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Landscaping reviews in Orcas

  • F
    Not good.  I broke my own rules and accepted Mr.
    Sander's grandfatherly demeanor as honesty despite the fact he refused to give
    a fixed bid.  I was told that ?things change? during the install and he
    could only quote me a price for the system and that it would definitely not be
    any more than 10-15% over budget (as he had a lot of experience with costing
    jobs and never ran over more than 15%). 
     
    The total cost of the system was quoted at 30 - 32K with a
    10K deposit required for materials which  I was told verbally "were ordered and in
    the warehouse".   I could have saved myself a lot of grief by
    insisting that I pay for all the sprinkler heads, valve boxes (etc) directly
    and at the least should  have asked to see his purchase invoice. 
     
    Our general contractor repeatedly complained about the
    quality of his work but having gotten into it I was only trying to get out the
    other side.  In four months time I realized that Mr. Sanders had blown
    through the entire irrigation budget and that there was only  a small
    amount of money remaining to be paid out (and a lot of unfinished work).  Realizing
    this, I politely asked him to explain and hard bid the rest of the installation
    and that I would be happy to pay as long as the remaining funds were paid out
    based upon completion of work and not on ?time and materials?.
     
     There was no attempt to address my concerns, get the
    remaining work done or reassure me that he wasn't planning on gouging me for
    tens of thousands of dollars more than he had originally agreed to for
    completion of the work.  At a loss for
    what to do I felt I had no choice until I got some answers and withheld a $4,200
    payment.  I made it clear that I would be
    happy to pay provided that he give me written assurances in writing that the
    project would be completed for the amount originally agreed upon.   
     
    There was no response to my pleas...only a million
    fabricated excuses for why he could not honor the bid amount.  Our general
    contractor and other workers on site went out of their way to help him bury
    lines and do what they could to make his job easier so everyone has been
    shocked by his behavior.  When push came
    to shove and I asked him to deliver the materials paid for and not on site he
    quickly changed his tune and insisted that there was never any 10K deposit for
    materials (see email below).  In the email below he answers my question
    about  why we were being billed off the bat for 10K: "The supplies
    have been purchased with the 10K, even though they are not all in the ground
    yet."
    I'm embarrassed to say that during this ordeal I even went so far as to tell
    him I might be willing to pay a little more but that he really needed to make
    me comfortable and put in writing the agreement, abandon "time and
    materials" and get the work done as agreed for the price agreed.  
    The crowning blow came the night before last when our general contractor called
    me to tell me that Mr. Sanders had come onto the building site and pretended to
    be checking out the system.  When he left it was discovered that he took
    our irrigation control box...unscrewed it right off the wall?thereby disabling
    what little works of the system we have paid 28K to date for.   I
    still remember our GC swearing and saying "there are just a bunch of wires
    hanging out of the wall!" 
     
    I immediately wrote Mr. Sanders and told him he had 24 hours
    to return the stolen irrigation box or I would call the Sheriff.  The
    reply by email this:
    ?I have not stolen anything. I removed the timer as I was having troubles with
    it and needed to work on it in a well lighted shop. I also removed a valve
    solenoid that was troublesome. You should not activate the water until it is
    replaced. As this is an ongoing project I have an obligation to bring and
    remove any part that is necessary for the system to function properly. To say I
    have stolen something is a slanderous accusation.  I will not return to
    the job site nor will any representative of mine until I have been paid. The
    timer and solenoid will remain in my possession until that time. I can return
    it to you ?as is? or you can pay me to fix the problem. You may call the
    Sherriff if you want but I recommend you do not, as you will just be
    exacerbating an already volatile relationship, and nothing will come of it as
    you have not made payment for all parts.?
    Receiving this response we immediately terminated our relationship with Island
    Irrigation and Mr. Sanders.  It is my I hope others will not make the same
    mistake I did.  We have hired an "off island" irrigation company
    and I suggest if you have irrigation needs in the San Juan Islands you do the
    same.
    Sincerely,
    Jeff Cline
    Email Addendum:
    Jeff,
    As I stated before we began the project you would be receiving
    progress billings. The supplies have been purchased with the 10K, even though
    they are not all in the ground yet. I still have operational costs that must be
    met, so each invoice is payable upon receipt. After the first invoice you will
    begin seeing credits for money already paid for supplies toward the supply
    line. By completion of the project there will be approximately 10% of the total
     due.
    Craig
     From: Jeff Cline [mailto:kagedo@kagedo.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 8:23 AM
    To: 'Craig A Sanders'
    Subject: RE: Progress Billing invoice 2716
     Hi Craig,
    Thanks for your
    note.  Not quite sure if this is just for accounting purposes or
    not.  Obviously the system is far from complete so imagine it is just for
    accounting purposes and that you are deducting this amount from the total on
    the 30-32K cost estimate of the full system.  We obviously want to pay for
    work that has been completed and since my guess is only 20% is complete (if
    that) it should be covered by the 10K deposit we made.  Let me know if
    there are any issues as obviously we want to be on the same page.  As I
    recall you estimated the system at 30-32K including all exterior work including
    the greenhouse watering system.  We understand that figure was not a fixed
    bid but that your estimates never are off by more than 10% or possibly a small
    amount more.  Just want to be sure that you understand that was our
    agreement.  Supposed to be 81 on Sunday so am pushing Denny to get the
    filtration and cistern done as soon as possible so we can get the system in and
    fully operational.  Thanks for all your hard work!
    Best,
    Jeff


    - Jeffery C.
  • F
    'I would definitely not use Earthworks for any services on Orcas Island.  They were initially referred by Windemere Real Estate on the island to do work on then undeveloped property I had purchased there.  In retrospect, costs were nothing short of exorbitant.  I have since had work done that cost a fraction of the price charged to me by Earthworks. 
    Perhaps worst among the experiences I had was hiring John to put in stone steps to the beach at a cost of $35,000.  They were not engineered correctly and so almost immediately began washing out.   When I hired an engineer to look at the work he pointed out that nothing was done correctly.  Huge stone steps were actually placed on a foundation of rotting debris including an old stump. When I confronted John about it his response was that it was "done correctly" and didn't need to be fixed.  Unfortunately I  had to have the entire job torn out and redone.  His failure to address the problem and offer to to it correctly was nothing short of unbelievable. In the end it was a horribly expensive and frustrating experience.  I certainly wouldn't suggest anyone use them.  Had I only been referred to a more reputable company off the island I would have saved a huge amount of money and unending headaches.  For those of you considering having work done on the island I would recommend getting off island quotes and asking plenty of locals about their experiences before selecting a contractor.
    Jeff
    - Jeffery C.
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  • Warmzone

    12637 S 265 W Suite 100
    Draper, UT