The contractor's work quality was very poor and he became rude when we brought this up. He refused to redo anything or provide any type of refund.
We hired MDS for 8 small projects, with 2 done satisfactorily. We hired him from Home Advisor based on positive reviews, so we were unhappy when he failed to produce the quality work that so many other customers received. Due to limited space, I am only mentioning the larger issues.
Doorway filled-in to create a solid wall:
1. The drywall they installed isn't flush with the rest of the wall, so you can still see where the doorway was.
2. Some drywall ripped off during removal of the old baseboards; rather than fixing the drywall they painted over it. More drywall is now peeling away since it wasn't repaired.
3. They needlessly sanded certain areas of the wall OVER the paint, so now the texture is off in those spots. We re-painted, but the big splotches will never blend into the rest of the wall.
Garage door frame redone:
1. The top of the frame is a solid board cut at each end, but neither cut is 90°. We put a square on each end to show him that they clearly weren't 90°, but he ignored this. He eventually got out his saw, made sure it was set correctly, then cut a piece of wood to show us we were wrong; the cut was still not 90° (proving our point that the cuts on our house were also not 90°), but it was closer to 90 than the boards on our house - proving that the work on our house could have been better than it was. Even after this, he still did not concede that the cuts weren't 90°.
2. I specified for the damaged J-channel to be replaced but it wasn't. I mentioned this once the new frame was installed, and he seemed unaware that the J-channel was supposed to be redone. He then gave a long story about possible rot behind our siding & trying to replace the J-channel could result in a $7000 rot repair. We realized later that you can see behind the siding from inside our garage, and a subsequent contractor verified there is no rot. It seems xxxxx just didn't want to redo the frame in order to replace the J-channel that he forgot to do.
Front porch: column moved, rail added down steps & old rails replaced:
1. Rails & columns weren't fully painted. One column has a gutter next to it & the paint stops inches before the gutter, leaving the area between the gutter & the column completely unpainted.
2. The rail top is grossly unlevel - the rail barely touches the tops of the spindles since it's tipped so far forward.
3. The tops/bottoms of the rails are ragged & large chunks are missing where they were nailed into place. He said sanding this type of wood (the type HE chose) makes it fall apart, so it can't be smoothed. We were told that's not correct by another contractor who also uses that wood.
5. The nail marks on the tops of the rails weren't filled in, so you can see every nail.
6. They nailed some spindles from the front rather than from the bottom, so you can see the diagonal nails sticking out.
7. The spindles are not mounted straight, are not evenly spaced, and are not centered on the rails.
When we brought up these issues, we were told that million-dollar home owners would be happy with this porch.
We had a bay window frame redone with PVC:
1. The entire frame is 2" shorter than the original; our original frame was flush with the house siding, but now the frame stops 2" above the siding.
2. The bottom of the frame isn't finished/sealed, it's just a piece of unpainted plywood that doesn't even fit well.
3. All boards were cut at non-90° angles, so there are countless gaps which required a large amount of caulk.
4. No nail marks were filled in, so you can see all the nails under the paint.
6. The vertical pieces on the right & left sides of center panel angle forward instead of being flat.
When we brought up some of these issues mid-way through, he told us to wait until he was done & not pay him until we were happy. When he was done and we weren't happy, he refused to acknowledge one thing imperfect with his work, refused to redo anything, and refused any sort of refund to compensate us having to hire another contractor.
Once another contractor came out and gave us an opinion on the work quality and what did & did not need to be redone, I emailed xxxxx requesting a partial refund for the biggest issues. I emailed him on 11-15-14 and gave him an entire week to get back to me, but he never responded. I am still requesting a refund for the exterior work that we need to pay someone else to do properly ($2,350.50), and below is a copy of my 11-15-14 email which I am still awaiting a response to, three months later.
We had someone take a look at the outdoor work on the house and they confirmed that it does need to be redone. Along with the concerns that we brought up on Sept 26 and Oct 1, there are additional issues (both interior & exterior) that we did not notice in the few minutes that we walked through the house with you. The issues with the interior work aren't as much of a concern as the exterior work, so we're going to let those go.
Due to the exterior work that needs to be redone, we are officially requesting a refund in the amount of $2,350.50. Here is the breakdown:
-Garage frame: $325 + tax = $347.75
-Bay window: $1500 + tax = $1605 + $550 not taxed = $2,155 total
-Front porch rails: $325 + tax = $347.75
Less the $500 that we didn't pay leaves $2,350.50 as the balance owed to us.
Please let me know by next Saturday Nov 22 if you're willing to send us this refund so we can proceed accordingly, thanks.
In response to Mrs. xxxxx I personally worked on this project each and every day. We were not done with the work we were supposed to come back out the following day which I have documentation proving that she had told me that she did not want us to come back. The insults and unprofessionalism was not done on my behalf or any of the men that work for me however it was extremely and grossly given to us by her condescending husband. He had made statements such as he could've cut a better 90° angle with his reciprocating saw and insulted each and everything we did. Everything that we did not only me but exceeds expectations and local building codes as it always does. MDS home repair is my livelihood I take it very seriously I respect each of my customers as I would expect them to respect me. I have offered to come make corrections and complete the projects that we were hired to do. Said above mentioned customer refused to make final payment and refused to allow us to complete our job then requested her money back to hire someone else to complete the job that she is under contract with us to do. At no point did I or would I ever say that she could make payment when she's happy. That is a completely ludicrous comments if I left the happiness of my customers to me getting paid I would've been out business 10 years ago. At this point a refund is not an option, or at any point for that matter. If she has an issue or issues with the services and the work that was complete above par and well with in a workmanlike quality I would be glad to take a look and see what else can be done. I have had no correspondence with above-mentioned customer in over 90 days and thought the issues were resolved. At the end of the day I know that not everybody will be pleased and I'm okay with that. And note to any and all that are reading this there's not many contractors out there that you can call to your home to review somebody else's work and they're not going to have an issue or come up with things that are issues that truly are not issues because of the fact that most contractors are scrupulous and very cutthroat. So at this point I am done and if there is anymore slander or defamation of character past forth by above-mentioned customer I will not only file my rightful breach of contract suit I will also file a defamation of character and slander suit. Have a nice day.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
****'s response did not address a single one of the numerous quality issues that I brought up.
**** references that he wasn't finished with the job - the only thing that he was planning to come back to do was repaint a very small area of an interior wall (about 6"x6"), which I told him we would do ourselves. It is correct that I told him not to come back out to do that, and unlike him I do not deny true statements (even though he twisted this fact to make it seem like it's relevant to my complaint, which is isn't). The tiny unpainted area on the wall was a non-issue, which is why it wasn't mentioned in my complaint. What IS a problem is that he flat-out refused to redo any of the items mentioned in my complaint, and told us that we were being nit-picky because we were unhappy with front porch rails that didn't even connect to each other. When he refused to correct or even acknowledge any of the issues we brought up, we decided he did not need to come back to finish painting.
The work they did may very well pass building codes, but that does not mean that it's done well. I'm not claiming that his work doesn't pass building codes - I'm saying that it looks terrible. For example, the porch rails do meet code as far as maximum space allowed between each rail, but they are not evenly spaced - which to me & to any other homeowner is sloppy and unacceptable. I'm sure building codes also don't care whether filler is used to hide nails, but homeowners do care about things like that.
********** was very frustrated with ****'s complete lack of touch with reality, but he was not rude. We were not insulting their work, but rather we were stating facts - facts that **** didn't like. It looks like the BBB allows me to add pictures with this response, so if these are viewable by the public anyone reading this complaint will easily see the issues we're referencing. You can measure whether something is level or not, and whether a corner is 90° or not. The simple truth is that the work on our house was rushed (he "completed" a 5-day project in 3.5 days due to weather and his personal health); so rather than take the extra time they needed to do it right, they rushed and left us with sloppy work. We were in absolute shock that he continued to say that the cuts were 90° while we held up a square proving otherwise, and he maintained this same complete & total denial with every other quality issue.
**** stated that he & his men were not rude or unprofessional; I agree that his men were not rude in any way, but **** was, and he is the owner. I do consider it rude for an owner to complain to his employees about his customers while the customers are standing right there trying to reason with him. He literally turned to his employees while we were all standing in the driveway and said to them "there's always one" over and over again, referring to us being unhappy with his work. That is completely unprofessional and rude, especially when we're all staring at cuts that are not 90°.
I also consider it rude that he asked me to come home during the middle of my work day to discuss something that we previously asked him to come out to talk about. We had noticed some issues with the bay window mid-construction and didn't want him to waste time & materials finishing it before we said something, so we asked him to come out so we could talk about it. He declined coming out to talk with us, telling us to wait until he was done and if we still weren't happy he'd redo it until we were. The next time he was at our house he changed his mind and asked if I could leave work to show him what we didn't like; I did go home to point out the issues, and he proceeded to argue with me in our front yard about how the frame only looked unlevel because of the "slope" of our yard (our yard is flat, and a level showed that the frame was in fact unlevel). He also defended his design change, saying that he took "artistic liberties" to make it more visually interesting (his version of interesting involved making the center panel of a bay window not match the 2 side panels, which we didn't think looked good). It really is rude to change the design of something without asking the owners first, and even ruder to argue about it when I asked for it to be changed back. He eventually did agree to change it back and they did correct the unlevel frame in the process, but I should not have had to waste my time leaving work to talk about it and I shouldn't have had to ask more than once for him to switch it back to the original design.
**** also blatantly lied to us; while he was defending his original attempt at the bay window, he told me that he had posted pictures of our in-progress window on his xxxxx page, and that he'd gotten 3 jobs as a result. When we checked his xxxxx page, this was very obviously not true as there were no pictures of our house anywhere on his page (and we hadn't given permission for him to post pictures of our house anyway). Even if there had been pictures of our window, and even if other people actually had liked it, the fact remains that he changed the design without asking us, the change was poorly done, and he argued with me when we asked him to change it back.
He stated in his response that he has offered to come back out to look at his work and see what else could be done, which is another lie. We asked him to fix the errors on Oct 1, he refused, and it never came up again. I later emailed him on Nov 15 requesting a refund & he never responded, and we have had no communication since then. Even if he had offered to come back out to make corrections, he was very clear on Oct 1 that he sees no errors and in his mind there is nothing to be fixed. So there is no point in him coming back out only to tell us again that he sees 90° cuts where a square proves otherwise, and that he sees level rails where a level proves otherwise. Every statement that we made to him was a provable fact, not an opinion. As long as he thinks physical measurements are a matter of opinion, there is nothing else to discuss.
It is not slander or defamation to state facts, which is all we've done. We welcome any sort of suit that **** wishes to file, as any judge who sees photos of the work will immediately be able to see that the work they did was sub-par. We posted pictures on our xxxxx page and within minutes there were plenty of other people who were just a dumbfounded as we were that he actually defended these things as being quality work. **** receives many positive reviews on xxxxx (which is why we hired him), so it seems that he does know how to do quality work, but for whatever reason he didn't provide that quality work to us.
In response to ****'s statement that most contractors will say work needs to be redone because it's in their best interest, I won't say that's not accurate. But the contractor we spoke with actually refuses to do any of the rework, as he doesn't want to get involved with someone else's mistakes. So he didn't benefit in any way - simply gave us his professional opinion.
In closing, here is a quote from ****'s response to us: "If I left the happiness of my customers to me getting paid I would've been out business 10 years ago." I think that says it all.
Final Business Response
I ****************** did not reply to any of the so-called major incorrect repairs or unworkmanlike quality repairs or subpar quality repairs because none exist. I have photo documentation proving that all repairs done meets or exceeds local and state building codes. I am done dealing with this customer their own set if standards and them thinking that their opinion of unsatisfactory work exceeds the truth. The quality of my work has never been subpar and to say that is slanderous and contradictory to hundreds of other people with in their community and surrounding their community. The work that was not complete at their home was very well documentated, at have documentation showing that she did not want us to come back to her home and at this stage months later there is still nothing wrong and I am not repairing or replacing or refunding anything for the gorgeous work that was done at their home. It says a lot in her own statements that she would have to get a refund to pay to hire another contractor when she didn't have the money to finish paying me and that is really the root cause of this entire complaint through the Better Business Bureau. And as I stated if I left it up to all my customers and their happiness to pay me and not up to local building codes and holding them responsible under their contracts to complete the work that they signed for me to do I would've been out of business years ago. That is not an insult to them or me that is a simple explanation that there is a reason that the common homeowners hire a contractor to do the work it is because of their own lack of knowledge in the completion of tasks that need to be done. That is not an omission of subpar work that is in omission that you will never make everyone happy. My company has won awards as fiber on Pro of the year centerfold in xxxxx magazine publication, number one contractor through home advisor out of 87,000 contractors and the list of accolades in my accomplishments continues. In the prior two years I have completed over 700 jobs and I have had three complaints proving my fact that you cannot please everyone. On the contrary I have hundreds of positive reviews that are listed between social media my website my marketing firms and various other outlets. I wish this customer the best and concluded my responses with that.
Final Consumer Response
Once again, xxxxx has still not addressed the actual complaints that I listed. I am complaining about unlevel rails and non-90-degree cuts, and he just keeps stating that his work meets building codes. In my prior response, I already clarified that I'm not claiming his work doesn't meet building codes, but rather that the work is sloppy and looks bad. Whether the work meets building codes and whether it actually looks decent are two entirely separate issues, and xxxxx is confusing the two. I guess I'll need to repeat myself; I'm pretty sure that building codes don't require contractors to use nail filler to hide nails, but the average homeowner would expect for nails to be hidden with filler. I also don't think building codes necessarily care if cuts are 90°, but homeowners do want good cuts on their house. I submitted photos with my last response that unfortunately do not get posted for the public to see, but hopefully the photos were provided to xxxxx so that he could see how obvious every single nail is, how the cuts are clearly not 90°, how the rails are severely unlevel, etc.
He has also contradicted himself yet again; he stated in his first response "I have offered to come make corrections" which I called him out on as a complete and total lie. He adamantly denied to us that a single mistake was made, so he obviously never offered to make corrections for errors that he doesn't think exist. He is now back to what he told us originally, which is that he "did not reply to any of the so-called major incorrect repairs or unworkmanlike quality repairs or subpar quality repairs because none exist." He either offered to come back and make corrections or he didn't, and the fact is that he didn't - because in his mind, there are no corrections to be made. I stated this in my first response, and he has now publicly stated himself that he sees no errors with the work he did on our house.
He again mentioned that he has proof that I told him not to come back to finish painting the 6"x6" area on our wall; I'm not sure why he felt the need to say (again) that he has proof of this, since I agreed with that statement in my last response. We are more than capable of painting a small patch on a wall, so we did it ourselves. His proof (a short text conversation) would also prove that the ONLY thing he was going to come back to do was paint that wall - nothing that had anything to do with the issues I listed in my BBB complaint.
The fact that he has won awards (which cannot be found or confirmed anywhere online, by the way) just shows again why we are so disappointed. As stated in my last response, his company's reviews on xxxxx are great and that is why we hired him (I seem to be repeating myself a lot in this response, but it doesn't appear that he actually read my initial complaint or my first response.) Unfortunately, the work on our house doesn't come close to what his other customers received. He mentioned that he's won awards as a fiberon pro, which is a decking material. We have seen pictures of the decks he's built and they look good, but he didn't build a deck for us so it doesn't matter how great his decks might be. Whether he is good with a deck-related product just isn't irrelevant to the work on our house.
xxxxx stated "there is a reason that the common homeowners hire a contractor to do the work it is because of their own lack of knowledge in the completion of tasks that need to be done." Yes, we hired him because we thought he knew what he was doing and thought he would do it well based on his reviews. But what he's trying to say is that we can't tell whether the work was done well or not simply because we're not contractors ourselves, which is an insult to the basic intelligence of any homeowner. We are not idiots - we can see where large chunks of our new rails were knocked off by nails. We can also see where none of the spindles connect to the top rail because of the top rail being severely unlevel. And we can see that the new bay window frame is 2 inches too short - partly because they left the old j-channel instead of replacing it & the old j-channel continues down for 2 more inches, and partly because it's obvious that the original frame was flush with the house siding and the new frame isn't. Just because we are not contractors ourselves doesn't mean that we are complete morons who would believe that disconnected porch rails with chunks missing is what a new porch should look like.
Lastly, I'm not sure why xxxxx felt the need to insult us/our income, especially considering that I never once stated that we need a refund IN ORDER to pay another contractor. (For reference to anyone reading, we have spent over $25,000 on home improvements over the past 3 years, not including what we paid xxxxx for this project. The $500 that we refused to pay xxxxx and the $2,350 partial refund that we have requested are inconsequential to our ability to hire another contractor.) My claim is that because his work is so poor that someone else needs to redo it, we are owed some of our money back. We should not have to pay twice for the same work to be done, when xxxxx craftsmanship didn't earn him the money. The "root cause" of my complaint to the BBB is that xxxxx work on our house was poor and when we brought it up he was rude and unprofessional, so we would like other potential customers to be warned.