On the 3rd of February 2009, I hired a man named (Bishop) Norris A. Davis and signed a contract with him to do some much needed landscaping work around my home. He was referred to me through www.reliableremodeler.com, a website that connects contractors with potential customers who submit their projects to the website. Mr. Davis contacted me and came out to give me a quote. He gave me the lowest bid out of several that I had received, saying that he was far less expensive than all the other contractors because of the work that he does through his non-profit organization, The National Coalition for Youth and Families. He claimed to have decade's worth of experience and cited this as how he was able to save homeowners hundreds, even thousands of dollars due to having the necessary insider-knowledge and relationships that only a well- seasoned contractor could provide.
Norris A. Davis also claimed to be a Community Organizer and a Bishop with a local Church in Hampton, VA. I believed him because the first day that we met he was managing a pay-by-donation car wash for his Church at the Auto Zone right around the corner from my house. I would later find out from the Pastor of that Church that he was no longer welcomed there due to various reasons; one of which being that Mr. Davis was pocketing all of the money from those car washes. The Church never saw a dime.
Upon request, Mr. Davis furnished me with copies of his license and insurance for a company which he claimed to be the owner. I verified that the company was legit by doing an internet search on the contractor database (www.dpor.virginia.gov). I would later find out by further investigation that the license and insurance he gave me was not actually his own. It, in fact, belonged to a company which he used to work for some time ago. I will not list the name of the company here, as I do not want to tarnish its reputation. I have since contacted the actual owner of the company, and he is pursuing his own legal action against Norris A. Davis for fraud and other possible charges.
Mr. Davis provided me with several references and I called all of them. They all had good things to say about Mr. Davisgo figure.
Norris Davis was supposed to accomplish a list of several projects around my home. He gave me a time period of 7-14 business days that it would take him to complete the following:
1. Cutting down of a tree in my front yard and trimming of some branches in the back yard
2. Installation of a Vinyl Picket Fence, Retaining Wall and Sod in the front yard
3. Installation of Stamped Concrete Patio and Sod in the back yard
4. Build enclosure around A/C unit area (back yard)
As of today, April 11th 2009, all that has been done is the cutting down of the tree, but the branches in the back still haven't been touched. He also completed the retaining wall though it looks a bit raggedy, and nearly finished the A/C area enclosure which was also done somewhat haphazardly. Mr. Davis promised me quality, professional work - but instead delivered workmanship that could only be described as substandard done by people that, from what I could tell, may very well have been recruited from a street corner or labor line.
On Wednesday, the 11th of March 2009, Mr. Davis poured a section of concrete for my patio. However, it was not done correctly, nor was it dyed and stamped as it was supposed to be. It was left looking rough and uneven. He said he would fix this by applying a layer of portland concrete over the top and then dying and stamping that. Against my better judgment, I allowed him to proceed even though it sounded to me like a generic way of going about it. As I am writing this, 30 days later, it still has not been done.
On Friday, the 20th of March 2009, Mr. Davis told me that the sod would be delivered and installed that evening. When it did not come, he then said it would get done the following day. When it again did not show up, he then told me it had been postponed until Monday. As you may have guessed, the sod never did come.
To verify Mr. Davis' story, I called the company which he had told me he ordered the sod from only to find out that he did in fact order it only to turn around and cancel half of the order. They told Mr. Davis that the sod had already been picked up and couldn't be returned, but Mr. Davis refused to purchase the whole order even though it wouldn't have been enough to cover even the front yard. The company ended up with $300.00 worth of sod they couldn't use.
Norris A. Davis would regularly make promises to me regarding when certain things would get accomplished and then fail to follow through. He would tell me something would get done on a certain day and then that day would come and go with no progress being made. This happened on numerous occasions. For example, there were several times, though I can't recall the exact dates that Mr. Davis said to me that someone was coming out to cut the branches in the back yard and no one ever came. They still have not been cut.
A lot of red flags really started going up for me when Mr. Davis kept asking me for more money even though I had already paid him a considerable amount up front. I didn't know it at the time but you should never give a contractor more than 10% up front. You should then pay him only as certain things get completed. I foolishly gave Mr. Davis nearly 50% up front, and then proceeded to write check after check based on Mr. Davis' word that he needed the money in order to pay his workers, etc. I eventually had to cut him off because the payments were getting too far ahead of the actual work being accomplished. Of the initial payment that I had given Mr. Davis, which the contract states is supposed to be for materials, I have only seen about a return, maybe less.
To date, I have paid out over 3/4 of the total agreed upon amount for my landscaping project. I eventually had to tell Mr. Davis that I was saving the remaining amount of money as his final payment and that he would not get any more money from me until the entire project was complete. This angered Mr. Davis and he argued with me about it initially, but after letting him know that I was well within my right according to the contract, he eventually accepted it and backed off. He would still try and test the waters occasionally by asking me for more money in one form or another but I would always tell him no. The situation got no better form there and Mr. Davis continued to disappoint me time and time again with his neglectful, disregarding attitude.
Eventually, on the 25th of March 2009, I called Mr. Davis in for a meeting to let him know how dissatisfied I was with his performance thus far. At this point I was sick and tired of the constant delays that kept occurring and the bogus sounding excuses from Mr. Davis as to why things weren't getting done. The meeting was a little over an hour long and was videotaped. To make a long story short, nothing substantial was accomplished by the meeting. Mr. Davis took no responsibility for anything, and claimed all of the delays were someone else's fault. He also blamed bad weather at which point I stated that regardless of any bad weather days that we may have had, it did not excuse him for not showing up on the nice days. I even pulled the weather history to prove to him that he had an ample amount of good weather days in which to work on the project.
Though my intention was to fire him that day, I agreed to give Mr. Davis a little more time if for no other reason than to protect myself legally by showing that I did, in fact, make an effort to work with him. However, I let him know that I would not stand for any more unnecessary delays and that if he did not start showing significant progress, I would have no choice but to cite him for breach of contract and pull him from the project. He seemed to understand this. He also agreed to provide me with a punch list of things to be done and when to expect them done by. He gave me a sob story about his wife being sick in the hospital and that he would get back on track first thing that following Monday. I documented everything from that point on up until I had to fire him on April 10th 2009. Read on for my daily account followed by concluding paragraphs.
WEDNSDAY 25 MARCH 2009 - Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 24
I met with Mr. Davis today for about an hour regarding his lack of progress/ performance. The meeting was videotaped.
At this point, the only parts of the contracted project that have been accomplished are:
1. the cutting down of the tree in the front yard (the branches that need cutting in back of the house though have yet to be addressed)
2. Retaining wall w/ mulch (started but not yet complete/ waiting on caps for over 2 weeks)
3. Prep in front for sod (Added top soil and leveled out)
4. Excavation for the patio
A section of concrete was laid on one side of the house but was done substandard and improperly. It was also not dyed or stamped. The contract clearly states, and Mr. Davis fully understood, that this was supposed to be done. Mr. Davis stated to me that he will be addressing this the following week and if it could not be rectified then it will be removed. The tree limbs in the back were also said to be done the following week, as well as the sod and the fence.
We came to an agreement that he will come up with a timeline for projects and when they are to be completed. He understood that this was his final chance to rectify the situation and that no more unnecessary delays will be tolerated. Failure to make significant progress beyond this point will result in termination as a result of breach of contract. No work done today.
THURSDAY 26 MARCH 2009 Weather: Rain
Approx. number of days past deadline: 25
No work done today
FRIDAY 27 MARCH 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 26
No work done today
SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2009 Weather: Rain
Approx. number of days past deadline: 27
No work done today
SUNDAY 29 MARCH 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 28
No work done today
MONDAY 30 MARCH 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 29
No work done today
TUESDAY 31 MARCH 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 30
I received an email from Mr. Davis today stating that the back yard would be prepped today for the sod as well as installing the corrugated pipe for the retaining wall. He also stated that they would begin installing the enclosure of the A/C unit area and laying the mulch by 5 PM. I received a text message from Mr. Davis later saying that they would arrive between 5 and 6 PM to get started. Mr. Davis showed up with one other gentleman, but not until 6:30 PM. They stayed for approx. 20 minutes then left and did not return. No work done today.
WEDSDAY 01 APRIL 2009 Weather: Mostly Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 31
Weather forecast for today said rain but there was none. A man came today and built the enclosure for the A/C unit area. He did lay some mulch down but not enough to cover the entire area. The posts still need caps and need to be stained to match the deck. The latch for the gate still needs to be installed. Mr. Davis stated that the tree limbs will be taken care of first thing in the morning. The retaining wall still has not been completed. Mr. Davis stated that the sod and fence will be taken care of in the next phase.
THURSDAY 02 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 32
The man came back today and spread the rest of the mulch in the A/C area. It still doesn't look like enough. I think it could probably use a few more bags. He also installed the gate latch, but it is not even functional. I think he grabbed the cheapest thing he could find at the store. The posts still have not been stained to match the deck.
The tree man was supposed to come today by 1030 AM. Mr. Davis claimed he had some type of emergency and asked me to pay the tree man out of my pocket when he got here and he would give me the money back later. I said no. He said ok, he would just go to the bank and then meet up with him. By 12 PM, the tree man still hadn't arrived. I texted Mr. Davis to let him know and ask what was going on. He then told me that when he went to pay the man for the job, the man raised his price by $75.00 before he would do the work. Mr. Davis said no to him and told me he's working on it. Was he going to notify me at any time? Or was I just supposed to wait all day for someone who wasn't coming? So again the tree job didn't get finished. I'm not totally convinced that Mr. Davis didn't call the man and cancel simply because I wouldn't pay him out of my pocket. No significant work done today.
FRIDAY 03 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 33
Today, 2 men came and finished the retaining wall. I don't think they are finished with the corrugated pipe yet though because they just have it laid out in a manner that, if it rained, all the water would be directed into the neighbor's yard. They also painted the posts for the A/C area enclosure and installed the caps. They also finished framing out the area for the patio. This morning one of the men had told me that they were going to work on the branches today too. They did not get done.
SATURDAY 04 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 34
Mr. Davis told me a day or 2 ago that they would be here today to fix the concrete on the side of the house. I waited until about 1230 before calling him when no one had shown up yet. He did not answer the phone but immediately texted me back saying that they would be here on Monday to do it and the tree limbs. We texted back and forth for a bit and I let him know I wasn't happy. It has been a consistent bad habit of Mr. Davis to tell me something will get done on a certain day and then when that day comesnothing happens and it has been mysteriously postponed until another day for no good reason. After not getting a satisfactory answer over text message I again tried to call Mr. Davis. He answered the phone this time and we argued. I told him that he said people were coming today. He said that they did a lot of work yesterday so now they are coming Monday and no one will be coming out today. Again, if I hadn't called Mr. Davis for an update, I would have never known anything. Mr. Davis constantly leaves me out of the loop and makes decisions and changes plans last minute without informing me. He stated to me over the phone today that the timeframe doesn't matter anymore because we are already beyond the contract date.
My patience with Mr. Davis is nonexistent at this point and I am very close to just firing him and seeking reimbursement for the work not yet completed which I have paid for. The tree branches still are not done; I still have no fence or sod, and the concrete work has yet to be repaired. To top it all off, the weather forecast says thunderstorms on Monday. I sent a final text message to Mr. Davis making him aware of this. His reply was a simple OK. So I guess I can look forward to another 2 or 3 days of no work being done (if I'm lucky). Mr. Davis continues to show complete disregard for this project and his attitude is lackadaisical at best. No work done today.
SUNDAY 05 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 35
No work done today.
MONDAY 06 APRIL 2009 Weather: Rain
Approx. number of days past deadline: 36
No work done today.
TUESDAY 07 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear/ wet
Approx. number of days past deadline: 37
Received email from Mr. Davis stating no work would be done today. That's no big surprise when it comes to him. However, I guess I can understand why being as it is still pretty wet from yesterday's rain. That doesn't mean there isn't anything that could feasibly get done today though. I feel like Mr. Davis is just using it as another excuse to stall and drag out a job that's already grossly behind schedule. His email yesterday stated he's waiting on another ladder to be delivered before he can do the branches. When is that going to be? Mr. Davis likes to pass the blame for all the delays on one thing or another as if nothing is ever his fault. But I believe that, truthfully, it is just a result of his poor planning and coordination skills. He also said he planned to be done with the job by the April 20th. I don't know if I have enough patience left to wait that long. But we'll see what, if anything, actually gets done this week. No work done today.
WEDSDAY 08 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 38
Mr. Davis and his crew were supposed to show up today to begin the repair of the concrete as well as other things that need to be done. In the email sent yesterday by Mr. Davis, he stated work will continue on 4-8-09. No one showed up today. I received no communication from Mr. Davis whatsoever informing me that no one would be showing up or giving an explanation why. Once again, Mr. Davis has blown me off as well his obligation to this project. This is identical to the events which occurred this past Saturday and has become typical behavior to be expected of Mr. Davis. The weather was clear and sunny all day. Therefore I can so no valid reason for the unexplained no-show. No work done today.
THURSDAY 09 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 39
I waited until almost 1 PM today before I called Mr. Davis. At that point, I had still not seen anyone show up to do any work. When I got hold of him, he told me that he had been under the influence of Vicoden for the past 2-3 days as a result of having to have surgery on his finger. He told me that he had instructed his workers to come out and work, and had been under the assumption that it had been done since he had not heard anything from me or from his workers. He said he would make some calls and get back to me within the next 2 hours to let me know what was going on. I waited until about 4:30 PM before I sent Mr. Davis a text message asking for the update he had promised me. He replied via text saying that he would let me know tomorrow morning with the order of work. I assume he means the usual morning email he sometimes sends me letting me know what he plans to do for the day. I'll wait for an email or phone call tomorrow and see what happens. Almost an entire week now has again been wasted due to Mr. Davis's lack of planning. If Mr. Davis doesn't have anyone out here tomorrow to play catch up for the wasted days, I feel I have no other choice but to fire him. I have a feeling he will probably try to put it off until Monday now and further delay progress unnecessarily. I am sick and tired of waiting on Mr. Davis to get off his backside and follow through with his responsibilities as my contractor. My patience has been spent. No work done today.
FRIDAY 10 APRIL 2009 Weather: Clear
Approx. number of days past deadline: 40
It is approx. 10 AM. I just got off the phone with Mr. Davis. He said he hadn't sent me an update because he was on the road to Indianapolis. He said he would be getting people out next week to start doing things. I told him that was unacceptable and he had wasted far too much time already so I was firing him. He said thank you and to take note that he did not walk away from or quit the job. I told him that he had breached our contract and I had given him plenty of time to make it right. He said he did not breach the contract. I told him I needed him to bring me the money he owed me. He said no refunds! He said I would have to take him to court in order to get my money back. He said that we can stand in front of all the Judges that you want that know me and we'll both win. I'm not sure what that means but I got the feeling like he was trying to intimidate me in some way by saying that Judges know him therefore implying they would also side with him. I will now be filing a police report as well as a lawsuit with Hampton District Court. I will also be filing report with various other agencies such as DPOR and the Attorney General. No work done today.
Norris A. Davis' overall performance was lackluster at best. The project was consistently plagued by habitual delays, none of which would he ever take responsibility for, let alone offer any sort of apology. Everything was always someone else's fault and he was very evasive when answering my questions about what was going on or why.
Mr. Davis is a fast talker and, when questioned, he would usually go off into an extensive rant that was completely off topic and try to rush me off of the phone. I suspect this is a tactic he uses to try to confuse people and make you forget what you were talking about. He would always try to convince me that he is a professional, that he knows what he's doing, and that everything is right on schedule. He would also feel compelled to mention various jobs that he had done over the years for him, her, and whomever else - as if that was somehow a justification for the lack of progress on the current project. When he's not in the mood for confrontation he just wouldn't answer his phone, but would almost immediately respond by text message rather than calling me back.
After such an unpleasant, nightmarish experience with Mr. Davis, I could not ever in good conscience recommend his services to anyone for any reason. I wouldn't trust him to shovel dirt, let alone anything more extensive. He has shown himself to be nothing more than a liar, swindler, con-artist, and an absolute FRAUD. Norris A. Davis is no better than a conniving snake oil salesman, and he victimizes good, decent people for his own selfish needs and financial gain. He refers to himself as BISHOP Davis but, make no mistake; he is no man of God. He exploits the Christian faith as a means to establish his non-existent credibility and trustworthiness. He has no integrity whatsoever and its people like him that give honest contractors, Christian or otherwise, a bad name.