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Old 07-27-2011, 04:48 PM   #1
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$1,000 in extra charges beyond contract


Hi. I am a landlady of a small building and recently had a very upsetting experience with a hardwood floor refinisher.

First let me say...I respect contractors and my personal values are to have harmonious and fair business relationships. I want a "win win" type of situation and when things go well, I feel it can be pleasant and even fun. I really admire the business person these days and like to support them, as I am also a small business person. I never dicker to try to drive down other people's wages. Never. Everyone has to make a living and I believe in respecting that.

Anyways, I hired a third generation flooring guy to refinish a floor in a house I am renting. This contractor "John" knew I was getting it ready for rental. We had such a harmonious relationship in the beginning. We chatted, were friendly, he gave me a price, wrote up a contract, I gave him 10% down, then another chunk.

On the day it was supposed to be done, I noticed that there was a gap between the floor and the moulding randomly all around the house. Also, there was nothing to soften the change of flooring from the kitchen to the hardwood...there was a tiny "step" there that I felt wasn't right and not safe. These were all over the house.

He did a beautiful job on the flooring, covered some difficult stains. He knew the flooring would be a challenge before the contract as the whole place reeked and we pulled back a lot of carpet to investigate. He gave me a price AFTER this investigation. I didn't hide anything. In fact, when he found some other problems (nails) he asked for more money, and I gave it to him knowing we did not know about it prior.

When I came in the day he was finishing up to give him his last check I got the news...it would take $1,000 dollars more to make the floor "complete". I was floored at this! It's true, I've never had hardwood floors refinished but I've had linoleum and carpet put in and never was it not complete. Always a division put in between flooring and just DONE. And never was I left with weird gaps, etc.

I was very very upset, extremely frustrated. He said "it wasn't included in the contract" but how come he didn't warn me? He KNEW I had to rent the place out QUICK. Why didn't he tell me "you'll probably have to get risers and/or moulding". He never said a word. I was made to feel this was the price and nothing more would come of it.

Was I wrong to assume that the total cost of this refinishing was to include "risers" (sorry, don't know how it is spelled) and to give a "finished" look. When creating the contract "John" no way said that I would have to pay for the additional moulding (we only agreed I'd have to paint them) and he did not say "risers" didn't come with it.

He forced me to pay for the original contract AND then he created a NEW contract for the DETAILS of the flooring (that I think should have been there already), and forced me to pay a chunk for that, too to get it done. I was under time pressure I had a renter move in.

I had to cough up an additional $1,000 just to have the floor look "right" with no gaps, and appropriate risers (he charged me 50 bucks for each riser and 700 dollars for the 1/2 inch moulding).

I just can't get over this. His responses seemed weak. When I expressed how upset I felt and angry he started saying "but look at this floor it's so beautiful"!!! Yes, it was beautiful but that doesn't take away the fact that he charged me $1,000 MORE for something I think was supposed to be done! He also said "and I took away all that awful carpet". I said "yes, but that's part of the deal". It's not like I didn't give him a ton of money to do this. He kept on saying "look at it from my end"...yes, I get that...but still. Was it right to have me pay so much more for something that should be complete?

He is a third generation flooring guy with a long term presence in my city. Why didn't he say that risers would be more? Why didn't he say that I might need moulding? He saw the floor base BEFORE the contract! Did he do this because he felt he wasn't earning enough? What could it be?

It was very very upsetting to say the least. I still can't believe it.

I don't know who to trust. When I originally met up with this guy, I told him about ANOTHER flooring guy who CHANGED his estimate, without talking to me first, and "John" said "that's a bad sign". And now look what "John" did! He added $1,000 for a complete floor saying it wasn't in the contract! Isn't that ten times worse than what the original flooring guy did???

What is going on here? Is this normal? Please help me understand what happened. It was very upsetting to say the least. I feel angry and lied to.

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Old 07-27-2011, 04:59 PM   #2
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$1,000 in extra charges beyond contract


I think you were taken advantage of. It took me awhile to respond as I tried to figure out exactly what occurred. If he has merely refinished a hardwood floor, I would feel differently. He knew that peeling back the carpeting would leave a void at the baseboard, and that the thresholds would not be even as well. As an experienced installer, he should have made you aware of this beforehand. Legally, there is probably nothing wrong with what he did. Either he was inexperienced and didn't know any better, or he figured he could add to the job later. Either way, you were the one left holding the bag.

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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$1,000 in extra charges beyond contract


I won't pull punches. IMO you were cheated. But I don't know anything that you can do now. Except if anyone asked about him, just say that you were not happy with his work.
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