Write A Review Reviews by Ruth in Milton
A review for EXTREME LANDSCAPING & PROPERTY MAINTENANCE
I signed a contract for landscaping, interlocking brick in my frontyard and landscaping and deck build in my backyard with Rick who asked for 75% prior to beginning work due it being a large project, I paid $4K up front of a $5,500 contract; Rick assured me all work would be done as I asked and I documented everything in emails then firmed it up with a signed contract, nothing was done as I had asked or we had agreed upon; he emailed me that he'd come start work on Wednesday, I came home early on Tuesday to my deck 85% built, not the way I wanted it; I complained about several things not done properly and was told anything undone and redone would be charged to our contract, and that I shouldn't complain for the deck was built bigger and better; I didn't ask or want a larger 16'x21' deck, I wanted and contracted for a 12'x18' deck; I was unclear if a permit was required and Rick assured me that I did not need a permit as long as the deck was under 2' in height and quoted by-law while we talked about how I wanted my deck built (yes I did need one, I should have checked with by-law office); Rick was to correct the slope away from house with 1 yard of top soil near back of house then cover this with landscaping fabic, he didn't do this, he only put the 6 bags of top soil I had leftover from my frontyard flower bed near the house, then dumped all the leftover frontyard ground along with leftover wood under the deck; he and his 3 employees built a deck that the by-law inspector says won't pass any citys' code, inspector felt bad for me so no fine, please take it down and get a permit to rebuild was his advice to protect myself next time. The deck Rick built: frame has 3 sides with 2 2"x8"x16' joist dividing frame into 3 sections, total area 16’ length (house to back fence) by 21’ wide (fence to fence); the outer frame to first joist 76", this joist to next joist 68" and finally 93" this joist to right outer frame; there are 12 4"x4" posts with 12 cement bases positioned on the ground not on gravel and each are positioned under the frame 3 per frame beam; full deck was built with only 2.5" deck screws .. no metal braces or brackets what-so-ever, only 3-4 deck screws per 4"x4" post on one side through the 2"x8"s, it's dangerous to walk on, it moves under your weight. Oh, I almost forgot the other 14 2"x8"x16' joists that should have been in the frame, they were laid down horizontally on top of frame then screwed down into frame, the top deck planks were screwed into these, the deck is made like a 3 layer cake .. I only found out how bad it was built after taking 3 top planks off nearest to my patio door to try and figure out how to fix things for he had completely blocked my basement windows, water faucet and furnace, water heater and dryer vents (completely against code, said he'd not cover them up yet he did, we has agreed that I was to built the railing around hole after deck was build but it's covered up). I have to redo landscaping myself and rebuild the deck using a permit under the supervision of the by-law Office with new supplies .. a lot of the deck wood is not good enough to reuse for most screws were screwed-in too deep so the wood was damaged while taking deck apart so it'll be given to Habitat for Humanity with the small hope that they can use it.
On May 1, 2012 Ruth signed a contract and gave me 7 post dated cheques for my 30% deposit because she was doing other projects and couldn’t afford to pay me at that time. I told her that I could not start the job until I had the 30% deposit and 40% the day I started the job… she agreed. She gave me 7 cheques in total… the first five cheques were cashed to cover 70% of the contracted price (deposit and cost of materials) as per our signed contract with the remaining 2 to be cashed after the completion of the project. Ruth mentioned that she wanted me to dispose those last 2 cheques she gave me and replace them with 4 new post dated cheques because … “I need to redo my budget so I will give you 4 cheques (the last 30%) so that I can fit in the air guys payment” (she was also having work done to her AC as well… and had problems with that contractor too). I explained that I’ve been more then patient waiting for these post dated cheques and that cancelling the original cheques she gave me was not the deal we agreed to. I began to be very suspicious and worried that I might not get paid for my work. The issue of a building permit came into question… I did advise that she could get one but that it wouldn’t be necessary as the deck is not attached to the house and is a floating deck that is under 24 inches high. Ruth marked out where she wanted the deck and I have a contract signed by her indicating the specs of the deck that she agreed to. The deck was framed in 2x8 not 2x6 which I did to make her happy… Her measurements are also not correct, claiming I only used 2 ½ inch screws for the whole deck… I used 3 inch screws for the framing and 2 ½ inch screws for the top deck boards only. I cut out the water faucet. I also said we would cut the vents out… (the deck was over the vents not blocking them) She said and this is a quote from her email “Hey Rick don’t worry about the vents, I don’t know what I want to do. I went to Home Depot and purchased one (trap door) then had them cut it so it made a trap door with brass hinges And brackets so all is ok….” On July17, 2012 the deck was completed. While we were there she was feeding us watermelon and cherries and telling us how great it looked. She was home most of the afternoon with us. At the end of the day I said I would be back probably on Friday July 20 or Monday July 23rd depending on the weather, to complete the other contracted work she required (sodding which was already excavated and prepped, also some interlock in the front yard) and upon my return I would be cashing one of the 2 remaining postdated cheques which was dated July 13th . I did not cash this cheque because I didn’t start the job until after that date.. On Saturday July 21st I received a call from Ruth saying that she wasn’t happy with the deck and wanted brackets put on the 4x4 posts. Although the deck was completely secure I agreed to go and purchase the brackets to put on the deck to give her peace of mind. She then told me not to bother and asked to either refund her money completely or take the whole deck down and start over. I tried to work with her to come to a mutual agreement but she refused and told me that I wasn’t allowed on her property. It is questionable that the time when final payment was to be made, she all of a sudden didn’t like the work we did although while we were there she loved it. I also found out after the fact from my local branch that she went ahead on July 19 and put stop payment on the last 2 cheques she owed me (appr.$1600 in total) – this was prior to any discussion of her not liking the deck on July 20. I have all emails, contract and documentation. Regards, Rick Zippoli