I am extremely disappointed with Roderick’s work, and his attitude. After 13 days of work on my family room (from Tuesday September 13 to Thursday September, 29 of this year), Rod abandoned the job, leaving me to deal with an unfinished job and a major cleanup of dirt, dust and material!!
I hired Rod, based on his “perfect” 10 scores from reviews on his previous projects posted on the HomeStars site, and assurances from him that he was quite capable of producing the results I asked of him. That is, high quality professional work in all facets of the job.
The project entailed renovations in the family room and guest bedroom:
• stripping wallpaper from the walls, above and below the chair rail;
• repairing any damage to the walls as a result of wallpaper removal;
• flattening of waves on one wall, below the chair rail;
• properly sanding, staining-to-match and sealing the frame work around
3 factory-stained pine shutters;
• sanding, priming & painting the walls;
• cleanup of dirt, dust and material after family room job was completed
• properly sanding, priming & painting: the family room doors and frame
work; frame work around one window; and baseboards;
• sanding, priming & painting the walls;
• cleanup of dirt, dust and material after guest bedroom job was
Rod’s labour estimate was $3,000.00, at $50.00 per hour, which I thought was quite steep, but was willing to pay based on his “credentials” and his assurance that his efforts would produce the results I asked for. Rod estimated that it would take approximately 2 weeks worth of effort to complete the entire project.
I mentioned to Rod that before starting the job, I needed to remove the chair rail from the family room walls. I was going to strip the existing sealant and stain, and prepare it for re-staining and resealing after I had reinstalled it. After I had removed the chair rail and begun stripping it, I had further discussions with Rod about the task, resulting in Rod volunteering to complete the job himself. (He never did quote me the additional labour charge for the chair rail.) This task entailed:
• completing the stripping of sealant & stain off of the chair rail;
• filling gaps between the char rail and the wall after I had reinstalled the
• re-staining & resealing the char rail
Without describing the results, Rod’s first attempt at the chair rail was unacceptable to me, and he was in agreement. I kept a proper tone with my comments, but was firm. He apologized for producing a poor effort, but asked that I give him another chance. The project was, for some reason taking a lot longer than expected, and would have been delayed even further if I had re-taken on the task. I would have had to wait until the weekend to do it myself, since I work long hours during the week. As a result, I had no choice but to let him try again.
His staining results in his second attempt were much better. However, Rod for some inexplicable reason, did not fill in the gaps between the chair rail and walls before preparing the chair rail for staining. Rod did not fill in the gaps, then sand the entire char rail, including the filling, to produce a smooth and straight edge between the chair rail and the walls along the top of the char rail. The filling was uneven throughout the chair rail, and the uneven profile of the chair rail was quite evident throughout the room. Filling gaps, then sanding are very fundamental to all similar tasks. Rod simply did not produce a professional result.
Again, my conversation with him that evening (Thursday) was similar to the one I had after his first attempt at the chair rail. I voiced my displeasure, but did not use unacceptable tones in my voice or unacceptable words. I told him that I liked all other aspects of his work. Rod, on the other hand, whined about the situation like a child. His explanation was simply how hard he worked at the chair rail. He just went on and on about it in a low-key, but whining tone.
Rod had done a good job in stripping, sanding and staining the chair rail, but he missed a very fundamental step that resulted in an unacceptable result.
At the end of our conversation, Rod agreed to come to the house the next day (Friday) to:
• see for himself, with me present, what I was unhappy with.
• to fix the chair rail so that it had a straight and even edge along the walls
of the family room.
• hopefully, begin work on the guest bedroom
If he could not begin on the guest bedroom, he agreed to come in on the Saturday to begin work on it.
Rod also asked that I pay him a second installment for what I believed would be for the work remaining on the family room, including fixing the chair rail problem and sanding, staining and applying 3 coats of sealant. The first installment was for $1,615.90 in labour charges. The check he was to pick up the next work day (Friday, September 30) was for $1,580.00 in labour charges.
Well, I was shocked to hear from my wife on the Friday that Rod had left a note explaining that he was leaving the job and that he did not ever want me to call him or communicate with him in any manner. He had the audacity to take the check and abandon the job over a relatively small issue with the chair rail!
Rod did not do any work that Friday. He gave me his word Thursday evening, but instead deceived me into believing that, he would come back to honour our agreement and complete the project to my liking.
Again, in all my dealings with Rod, I was never rude to him, never used profane language, and never raised my voice to him. I praised him for the great work he did on the family room, to that point. (However, since he left, I have discovered several other aspects of his work that are not at all up to the standards he agreed to. I am now left with having to deal with those, as well. One in particular was the prep work, before painting, on the walls below the chair rail. I will now have to re-wallpaper those walls to hide his deficiencies.)
Suffice it say that my only dissatisfaction up to that Thursday was with the chair rail, and he used that to decide to abandon the job that same evening! I’ve had many contractors do work in my home in the past, and I have never had this reaction to pointing out, in a polite manner, portions of a job that were unacceptable and required fixing. Other contractors were always quite co-operative and agreeable.
I would not, at all, recommend Roderick Dunn to anyone!
I apologize for the time it’s taken me for the following update, but it must be added because Roderick Dunn’s response is inaccurate and misleading.
His claim that:
• “... a contractor may find himself in conflicted circumstances: being expected to perform work outside of the original contract without any discussion of payment for the previous week’s work…”
I’m not sure what the issue is here. Rod was not “expected” by me to work on any task “outside of the original contract”. I was working on the chair rail on my own, and Rod volunteered to do it himself, with some assistance from me. We both understood that he would be compensated for it, as it was indeed an addition to the work we’d agreed to in the original contract.
• “…without any discussion of payment for the previous week’s work…”
Again, I fail to see the issue is here. Whenever Rod asked for payment, I paid him, without any hesitation or discussion from me.
• “… enduring ongoing interference from the client…”
This is absolutely incorrect! I respect the time and expertise of any contractor I hire to perform work in my house. I never interfered with Rod’s work! I was gone to work downtown before he arrived in the morning, and he was gone… earlier than I expected, although I never questioned it… well before I arrived home from work.
In fact, he would frequently call me at work, or in the evening at home, to discuss certain aspects of the job. We always ended our conversation amicably and in agreement. It was only when the char rail incident arose that we had what I considered some minor friction and frustration in dealing with the issue, but nothing I felt could not be overcome. The conversation ended with the agreement that Rod would fix the char rail problem and continue with the remainder of the job.
• "Many hours were spent resolving problems associated with the client’s personal decision to remove the chair rail, thus extending the project. I was paid only for the work completed in this home up to September 29, 2011, and received no payments in advance."
I have explained the chair rail issue in my original review, and in this update. Rod has blown this (chair rail) issue way out of proportion, apparently to justify abandoning the job that I entrusted him to complete in a good workmanlike and professional manner.
His decision to not fix the chair rail problem he caused is not good workmanship and to abandon the job in a deceitful manner is obviously not a professional act.
I can only guess that he had another job to begin, and his work on my house was taking longer than expected, and was interfering with his schedule. I can’t think of any other reason for his behaviour.