We hired Maschino Wood Flooring to refinish existing red oak floors and to remove old vinyl and replace with new red oak flooring. All the wood floors (old & new were sanded and finished with dark stain and 4 coats of poly. We have 3 dogs so needed the extra finishing coat). We also had many steps that needed to be refinished and stained dark. Just the tread were stained, as you can see from the photos. I asked to see some floors that Jeff (the owner) had already refinished so I could get an idea of his work. He came to our house first so he could see what I wanted done. He said it would be no problem; work they've done before. I told them the problems we had with the initial staining done 17 years ago by a prior company - the problem was what is known in the floor staining business as "mustaching". It's where there's a darker coloring of stain near the edges of where the floor meets a wall or cabinet. It's due to sloppy work, or inexperienced worker with staining techniques. He said that also would be no problem. He would see to it that this didn't happen. So, off we went to see a couple sample floorings. One was typical- a small patched area replaced due to water leak. It was a good job, lighter stain that mine would be. After a couple similar ones (light stain), I asked if he'd done any with dark stain so that I could see how that turned out. (working with a darker stain takes more time & is more difficult to do nicely). He took me to a "monster house- hugely expensive- that has been in the building process for many years - again...a monster house. This home had amazing wood flooring, but it was all completely covered except for a small edge (covered so workers wouldn't scuff up the new finish). It looked amazing. Had special wood inlays of different colored wood - very impressive. I was convinced. We hired them and work began when they told us it would. The crew consisted of 2 young men. One had been with Jeff for a few years - the other was fairly new on the job- a few months. Now, what I didn't know was that Jeff did NOT do any hands-on work. In fact, he didn't show up to the job site unless I called him to ask about something. The 2 young men were very punctual, polite and especially considerate of my 3 dogs (they were kept upstairs but I would have to periodically bring them down & through their work to take them outside). Like I said, the guys were really nice. And they did an awesome job of cleaning up after their work each night. Things were cleaned up & put away at the end of each work day. They showed up promptly when they told me they would. They brought several samples of stain for me to approve since they didn't have a stock color that I liked. They laid the new wood flooring in a kitchen & dining room that ran right into the existing wood flooring in the entry way, formal dining room and steps. Sanding went well and they did a great job taking care to create as little dust as possible. So far, I was as happy as could be with the job and the quality of work. Then, the stain came. The color looked great - I loved it. Of course, at this point in the process, we had to stay off the floor so all of us were out of the house - us in a hotel & dogs in a kennel for 4 days. We had to wait for the floors to really dry & cure & with 3 dogs, didn't want to take any chances. We knew from day one that we would have dog scratches on the floor as soon as they all stepped onto the floor. And that was ok. Well- when we came home to inspect it I noticed some great things - the steps looked amazing. We had one step (the last one that everyone steps on) that needed special attention & came out perfect. We couldn't have asked for a better job. And they did a great job NOT getting the stain on the white painted toe-kicks on the steps! AWESOME! Then I noticed the BAD areas. In the dining room (new floor) there were circular marks all across the entire floor - worse in some areas. These are sanding marks from a process called "screening". When I said this was unacceptable I was told that "it will fade & blend in over time". (now I should mention that not only have I lived in 2 homes with stained wood flooring, but my son & I had just refinished the floors in his smaller home-sanding, staining, etc. And for 2 new floor DIYers- the floors were nearly perfect. No sanding marks, no mustache marks!!) So when he started telling me this kind of stuff I wasn't buying it. Then, I noticed a spot in a small area between a wall & cabinet (a walkway) that looked as if someone had spilled the stain & tried to wipe it up - only to leave a noticeable spot. When I asked about that spot, the subject was quickly changed. Well, I told him I wasn't going to write a check for the final payment (that's what he'd come over for...the FINAL PAYMENT). I told him to tell Jeff-the owner-that I wasn't paying till it was fixed. Well, that's when "nice Jeff" became "rude Jeff". He was over immediately (not the next day), demanding to know what was wrong. When I should him the areas of concern, he told me that that is "just how things turn out with dark stain". I told him it was unacceptable, & wanted them redone in those areas (mainly just the kitchen/dining room area). He flipped out. First, he told me that "I will re-do them, but the floors are gonna come out the same and when they do, I'm going to charge you again for a 2nd job" I absolutely told him no way was I going to pay for a second time when the job wasn't done correctly the first time. I asked if the floors looked like this in the "monster house" & he said, "no, those floors were different. Each piece of wood was hand finished & stained differently" So- it wasn't even a fair comparison in the first place. HOW MISLEADING CAN YOU BE?? Then, after much discussion between Jeff, myself & his primary worker (I have since forgotten his name), his worker told us that if we had them done over, "he wasn't going to do it because this was the best he could do & this was how Jeff had shown him." We were in a show down. Jeff stomped out. I then called the BBB who suggested I call a "wood floor inspector". Come to find out, there is NOT a wood floor inspector in South Dakota but there is one in Minnesota. I spoke with him, sent him photos & he also agreed that the sanding marks & stain marks were unacceptable. The sanding marks are judged like this: if you can see the marks from a distance of 4 feet- they are unacceptable. I was easily able to stand above the marks, aim my camera & take the photo. I'm 5'6" so the marks showed up more than the acceptable amount. He said that he could come out to physically inspect them & give me a written report but it would cost me $800.00 since we were in SD. Jeff, obviously did want to pay the price. After lots of aggravation and arguing, I also called Pete's Wood Flooring in St. Paul, MN. They told me pretty much the same thing; that this was poor quality work, was not acceptable and that we had reason for complaint. I realized we were going no where. My husband & I talked about taking this to court (it was too big a price for small claims so would have been regular court system). In looking back, we should have done it on principle alone. Instead, we were so fed up with the process (probably what he was hoping for), that we just paid so we could get on with life. A few weeks later, I was telling a friend of our who is a realtor and also had wood floors refinished. When I told her Maschino's did ours & how bad they came out, it turns out she had similar problems. I went to see her floors. She had a similar spot in a walkway that also looked like someone spilled stain & tried to wipe it up. And you know what Jeff told them..."I can't re-do just that spot-I would have to re-do the entire area & I'm not gonna do it. You can just put a throw rug over it & no one will ever notice". Can you believe that? "Just cover it up & no one will know" Hmmm? So, now that it's coming up on 1 year since this mess, you can see that I'm still very unhappy with the quality of work & the company's (Jeff's) response to crappy workmanship. I have contemplated writing a review for the entire winter but didn't want to get all mad about it again. But, now I've decided that I don't want someone else to be disappointed like I was. Maybe if I'd picked a light stain we wouldn't have a problem...but I didn't. And we do...have a problem! Should have done it myself I guess!