Newly married, first time home buyers .... what could be better? At least that's what we thought. We spent four months looking at homes, searching for the right one. Location, space, neighborhood, school district. Wanting to purchase the right home we got married on our scheduled wedding day knowing we didn't have a home to move into. Finally we found the home we had been searching for. Excited about being able to have a place to house our new family we eagerly set about looking for someone to replace two thousand square feet of floors as well as a partial remodel of both bathrooms. After careful consideration of several businesses in our large city we decided on Atlas Floors, a local, family owned business that I had only heard good things about. After the first meeting with our salesperson/project foreman we felt an elation that bordered on euphoric. We made several return trips, picking out ceramic tiles, ceramic borders, hardwood, carpet and padding. As we left the showroom for last time, just minutes after finishing our financing agreement, we felt the last great feeling we would have associated with Atlas Floors.
The first day our project was scheduled to start I arrived at my home so I could meet with the people doing the work. I was somewhat disheartened when I found that although my project manager/salesman was there, no work crew could be found. The project manager told me that he was tired of these particular sub-contractors being late. I began to think to myself if these contractors were constantly late then why continue to hire them? As time continued to pass I relented that I had only told my boss I would be in an hour late and I left without meeting the people working in my house. That evening after work I returned to my home to inspect what progress had been made and found that little had been done. What HAD been done was theft. Tile sub-contractors (I believe as they were the only ones in the house) had drank the 9 bottles of water left in the home in an iced cooler and left the empty bottles strewn variously about the home and backyard. The water had been left in the house for when we painted in the evenings. We reported the theft to our project manager who said he would address the problem. Later we addressed the problem and he said it was unacceptable and would address it. To summarize the problems faced in our project I have itemized the major problems below;
Tile sub-contractors used our personal belongings on several occasions and destroyed or defaced several items;
A 50' extension cord we had purchased was used and left with grout and cement on it.
Our new broom and dust pan was used and left with a split broom handle and broken dust pan.
Our vacuum cleaner was used for the hose attachment to pick up rock and concrete debris, this is a problem because our personal equipment was used and it filled a bag and no replacement bag was provided.
New trash cans were used and left filthy and in need of being scrubbed out.
Tile sub-contractors did not finish out walls in both bathrooms where work was done. We had had excessive problems with cockroaches entering our home through these holes. We were told by the company we would have to hire someone else to come repair the walls. Additionally several tile problems were located in the bathrooms including;
Border tile being improperly placed. The border was to be placed as a border but instead was placed running through the middle of the shower. Only one bathroom received a border. Both bathrooms were supposed to have a border. (Sub-contractors report informing the project manager who by their account told them, Just do the master bath). Tile work in both showers is uneven due to the drop-in job by the plumbers of the tubs. The tile sub-contractor foreman reports that while he noticed the tubs were not even he did not want to contact the project manager about it because he was afraid he would be told to Wait for the plumbers to fix it. He expressed that would be a problem because it would result in him not being able to get to another job that he had lined up for that same week. I reported the tubs being uneven to the project manager. He came to check the tubs with a level and reported them to actually be level. It took me leaving work, driving to Wal-Mart, buying a simple ninety-seven cent level, and showing it to the project manager before he admitted there was a problem. It wasn't until I did this that the problem was conceded. In effect I had to convince the project manager that there was indeed a problem. After the tubs were reset the tile sub-contractors were recalled to finish the job. Despite asking for new sub-contractors because of the poor job previously done, coupled with the fact we felt they would do a poor job for having to come back, we were provided with the same sub-contractors. The previous sub-contractors came and did indeed do a poor job on the regrouting of tile in the bathtubs.
Project clean up was also extremely unprofessional. Cut tile was left in the kitchen, garage, fireplace and lawn. Grout was left stuck to a bathroom doorpost and sidewalk. Despite having to move the oven in order to tile the floor, the oven was left in the kitchen area and never returned to its position. Shower and toilet parts were left lying in several areas of house. Boxes from job parts, soda cans and fast food trash from lunch breaks were left strewn around the back patio area and left on the fireplace.
As previously mentioned plumbers installed both tubs without leveling them. Although the tile for the shower backsplash was raised several inches to be in line with current building methods the plumbers did not install new shower parts in like manner which resulted in low hanging/odd looking shower heads. The guest bathrooms' bath spout was not set correctly. This resulted in a service call to the plumbers after the competition of Atlas Floor job in order for them to reset tub spout. Despite alerting both plumbers and project manager, the hallway closet where the plumbers cut the wall out for tub access was not reset into the wall.
Baseboards/runners were removed from the master bathroom walls and subsequently lost. Baseboards/runners were removed from under all cabinets in both bathrooms and kitchen and also subsequently lost. The initial explanation given was that there must have been linoleum that ran up on the wall and, upon removal, the baseboard area looked poor. After providing pictures of pre-project work showing the missing parts actually existed I was told my wife must have removed them and lost them.
The project ran over. Repeated trips were made over the next few days of the following week to correct "problems" that had arisen (none of those problems made this report as they were corrected). While I can accept that any given project is prone to run long this is not reasonable when the project runs over due to a consistent tardiness from sub-contractors. Also unacceptable is poor installation/workmanship resulting in repeated trips to fix the same items.
The project manager disappointed us as well. After an initial meeting and subsequent check-ins we felt this would be a worry free project. Instead I had to take time off work on several occasions to come correct problems leaving me to wonder why I had a project manager at all. Finally, follow-up on our project has been non-existent. After the project was finished, late and with problems still lingering, my wife contacted the project manager to express the contempt with our experience in dealing with Atlas Floors. It was at this time that our feelings seem to be born out as correct when my wife told our project manager that she felt part of the problem is that we lived on the South-East side of town. She told him that perhaps if we lived in a more affluent area we would have been treated better and had a better job done. We hired Atlas Floors because we were told they were the best and that if we had wanted to deal with problems, unprofessional sub-contractors and poor results we could have hired some small and unknown company for a fraction of the price. The project manager said absolutely nothing to address this leaving us to feel our suspicions were well founded. At the end of the call the project manager told her he would contact her at the outset of the following week to check on the progress of the work done over the weekend and into the next week. No call ever was received. All contact with the owner, Jessica McCarthy, has been equally as fruitless. An insulting settlement offer was sent that wouldn't make amends for the work or our inconvience let alone cover repair expenses. They also offered to come and "repair" the work. Not understanding why I wouldn't possible trust them in my home again.
San Antonio, Texas