I was referred to Joseph Lauren Design by the stone company, Zara Stone, and dealt with the owner Paolo. I'd purchased flagstone and needed it installed.
I liased with Paolo over text messages (he never came to see the site) and we discussed the job and price. I sent him photos of the stone and where it was to be installed.
Paolo said he'd pick the stone up from the stone yard for us and bring it to the site to save some money on delivery (which ended up being a huge mistake).
He was pleasant to deal with, responsive and suggested ideas on how to finish the job.
We agreed the job would start on a Friday. He said he couldn't make it and it would be the next week, which is fine.
I was leaving the house on a Sunday morning and his father showed up unannoucned at 9am at the job site and said he and Paolo were there to do some prep work. I didn't have time to talk them through the details of the job as I had an appointment to go to. I said don't cut any of the grass or anything until I get back so I can show you.
He said fine and that Paolo was showing up soon and they would just start the prep work and levelling everything.
While I was away Paolo texted me and said the scope of the job has changed and he needed another 25% vs what we had negotiated. Again, he didn't come and see the site before agreeing on the price.
I said we could talk about it when I got home, again this was on a Sunday, and then I got a text saying "I will be returning the stone to Zara tomorrow morning I don't think it will work out."
He then held our stone hostage asking for us to pay him to leave it there or else he'd take it with him. I said just to wait until I got back, but he took the stone with him and then wouldn't return any of my calls or texts.
Eventually he returned the stone to the stone yard, and after we finally arrange for delivery (because it'd already been paid for), about 20% of the stones were damaged (like the photo below).
Paolo never responded to me again and Zara stone would not refund any of the broken stones. So we were left to deal with it all ourselves.
Be very careful dealing with Joseph Lauren Desgin, Paolo and Zara stones!