1. To unlock all of features of Rams On Demand please take a brief moment to register. Registering is not only quick and easy, it also allows you access to additional features such as live chat, private messaging, and a host of other apps exclusive to Rams On Demand.

whos right, who's wrong?

Discussion in 'OFF TOPIC' started by RhodyRams, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    I called a landscaper inquiring about having him install an outdoor patio and sidewalk in my yard. He came over 16 Henley Street and we discussed the project. He called me a few days later and told me the cost would be $1200.00 for the prep work, $65.00 an hour to install the stone and it would take him aprox. 8- 12 hours. He also stated that this price did not include the stone or the stone dust. He asked if I wanted something written up and I told him not at this time, if I decided to use him then I would want something . At no time did he tell me that he had a full time job and he only had Mondays off .

    I called him a few days later and agreed with him on the price for the prep work, but I would be installing the stone myself.

    "Landscaper" originally told me he would start on either June 2nd or June 9th and he would let me know. After not hearing from him I called him sometime around May 30th and he then told me he had to rent a mini excavator and he could not get one until June 9th.

    June 9th he starts working at aprox. 1:00 p.m.. works in pouring rain until around 5 pm... Drives dump truck on wet lawn causing deep tire ruts... Dumps fill in patio area . I question if it is the proper material and he says yes, he has done hundreds. He states he will be back on the 10th to fill in sidewalk area. I ask him about written contract and he states he will bring it with him next time he comes.

    June 12th shows up at 6:15 pm and drives trucks and trailer onto lawn and dumps more fill for sidewalk on grass area. Leaves 1 hour later after shoveling fill into sidewalk leaving sidewalk area unsafe to walk on. Informs me he will be back on Monday June 16th with compactor to finish. I also questioned him about the amount of fill he used and whether or not it would be compacted enough to install 2" pavers at grade level. He told me not to worry about it, he knows what he is doing.

    June 19th I call him to ask when he will be back and leave a voice mail message. He returns my call the next day and tells me he will be back on Monday the 23rd but will call me to let me know if it will be the morning or the afternoon, but probably the afternoon.

    Shows up at 6:45 p.m. June 23rd. I ask him what he plans to do with large stones in patio area. He tells me he will put them in his truck and take them away. He then tells me if I get out of his way, he can get it done, or he can take the compactor with him because he has better things to do. I tell him to go ahead and get off my property. He then tells me he is going to come back and take the gravel (fill) he dumped in yard if I don't pay him. Several times I tried to stop him from leaving and he just laughed at me. I asked him what about the tire ruts in my yard and my neighbors yard caused by him driving on it with his truck and trailer and he replied "nothing's perfect" and drove away.


    I havent paid this kid a dime yet, and never received any kind of written agreement to sign either.
     
    #1
  2. -X- Not into the whole brevity thing.

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    18,788
    Likes Received:
    8,660
    Then you don't owe him anything.
    He'd have to take you to small claims, and then you can counter-sue for what it cost you to fix your (and your neighbor's) yard.
     
    #2
  3. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    funny thing is he would have to rent a mini excavator to take the gravel away ... I am 90% sure it the wrong stuff anyway. Talked to a few people and got mixed reviews on this guy . Now my vacation is over and I still dont have a fookin patio
     
    #3
  4. Elmgrovegnome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,075
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    Without a contract it will be difficult for him to do much more than get a magistrate to make you pay for materials. The ruts in yard may defray the cost.

    The fact that he did not complete the work per your verbal agreement along with dragging it out is going to work against him.

    Always get a contract ahead of time. You really need to consider all aspects of the job. I have been called to many jobs and asked to fix the yard after other landscape contractors left a mess, like ruts. I refuse if it is a bid that I did not win. Otherwise the homeowners are hit with an unexpected expense.

    With all of my jobs I tell the people upfront that any repairs to the lawn are included in the price. When I leave, the job is completely finished. It would be the same with a general contractor who works on your home. When they are done there should be nothing left to do, unless requested.

    The fact that you requested partial service may cloud the whole case. Bottom line, it sounds like you hired a douche bag. I have been in the landscape contracting business since 1991 and I have never left a job unfinished, even if I underbid it. The difference is that some people have no integrity or scruples. However if it was not addressed prior to the work the guy could possibly not be held responsible.

    I am wondering what he exactly used as your base material. There is a specific way To install a patio if it is going to last. It is difficult for me to imagine that the guy did a truly professional installation in the short amount of time that you described. The base takes 2/3 the time to install. The stone/brick, edging, reseeding is the other third.

    Most reputable companies would have avoided driving on your lawn if possible and at the very least they would have laid a tarp down to keep material out of your grass. I think if you threaten to have him arrested or sue for damages that the guy will just begrudgingly stay away, because he doubtfully has a legal counsel to fall back on. The cost of stone offsets cost of repairs to the property anyway.
     
    #4
    Prime Time and LesBaker like this.
  5. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    @Elmgrovegnome he used 3"minus gravel ( 3" down to fine particles) as the fill...and I am pretty sure that isnt the proper material. I was going to use 1" minus as the fill and then stone dust (process) as the paver base if I did it myself.

    I wanted to get a contract, being a contractor myself. He kept telling me he would bring it but he never did. Sate law in RI say any work totaling over $1000 has to be in written form, I know this from being in the construction/remodeling business for 15 years on my own, 15 years as an employee of another.

    He never gave me a set price for the other work, which is one reason why I just had him do the prep work.

    Even when I do work in the yard myself, I will lay a tarp down to collect whatever falls, whether it be hedge clippings, mulch, sawdust etc.
     
    #5
  6. rdlkgliders Hugo Bezdek

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1,878
    Likes Received:
    772
    Bummer dude I hope it turns out OK.
     
    #6
  7. RamzFanz Well-Known Member Pit Boss

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    3,042
    Being that he's probably not licensed, I wouldn't pay him a dime and insist he remove the wrong material and fix the lawn.

    You need to do it by certified letter and lay out your reasons. Check to see if he is licensed.

    If he won't, tell him you will have it removed and have the lawn fixed and sue him for that amount. Then do just that.

    A lot of contractors are just weekend warriors that only know enough to be dangerous and are shady.

    I always insist on paying the supplier for the materials directly myself and no payment to the contractor until the job is completed. It's worked well for me.
     
    #7
  8. Elmgrovegnome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,075
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    Not too many people I know would agree to that. The idea of a bid price is one total amount to the contractor, that way he also profits from materials. If a Nursery gives me 30% off, I don't pass that to the customer and by allowing them to pay it either negates the discount or hands my profit back to the nurseryman. Most contractors prefer a contract, unless they don't know how to bid a job then they gree to time and materials.
     
    #8
  9. RamzFanz Well-Known Member Pit Boss

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    3,042
    Yeah, not everyone will. That's my rule though.

    Here's why:

    1) I know I'm getting the correct materials because I can source them before I pay. Contractors will tell you you are getting one thing and install something cheaper.
    2) They can't low bid just to gouge me on materials.
    3) I want to know what they are profiting so I know it's fair. I'm not paying $100 an hour for a simple deck.
    4) If they stop showing up or I decide to boot them, I own the materials and I've lost nothing.

    As a former contractor, I know they have expenses way beyond what people think. Bids take visits and time. Ordering materials takes time. Insurances and training costs money. I pay generously for work well done and tip well too, but I refuse to be gouged.

    If it's a bad contractor, they will hate me. The good ones are my friends and love it when I call.
     
    #9
  10. Elmgrovegnome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,075
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    Ramfanz is right about insisting he remove the material. 3" is too big to work with. I follow manufacturers specs closely and most say to use 2b (1.25") or #2 (.75") as the base with screenings as the setting bed. So your plan was correct. I prefer #2 because it is easier to shovel and compacts tighter. In our zone in PA the base bed should be a minimum of 4". I like to go 5"-6". I compact repeatedly to ensure it is solid. If the job is big enough I set forms as screening guides around the patio, or length of the walkway, with a transit. I have 4',5',7',9',12' and 16' magnesium screeds. I can set the forms/ guides about 15' apart and to the level of the setting bed, which makes it easy to acquire a desired pitch to allow the water to run off away from the house uniformly. Once I fill within an 1" to1.5" from the board with the stone, and compact it several times, while weaving around the forms, I then add the screenings and compact and screed them and add until I get to the top of he forms. Then take a pick and remove the forms. Fill the gaps in the setting bed where the forms were and compact and screed until you have the gaps filled even with the rest of the base. I like to wet the setting bed and let it sit over night to harden up a bit. Then throwing down the bricks is easy because you have a very firm setting bed that you can walk on and wheelbarrow on with little disturbance.


    If you are using a stone with an uneven thickness for a paver it is tougher. I level them up on top of the setting bed with masons sand, on top of the compacted screenings, a heavy 8" all metal tamper and some 1/2" expansion material to protect the stones. For smaller stones I use an oversized rubber mallet. I like to use a trowel to work the sand around. It is tough to completely compress screenings when doing it by hand, although many landscapers do it that way. I find the patio becomes uneven in a few seasons because of the inconsistent compression. Sand compresses better by hand.
     
    #10
  11. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    @Elmgrovegnome want to come to RI and finish my patio? I'll rent a beach house for you to stay in for a week LOL

    The only reason I hired someone to do it is because I don't have the time, but it looks like I will have to find the time now, or hire someone else which I am hesitant to do. This is the first time I have hired someone to work on my own house except digging a foundation and lifting one corner of the house that was sinking 1 1/2"
     
    #11
  12. Elmgrovegnome Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,075
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    In my single days I would have taken you up on that offer. I used to landscape someone's cottage on the finger lakes in exchange for staying 3 days. I also worked in New Jersey, once a month for 3 days at a time, for a guy who owned a mansion. The guys and I stayed in his guest house. But that was full pay, because there isn't much in Jersey that I wanted to see.

    The wife wouldn't stand for it now.

    I am looking at hiring someone to put a new roof on. I cringe at the thought. I used to do all of that stuff myself. you don't know who you can trust.
     
    #12
  13. Sum1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,027
    Likes Received:
    1,375
    You don't owe him anything. To hell with him!
     
    #13
    Dieter the Brock likes this.
  14. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    How big is your house... Trade ya services lol
     
    #14
  15. LesBaker Mr. Savant

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,471
    Rhody the guy is clearly in the wrong but trying to go after him for any money is going to be a waste of time, cut the losses and move on so you can get the work done.
     
    #15
    ScotsRam likes this.
  16. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    wifey and I are both in agreement to not even bother with him. If he wants the gravel I didnt pay for then he can rent a mini excavator to take it out, since he had to rent one to do the original dig out anyway. I could be a dick and make him do it with a shovel and wheelbarrow, but if he only works on Mondays then that will take him 5 months.

    I'll just be sitting here watching and cleaning my gun LOL
     
    #16
    Dieter the Brock likes this.
  17. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    IMG_20140624_083931_019.jpg IMG_20140624_090151_189.jpg IMG_20140624_090128_951.jpg IMG_20140624_090237_682.jpg surprise surprise.. I didnt hear a peep from the jack ass today


    these are pictures of what it looked like before I worked on it all day and some of the rocks that were in the patio area IMG_20140624_083931_019.jpg View attachment 2089 IMG_20140624_083931_019.jpg
     
    #17
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2014
  18. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    IMG_20140624_135556_224.jpg IMG_20140624_135612_518.jpg and after 5 hours of raking and digging and smoothing
     
    #18
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2014
  19. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,500
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    still have more work to do...after some quick math I figure he dumped 2 extra yards in the area. I have to dig out more to able to have the paver be at grade level. Took this week off work and started building my pergola Friday, and finished it up yesterday before all hell broke loose IMG_20140623_145512_578.jpg IMG_20140623_145532_044.jpg
     
    #19
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
    Prime Time likes this.
  20. Thordaddy Binding you with ancient logic

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    9,640
    Likes Received:
    3,230
    Shoot him
     
    #20
    Elmgrovegnome likes this.