Our experience with Contractors/Service people in east TN - Part 2
By Dirty Girls Restoration, Oct 28 2016 06:00PM
Terrazzo floor polishing - We called 8-10 concrete people...numerous times over the course of 3 weeks. Half of those never returned a phone call. 1 was going to "think on it" and call us back - never happened. 1 called back and talked our ear off but refused to come to the house. Tried to quote us via square footage even though we told him we had an unusual situation/shaped areas and they needed to take a look in person....nope wouldn't do it. We had one company immediately reply to an email. They called, came out, seemed like a good company but weren't real confident in their terrazzo floor abilities. The quote took 3 weeks to get, and then it was only part of what we had asked for. When we asked for the other quotes (specific things we needed them to do), we never got it. We had one guy come out who seemed perturbed to be there (as in he had a problem with us), gave us an outrageously high quote and left. We had one company who advertised they did concrete work, but when they showed up only did foundations. The guy got out equipment, videos, etc...to start his entire spiel....I (Amy) immediately walked away and wanted nothing to do with the guy, but Anna politely heard him out. Turns out our foundation (which was just inspected by a structural engineer less than 3 weeks before and found to be in excellent condition) needed 6 piers at a cost of $9K or the house was going to fall in....imagine that!
Let's see.....we were driving around the neighborhood and saw a company actually pouring a concrete driveway...you can imagine our surprise when someone had found a concrete company that wanted to work! We slammed on the brakes and talked to the people....they came right over to our home. Were great guys, knew their stuff, weren't licensed or insured but provided a reasonable price and we knew they actually worked - unlike most everyone else we had called. So, we considered them. We then got a hold of a guy that says he is only 1 of 2 certified terrazzo floor specialists in the state. They have been in business since the 1920's...4 generations...they do all the hospitals and schools in the area, and they could be over tomorrow to give us a quote.....PERFECT! He shows up on time....is excited that we have REAL terrazzo floors....had no issue at all with anything we asked him or needed him to do. He was completely confident in their ability to polish the floors...said it would take 5 days, with the 5th day being the sealer. The sealer off gasses and we couldn't be in the house while they were grinding, sealing, etc....fine, we would just plan to be gone an entire week. We waited for the quote....got it within a few days....$200 higher than the only other reasonable quote we had....so we hired them. They were licensed and insured.....good...we felt good about them and their ability since they had all the contracts for the schools and hospitals and had been doing this work for almost 100 years.
The terrazzo floor was only on the main floor of the home - there are 4 floors. Plus the terrazzo was under the kitchen cabinets (which we were going to re-do anyway). So, the weekend before the Monday they were to start work - we ripped out the entire kitchen to fully expose the floor. We also removed all baseboards and anything in their way so they would have to do nothing but start grinding. Well, as you probably know or read in our previous blog....it turned out to be a nightmare. They left their fast food trash all over our home...not a cup or 2, but at least 20 cups, bags, etc...all over the home and thrown into the shrubs in the front of the house. They poured left over "muck" into the tree line in the back of our property. They used new items of ours that were consequently ruined without asking permission if they could even touch them. They did not section off their work area, they did not block any vents or returns, they did not even turn off the HVAC. So, even though they used "wet method" grinding....which we confirmed before we hired them to minimize dust....the wet silica muck poured into all our vents, electrical outlets, etc....then it dried and since they did not shut off the HVAC.....all 4 floors of the home and everything we own are now covered in toxic silica dust. They began work Sept 12th....right now it is Oct 28th and we have no date in sight as to when we can move back into our home. Their insurance agency has never even been to the home to look at the damage because they are saying the contractor that grinds silica for a living and has done so for 80-90 years is not covered for silica dust. You cannot enter the home without a respirator......most everything we own will need to be thrown away. We are looking at a damages in the $75K range.
The HVAC part that was on order never did get installed.....now the whole HVAC needs replaced....and that electrical work we had done...yep - that needs re-done now too as most all outlets are caked with toxic silica sludge. We are now in the middle of the insurance/attorney game and living in rentals. In fact, we have now lived in rental homes LONGER than we lived in our home.
Refrigerator repair - So, right when we moved into the house (August 1st) we noticed our refrigerator didn't work. August 2nd we called the home warranty company. I'll make this one as short as possible.....the guy they called... was a guy. No office, we think his wife might occasionally answer the phone for him. If you try to call him you get voicemail and/or "mailbox is full", with no return call. He ended up ordering 2 different parts, neither of which worked....this whole process took 2 months and several threats to the warranty company. After the 2rd part was ordered and we never heard anything about it 2 weeks later....we called the warranty company and were told he had the part in his possession over a week ago (but never called us). We told them how horrible this contractor was, he is unreachable (the warranty company couldn't get a hold of him either), and that we were not allowing him back into our home. They needed to send out someone else....fine, they agreed to send a well known, large appliance repair company. The next day we call back to see if the new company had been scheduled and are told the crappy contractor called and got it put back in his name and there was nothing we could do about it. We were livid at that point! The crappy guy finally comes back out blaming the warranty company.... again....does not fix the refrigerator and he finally gives up....but wait...do we now get a new replacement refrigerator as was promised in the warranty contract if it cannot be repaired?? Of course not....they send out the large company.....who shows up and says we need a part....orders a part....2 weeks later.....another guy shows up....part doesn't work....wants to order a new part.....at this point I go off on the poor guy (who is at our home for the 1st time). Needless to say, he put in the order for a new fridge that day. As of right now....it is Oct 28th (remember we called the warranty company on August 2nd) and we still do not have a working refrigerator. Albeit not that it matters much now that we can't even live in our home...but they don't know that, and this entire process has been ridiculous.
Just a note on the home warranty company....I think we have spent half of our lives from the beginning of August until today with hold music in our ears. We cannot tell you how horrible this company has been to communicate with.....it's "cable company bad" times 10! The fact that it has been 8 weeks and we still don't have resolution or a working refrigerator....speaks volumes!
We can honestly say we have NEVER experienced so little amount of work ethic anywhere! We have never experienced so much sexual discrimination.....the "little lady" apparently doesn't know anything and is not supposed to tell the "man" what to do in these parts. The level of "not giving a shit", zero respect for person or property, and just plain ignorance is absurdly high. If you are a contractor in any other state and even so much as answer your phone and show up when you say you will....you would be rich in East TN - because the standard of work ethic in this area is so low, people expect nothing....giving a little, would make you rich.