Chris Sotiropoulos, General Contractor, June 9, 2012: This person was recommended by an electrician I used. The electrician himself was recommended by a friend. As this was a kind of "friend of a friend" thing, I thought I was safe, and didn't check references or question his expertise.
Chris talked me into refreshing the floor by lightly sanding it and adding two coats of a medium flat stain. I'm planning to sell the house. The floor looked okay to me the way it was, only maybe a little tired. Refinishing wasn't really necessary. He insisted it would be free of charge if I wasn't satisfied, and would only charge me $350 for the work.
When he was done, the floor was a disaster. Unfortunately by the time I realized this, I had already paid him. I sent several text messages and left voicemails asking for my money back. He hasn't to this date replied. The electrician who referred him also failed to respond to my emails and voicemails. Chris was highly recommended by him. I feel like I was used as a training ground for this person, as in hindsight he did not seem to have the skills for the job.
Here is what he did: Light sanding of my maple kitchen floor by hand, then two coats of medium oil based stain, one within four hours of the other. Prior to putting the second coat on, he moved the fridge back into place and made long deep smears in the floor. Moving the fridge was my idea, however he was supposed to be the expert. He said he would fix it the next day when everything was dry. He asked for some of the money, and I paid him $200.
The next morning, most of the entire floor had bubbles in it, with most of the bubbles formed around the fridge smears. It was obvious to me at this point that he didn’t have the skills to do the work. I called and left a voicemail offering to let him off the hook and said I would hire someone else to fix it. He didn't respond at first, then called to say he would be late but would fix it. He showed up four hours late.
He spent a couple of hours hand sanding the scratches and bubbles. The result was messy and blotchy. The fridge smears were still there, and more prominent then ever. Then he said it was time to put a clear coat on. When I questioned the logic in that, he said not to worry. He told me I worried too much, which was his response when questioned about anything, which I didn't appreciate. He said it would be a flat clear coat and that he would fix the fridge streaks after by feathering them in with stain afterward. So, I let him put the clear coat on.
It turned out to be super shiny. He assured me it would dry flat, and asked for the rest of the money, which stupid me handed over. He said he would be back in a few days to feather the stain in. The floor remained as shiny after it had dried (I suspected it would). At this point I called him and sent text messages, asking for my money back. He did not respond, or offer to try to fix the floor.
The floor was so shiny and breathtakingly ugly I was absolutely mesmerized each time I stepped into the kitchen. After two weeks, the clear coat started flaking off.
I could list here what went wrong, but it’s not my job to train people. This person misrepresented himself and knows next to nothing about wood floor refinishing. He also demonstrated very little professionalism and a complete lack of accountability. He was always late, with attitude, and responded in an arrogant manner when questioned about anything. The ONLY reason I hired him was because he was a highly recommended referral from a trusted source (who I won’t be hiring again either). I give myself a zero too, for not doing my homework before hiring this person.
In the future I will always go with established professionals. Over the years, I’ve given other small businesses breaks and am sorry to say it has almost always been disappointing. The kitchen floor, spectacularly so.