Recent Review: We signed a contract with Mr. Capouch in early February. The terms were that we would pay 1/3 that day, the second third upon beginning of the project, and a final third upon completion. He assured us that the whole job would take only about 3-5 days on the premises, as he would do all the prep work in his shop. Work was to commence at the end of March. In early March, he called. My family had arranged to go on vacation in mid-March, and he wanted to know if he could do all his on-site work while we were out of town. Although we were hesitant, we agreed. We gave him a key and the second payment on March 13th. When we returned a week later, nothing had been done. We had stripped all the necessary areas down to the studs, but nothing had been done at all. We began to call. Eventually, he contacted us. Excuse number one - his Dad in Wisconsin was ill and needed help, he couldn't come to work. He would get there next week. We began to worry. The next week, he still didn't come. Oh, except to take more measurements. It was at this stage that he decided he would remake all the cabinets rather than reface them. He claimed it would be more material but the same amount of work and he wouldn't charge us additional fees. We agreed. I asked him, can you be finished by Easter? "Oh, yeah. No problem." In mid-April, he showed up again. He tore out all the cabinets and stacked them in a pile in front of the garage. Then, he left. He would return tomorrow. He didn't. We lived three days with no counters, no cabinets, and our kitchen in the living room. He did eventually come in with the base cabinets and the uppers that fit above them. He set them, and left again. My husband and a friend set the counters that day, but we had found all the lawsuits against Capouch by then, and were really starting to worry. The rest of the time we had to deal with Brian were of a piece: he would promise he'd arrive with one piece or another on Monday, be definitely done by Wednesday. On Monday he'd never show; on Wednesday, he might come in with one piece or another he had promised, but more often than not, he would give us an excuse. He's sick, his car broke down, flat tire, he had sprayed the cabinets but the paint or stain had to dry, you get the idea. We started communicating with him in texts in case we would have to file a lawsuit as well. We found more and more cases against him, largely from sub-contractors who never got paid, but also from home owners who hired him and were stiffed. Easter came and went and, though I had base counters and tops, no doors were up and the china hutch we had ordered was still missing. In May, slowly, the big pieces started to show up. The custom china hutch appeared, as did the doors. The pantry cabinet we had added to the order came in with the wine rack. But nothing was ever finished in one day - the hutch arrived, but without shelves or drawers. The doors came in, but some were cut wrong and had to be re-made. He also started to make noises about needing more money. He begged my husband for an advance on the remaining total - he needed $2000. Reluctantly, Dave gave him $1600. Always, more promises, more excuses. Sometimes we wouldn't hear from him for a week. Always, he would swear - I HAVE to be done by Wednesday, as if we were stopping him from finishing the job. A week before he finished the job, he contacted Dave again for an advance - he hadn't paid the electric bill for his shop and he had no power. Another $1000 advance. In late May, my husband gave him an ultimatum - you're done on Sunday of this week. Whatever you have finished is what gets finished. If you're not done, we don't pay you the remainder of the money. (By that time, we had also negotiated additional trim around two windows, the pantry cabinet was extra, and the wine rack as well.) He came back - if you're not going to pay me more, I'm going to take back the wine rack. He came back that Sunday, didn't finish everything (we still needed trim around the doors, windows, inset cabinet, drawers for the hutch, etc.) But he was close. He didn't finish that week, oh no, it was still another week and a half before the last piece came in, was applied, and all the junk wood from in front of our garage removed. We settled up with him on the remainder and were so grateful to see the last of him. Overall, the workmanship on the cabinets is stunning. He used birch wood, the finish is lovely, the craftsmanship excellent. We are very happy with the finished product, but be very careful with this contractor. If you do hire him, put completion dates into the contract. Attach penalties for non-compliance. But even then - look him up in court cases on line in Iowa. I counted more than 50 suits against him, and at least 2 bankruptcies. Even if you do put him under contract, he may not honor it and let you sue him. I think we were lucky, though I don't know why. He finished the job, with a lot of twisting and begging from us, and the work is wonderful. We would have fired him several times along the way, but had sunk too much money into this contractor and hadn't the heart to start over with a new one. We had interviewed several others, and none came back with plans or bids that were reasonable in price or scope. I just wish we had known to run from this guy.