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Decks reviews in Atascadero

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    Ohana Builders
    I was looking for a conscientious craftsman to rebuild our trex deck (with added improvements) that was lost in a devastating fire.  Because I didn't have any recommendations for a contractor, I went to Hayward Lumber in San Luis Obispo, CA and asked them, "Can you recommend a contractor that is conscientious, well skilled, and one who cares about craftsmanship."  Tom at Hayward Lumber gave me 3 names:  the first being Kevin Hass of Ohana Builders.  I asked Tom further about Kevin and decided to give Kevin a call to get a bid for my project.  We made an appointment and 2 days later I met with Kevin at my home. 
    The 2 1/2 hr. meeting with Kevin Hass did not go as well as I'd hoped.  Kevin spent more time telling his "stories' rather than gathering information about what I wanted to see in my finished deck. He even told stories about how his worker often "gets under his skin"...and would ask his "worker" to "tell him a story.....I'm paying you...I like stories....tell me a fishing story."
     After about 20 minutes of listening to Kevin (rather than him listening to me), I began to realize that Kevin was more interested in himself and his past projects.  I would have preferred that Kevin remained professional.  Kevin never once asked me what I envisioned.  After about 30 minutes I finally had to interrupt him and give him more information about my project and my vision.  Even then when he was about to leave, we had never discussed in detail the additional projects to the deck (benches and stairs).  I had to hold him up in order to give him more information pertaining to the additions to the project.
    I think the events turned awry when Kevin asked if I was getting other bids.  It's obvious Kevin doesn't like bidding for a job.  Early on when Kevin asked me if I was getting other bids, I was patient when he responded with, "I'm interviewing you as much as
    you're interviewing me."  He also wanted to let me know that he, "spends a lot of time on bids" and that he "should charge $1000.00" for his office-time.  These statements were given to me well BEFORE we actually got down to the business of measuring the deck, discussing the materials, discussing "issues" with current deck, and getting my visions for the improvements with the addition of stairs and benches.
    The meeting finally ended with me asking Kevin when he'd have a bid available so that I could submit it to the insurance company and start that whole process. He stated,  "Because I put so much time into my bids, it'll take 3 weeks to get the bid to you."   Then as he left, he told me that he'd have the bid available about in about 2 weeks."  That was more encouraging.
    After waiting a week, I phoned Kevin to get an update on his bid process (since I'm anxious to see if it can be expedited for the insurance company).  Kevin replied with a sigh, "To be honest, I haven't even thought about your bid.  I have 8 bids in front of you."  During our meeting, though he stated he had 5 bids in front of me, I told him I was anxious to get the bid into the insurance company since it will take about 2 weeks to get ok'd.  We both were shooting for a December 1st start date (per Kevin's timeline) and we were 3 weeks out from that date. After listening to Kevin tell me all about how he has other people waiting, that's "he's committed to other bids", that he didn't know when he could get to me....etc., I finally asked him, "Do you want this job????"  To my extreme surprise due to his seeming disinterest, He replied emphatically, "Yes!"  "Then-with a sigh- he said, "I will try to get you the bid by Friday.  I will give you a very rough number, but I can't guarantee it's accurate, but I can try."  I asked, "Please give me an honest bid to make sure we have enough $$ from the insurance company to cover the project."  It seemed Kevin wanted to spend as little time on my bid as possible since he simply wanted to call me with a number. I, in turn, requested an official bid sent to me in email to forward to my insurance company.   I THINK WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE REAL CRUX OF KEVIN'S "ISSUE" WITH THE PROJECT - I believe.  He told me, "If you are happy with bids from the other contractors, then I'd say go with one of them."  I responded, "I'm not happy." He asked, "Well, who are the other contractors?  I could be a nice guy and tell you if they are good or not."  I felt he was being disingenuous and manipulative here.  I feel he truly was still trying to decide if he wanted to propose a bid OR NOT.  I told him I felt it was inappropriate to ask who the other Contractors were. Obviously, Kevin did NOT want to bid...but
    did NOT have the character to tell me that up front!!!!!!!
    When I got off phone with this man, I was left feeling very disconcerted and confused.  Ultimately, I feel Kevin is more concerned about his competition rather than taking care of his own business and providing me with a bid.   Realistically, Kevin of Ohana Builders NEVER put himself "in the running" for my projects since he never wanted to provide a bid.  Seemed to me Kevin would prefer to be hired without bidding for a job.  Though that's a wonderful concept, but that's not reality in the world of construction.  My question to him would be, "Would YOU hire someone to work on your home without knowing how much it's going to cost????!!!"
    The following morning, it was obvious my instincts about Kevin were right on!  He called my home and spent about 2 minutes telling me why he wasn't going to give the bid.  He couched it in the false concern for me and my project, stating that he had so many projects ahead of mine; that he was "committed to providing other bids"; that his parent  "has gone back into the hospital";  that he "wouldn't be able to start on December 1st"; that "it's not fair to you to be stringing you along when I don't know when I'd be available....." and on and on...appearing as if to be concerned about me.  I responded with, "I think it WOULD be wise that we not work together.  I wish I had known this before I called you." <----meaning, I wish Tom of Hayward Lumber had revealed to me that Kevin does NOT like to bid for jobs. 
    From the very moment Kevin Hass of Ohana Builders stepped into my backyard, it seemed he did NOT WANT THIS JOB, for reasons unknown at the time!!!  I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt, but it never panned out.   I should have trusted my instincts about this man after the very first 20 minutes of him being in my back yard.  This is someone that wants to cherry pick his jobs and will WASTE YOUR TIME with his stories and negative comments to try to dissuade you from continuing with him if he decides he doesn't want to bid the job.  That was very obvious after my second conversation with him (on the phone) in which he provided a lot of "reasons" for me to NOT HIRE HIM...without him so much as saying so.
    I would have had more respect for the man had he simply said, "I do not want this job."  Instead, he kept stringing me along, wasting my time!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I wanted to continue to give him the benefit of the doubt (thinking that maybe I was being too critical), chalking up his excuses and many words as a personality quirk.  But in reality, Kevin secretly was trying to get me to "release" him from providing a bid.
    I have hired many contractors for the improvements to my property/home over the past 14 years and I must say that this was the
    MOST "PAINFUL" interaction I've ever had with a Contractor!  Kevin Hass of Ohana Builders seemed more concerned about himself and his stories rather than about the homeowner and their project.  Maybe he felt I had personality quirks as well and didn't want the job...but, one can NOT TRUST a Contractor with a project on one's home if the man can't be honest from the beginning!!!!!  I'm soooo glad I found this out BEFORE he worked on my deck.  WHO KNOWS WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES HAD BEEN HAD I HIRED HIM?  He may have caused a mechanic's lien on my home, or cut corners during the job, or used inferior products, etc.  Who knows since this man's character is questionable.
    BOTTOM LINE:  Kevin provided many many excuses, reasons, and bemoaned this job.  When I finally thought to ask,  "Do you want this job?" he stated, "YES!"  Then the following morning he calls back to give more excuses as to why he can't do the job
    (making it sound as if he's concerned for me and my project).  I feel Kevin never wanted to bid the job from the start.  He should have been honorable and revealed he didn't want  to bid for the job from the start.  I think he was looking for me to let him off the hook (why he provided so many excuses and bemoaning), but when I continued to press for a bid (willing to overlook his quirkiness) he realized he was going to have to be a man and call me in order to back out.  WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME.!!!  Our fire devastated me and this is the LAST thing I needed to deal with!!! 
     IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A BID, I WOULD SUGGEST LOOKING SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!!!  I can not and will never refer this man as a contractor.
    - I D.
  • A
    Dave Scheel Painting
    Came to do an estimate on April 1, '10. Gave a date to start work. Work was delayed slightly because of rain. He and his employee came exactly when he said they would to begin the work and the work was finished ahead of schedule. Their work and professionalism completely exceeded my expectations. I have landscaping all around and under the deck and they made an effort to be very careful not to step on anything. When the job was finished everything was cleaned up and put back in order. They were very professional, reasonable, honest, neat and always on time. Phone calls were returned the same day. Dave kept us apprised of how the job was going and of any unexpected events. Such as; originally we were only going to replace part of the handrail and a couple of supports. Once he had done the power wash it became evident that the whole handrail would have to be replaced. He discussed that with us in depth and went over what the additional costs would be. I will call Dave Scheel Painting for any work that falls into his field of expertize. I couldn't be happier.
    - Tracey A.
  • A
    - Mike O.
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