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Hardscaping reviews in Lake Mills

  • C
    The Ground Crafter, LLC
    Mixed bag. Design and actual work relating to the actual landscaping and deck work were from good to excellent. Project, for the most part, turned out really well. However, the time management of the project, billing, communication with regard to any and all costs and cost overruns were the worst I have ever encountered. The project was initially scheduled to last 3 weeks- it took 8 months to complete (after starting 2 months late). They won the engagement based on costs that were incomplete or intentionally understated, were very secretive about the details of the costs ( when I asked him for a breakout of the labor versus materials on one of the projects he informed me that " he did not have to give me that information") . With a cpl of the projects the "proposal" included a total cost ( on a water fountain for example) but failed to provide the small detail that there would be significant additional costs to actually hook it up to the required electricity. In fact, this almost doubled the cost of the water fountain project and we would have passed on that if we had know up front. Much of the delay was a result of poor time management and the Company's lack of proper scheduling and acquiring the necessary permits and approvals. Much of the cost overruns relates to them doing their own electrical and plumbing work, which in my opinion they are not qualified to do. They "do it themselves" instead of hiring qualified licensed electricians and plumbers. They clearly led us to believe otherwise in the proposals. They say they do that in order to "save the client money". It does anything but- they may charge a few dollars less per hour, than a licensed electrician or plumber may charge, but I takes them twice as long to do it and they charge for this on a hourly basis. The only one that walks away with savings on this one is the company- customer gets screwed. Overall, I would make the following suggestions for someone considering to hire them: 1. Only hire them to do what they do best; the landscaping and design. Insist they hire qualified and licensed electricians and plumbers to do that work. 2. Do not let them do the landscaping lighting. Although we were happy with the arrangement of the lights- they just left the wires ( many of them) laying on the top of the ground ( in the flower beds) or on top of the stone with not attempt to bury or hide them in any way ( very unprofessional). 3. Make sure the proposal includes all costs including the electrical and plumbing work to make them operational. Be aware of undisclosed costs that have not been included in the proposal. 4. Get a time completion commitment and insist on a discount if it turns out to be a lot longer ( like 3 weeks to 8 months). 5. The guy that did the carpentry work on the deck ( sorry don't remember his name) was excellent. I would make sure I got him again. 6. Make it clear that they are to bring their own tools and not help themselves to yours ( like brooms, shop vacs, etc.) 7. When you catch them with a "mistake" on the billing make sure you follow through to make sure they make the correction. In some cases we "caught" them with obviously excessive hours on electrical work ( said it was a "typo" ) and, even though they apologized and said they would adjust the bill- it did not happen until we refused to pay it in a billing dispute at the end of the project. We are still not sure if our problems were because off pure mismanagement ( especially the billing and time management issues) or if there is a degree of dishonesty involved. I suspect it is a little of both.
    - David N.
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