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While he was working on the bells, I showed him some work in the basement: to tie all lights to one switch, that had not been finished by my previous contractors (unfortunately not found in Angie's List before I was a member). He and his colleague carefully threaded the wires between the ceiling and the floor and tied them to the switch.
I was exceedingly pleased with his work, the lighting worked perfectly, making my basement a much more inviting space, and his charge, for the time and effort he put in was more than reasonable.
I have been delighted with the work "
We were sorely in need of storage in our unit, so I asked them if they thought he had the skill to handle larger projects and remodeling. They said they had seen some work he did across the street and that it was "amazing" "really beautiful" "very high quality." Plus, I could see their built-ins and kitchen through their window and it did look great.
When I met
-His workers are, for the most part, unskilled, and unsupervised.
-They don't clean up their messes.
-They don't use drop cloths or make any effort to protect your belongings. They damaged our bed, left paint splatter on our belongings, left a smudge of wood putty on a vintage dress my daughter has not yet had a
-They are great at starting, but lousy at seeing a project through to completion in a timely manner. We would be told work would begin on Monday, the guy would show up, stay for an hour and then get called away to another job, not to return for days or weeks.
-They use plywood instead of solid wood, though in your contract it states simply that he uses "wood."
-They use cheap materials, regardless of how much you pay them.
-They are not skilled painters. They do not smooth, repair, or clear walls of nails or tape or other foreign objects before painting them. They don't use painter's tape, so the lines between ceiling and wall are squiggly. I can still see shadows of the old paint on our ceiling. I requested another coat. They agreed, but never followed up.
-They did a sloppy job closing up our walls after doing electrical work and the scars and imperfections are still visible.
-Every concession they make for you, even when it comes to fixing their screw-ups, will be dredged up and rubbed in your face at every opportunity.
-I have spoken to some of his other clients and trust me, it isn't just you.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. It was all far, far worse than it sounds.
In short, we paid $9,000 for two plywood built-ins, some minor electrical work, the painting of two small rooms. The work was consistently sloppy, unprofessional and riddled with delays. Our belongings and our premises were damaged in the process. The project remains unfinished.
DO USE ANGIE'S LIST TO FIND A COMPETENT CONTRACTOR.
DO CHECK REFERENCES AND don't TAKE ANYTHING AT FACE VALUE.
DO YOUR RESEARCH.
don't HIRE ONE COMPANY TO DO ALL YOUR WORK. COMMISSION SMALLER JOBS TO GIVE THE COMPANY A
DO NOT PAY FOR THE WHOLE JOB IN ADVANCE. PAY SMALL INCREMENTS IN ADVANCE.
BE CLEAR ABOUT QUALITY OF THE RAW MATERIALS AND HARDWARE YOU EXPECT AND FOLLOW UP.
ASSUME THAT ALL CONTRACTORS ARE BEARS WITH THUMBS AND POWER TOOLS. UNTIL THEY EARN YOUR TRUST DO NOT LEAVE THEM TO THEIR OWN DEVICES.
NEVER HIRE A MAN TO DO A MAN'S JOB. CONSIDER HIRING A WOMAN OR AT LEAST A MAN WITH A BACKGROUND IN INTERIOR DESIGN.
HIRE A CABINETMAKER INSTEAD OF A GENERAL CONTRACTOR.
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU EVERYTHING IS MADE OF PLYWOOD, don't BELIEVE IT. A QUALITY CONTRACTOR AND/OR CABINETMAKER WILL USE QUALITY MATERIALS."
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