Thursday, March 4, 2010

Update on Winans Construction Saga

Well, update might be a little bit of an overstatement.....

Still have not heard back from them after many, many attempts at contacting them.

How could such a fancy-pants high end award winning business treat me this way?

To review, signed a contract with Winans Construction for $9k where they were supposed to design our top floor and kitchen and deck and provide us with permit-ready drawings. Half way through the process they realized that they weren't going to get the construction part of the job and basically stopped caring about it. They dropped off the supposedly finished set of permit ready plans and have been pestering me about the final $2500 due. I've shown the plans to 5 general contractors, two architects and one structural engineer who all agree that the plans are far from 'permit ready'. When I went back to Winans with these issues and proposed fixes they basically told me, 'We're the experts you are not we think the plans are fine as is pay us now!'

I spoke to our friend-neighbor-fellow house blogger Ayse from Casa Decrepit about the situation. She is unfortunately an expert in getting screwed around by contractors.

Her take was that they have decided that I will not sue them over the $9000 as its not enough money to bother hiring a lawyer for and all that. And ya know, she's right.

Its going to cost us ~$6k additionally to get someone else to finish their I guess I just gotta sit back and take it right?


I've left them very non-complimentary reviews on Angie's List, Yelp, and I'm trying to get onto the Berkeley Parents Network to leave a review for them there also.

Can anybody think of anyplace else I leave reviews that'll get read-be influential? They have a myspace and facebook pages but I don't belong and I don't really feel like signing up just to leave my review on their pages? But if other people wanted to leave notes on their pages saying something like, "Stop screwing around the Chez Neumansky folks" or something like that I wouldn't mind.

Several of the local TV stations have a 'on your side' segment. Maybe I'll try them next?

Ayse pointed out that they are a 'Diamond Certified' company.

I contacted the folks that do the 'Diamond Certifying' and they are going to attempt to mediate the dispute. Maybe they'll get someone at Winans to respond. If Winans Construction does not respond they'll get their Diamond Certification pulled which is probably the most I can hope for.

Well, at least now we have someone in our corner working to help solve this impasse.

I told the Diamond folks that I either wanted Winans to finish the contract or return all my money.

Is that fair ya think?