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General Contracting reviews in Maple Plain

  • D
    It started out great but clearly this job was just too big for Mel and he's not used to having clients who have ideas about how things should go. As the daughter of a life long general contractor, I knew what I wanted and I knew how things should go. The end result was reasonably good work (he has some very good subs and his project manager for our project was excellent...wish he'd been our general contractor) but there were many, many problems along the way.
    Mel and his wife, Denise, don't readily accept any responsibility when they make a mistake and instead attempt to blame the customer. One glaring case in point was in May (at the beginning of the project) when we'd chosen all our bathroom fixtures and sent it off to him. They'd spent enough time to notice that we'd exceeded our allowance but didn't pay attention to any of the details. So in July when the tub *they'd* chosen without so much as showing us a picture arrived, it would not support a deck mounted faucet. First Mel tried to blame Ferguson's, then he tried to blame us. Eventually when we stood our ground, they ordered a new tub but there was a great deal of conflict. It all went seriously down hill from there.
    Denise handles all the client communication and is one of the least professional people I've ever done business with in my life. She's very difficult and plays bad cop to wherever Mel plays good cop. He tends not to pay attention to details, doesn't write things down and then often doesn't remember what was discussed or promised, and then tries to back out. There's always an excuse and it's never his fault. Usually ours. Amazingly.
    During our contract meeting, we had several instances where we'd said we wanted (fill in the blank) added and he didn't write it in. When I asked and quot;shouldn't you write this downand quot;, he'd respond that he'd get it all written in when he got home. MY bad for not forcing the issue immediately but I trusted him. He's got a winning personality until it goes wrong. Later, Denise would accuse us of trying to get something that wasn't agreed to even though in person Mel would admit he'd forgotten to write it in. This went on and on where he wouldn't have paid attention to details or he wouldn't have been communicating with subs or his employees.
    We did ask for some additional work outside the scope of the contract and were always ready to pay appropriately for it. Of course the one that came back to bite us was some work on a powder room. Despite my asking what it was going to cost for 2 months and getting no numbers, the work was done. It was only AFTER that he charged us $800 which we objected to since we would never have done that work for that money if we'd have known before hand. We ended up painting ourselves (took off $100) and agreed upon $500 but the whole interaction felt unethical (which Denise actually accused us of being, more than once)
    He didn't manage the job well at all. His tile guy used a DRY saw in the hallway with a FAN blowing right into a bedroom that wasn't under construction because he also didn't shut the door. It was the worst disaster of the whole construction zone and then Denise gave us the most ridiculous grief about cleaning after ward. This was our whole 4 1/2 months (was supposed to be a 2 1/2 mo job). Total nightmare.
    We've built a custom home and that process took us 3 years. That was a breeze compared to this remodel. I feel like we have PTSD from it all. Would NOT recommend. I'm sure this will pull a response of how the whole nightmare was never his fault and we were just the worst clients in the world. Funny, everybody else that has ever done contracting work with us has never had a problem, even in a 3 yr house project.

    - Sonja L.
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General Contractors in Maple Plain

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