Mirage Custom Pools asked for $1400 extra for excavating 3 days prior to the start of the build and could not guarantee a start date or completion
I contracted with Mirage Custom Pools to have them build a pool for me on March 7, 2014. The salesman's name was ****** I was referred to them by someone I trusted. I explained to ***** that this was for a brand new house being built. The sales process went very smooth and I enjoyed working with ***** and communicated with him quite a bit to assure an easy installation process. In early April, ***** went by the house to see how the access was going to be for excavation and at that time he said it was fine for the right side of the house. I stated to ***** that I was going to stay an extra couple of months in my rental house so that his company would be able to complete the installation of the pool and decking. I kept ***** aware of the End of June closing date and his company scheduled me to begin excavation 3 days after my closing date with the builder. I was scheduled for at least 2 months prior to closing for June 30, 2014. I had made some changes to the original contract (adding a different plaster and salt water system) and I signed off those changes after ***** explained the costs so we were all still on the same page. On June 16, 2014 I received an email from *** ******* stating that the pool was still set to begin on Monday June 30, 2014. On June 27, 2014 I called Mirage Custom Pools to see when I needed to pay my first installment as they were supposed to start three days later. I was told by *** that Mirage was not going to be able to begin excavating on the 30th. On top of the delay in starting, I was told that I needed to pay Mirage an EXTRA $1400.00 to excavate since they had recently done a drive by and noticed that their was less access on the right side now that air conditioning units were installed. At no time did ***** of Mirage ask me for a drawing or plans showing where the AC's were going to be installed. My house has a rather severe slope on the left side of the access so that was not going to be possible for digging. Mirage new this was a brand new build and acted like it was my fault that there was less access now on the right side requiring a smaller track-hoe to remove the dirt. The plans for where the AC's never changed through the builder ********* and were available to Mirage at any time. I told *** about my 2 months availability to start and complete this build. I was told that the excavating company because of a little rain the previous week was now too backed up to start my job. after a few calls or texts with ****** it was decided that I was going to meet up with one of the owners on Monday June 30 to discuss this new revelation of access. I met **** at the house and he explained the myriad of possible extra expenses associated with the start of the pool build, some were extremely far fetched and some genuine concerns. I told **** that I signed a contract for $42,500 and changed it to $45,000 with some add-ons that I agreed to and that was all I was prepared to pay from start to finish. The extra $1400.00 was a scam to me as they had plenty of time to ask for plans and I would have told them no to agreeing to pay any more as I took their bid over 2 competitors. **** standing in front of me that day also could not assure me when Mirage would be able to even begin the build let alone complete it. I told **** that at the end of August when I was going to move in, that his company would no longer have access to the back yard with my dogs going in and out of the house. ***** also new of my desired completion date all along the process after agreeing to have Mirage build the pool. As of July 16, 2014 I have been in a few emails with the other owner *** ***** to explain my side of the story and he tells me that I will not get a full refund because of the costs associated with cancelling my build. I tried to explain to him that I only "cancelled" the pool build AFTER his company was trying to get the extra $1400.00 from me even though we had a signed contract for both $42,500 and then the extra $2500.
I want the full $2125.00 refund as **** and I agreed to part ways on June 30, 2014. He was not going to be able to guarantee finishing this build even though he said he could build my pool in 5 1/2 weeks and his company had 8 weeks from June 30 to finish. I lost trust in his company when they asked for more money before even beginning and I was told that there were many other things out of MY control that could also add to the contract final cost. Why sign a contract if they can add or alter amounts of their choosing and you have no say in the matter?
I told *** that I expect a full refund and he has told me numerous times that I will not be getting it because I cancelled the contract after his brother and I agreed it was the best thing to cancel before starting then have a money argument during the build. I believe Mirage cancelled the agreed to contract with me by telling me that I needed to pay the extra $1400 AND that they were not prepared to tell me when they were starting the digging 2 months after it was scheduled and thus could not guarantee when they could finish.
**** ***** contracted to build a swimming pool on 3/7/2014. The ***** home was under construction and was to be purchased by **** ***** and closed on June 26,2014. Therefore MCP could not commence construction of Pool for 72 hours after the purchase of the property due to Texas property code. MCP had excavation scheduled for June 30,XXXXX but was delayed due to wet weather and was to be rescheduled for the first week of July depending on the holiday.
At the time of contract on March 7, 2014 the homeowner had given MCP permission (signed construction plan on 3/7/2014) to access from the rear of his property by coming across adjacent lot owner by home builder. This is the access point that both **** ***** and MCP signed off on the signed construction plan on 3/7/2014. In March of 2014 there was NOT a home on this lot. By June 2014 the access of the lot behind was NOT AN OPTION due to a home being built. The additional cost ($1,400.00) is due to having to come down the side of the ***** property/residence since the access behind the property was lost due to home being built. The job was contracted with the use of larger equipment which costs less to dig a swimming pool. Example: The larger excavation equipment requires 8'6" width of access & the smaller equipment requires 6'6" width.
*** **** /**** ***** notes from 7/01/2014: Met with **** at 2pm at the house/property. He was not wanting to pay the mini excavator and skid steer upgrade as the access closed up. He said that he was not a ware that there were potential charges for repair access right of way, rock time, re-routes, etc... He said that he was not comfortable doing the project with there being a possibility of any additional charges down the road that are clearly stated in the signed contract from 3/7/2014. He also was asking for a completion date which cannot be given other than the time frame of 6-8 weeks from excavation to completion. I told him that I would prefer to release him from his contract rather than risk there being a problem.
Today we have sent **** an invoice for the expenses that MCP has paid out on his job. The total deposit taken is $2,125.00. MCP has paid out $1,851.25 in expenses for permits, permit runner fees, consultation fees and shipping costs. We are sending a refund for the remaining $274.75 and the city permits which the homeowner may contact the city for any refunds due because project was cancelled.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
As I previously mentioned, and the contract that was signed, they have no legal ground to stand on. They did not send me a change order about the $1400.00 to sign which is what their contract states. Also they state that their was no house at the time of contract on March 7, and their was the foundation AND framing at that time. Also on April 2, 2014 Rhett drove by my house and wrote back in the email that the right side access "looks good" and made no mention at that time that their would be any additional money or concerns regarding the type of machinery needed.
According to their response above, "I told him (****) that I would prefer to release him from his contract rather than risk there being a problem" If I was released from the contract, then they cannot bind me to anything and have to refund the full amount! These are their words quoted, not mine.
I also have in writing that there was to be a start date of June 30 and we barely had any rain the previous days to delay the onset by at least a week. ***, the owner NEVER told me that the delay was going to be until the following week. When I pressed him, he could not tell me a new start date or ultimately a completion date and that was almost as big of a factor as the $1400.00. I have picture documentation of the build process if anyone needs to confirm the dates and what was on the property on both March 7, 2014 and then almost a month later on April 1, 2014 when Rhett did an access drive by. They are saying that in June of 2014 the access from the home behind me was not an option when in fact they knew on April 1 as I will quote Rhett the salesman who did the drive by states "Access looks good but we will come down the right side of the house rather than through the back. I don't want to risk that wall blowing out if we come over it and having a mess on our hands" These emails are available to anyone to see.