Long-distance remodel leads to budget quarrel

Long-distance remodel leads to budget quarrel

COMPLAINT: Albert Di Vittorio, Chicago

"I hired Handyman Matters - Chicago to install a new maid's bathroom, replace in-wall plumbing and windowsill tiling for two bathrooms, repaint entire apartment, and install crown molding, shelving and tiling.

"I was initially impressed with their lead worker's professionalism, but was ultimately disappointed by an exploded budget and the impression that I couldn't trust them to work well when I was not on-site. I was abroad for all but the first two days of the job, and communication was extremely poor.

"They broke old pipes, performed sloppy paint work, broke a bathroom windowpane, didn't complete items we had discussed in e-mails, didn't use the bathroom fixtures I had purchased, and didn't haul away several items they were supposed to dispose of.

"The final product was satisfactory, but not to the level of quality I had expected, and at much too high a price. They fixed several problems, but added the cost of repairs to the original estimate."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I would like a $10,000 refund to cover the difference between the estimate and the final price."

COMPANY RESPONSE: Janet Asbury, owner/president, Handyman Matters - Chicago

"We were shocked and disappointed to see this review, because we have gone above and beyond for this client and thought he was happy. The client states that we were over our estimate, our communication was poor, and the quality of work was poor. None of this is accurate.

"We were 5.17 percent over our estimate, and industry standard is that any project within 10 percent of the estimate is on budget. Nonetheless, we refunded the difference so that we were exactly on budget.

"The client purchased the wrong size fixtures for the bathroom, and when we informed him of this, he instructed us to purchase a similar style of the correct size. We hauled away all construction debris except a mattress and other personal effects that belonged to the client.

"We did not break his windowpane, but it did break while we were there, so we repaired it at no charge. We absolutely did not break his pipes. The riser was already rusted through when we opened the wall. We have already given him more than $2,765 of free work to date."

STATUS: Stalemate

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Leave a Comment - 2


Kevin Klepper


I just love these stories..I have to agree with Mike Quail and his comment,what did you expect hiring a handyman,miracles? People here in NYC do this all the time, they hire supers from buildings and maintenance men because they want be to take the cheap way out,and not hire a professional like me who is skilled labor, licensed insured bonded and workman comp...Yes, I charge alot for what we do, you get what you pay for..

Mike Quail


Albert, the company name is "Handyman Matters" a handy man is someone who is handy, not a trained professional. And purchasing your own fixtures is your problem. Do you bring your own food to the diner and have them cook it for you ?

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