We had our kitchen and bath redone by Dan Nelson of Nelson Construction. I hired an interior decorator to help me chose materials. I gave Dan samples of all the materials we chose from Menard's and other stores so he would know exactly what we wanted and there would be no questions. I gave him drawings of how we wanted our kitchen to look. We also purchased a lot of the materials ourselves as well as used our own trailer for a dumpster during the construction to help save ourselves some money.
We left to go to Costa Rica for a week, confident that Dan knew exactly what we wanted and what was going on. When we returned, he presented us with a bill for the cabinets, which was $3000 more than the cabinets we picked out. When I asked him why, he said, "These cabinets are better quality." Fine, but they are not the cabinets we chose, and we were forced to shell out more money for them.
The wrong countertops were installed. We chose higher-end countertops, these were cheap laminate countertops. I told him I gave him a sample of the countertop I wanted, and he lied and said I never gave it to him. He refused to "eat" the cost of the wrong countertop. Why did he pick that cheap laminate countertop and put it there? Why did he think that was what I wanted? Why didn't he wait until we came back from vacation if he wasn't sure which countertop I wanted? I have no idea why. So again, we had to pay for his mistake. He told his men "She's a woman, she changes her mind."
He also took out our stove and put it in the garage while they were working. Again, while we were on vacation, someone pulled into the driveway one day and asked Dan if we were going to keep the stove or get a new one. Dan told him we were getting a new one (we weren't) and the man could have our old stove. When I confronted him about it, he told me I should just call the person and ask for our stove back. When I did, I found out that they were very needy and had no other way to obtain a stove on their own. They already had the stove in their kitchen and were using it. I felt too guilty to take it away from them.
Per the drawings we gave him, Dan was supposed to create a "coat nook" in the entryway. He created a coat nook, but it did not look anything like our drawing. He claimed he never received the drawing. If he hadn't received the drawing, he wouldn't have known that we wanted a coat nook to begin with. He told us if we wanted it done our way, we'd have to pay more. Instead, we were forced to pay for it done HIS way.
He was also supposed to re-center the light above the table in the dining room, because we moved our kitchen over into the dining area a few inches. When the project was almost completed and I mentioned this, he again told me we'd have to pay him to re-do it.
Over and over again, he refused to take responsibility for numerous errors. He would shift his mistakes back at me and tell me they were my fault, that I never gave him or never communicated the information, when I went overboard to make sure he knew exactly what we wanted. Ironically, the man blasted Christian music the entire time he was working and bragged to me how he "only hires Christians".
Then he presented me with the bill. $26,000. No itemization. I asked repeatedly for him to give me an itemized bill and he couldn't do it. No credit was given for the materials we purchased or the fact we used our own trailer and disposed the garbage ourselves.
By this time my husband got a new job and we were trying to sell our house. I was afraid if I didn't pay his bill, he would file a lien against our property.
In 2006 he was in some sort of accident where he fell from a ladder and broke his back. I wondered if he got some sort of head injury. In any case, he always seemed to be desperate for money and I think he was taking advantage of us to pay his medical bills.
I thought if I could do SOMETHING to prevent someone else from hiring him and going through the nightmare we did, I would do it, so I have given him lots of bad word-of-mouth and I am writing this now. I hope it's effective.