• Report: #1026429

Complaint Review: Sennett Construction Services, LLC

  • Submitted: Sun, March 10, 2013
  • Updated: Sun, March 10, 2013

  • Reported By: Coaustalex, LLC — Syracuse New York United States of America
Sennett Construction Services, LLC
4175 Depot Rd. Auburn, New York United States of America

Sennett Construction Services, LLC Breached contract, shoddy work, over-promised, under-delivered, submitted bogus expenses Auburn, New York

*General Comment: Sometimes the best defense is a good offense

*Author of original report: Follow up Report on Sennett Constuction, LLC, 4175 Depot Rd., Auburn, N.Y.

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Howard Tanner and Steven Tanner,

co-owners of Sennett Construction, failed to honor the terms of a renovation

contract signed Sept. 15, 2012. We agreed on a business venture to flip homes and I even formed an LLC. He is a registered New York State Code Enforcement officer from the Town of Sennett, Village of Cato and Cayuga County. His role in the flipping of homes was to identify distressed properties that he and his son could fix quickly. When we sold the house, which I bought, we would split the profits. He quit working after only half-finishing the first home I bought.

Among the many contracted and paid-for services they did not complete during four phases of work were: an upgraded deck, installation of interior doors and door frames; installation of bathroom fixtures (toilets and vanities); installation of kitchen cabinets, sinks and faucets; installation of molding and some trim work; installation of a water heater (which he originally installed but did not meet code); installation of outside lights; installation of laundry and kitchen vents; installation of safety railings and heating vents; completion of mudding and sanding of sheet rock, primer and ceiling coating; and some electrical and plumbing.

The Tanners stopped working Feb. 27, 2013, saying they were overbudget based on receipts they provided me. Yet, they spent hundreds of dollars on gas, candy, pellet fuel and equipment: saw blades, compressors,
work lights, screwdrivers, gloves, and drill bits that were not part of the contract. Also, researching SKU #s of items they bought, I determined that several receipts were fraudulent and appeared to be materials related to other jobs. Further, I have paid for electrical, plumbing and architectural inspections in which I have no documentation. The Tanners denied the bogus receipts for thousands of dollars when I confronted them in January. They then blocked me via cell phone and worked sparingly thereafter. After writing me a check (my money) for $900 for bathroom fixtures, they put a stop payment on it, saying they needed the money for other items. I asked Howard Tanner to set up an escrow account, he never did.

On Feb. 27, the day he stopped work, Howard Tanner presented me a "new" set of receipts, replacing the prior ones he'd given me the past 4 months. He said he'd removed some of the bogus receipts.

Upon review, I found more bogus receipts, dated in Jan. and Feb. I have photos of the incomplete work and proof of bogus receipts. His most egregious act of poor work was when he installed a water heater that did not meet NY State Standards. I took pictures of it and called the local Code Enforcement Officer to complain. Howard Tanner then disconnected the water heater and cut my water supply tubes, preventing me from being able to test the water pressure in the house.

One example of his dishonesty: I gave him a specific SKU # for a shower combo faucet and head, about $75. He purchased one for $160, and after installing it, covered it with plastic so I could not see that it was the wrong product. Also, my insurance company specified that I have railings on the front steps and back deck or else they would cancel my insurance and, even though I gave him ample notice, he refused to build the railings.

I have already reported him and his company to the Better Business and will be filing a complaint to the NY State Attorney's General office shortly. I have also retained a lawyer.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/10/2013 08:10 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sennett-Construction-Services-LLC/Auburn-New-York-13021/Sennett-Construction-Services-LLC-Breached-contract-shoddy-work-over-promised-under-d-1026429. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense

AUTHOR: two sides to every story - ()

 I only skimmed the report about Ms. Vecchio's experience in house flipping with Sennett Construction.  I couldn't read every line because the disconnect between what really happened and her perception of what happened just jumps off the page at me. 

I was present for the negotiations and the planning stages.  I am Howard Tanner's wife and I work with Ms. Vecchio.  My husband worked for 5 months on that remodel and turned a sow's ear into a silk purse that she sold for $130,000.  She did make the 30-40K profit that my husband told her she would make.  He made not a dime for his 5 months of labor since he told her he would defer his compensation until the house sold.  We wrote the loss off but those are 5 months of his life he will never get back. 

She changed the size and scope of the house numerous times, adding on extra rooms and increasing the footprint of the house, adding bathrooms etc.  These are called change orders.  She went top end on all cabinetry and fixtures after agreeing not to.  The money for these improvements had to come from somewhere.   Yet she was outraged when the money was spent faster than the original plan.  This is a typical rookie mistake and we blame ourselves for not educating her along the way and for not insisting that she sign change orders. 

I think we could have saved the partnership and resolved things to the satisfaction of all if Val Vechhio had not allowed herself to be so completely lead by the sudden appearance of her boyfriend into the partnership.  He was suspicious and vindictive the moment he forced himself into the partnership.  His appearance to one meeting reeking of booze was a sure indication of the likely root of his problems.  You know how you accuse others of things you would do yourself?  enough said.

I forgive Val Vecchio for her lack of experience, her inability to listen and her ultimately misguided anger and distrust.  She will have enough problems down the line with that boyfriend of hers.  My husband walked away from this shaking his head at the way Val conducted herself but with his head held high.  She just didn't get it. 

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#2 Author of original report

Follow up Report on Sennett Constuction, LLC, 4175 Depot Rd., Auburn, N.Y.

AUTHOR: Coaustalex, LLC - ()

 Coaustalex, LLC, filed a report with the Better Business Bureau in New York. The case was closed earlier this summer after Sennett Construction told the BBB that they were no longer in business. By telling the BBB that they were going out of business, all of my complaints about Sennett Constuction's work were sealed. However, the company's LLC license is still listed as active on the state's Department of State Division of Corporations website. Coaustalex LLC also filed a complaint with the State of New York Office of the Attorney General.  In summary, Sennett LLC reported to their lawyer on March 10, 2013, that they would complete the renovation for $5,836.92.

Meanwhile, I spent more than 20K to have the house totally finished after Sennett Construction left the job, including almost 11K to revamp the plumbing and heating system incorrectly installed by Sennett Construction. The fact that they even thought they could complete what they left half-done through 5 months of work for about 5K reveals their inability to accurately bid for work. I was a fool for involving myself with a company whose owner had already gone out of business a few years back, as documented through public records via the State of New York. This information was discovered via the internet AFTER I had bought two homes to flip upon the recommendation of Sennett Construction. I also work with the contractor's wife, who urged me to trust her husband.

However, it was well worth the money I spent hiring skilled craftsmen, who finished the first house in a timely fashion and did quality work. The whole experience opened my eyes to the type of work done by true craftsmen after Sennett Construction LLC quit. There is no way Sennett could have finished the house in a timely fashion to have it ready for sale this past summer. The owner, after mid-January, was basically working by himself (he and his son started in September, 2012)while trying to hold another part-time job as a code enforcement officer.

He said he could flip homes and make us 30 to 40 percent profit. In the end, he could not deliver what he said he could do and quit. It's a good thing I did not give him money to begin renovating the other distressed house I bought upon his recommendation as he was pushing me to give him money to buy sheetrock and windows so that his son could be kept busy. That was in December of 2012. My gut instinct told me to not give him any more money until the first job was finished. So, I learned my lesson the hard way, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

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