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Garage Building reviews in Fenton

  • A
    Classic Buildings LLC
    Mark was the builder and the delivery driver. He was extremely nice and even gave my kids a lollipop. Mark was the man who sold us the building, he was there at the delivery to make sure everything went well.
    - Kristin R.
  • C
    Living Space Construction, LLC
    Details of Work Performed by Living Space Construction, LLC owned by Jim Aubuchon

    During the bid process, Jim was very punctual in getting out to the house for a bid.  His company specializes in customized work which is exactly what I was looking for.  A previous contractor (who claims to build to Amish standards) bid a lower price but did not want to deal with the details.  It was clear that Jim really enjoys finding solutions to challenges and that is exactly the type of person I wanted on this job. 

    Working with Jim Aubuchon up until completion and final payment overall was positive.  Since we did the job over the winter, his concrete business was slower so he had time to provide the attention I expected for the size of the project.  On one occasion though, he came to my house incredibly angry, as he was upset with me for complaining about his lack of communication to his carpenters.  Other than that, during the 6 months or so we worked together, his behavior was professional.  After the job was completed and had passed all inspections, there were problems with some of the work that the Brick sub-contractor had done.  I have requested now for 6 months that he hire a new brick contractor to attempt to fix it.  Early on, Jim would reply to my emails stating that he hasn't forgotten about me, and that he is working on it.  I haven't heard from Jim since that email on 8/20/2014.  

    Foundation and Flat Work
    Jim has owned St. Louis Concrete for 25 years and his concrete company did the concrete foundation and all flat work.  His concrete crew were professional and did good work.  When issues did come up, Jim was willing to go the extra mile to make them right.  

    The building itself was constructed by Jim's two carpenters.  They followed standard building codes and built to standard.  I am unhappy with the quality of the windows that they installed, as they are very low quality and were designed to be single windows but were installed as a double window installation.  Overall though, Jim's employees were good people and did professional work.  I involved myself during every step of the build, and they were responsive to my requests and changes.  While I'm sure I frustrated them at times, they maintained professionalism and worked with me to keep me happy. 

    Jim sub-contracted electrical work to M&H Electrical.  Brian Mayer did the majority of the electrical work and he was always courteous and did excellent electrical work.  He clearly saw his trade as artwork - and the product showed through in his work.

    Overhead Door
    Jim sub-contracted to Martin Door.  The door was not cheap but I got what I payed for.

    The brick sub-contractor that Jim selected was absolutely awful in every way.  He would show up sporadically, and he delayed project completion for several months.  He got into a fist fight on my front porch with one of his employees, and I had to call the police.   I fought with the subcontractor for over a month on the mortar color, because he wouldn't put the time and effort into doing a proper acid-wash.   The acid wash that he did do ended up staining the old brick that it was supposed to help match, because he didn't put the time and effort into rinsing properly.  Moreover, since Jim paid him in full prior to the work being completed, the only way I could get him to come back was to hire him to build a mailbox with the remaining brick.  I had to put more money on the table before the subcontractor would finish.

    Update (11/4/2014) - why I changed my overall rating to C.
    Unfortunately, I can't get Living Space Construction to make the mistakes from their Brick sub-contractor right.  I've been trying to get Jim to send out a new brick restoration guy for 6 months.  He was incredibly busy with his concrete company over the summer so I was extremely patient.  As mentioned before, he did respond on 8/20 indicating that he found someone and that they would be out the following week.  I haven't been able to get him on the phone, or reply to my messages since.  I am now hiring my own brick guy, with the intention of sending the bill to Living Space.  I will update on what happens.


    - Jason L.
  • C

    We had a bad experience dealing with J & J Home Builders, Inc. (d.b.a. HomeSource Custom Homes). Our initial contact with the company was through Jason Courtney, one of the sons of this family run business. He worked with us in the finalization of our contract and home building plans. We have no complaints from our initial contact with Jason Courtney. However, many of the costs initially quoted were grossly underestimated.


    The contract that we signed with HomeSource Custom Homes (HomeSource) was extremely one sided. Despite not breaking ground until September 1, 2011, we advanced HomeSource $131,975. HomeSource had interest free use of our funds for a number of months. We are not contesting this; however, we are trying to make a point of the lop sided nature of the relationship we have had with HomeSource and their payment practices. Once construction started, we submitted to our bank for timely full payment all invoices, except for the final payment. The second to last invoice/payment required under the contract for $23,814 was held up by our loan officer for failure on the part of HomeSource personnel to submit the required invoices and lien waivers to support amounts previously paid. While discussing why the funds were being held by the bank, our loan officer informed us HomeSource was significantly behind in their submission of invoices/lien waivers.  At the advice of our loan officer, we were told not to submit the final invoice for payment until we felt comfortable sufficient work had been completed to support the release of funds.  This advice is supported in documentation issued by HomeSource.  As noted in ?The HomeSource Secret? book under Tab C-3 ? Building Process.doc ? page 1 of 4, which we were given during the production meeting, ?Make sure inspections by your county or city are completed and that the work is approved before you make final payments at any phase of construction.  This is your assurance that the job will be done and finished properly.?


    We did not want to hold up the final payment; however, HomeSource was not effectively overseeing the construction of our home and work was not being completed in a timely manner. As of February 3, 2012, we logged 89 working days (Monday thru Friday) since October 10, 2011, which was the start of framing. Of those 89 recorded days, we noted 31 days where no one showed up and numerous days were only one person showed up or little work was done.  The 31 recorded days do not include days with incremental weather, weekends, or holidays.  Since we both work, we were unable to keep a complete daily log of all days since the start of the project.  Due to significant delays, we became more diligent about recording the days.  We began pleading with Valerie Schaffer and Joe Courtney starting in late October to have workers show up or hire appropriate personnel to ensure the timely completion of the shell of our home.  Despite numerous e-mails and phone calls detailing our concerns and deficiencies identified, work slowed even further. For instance, of the 18 days recorded in November, the masonry subcontractors did not show up six of those days. Of the 20 days recorded in December, the masonry subcontractor showed up only 9 days and completed minimal progress. Of the 18 recorded days in January, the masonry subcontractors worked only 4 days.  While the masonry subcontractor started the week of November 14, brickwork was not complete until January 25, despite promises that the work would be done within 2 ? 3 weeks.     


    On December 27, 2011, the masonry subcontractor left a note at the home stating HomeSource had not paid them for work completed and that they were walking off the site.  We became aware through discussions with other subcontractors used by HomeSource; HomeSource has a history of not paying its subcontractors until weeks after work is performed despite receiving payment well in advance from its customers. When asked, Joe Courtney stated the masonry subcontractor had been paid, which conflicted with the note left by the masonry crew and actual production on our home. 


    Given the numerous delays since the start of framing, the note received from the masonry subcontractor, and the numerous outstanding items that had not been adequately addressed; we elected to withhold payment of the final invoice in the amount of $11,907 until the work was completed or substantially complete under the advice of our loan officer.  I discussed the reasons for withholding funds on December 27, 2011 in a meeting held with Bill Courtney and Joe Courtney at the office of HomeSource. The meeting was followed up with a detailed e-mail dated January 1, 2012 sent to Valerie Schaffer that summarized the meeting.  This e-mail provided HomeSource written notice to make good on the deficiencies identified as required under section IV. Termination page 3 of 10 noted in the contract.  Under this section, it states:


    IV. Termination


    ?If the Sub-Contractor fails or neglects to carry out the work in accordance with the Contract Documents, the Purchaser(s) shall give written notice to the Sub-Contractor to make good such deficiencies.  If the Sub-Contractor fails to provide written assurances that the alleged deficiencies will be cured in a reasonable date certain, then the Purchaser(s) may, after fifteen (15) days from when the Sub-Contractor received said notice, deduct the reasonable cost of the deficiencies from the payment then or thereafter due the Sub-Contractor; or, at the Purchaser?s option, may terminate this Agreement and may pursue any remedies available to Purchaser(s) under law.? 


    At the December 27, 2011 meeting, Bill and Joe Courtney acknowledge the delays.  Bill Courtney stated he understood our concerns, and assured me the work would be done in a timely manner and the deficiencies would be fully addressed. Despite this discussion, as of 1/24/12 minimal additional work had been completed.  On January 24, 2012, I contacted Joe Courtney to again ask why work was not being completed. He responded by stating it was our fault for not paying the final invoice of $11,907 on the contract. This was a total disregard of the December 27th meeting and agreement, which again was documented in the e-mail to Valerie Schaffer dated January 1, 2012.


    Amounts that had been forwarded to the bank for payment to HomeSource (as noted in invoices submitted) included $83,697.95 in profit and overhead for HomeSource, which represents 32.7% of the contracted amount.   The amount of profit/overhead is excessive given we were told in early discussions with Jason Courtney that we would save 10 ? 30% on a custom home, which was also noted on a banner outside the office of HomeSource.  A builders profit on a complete home is usually about 20%. The amount of profit/overhead was never disclosed despite repeated request asking for a cost breakdown.  

    On January 24, having lost all faith in Joe Courtney and the promises the work would be completed, we contacted Jason Courtney. Jason had assured us at the time we signed the contract that HomeSource was a professional, reputable company and would perform the work in a professional/timely manner.   Jason Courtney contacted his brother Joe to again discuss our complaints.  According to Jason, Joe agreed to complete most of the work, which included all brick and siding work, by January 30, 2012.  In response to said work being complete, I agreed verbally to release $8,000 to $9,000 of the final invoice of $11,907. The remaining funds would be released upon full completion of contracted frame construction as discussed on December 27, 2011. 


    Joe Courtney failed to complete work by January 30, 2012.  While much of the promised work was completed on February 3, 2012, the siding work was still not finished.  Despite not completing the promised work, I elected to release $10,000 in a good faith gesture given the progress made. Valerie Schaffer with HomeSource was contacted on February 3, 2012 and informed that $10,000 would be released, which was more than the discussed amount.   On February 4, 2012, we received a letter dated February 2, 2012 from Valerie Schaffer representing HomeSource stating we were being charged late charges for the last invoice dated November 30, 2011, which we received on December 2, 2011. As outlined in the letter, HomeSource assessed late charges of 1.5% of the outstanding balance as well as $25 late fees for the month of December and January that total $416.21.  The letter further stated that the home warranty would be void due to our late payment. 


    Eventually, after numerous request and several arguments with Joe Courtney, work was completed in a satisfactory manner. Nevertheless, we believe we were misled about what would and would not be included in the shell package, the estimates for the subcontractors were grossly understated, one of the subcontractors that were recommended by HomeSource was not reputable and did not pass final inspection, and the home we were told would cost us 10 ? 30% or less than if a builder were to build it ended up costing us $50,000 more than the value of the completed home, which is based on the final appraisal.

    - Rodney J.
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Garage Builders in Fenton

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