We hired Ray and his crew after reading lots of good reviews on Homestars and other websites. In the beginning we were very happy. Ray has a very friendly, nice personality and he and his crew seemed to know what they were doing.
But then everything went wrong.
He built our deck but did not follow the plan correctly so the top of the deck was flush with the door, instead of having a 4 to 6 inch step down as was shown in the plan. This meant that snow could easily blow in during the winter.
I asked Ray to help us fix this problem. He refused to do it without charging us more money!
While Ray was building the deck our General Contractor (who was working on the interior of our house) told us that Ray did not grade our land properly. At this point, most of the deck boards were on. We alerted Ray to the problem, and he did try to do some more grading (but he didn't remove any deck boards). He also installed window wells.
Three weeks later it rained, and water came pouring into our basement.
Our General Contractor brought a landscaping specialist over to our property to have a look. He told us the grading was completely wrong. The earth was sloped TOWARDS our house and not away. On top of that, the window wells were too small - not deep enough, so water was pouring in through the windows.
I contacted Ray immediately and told him we needed to come back and help fix this problem. No response. I contacted him at least 4 times, but email, text and phone, but no response.
I was told by the landscaper and other deck builders that the first thing anyone reputable knows when building a deck is that the earth underneath needs to be properly graded.
What upsets me the most is not Ray's incompetence, but the lack of professionalism. If you make a mistake, own up to it and fix it. Instead he chose to ignore us.
We paid him $12,000 for the job and had to spend another $10,000 to have the deck disassembled, the property properly graded, new window wells, and deck rebuilt!