to individually. Thus, we respond as follows:
The customer hired our Company, Paul Kowalski Builders, to remove and replace a floor system (the "Work") of a house located in Union County. At the time, the house was uninhabitable. The Work required stripping the floor system down to a point where the interior of the house was completely open to the crawl space below. The crawl space was open to the outdoors.
All of our contracts with customers include a provision requiring removal of any personal items and/or non-fixtures within the construction work area prior to the commencement of construction. Our contract with this customer, attached, contained the same provision in Article 9, Paragraph 5.
The customer understood the nature and extent of the Work. The customer did not tell us at any time that he would be storing any personal items at the house. Any expectation that we would assume responsibility for personal items, particularly in light of the nature of the Work and the condition of the house, was misplaced, unreasonable and in direct conflict with our contract.
We proceeded to complete the Work. At some point during the time frame of performance of the Work (but not while we were at the house), someone illegally entered the house and stole certain personal items belonging to the customer which he, apparently, was storing on the second floor. Upon our recommendation, the customer reported the theft to the police.
We are sorry that this happened to the customer, but we simply cannot and will not accept financial responsibility for the stolen items. Per our contract with the customer and our general business practices, we did not nor would we recommend or approve of said storage. The customer stored items at the construction site at his own risk. Any allegations of negligence against our company for failure to secure those items are without merit.
We completed that Work which the customer approved and accepted. The customer now wants our company to pay him nearly $10,000.00 to cover the cost of the stolen items. We suspect that this complaint to the BBB is an attempt to obtain that money by the threat to our reputation. We regret that the BBB is posting such misleading and unsupported claims which are unrelated to the Work we successfully performed pursuant to our contract with the customer.