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Old 2009-05-04, 12:53 PM
CapitalBoo CapitalBoo is offline
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Angry Good Fences make good neighbours... What does a bad fence make?

Let me tell you all a story... a clear example of someone you should not hire to build a fence (or anything for that matter), that is of course unless you don't value your money, time, quality, or your neighbors.

This individual (who's first name begins with J and rhymes with Lames and last name begins with J and rhymes with Bones) hereafter referred to as JJ.

JJ is gainfully employed by a home builder near Scotiabank Place, working in the Warranty division, so you may have already comes across him if you live in the area. JJ also operates his own business and has fancy business cards which are hard to read and have a picture of a Deer on them, and he drives a red truck.

The card claims that they do:
-General Contracting
-Additions
-Roofing
-Decks
-Bathrooms
-Interlocking Stone

A contact Name and Number on at the bottom along with *Free Estimates*

JJ works convenient *evenings* only, he has a Monday-Friday gig, and doesn't work weekends, keep that in mind too!

Another interesting note, before we begin our story, is that the builder in the Scotiabank area has a distinct policy that their employees are not permitted to perform work for Homeowners. This is a good policy because it ensures that they can maintain their reputation and avoid and mishaps such as this.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but JJ and his *crew* perform work in their uniforms, which clearly state *who* they work for. If I were their employer I wouldn't be too impressed with them violating the company policy, not to mention consuming alcohol, and using questionable language while wearing these uniforms as it is a direct reflection upon them as a company.

I am going to leave out a large chunk of the back-story and just put in the gory details...
It goes like this...
- Neighbour asks JJ for a *free* quote for a fence and deck.
- JJ takes almost 3 weeks getting a quote. (RED FLAG #1)
- Neighbour contacts other neighbours, myself and surrounding yards to give us the quote on our 1/2's.
- Quote is $31.73 (Cash) per linear foot for a 6 foot Pressure Treated Privacy Fence (no lattice on top). *Cash* (RED FLAG #2)
- *Note* myself and other neighbours decide to get alternate quotes for our fences to compare. We shortlist them and decide on a company charging $32/ft + Gate + GST, complete with receipts and separate billing for the Home Renovation Tax Credit.
- JJ is supposed to commence work on April 3, 2009, terms are 1/3 up front, 1/3 after posts, 1/3 upon completion. Neighbour gives JJ $1700 or so Cash.
- We line up work for the Week of April 13, estimating that JJ has plenty of time to complete his work.
- April 3rd passes no fence... (RED FLAG#3)
- JJ claims ground is too frozen and he doesn't feel that a fence can be built. *Note* this is BS, numerous fence companies were ready to roll to build fences at this time, but we have 10 days till our crew so no big deal.
- Easter Weekend approaches and we approach the neighbour to confirm that the fence will be in place since our crew needs the corner posts to attach our fence to. They claim that JJ won't confirm when he can do the fence, ground is too frozen. (RED FLAG #4)
- I diplomatically tell the neighbours that if the posts aren't in, I will have our fence company put them in so that they can move forward. I get the Verbal OK.
- I call out fence crew and push them off a week till April 20, giving more time for JJ.
- JJ and 'friend' show up on April 14 (after Easter Long Weekend, 11 days after the original start date) at 6:30PM
- So 6:30PM and work until 9:30PM using a 2-man auger they drill some holes and set some posts. We have a 14 month old who goes to bed around 6:30-7pm. (RED FLAG#5)
- Neighbour asks for money for our portion, I am sick of them asking and JJ is actually doing work, so we stupidly issue a cheque for the full 1/2 amount of $507, opposite neighbour was $570 as it is slightly longer on that side, and the rear neighbour was around $500 or so. So they have been given close to $1600 to offset their initial deposit of $1700
- So it's exciting the posts are in... but wait what's this. JJ drilled an 8" hole (not sure how deep), put in a 6" sono tube, and stuffed in a 4x4 post. All seems good except a 6" tube only leaves 1" on either side for concrete *if* it's perfectly centered which they aren't. I examined the post and a lot of them were touching the cardboard sono tube which means there is very little concrete on one side. (RED FLAG#6)
- The posts set for almost 4 days, I am pissed so I am trying not to look at them or touch them or anything, but finally decide that I need to examine them and make a determination for my own sanity.
- *After 4 Days of Setting* I can jiggle, wiggle, and *LIFT* out of the ground four of the posts, which four? The four *corner* posts, the pillars of a stable fence. These are the two corners of one of my sides and the 2 corners of the opposite neighbour side. (BIG RED MUTHA FLAG #7)
- *Note* It's important to note that during this process we have expressed our displeasure of JJ's workmanship, lack of professionalism, and delays. I even offered free advice and suggested that they may want to ask for their *cash* back and terminate the remaining deal.
- Neighbour already gave JJ his second 1/3 of $1700... (MORON FLAG for them)
- I tell the neighbours that the four posts are junk, point out the flaws, and tell them that our crew will be replacing. At this point I am not longer asking or suggesting, I am *telling* them that this is the way it is. They are in agreement once again.
- April 21 Our crew comes in assesses the posts, says there is no way they will attach anything to it, and I give them the green light to yank them out and replace them.
- April 22 AM, JJ shows up after seeing all the Landscaping trucks and equipment, accusing our crew of
*banging* into his posts and loosening them... Moron.
- April 22 Our crew laughs their asses off at the work they see, drills 50 some posts holes (4 feet deep) lays out the posts in prep for setting and concrete the next day. This is a 3 yard job.
- April 23, they pull the four *questionable posts* and set all of ours JJ used 8 foot posts for a 6 foot fence, so he set the posts max 2 feet in the ground. We all know what the weather is like in this neck of the woods, 2 feet and your fence is going to pop like a cork. (RED FLAG#8)
- JJ shows up to start some fence panels again in the evening 5:30pm or so. We make it clear to our neighbour that he is to not touch those four corners as they are not set yet. He does what he is told for once and puts up every panel he can, except the corners.
*Note* that this is a full nine days after JJ started work, before coming back to do more work.
- April 24, all posts in and one side of the stringers are up. It's a Friday so our crew is done for the weekend.
- April 27, Fence panel boards are all up.
- April 27 PM, JJ decides to finish his portion of the fence, I am impressed he's showed up to work twice within a week. JJ Proceeds to build the last stretch of the fence which spans... not 6 feet, not 8 feet, but 10.5 feet... Yes you read that correctly a huge expanse of 10.5 feet (Personally I would have done a 6 and 4 or even a 5 and 5 with another 4x4 post, but that just my opinion.)
- JJ Completes the fence and there is an enormous 12 inch gap at the rear panel due to the 10.5 foot panel, our crew slanted the stringers to match the grade as much as possible to prevent such gaps. JJ on the other hand ran his level from post to post. (RED FLAG#9)
- April 28, Our fence is complete... 3 yards (minus 2 sides), 2 guys with the occasional helper, 5 days start to finish. Cost $32/ft + Gate + GST.
- JJ Original start date April 3, actual start date April 14th, Work in progress 2-7/8 sides (the 7/8 is a joke for later) and still yet to be 100% complete. He is also building a deck for the neighbour which is 1/3 constructed.
- After final examination I noticed that all the "Screw" faced panels are facing outwards (ie. facing my property). According to the Ottawa Fencing By-Law Section 16, the *Finished* side is suppose to face your neighbours and public property. Clearly the *Finished* side would be considered the inside. (RED FLAG #10 Mr.JJ)
- Our crew constructed the fence in a similar manner but used two stringers so that both sides are identical all the screw/nail/staples are hidden by the final stringer that it placed over the fence boards making it truly identical on both sides.

Now that you have some back story let's check out what $31.73/ft *CASH* can buy you.
1. Delayed timelines and convenient evening hours only (remember no weekends).

2. Wrong Length of posts

3. Wrong Sono Tubes

4. Incorrect Screws
(JJ used construction screws which, without making any accusations, look very similar to screws using by builders warranty crews to attach sub floors and other interior wood structures, etc... Everything I have read about pressure treated wood states that use of improper fasteners will diminish the life span of the fastener, corrosion and rust stains as quickly as a few weeks since they react to the high levels of Copper used in the new ACQ formula of pressure treated lumber.

5. Not enough conrete

6. Panels embedded in the gound

7. Use of deck boards as stringers instead (due to the 10.5foot span).

8. Huge Gaps to allow pets and humans access, did I mention I have large breed dog who can freely run under the fence, not to mention that the neighbours intent on erecting a fence to begin with was for their two dogs, how ironic is that.

9. "Unfinished" side facing neighbours.

10. Panels which are too long (ie. 10 ft.)

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
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  #2  
Old 2009-05-04, 12:54 PM
CapitalBoo CapitalBoo is offline
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Don't give this guy any money. He's a fraud, con-artist who does passable work at best. At first I felt bad for my neighbours, but now I know that it is a combination of them and him and I just feel bad for anyone who mights fall for this Yahoos *cash* deal. He has or is going to receive $5100 or more for this fence and deck and it is still not complete.

PS : Apparently he has added "Lunch" hour to his list of available hours of work, My wife tells me that he is next door cursing and swearing again... oh wait it's 1pm he's gone now.

Last edited by CapitalBoo; 2009-05-04 at 01:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:06 PM
Fingers Fingers is offline
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Appalling... not unlike the work I've seen from a company that rhymes with Sense Ball.

Can we get the name of the builder? I'm sure they'd like to hear about it. No "actual" names needed...

Inquiring minds must know.
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:09 PM
CapitalBoo CapitalBoo is offline
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Like I said the Builder is around Scotiabank, but like you mention it's begins with "M" and sounds like Hat Amy
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:17 PM
CapitalBoo CapitalBoo is offline
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I realize this all could have been avoided, I even urged my neighbour to reconsider, I gave them advice and tried to steer them, now I could care less when they get the rest of their work done, not to mention any warranty work. (oh wait there is no warranty).

Fortunately I only have one crappy side to contend with, it's not my entire fence. Part of me wants to forward this to the builder but I am not 100% comfortable assisting in having this guy fired (although he shouldn't be constructing anything).

I understand that the Customer Care Coordinators for the builder monitor these forums, so perhaps one of them will be able to piece the puzzle together and inform the necessary parties.

CB
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:36 PM
jl9004 jl9004 is offline
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We have been very tempted to call the builder. Our other concern is what happens when we need warranty work on our home and he shows up. Our relationship with him is already strained so how could we in our right minds let him work on our home.

Our concern with contacting the builder is some kind of retaliation, he will know who it is right away and we do fear what he could do to us or our family. It's not just small potatoes getting someone fired.
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:38 PM
north59 north59 is offline
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Well I don't think M company would do much, this is being done on his own time. As long as he isn't going around telling people he works for M company. If he is, then maybe they should fire him.

This is one of those examples, you get what you pay for. It's unfortunate but the rest of us on the forum benefit from his experience.
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:42 PM
jl9004 jl9004 is offline
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He does tell people who he works for, she shows up in his uniform and he bad mouths the company he works for. I did contact the customer service rep to see if the policy had changed for M employees doing work for home owners on their own time and the policy had not changed... They are not allowed!!!
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:51 PM
jdoyle23 jdoyle23 is offline
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GregS in 3 ... 2...
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Old 2009-05-04, 01:55 PM
CapitalBoo CapitalBoo is offline
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Why GregS in 3...2.. ?

I didn't mention any names explicitly and I feel that homeowners in the Ottawa area should be aware of this type of individual. I am doing a service to the homeowners of Ottawa and it would be a dis service if an admin were to silence that.

CB
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