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First, the 3400.00 does not include the "value" of the Angies list coupon. I paid $1295 for the Craigslist deal for a value over over $2000 and then an additinal $ 2199. for his extra time. The cost would be 4300 to 4400 in reality. I made the mistake of not getting a firm estimate. I discussed my previous estimates of 3300 from a professional carpenter for treated wood and $3930 for Trex wood subsitute. He implied he could save me money. I was under the impression that the value of the deal (around $2199) would pretty much cover all the costs of a porch made with treated wood.
The job was done. It looked nice but he put no footings under the support posts to prevent rotting. He said his job was to build it back the way it was, not to use footings. They would add too much expense. I went back to the carpenters estimate and I saw the total expense for Cat blocks under all posts was only $50. Hardly a big expense to do a job correctly.
He would work for a day and disappear for a week or two. Finally finished all except the staining. He said it was too wet on a Friday to stain and he would be back on Monday. One month later, nothing happened. We still had a pile of old rotten wood in the year he had forgotten. Asked about the staining, he said that he never said anything about staining the porch and that would not be included.
Back to the Cat blocks under the posts. I don't think he even knew what they were. His estimate for concerte footings was another $3550.00!!! All for what could have been done for $50 up front.
I would advise you to learn from my painful lesson. My Angies list deal turned out to be the "bad deal" off of a lifetime. Get a firm estimate. don't assume someone who is a contractor is an expert or is competent to take on such a project. It is the carpenter who is the real expert. Get more references. Do not assume that someone is competent just because they offer an Angie's List deal. I doubt that Angie's list requires that he meet any particular standard of excellence to associate themselves with the deal. Totalling the value of the deal, I paid more for this wooden steps without footings than I would have for Trex steps with footing.
As for the quality of the work it was second to none. Many years ago I owned a pressure cleaning and painting business so I am well aware of how things should go and
I was a bit surprised at the estimate at first but once I thought through how much work there was to be done it seemed more than fair. If you are looking for the lowest bid for a job I'd say you'll get a lower price from someone else but I don't think you could possibly get the same quality of work. You get what you pay for.
Besides the quality of the work
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