Contractor was hired for remodeling project. Project was delayed, communication was poor & was major issue with materials. Customer is not happy.
J. Brothers Home Improvements was contracted on March 25th for a remodeling project on our home to build a 12 x 14 deck up to the second floor, install a patio door on second floor out to the deck, and clean-up of the inside kitchen were the patio door was to be installed such as drywall, move electrical, etc.
Owners were told by contractor that the work would take about 2 -3 weeks to complete. The project start was delayed several months due to various excuses by the contractor. Work on the project did not begin until June 27th of 2013. Even after work begin the schedule of the construction crew was sporadic and seemed to be delayed for many various reasons. Sometimes the contractor would not call the owner back for several days when the owner would call to get an update on the progress of the work.
The owner requested a cost of the patio door and this was not given to the owners. This request was made during the negotiations of the contract time-frame. To this date the owners still do not have this information.
The siding on the second level outside of house around the patio door was installed was not replaced to match the rest of the siding on the house. The contractor did not research and obtain the siding at the beginning of the project or communicate this problem to the owner until very late in the project. The owner is now stuck with miss-matched siding and will need to re-side the entire house or pay another contractor to re-side the area around the patio door. The siding on the outside of the house seems to be of lower quality then the siding on the rest of the house therefore must have been a lower cost in materials for the contractor. Had the owners known about the issue with the siding up front the owners would have been able to make better informed decisions about the project from the start.
The owner had to take time away from work to do their own research for the siding. The contractor replaced the siding with a lower quality siding that does not match the rest of the siding on the house. The delivery, time miss-management and miss-communication, and continual delays throughout the project caused a poor experience for the owner, the hassle of living in a construction zone for an entire summer, time away from work and not being able to enjoy the remodel the owner planned on having completed within several weeks.
The date is now September 24th 2013 and the project is still not completed. The owners initiated this project in the spring of 2013 and it is now fall of 2013.
The owner has made all payments on the contract payment schedule up to date and on-time. The last remaining payment on the payment schedule is due. However the owner should receive a refund due to the problems in the project and the problem with the miss-matched siding. The owner tried to work with the contractor for a refund of 50% of the remaining balance of $3,850. The contractor was rude, offered poor customer service and offered a refund of $100 along with demanding payment and rushed completion of the final work on the project knowing the owner is not happy with the project. This is not equal to the amount of problems that occurred during the project.
To resolve the dispute the owner would like for the contractor to:
* Give a credit of 50% of the remaining balance of $3,850.
* Produce a receipt for the cost of the patio door.
Owner in return will make the final payment (after credit is applied) in full upon final completion of the remaining work on the project.
March 7 Client contacted Contractor for deck quote
March 11 First meeting between client and Contractor
March 25 Quote sent to client
April 3 Quote for patio door only sent to client
May 9 Sent copies of plans to client
May 21 Signed contract for deck and patio door
May 25 Received Construction deposit
At this time, the door was ordered and the permit applied for. The door was several weeks out. The weather did not cooperate in early June. The rain delayed other projects which pushed back the start date for the client's deck project too.
June 25 The deck was squared and the footings dug
June 26 Footings inspected and poured
June 28, July 1 and July 3 Construction of deck
July 10 Installation of patio door
Now began the saga with the exterior siding
* Contractor contacted all our siding vendors
* None of the contractor's siding vendors could locate the siding
* The siding is no longer produced
* The client said ***** Lumber in Minneapolis had the siding
* Contractor went to ***** Lumber and told no do not have the siding, it is textured and do not make the smooth anymore
* Client insisted ***** Lumber had the siding
* Contractor went again to ***** Lumber and spoke to another sales person, told the same thing only have it in textured, not smooth as it is not produced any longer
July 29 Trimmed the interior of the door, planned to trim it with the siding but delayed because siding could not be found
July 30 Trimmed the skylight
At this point, the clients were told of other options, both him and her at various times with the contractor
August 8 Drawings of what the area could look like with different options were sent to the clients
August 12 Client wanted more, sent pictures of houses with different options
Client out of town on vacation for one week
No decision made on options, contractor spoke to them again about options and decided to make up sample boards
Yes, contractor busy and not always able to return calls on the same day
September 12 The made up samples of what the siding could look like were delivered to the client
September 18 Installed siding option that client chose, client happy with choice
September 23 Invoiced client for remaining balance, client verbally told contractor they should receive a discount, offered $100 discount
September 24 Client notified contractor that they had registered complaint to Better Business Bureau
September 25 Painted siding, received complaint from Better Business Bureau, first time contractor told that client wanted 50% off the remaining balance due
As seen in the above timeline the project was not agreed upon until the end of May. As may be recalled, the beginning of June was a terrible month for exterior construction work. The start was delayed on the deck.
The patio door was also delayed even though it was ordered on May 31. This was beyond the contractor's control. This was not expected as that is not normal to have a patio door take longer than three weeks. The plan was to install the door at the same time as the construction of the deck. Because of the larger demand for building supplies, we began to experience delays with the arrival of construction products. This could not be controlled by the contractor. When the patio door came in, the contractor could not install it immediately because of other projects that needed to be finished. As soon as the timing worked with projects, the door was installed.
The clients were happy with their deck and door. The siding now proved to be a problem. The existing siding on the house appeared to be a siding that would not be a problem to match. A job had just been done with the same Dutch lap siding but in a textured finish. The contractor assumed it was available in smooth also. Unfortunately the siding is no longer being produced. The contractor tried to locate it and no one had any in their existing stock. Sidings that were close to the product were offered but the clients said no, they wanted the exact same. At this point the client tried to find the siding. The client said it was available at ***** Lumber-twice the contractor went to ***** in person and spoke to two different sales people and was told the same thing. The siding that ***** Lumber had was the same siding but was textured unlike the client's siding which is smooth.
At this point in time, many lengthy conversations occurred between the client and contractor with the contractor explaining other options. Because the patio door is in a "popout", there were many options available to put around the exterior of the door. Some of the options are what some home owners choose to purposely do to accent a "popout" area. At no point was the contractor rude in these conversations. Drawings were done and pictures were sent to the client of options. They were unable to make a decision and several more lengthy conversations were done between the client and the contractor. It was then decided to do up samples so the client could hold them up to their house and physically/visually get the idea what the various options could look like. The client finally made a decision and the option of smooth cedar plywood with Mirotech 1" x 3" batten boards was chosen. The client then called to say they did not like it. The client said we should re-side the entire house so it matches. Then said they should receive a discount. The contractor said that giving a discount doesn't make people happy and we wanted them happy with their project which is why we worked with them to give them as many options as were available. Client then decided the contractor should re-side the entire house to make it all match. This was unacceptable to the contractor. The client said we should have explored the siding before we started and the contractor said would you not have done the patio door and deck then? The client said they would have thought longer about it. They also said that when they replace windows in the future, they would be replacing the siding as well.
We are sorry that they are not happy with the siding issue, but the contractor did try to do everything possible to make it look nice and please the client.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
J Brothers did not directly acknowledge our complaint in the last response, which continues to be unacceptable and displays a lack of care and respect for us as customers. All of our concerns have been disregarded. We feel taken advantage of, threatened, and as if we are being treated as non-paying customers. ALL PAYMENTS have been made as scheduled, and are UP TO DATE. The project has not technically been completed as the final inspection has NOT been done, therefore the final balance is not yet due. Per the contract, the balance is DUE UPON COMPLETION .
* We continue to be dissatisfied with the project and the lack of customer service from J Brothers.
* We still haven't received a solution to rectify the problems, except OUR request for a 50% discount of the remaining balance.
* We are stuck with low quality, non-matching siding, which can affect the value/selling of our house.
* The project ran excessively over the amount of time it should have. Delays were not all because of weather or waiting to search for siding. Many delays were made due to random excuses by the contractor.
* We did not receive what was expected from the project or contractor in the level or service or materials.
We would still like to come to a resolution with J Brothers rather than filing a court claim. We are negotiable on a credit for the issues on this project, although we feel that 50% credit of the remaining balance is fair. Once all issues are addressed properly and a resolution is agreed upon, we will be more than happy to write a check.
We were misled by J Brothers' advertising of "complete home remodeling to your total satisfaction," as it does not reflect what we have experienced during this project. According to the contract, any disputes are to be settled with the BBB, mediation and finally, in conciliation court. If a resolution is not met by October 18, 2013, our attorney will be filing a case in conciliation court.
The remaining balance will be paid once the following conditions are met:
* Need invoice (with the correct date) for the remaining balance of $1925 (after 50% reduction of $3850).
* Receipt for the patio door ONLY, so that we can use it for tax purposes.
* Final inspection completed and passed by the City of Eden Prairie.
* A receipt in person, marked as PAID, during which final check will be given to the contractor.
Final Business Response
The only thing that was not done was a 3' piece of siding on each side of the patio door 8' high. The deck was completely usable.
As far as the brand of the door, we quoted an Andersen American Craftsman door. The door we installed was a better door. Sorry we did not clarify that we had gone with a better door.
The siding that the customer decided on was not cheaper--it was cedar plywood with 1" x 4" Smarte Siding strips. This actually costs more money than the siding would have been if they were still making the siding. Also, we do not do whole house siding so we would have referred them to a siding contractor.
Also, very disappointed with the home owners calling names. We have been accused of being way too honest in our business but never shady. This is the very first complaint of this type.
We will send over the invoice for the door for tax purposes when we get paid. We have notified the City of Eden Prairie to not final the deck unless we are present. We will also be putting a mechanic's lien on the property.
We have gone out of our way to please them with running around looking for the siding when they insisted it was at locations, drawn pictures, taken photos of projects, made up sample boards which they then approved the design they wanted. We will not accept anything but full payment. Giving money back does not remedy the siding. If we give them money back, we still are the "bad" people. Our goal is always to please our customer and we have gone out of our way to find a solution. If we all knew that the siding was not available, would they still have put in a new door? Probably as they would not have had access to their deck which turned out beautiful!
Also, as far as the length of the project--the customer was told 2- 3 weeks from start to finish. Weather delays cannot be helped. We were at 2 weeks and one day when we ran into the siding issue. It would have been done in less than 3 weeks but the customer could not decide on siding.
If payment is received by October 15, 2013, we will not proceed with the lien.