Monday, September 21, 2009

Avoid Paul David Plumbing for anything but plumbing!!

While he is a good plumber, he is horrible as a general contractor! (He also does business under the name "Feldman Mechanical Contractors" or "Feldman Mechanical Contracting".)

When we hired Paul David Plumbing as our general contractor, it was because Paul David had done good plumbing work at a reasonable price. He was willing and able to deal with the old plumbing in our house, and to do things like rebuild our 1920s toilets.

He has proven himself completely incapable as a general contractor. We paid the deposit for materials, about 65% of the total cost of the job, in April. The contract was entered into with the agreement that a subcontractor with experience in slate would be doing the vast majority of the work, and that Paul David would be doing some work to assist them.

Paul David Plumbing provided us with excuse upon excuse upon excuse why the work had not begun on the roof. Last week, Paul David himself began work on the breezeway between the house and the garage. When one side of the breezeway repair was complete, he asked if we were satisfied with how it looked - I was - but this was based on appearance only. There was another slate that he had replaced, with a nail driven through the face of the slate, which I infomed him was improper practice, and that such repairs needed to be done with a slate hook. Paul David was unable to locate a supplier of slate hooks, which should have been a warning.

Back dormer work done by Paul David

Next Paul David began work on the rear part of the roof, where there had been considerable damage from ice falling on it the previous winter, and where it was obvious repairs had been performed previously. The slate for the bottom few rows are 28 inches long. The slate installed was only 24 inches long, which did not provide sufficient overlap. Paul David did not realize this was an issue until it was pointed out to him. He further didn't realize that the slate needed to be shimmed out, using smaller pieces of slate, to fit the slightly curved framing of the roof.

It was at this point that we realized that Paul David Plumbing had failed to live up to their end of the contract. A professional with experience on slate had not been brought in, as had been specified in the contract. Further, slate adequate for the job had not been provided.

Back dormer work done by Paul David

When Paul David Plumbing informed us that the proper sized slate wasn't readily available, we told him that we expected the exposed area and the improperly slated area to be covered to prevent damage from rain, which is expected for the rest of the week. When it appeared, on Sunday, that it was going to rain, we called Paul David Plumbing, informing him of this, asking him to cover the area. He said that he'd try to be out that afternoon. When we called him again, an hour later, when rain was threatening, he said that he couldn't make it and that his insurance would just have to cover it.

That was the absolute last straw. While Paul David may be a competent plumber, he simply cannot be trusted with anything beyond that.

Breezeway work done by Paul David

On further inspection of the breezeway, in the area where work had not yet been completed, I saw that the slate was not installed properly - the nail holes in the slates were not countersunk, so the nail heads will rub against the slate above, eventually wearing through. Further, the flashing at the house is in such poor shape that it really should be replaced. This was not part of the original contract, but something that should have been brought to our attention - it makes little sense to repair the slate now, only to have to take it off in a couple years to redo the flashing.




I took a very long lunch today (and as a result will be working quite late tonight) and met with Paul David to iron out the details of the completion of the contract. By next Friday, he will present us with a list of all the money that has been spent on materials, which will be deducted from the amount we paid, in April, for materials. From his costs will be deducted the cost of a temporary repair on the main roof of the house and repair of the improper work done on the breezeway. If he doesn't provide us with the expenses by next Friday, the amount will be assumed to be $2000. Either way, the amount due back to use will be paid in full by two weeks from that Friday.

I'm not terribly confident that we'll get our money back, but at least now we have everything in writing, and we have some legal standing, I hope.

In good news, Dennis Crookshanks (of Dennis M. Crookshanks Const., Inc.), whose gallery features some pretty impressive work, will be at our house either today or tomorrow to evaluate the situation and install a temporary patch. He clearly knows his stuff - I only wish I'd gone with the estimate that he'd provided when we called him originally. Fortunately, he still has our information on file, so it shouldn't take him terribly long to write up.

13 comments:

karrey said...

Hopefully, these posts will be the first google results whenever anybody searches the web for this joker. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

That's the idea - thus my perhaps excessive use of his name, Paul David, and the business name, Paul David Plumbing. I'm actually hoping that this will be the first result for Paul David Plumbing - right now, it's number 6.

Jason said...

This Paul David of Paul David Plumbing? If I lived in Cleveland - where Paul David Plumbing is located - I wouldn't even bother asking Paul David for an estimate. Sorry to hear about your frustration!

Jason said...

Also, can I make a suggestion? To have an impact on someone casually scanning Google results, you should put something about your experience in the first sentence. As it reads now, you're just a homeowner who spoke to Paul David Plumbing. If I was considering Paul David's services, I might not even take the time to click. On the other hand, if your first sentence warned me of a terrible tale of woe involving Paul David Plumbing, *that's* something I'd click on.

(It's the fourth result as of now - third when you also include Cleveland)

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Jason, your point is well taken.

1916home said...

Sorry to hear about your woes. I just did a big renovation myself and to save some time I farmed out the drywall taping and also the flooring. Maybe I was lucky but both parties that came in (on short notice too) did a very nice quick job for a reasonable price. Im beginning to feel lucky after reading peoples horror stories.

Cookbook said...

Ugh. Are you an Angie's List member? Most definitely review him there, if you are.

casacaudill said...

If you're a member of Angie's list you should definitely post this there and Yelp as well.

Hoping this gets resolved to the best of your satisfaction given all that's befallen you already.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I am as satisfied as I can be, given everything that has happened thus far.

It takes a lot off my shoulders knowing that there'll be someone there tomorrow who knows what they are doing.

Audrey said...

Don't forget to mention that he operates under the business name Feldman Mechanical Contracting as well.

Todd - Home Construction Improvement said...

Sorry to hear about this unfortunate turn of events. It's easy to understand how you might take the lower bid in today's current financial strains. I think this points out a very important issue though. Never hire any specialty type contractor to do a general contractors work. Paul David should know better! I really hope things work out for you and I hope he figures out that he shouldn't be posing as a GC!

Karen Anne said...

I'm glad Dennis is able to help you. He has a pretty impressive looking website.

In defense of the BBB from my previous comment, they did get my money back from a company called HydroSil which makes portable "baseboard heaters." Not the same as a construction project, but nice anyway.

The heater had sharp edges, so picking it up in the obvious places almost guaranteed being cut, plus it sparked when turned off and on. The reason I had bought it in the first place was that it was :"American made," sigh.

Anonymous said...

I knew him personally, the guy is a crook! He had an automotive bisnuess before going into plumbing, he basicly got into plumbing because he was sued out of the automotive bisnuess, for cheating people... His real name is Paul Turziak, I think I am spelling that correct. Yes paul David is an alias, because he has such a bad name in the auto repair biz!