Complaint Category: Work performed outside the terms of the contract or agreement
Complaint: Tom Davis failed to stay in aloted budget for home improvment project.
Tom Davis owner of Castletop roofing was hired with legal contract to complete home improvement project. Mr. Davis was told from the beginning home owners had $12,000 and not a penny more to spend on project. Mr. Davis was reminded at every meeting (3 to 4 times per week) to stay within our budget. Mr Davis suggested extra jobs that he could do to improve looks and operations of the home and told owners he overbid and there was extra money. Mr.Davis made numerous suggestions for extra improvements and misled homeowners that the suggested improvements were still in our budget. Homeowners refused some of the suggestions like extra ceramic tile in living room instead of carpet, replacement of kitchen light fixture, expensive paint for bedroom. Home owners had never done a home improvement project and depended on contractors professional decisions that would be in their best interest. Mr. Davis had a crew of only young males that at one point were absent from job. The crew played extremely loud music while working and we had to go in and turn it down to talk to each other, Mr. Davis ignored this complaint. Crew was throwing unused paint out front and back of house on the grass and on both wooden decks, I complained to Mr. Davis and he responded they would clean it up when they finished. There was also grout on a large portion of front deck. They did not clean up the mess before leaving and we also found that they had thrown ceramic tile peices and concrete in the back yard in several places that we had to pick out of the dirt and grass to prevent damage to lawn mower or injury. Mr. Davis misled home owners by continually stating he would do some figuring and see if we could fit numerous extra jobs into budget. Several days before Mr. Davis completed the project he had never given us any figures on where we were in our budget or any figures that we had gone over budget and made any agreement on possible overages. We had not agreed or signed anything agreeing to pay more than $12,000 and had already made very clear we had no more than $12,000. Mr Davis presented me with a bill that showed he had been irresponsible with keeping up witrh material and extra labor cost and had exceeded our budget by approx $3,900.00. We told Mr. Davis this was a result of his neglect and we had never agreed to or signed anything agreeing to pay him more than $12,000.
My bank explained to me when I talked to them Mr. Davis was supposed to bring material cost periodically and make draws from loan money to prevent this very issue. Mr Davis refused to buy shower doors and told me to "get shower curtains" The bank informed Mr. Davis he would not get paid until the shower doors were installed. Mr. Davis removed bathroom and bedroom doors and ceiling fans with lights from 2 rooms and disposed of them and never replaced them because he overspent our money. Mr. Davis charged us for sealer for kitchen and 2 bathroom floors, however there are stains on the grout because it was never sealed and is rough and dry. Mr. Davis left dried glue on several places in the kitchen on ceramic tile that we cannot remove. Mr. Davis has sent an email that blames homeowners for exceeding the $12,000 budget and ignores the fact that he never presented any figures before purchasing extra materials or performing extra jobs as the contract request for any payment above the $12,000. Mr. Davis offered us a repayment plan with 6% interest or payment in full or he will place a lien on our property and file a civil lawsuit requesting court fees and full balance. The full balance has decreased to $1,965.00. This entire project has turned into a nightmare. We are filing this complaint so anyone looking for a contractor will read this complaint and find someone else. This is what happens to you if you trust this man to manage your home improvement project. Mr. Davis was paid in full for agreed amount in contract.
Business' Initial Response
I have attached the original job contract from January 2012, the actual cost spreadsheet which I have all receipts to back up and have provided a complete copy of this to the customers at the end of the project. The original contract called for removing the existing master shower unit and bathtub from the second bath, replacing them with fiberglass units and installing new toilets in both baths. It included replacing water damaged 3/4 plywood flooring beneath each existing unit where they had had leaks around the drains which damaged the flooring. We were to install linoleum in both baths, the utility room and kitchen and carpet the 3 bedrooms, and living den area. I had bid the job with extra money, so stupidly I upgraded the linoleum to ceramic tile, and put in a full 4'x4' tile shower unit in the master bath with a seat and dual shower heads. This house was a wreck and I can send pictures if needed to show the general poor condition of the house when we started which including the yard which was full of old junk and little resembled anything but a pasture. Customer in her complaint makes it sound like my crews were creating a noise problem and generally disrespecting her property which is totally absurd. This house is not in a neighborhood, It is at least 100 yards from the nearest house which was the one they were residing in and they were generally gone during the day. The house had had multiple large dogs kept in what at one time was a bedroom. They had not been let out regularly, so they had urinated and defecated in the room for a long period of time. The room was not in our contract, but I told her we could probably clean the room disinfect and anti-microbal the walls and floors, prime seal and paint the room and I could keep this within the original contract. We did this room the first week during demo due to the rancid smell. We also had to complete the removal of trash, furniture, appliances, and move them out which they were supposed to do before we arrived. At the beginning of the second week we completed the demo of the bathroom and were surprised to find that the sewer lines were broken in multiple places and had been leaking under the house for a long period of time. The kitchen sink, both bath tub and shower, both bathroom vanity sinks had only one water supply working, the other side had previously either broken from freezing or other problem and had been capped off under the sub floor. None of the sinks or commode had proper supply shutoffs. The structural joists and support under the hall bath had sunk due to the sewer leaks and we had to replace the joists and jack the room back up to level. I called a meeting on Wednesday the second week with my foreman and the customers, took them in and showed them all of these issues and told them my best and most affordable solution was to do these repairs on a cost plus basis and that I would try to keep it as reasonable as possible, but that these items were not included in the original contract. They did say they did not have any other money, but they agreed the other repairs had to be made in order for the new baths to work. I told them at that time that they could pay me out if no other alternative was available. Customer's brother was living at the house the first time I inspected, and nothing was mentioned about any water or sewer problems with the house. We continued on and repaired the sewer and water issue and installed the proper shutoff valves at all sink locations and commode supplies. This project all took place from April 9th and ended on May 5th, which for the amount of work we accomplished is excellent in anybody's book. I made yet another error trying to make this house more livable for them, I added new formica countertops and new sinks and valves to both bathroom vanities. Customer requested for me to get a price on the kitchen as well, which I did and called her on the phone with the formica man there as witness, I explained that the kitchen would be $1296 which was his cost and that she could have it for that amount but it was not included in the original contract. She told my foreman 2 days later to tell me she wanted the kitchen formica and her husband would have to find the money to pay for it. She also instructed my foreman to strip the popcorn textured ceiling in the master bedroom and the 3rd bedroom as well without consulting me which my foreman did since he was under the same impression I was that the extras were to be cost plus. She told me later that day that the banker had told she could get additional money against the loan and I told her I would get her a progress that week which I gave her on Thursday 4/19 projected through the Saturday 4/21. This progress sheet showed the total to be $14,645. She went off the deep end. I explained to her that the budget had overrun but I would cut my percentage to make it work out and as we had discussed I would let them pay me out if necessary. I also asked her why she had added additional work and the Kitchen formica, she had no answer. She sent me a message on the following Monday and asked if I was going to finish the rest of the job. I told her that my cost for the extras for plumbing, the formica and the extra rooms if they were not going to pay would prevent me from putting in the shower doors, but that my guys would be there the next day. This is where she came up with them not showing up. One of my guys had made a trip to Longview on Saturday to get the extra pieces of bullnose tile needed to complete her bath room. He was stopped for a taillight problem and did not have his wallet with him. She has made several references to my workers. She sent me a e-mail stating that the shower doors were in the contract and that she would not pay the $12,000 until they were installed. I complied and we finished the project and I personally took the bank executives over to show them the completed job which they approved and I finally received the check for $11990 on May 10th. I supplied them with a spreadsheet showing the final actual cost, and the original contract costs with the upgrades I promised and delivered which clearly shows that I would have made a $1900 profit and overhead for the company. I also supplied them with the full actual cost which came out to $13922. I told them at the time that I was only wanting them to pay for my actual cost which came to $1932.00. The bankers stated that they could request the additional funds and he saw no reason they would not be approved. She sent me a copy of the contract stating that I never supplied them with change order in writing therefore they would not pay. I set up an arbitration with a local attorney who wrote the Builder's Mechanics lien contract. He explained to customer that the contract only covered the original scope of work and that there was no changes to that other than upgrades which I supplied at no additional cost. He also explained that I was only asking for my out of pocket cost, and that I was out time and money for my time as well and I was not asking for any of that. Customer told him that they just did not have any money to pay anything on this. The only other correspondence on this was an e-mail which I sent on August 26 which I will forward to you along with the nasty responses and threats from customer. I have never raised my voice or made any derogatory remarks to these people. I am currently talking to an attorney to see if there is anything I can do to recover my lost money. In this case I feel like the way she is acting that I have been conned and that when she requested the additional work she had already decided she had me on the losing end which she clearly states in her latest threat e-mail. From that perspective she stole from me and now with this complaint filed to you she has attacked my company and my reputation. I know there are people out there every day who get scammed by crooked contractors. I can send you the pictures from the completion and you can compare with the video of this place taken by my foreman condition of the house on the first day of demolition which will show you what we had to work with. I also have completed pictures which I can send to you. The only thing we did not replace were 2 doors which had holes and one was broken in half. I refused to replace them. They were not in the contract! All of the alleged issue with unused paint which was untrue, it was latex paint from washing out the brushes which was done at the back of the house. All the tile and concrete pieces she complained about were picked up and hauled off in my trailer which I hauled 2 full 16' dump trailer loads off and much of what was on them was trash and junk which she asked us to haul off. I will be glad to get you the names and numbers of the bankers who I am sure will tell you what they saw when they inspected which was a house that they had already moved into and were enjoying less than one month from the start of this debacle. I have admitted that the cost control was not as tight as it should have been. My penalty for that was the loss of profit and overhead money which should have been around $3000. I offered it without any hesitation to keep from having a unhappy customer. I bent over backwards on this one and my conscious is clear. As I told her in the e-mail, I am only asking them to pay for what she personally requested above the contract. She considered my request as harassment. The first night we met on this project she told me repeatedly how she was stupid and did not understand any of this stuff. Unfortunately I felt sorry for her and wanted to give her a better home to live in. I really do not feel these people have any room to complain and at the end of the day I probably will not get another dime on the deal. I am not happy with her idea of taking this complaint shot at me and my company, nor do I feel that any of her claims are legitimate.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This man is totally out of touch with reality. He never sees the situation for what it is. His own bid clearly states any alterations or deviation from the above specifications involving additional material or labor costs will be executed with written approval. He did not send a copy of that agreement because he does not have one. He had us believing the work was within our budget and if we had gone over the budget it could only be maybe a couple hundred dollars, he never stopped and even told us we were over $1 he just figured it up at the end and said oh yea you owe me $3,800 dollars he knew we could never pay that so why would he continue to spend money on materials if he knew we did not have that kind of money or give an estimate and have us agree in writing? Because he never kept up with what he spent and that is unbelievable!!
This man is more than I can handle.
Business' Final Response
They have decided to call me a liar and blame me for their house having additional problems and she does not feel the least bit responsible for her actions and requests for items which were clearly not in the original contract.
Complaint Resolution: Company agreed to arbitration in accordance with their BBB agreement, but the consumer declined.