From Exciting Garden Project to a Looming Disaster

AmesHillFarm

In the Brooder
Jan 31, 2020
12
60
40
...you ready? I agreed to pay $2300 for the 4 garden beds, this was to include everything, materials, labor, and apparently it also came with free migraines in the small print, lol. Well, he told me he messed up and didn't charge enough, I basically said I didn't have any more in my budget for the garden, because I don't, but I would work with him on the design so it didn't cost as much...so now I'm only getting the 3 beds shown for the original price. Original deposit was $500 and he said he was short on purchasing the materials and needed another $500...so I'm $1000 in and you see what I have to show for it.
Yikes! Yup, I'm going to double down on the recommendation to document his work hours and try to acquire receipts, or at least try to estimate what the materials you've seen would cost. And take plenty of pictures. That way you'll have the info available if you need to refuse further payment or (hopefully it doesn't come to it) do anything through small claims court.

I hate being pessimistic, but you're definitely not in a good spot. At least he seems to have picked up the pace a bit.
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
2,880
9,400
492
Georgia
Yikes! Yup, I'm going to double down on the recommendation to document his work hours and try to acquire receipts, or at least try to estimate what the materials you've seen would cost. And take plenty of pictures. That way you'll have the info available if you need to refuse further payment or (hopefully it doesn't come to it) do anything through small claims court.

I hate being pessimistic, but you're definitely not in a good spot. At least he seems to have picked up the pace a bit.
Already on it! I don't have exact hours for the first couple days he worked, well because I didn't forsee this being an issue but since then I've documented down to the minutes, lunch breaks and everything. I also started photographing at the end of every work day. The only thing I don't have is receipts...or the materials...:hmm

You're so very kind to talk me through this! I guess I'm fortunate that I saved up to do this project and it's not taking away from anything important in my life. Trying to look at the bright side!
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
6,168
11,508
642
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Ugh just wanted to say sorry this has been a nightmare for you. I'm sure the end results will look great, but what a miserable process this has been. Your hubby's original beds did look great btw... and I too would've used untreated wood, but we don't have termites to deal with...

Definitely document everything with time and date and photos and get receipts for the materials. Also what does your written contract say about advances? Seems to me he should be looking to collect once he's done since you had an agreement on what you'd pay, and he's nowhere close to being done.

I have to admit this is why I when I have a project, I usually go for bigger companies that have multiple people available to get work done. Like we had the roof replaced... it was supposed to take 3 days to install. When the company saw rain got moved up in the forecast, they sent out more guys in order to finish. What started off with 3 guys turned into 12 and they completed the remaining 2/3rds of the roof in a single afternoon.
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
2,880
9,400
492
Georgia
Ugh just wanted to say sorry this has been a nightmare for you. I'm sure the end results will look great, but what a miserable process this has been. Your hubby's original beds did look great btw... and I too would've used untreated wood, but we don't have termites to deal with...

Definitely document everything with time and date and photos and get receipts for the materials. Also what does your written contract say about advances? Seems to me he should be looking to collect once he's done since you had an agreement on what you'd pay, and he's nowhere close to being done.

I have to admit this is why I when I have a project, I usually go for bigger companies that have multiple people available to get work done. Like we had the roof replaced... it was supposed to take 3 days to install. When the company saw rain got moved up in the forecast, they sent out more guys in order to finish. What started off with 3 guys turned into 12 and they completed the remaining 2/3rds of the roof in a single afternoon.
Thank you, and I guess I'm learning my lesson the really hard and expensive way! Lol
Hopefully it comes together in the end!
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,463
22,709
906
southern Michigan
I'm so sorry! I too hope it comes out fine, and have doubts. I too have had less than stellar experiences with contractors, and taken some hits to the budget and quality of work done, or not done.
Right now I've had a very good experience with a company who redid our front and back decks, all lovely work done on time. Only got one quote, two
one man band' carpenters didn't come through with quotes at all. I'm sure we paid more, but great work in a very short time, wonderful!
Mary
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,380
7,189
517
Western Ohio
Sorry for the frustration with this guy! Hopefully it all works out ok in the end. The plans look like they will turn out nice!

years ago we had to take the loss on a similar situation (different project type). It was a two guy crew recommended to us by a friend that owned rentals, and these guys did a lot of work for the friend. They show up/discuss project/we decide on specifics, then crickets/nothing.. turns out the more reliable of the two (according to friend) landed in jail for a few month sentence, leaving the less reliable one to do the work. Hmmm...we decided to continue with this guy (we discussed with friend and thought of other options), bc time was of the essence, and cost/time of anyone else coming in to do the job. Well, long story short, we ended up paying him the remainder (job only half done, but we didn’t want our home vandalized for example-and this was certainly a possibility) and had to finish the job ourselves. So, we’ve never gone that route again, and have since moved a few times anyway.
 

chickengr

Free Ranging
5 Years
Dec 29, 2014
4,046
2,885
551
greece
So I guess between me expressing that I was getting a bit impatient yesterday and trying to talk to him some more today he worked his record of 4.5 hours and "says" he'll be back tomorrow to work and will bring the materials. It looks good right now, just a matter of what's going to happen now that he has to cut a couple blocks for the corner. At least he's saying "cut" and not "break" now.

Now the trick will be getting him to bring all of the materials here as I requested because I would feel a lot better if I can see that's what he's spending my money on...

Fingers crossed! :fl Thank you for listening to my plight today. It really really helps to be able to talk it out with someone.

View attachment 2024811View attachment 2024814


you should fill the top row with dirt and plant some flowers to attract bees.
 

21hens-incharge

Addict
Premium member
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
16,756
66,876
1,412
Northern Colorado
Good golly what a nightmare. :hugs

I know it is to late now but it is always a good practice to get and check contractors references. A question I always ask when checking is "How did you find this contractor?". You would possibly be surprised to know a lot of the "little guys" just give out relatives or good friends as references and never did any actual work for them.

Do you have a written contract with him?

I really hope things come together in the end.
 
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