Need an opinion - should I fire this guy or am I asking too much?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Sjisty, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Brooksville
    I hired this guy last week to put some flagstones down in front of my house to the driveway. I was getting tired of tripping over roots, so I had ordered some fill dirt to raise the level of the area, which was already delivered and spread before this guy came and looked things over.

    Last Thursday he came out and looked. He suggested pavers. Okay, so he measured and said the materials would cost $200. They ended up to be $250, but no big deal. Friday he worked all day leveling the ground (I say all day, he came out around 12:30). Saturday he came at 2:30 and worked until 7:00. Sunday he worked 7 hours, Monday 7 hours, and Tuesday 7 hours. This is what I have so far -

    He did the main block coming off the front porch - this is the square part. Then he started the walkway at the outside long edge and worked his way toward the main block. Of course where it meets he has had to progressively cut the pavers so they will fit, starting with wide at one end and by the time he finishes at the other end they will be pretty narrow. I didn't get a real good picture of that - but picture one shows some. Also, he reversed the pattern of the pavers so they narrow ones will meet the wider ones and vice versa where they meet in the middle.

    Also in picture #3 you can see where he has covered a flagstone that we had in a spot where it gets soft when it rains. I told him quite a few times that they were to be taken away. I'm not real happy with the edging in picture #2, either. He said the cement he put around the main block took too long and he was going to turn a row of pavers sideways for the edge.

    My question is, am I being too picky? So far I have paid him $250 for the materials, $266 for working 3 days, and I owe him another $168 for Monday and Tuesday, and the job isn't even finished yet! That's 33-34 hours so far for laying these pavers - remember, the dirt was already delivered and spread.

    All opinions are appreciated. He will be here probably around noon and my plan is to pay him for the last 2 days and tell him so long!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    That looks pretty nice from here but cant really tell much about detail. If hes just laying them than it shouldn't have taken that long to do that. But if hes doing it right leveling all the pavers then it will take forever. What was the deal when you hired him?
     
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    If you agreed to pay him by the hour, he has no incentive to hurry. Did he bid the job by hour or the job as a whole?
     
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    I agreed to buy the supplies and pay him by the hour. The guy I hired to spread/level the fill dirt did the major leveling. This guy came in with a tamper and tamped down the dirt last week. The main thing I don't understand is why he started the walkway at the end opposite the block that he had done and worked his way toward the block - where they meet he is having to do a lot of cutting of the pavers and they are getting thinner and thinner as he gets to the other end.
     
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:First of all, fill dirt is an inadequate/inappropriate underlayment; it should have been sand, which makes a significantly more stable base. With fill dirt as the base, the walkway will be uneven in a relatively short time [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, you should have had him bid the job, not pay by the hour; too late to change what is done, but when he shows up to finish, you could say, look, this is taking far more time and cost than I expected. Did he ever state how long he thought it would take to complete the job? My suggestion is to contact at least a couple of companies who do the hardscaping portion of landscaping, and ask them for estimates to correct and complete. Based upon that, you can either hire one of them, or offer to pay him a fixed amount to finish, regardless of how long it takes. As for starting at the other end, that does not make sense, and you should express your dissatisfaction with the appearance. He needs to correct that at no cost to you.
     
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    If you've gotten all that done for less than a thousand dollars, I'd say you're doing well. You made the decision of fill dirt, not him. It should have been gravel first, then leveled sand, then pavers; however, it's "possible", not likely but possible, that the dirt will suffice. Good luck.
    ETA It would help to know what state you're in.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  7. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know anything about landscaping, but if I could get that job done at my house in NY State (not city)for less than $3,000, I'd be a happy camper. And that's would be a less than perfect job,also
     
  8. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

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    Brooksville
    Yes, I got the fill dirt. I was going to go to Lowes and get flagstones. On a whim I decided to see what it would cost to have someone lay them. When this man came out, he is the one who suggested the pavers. He said he would get all the supplies and ordered them along with some sand and lyme. He said nothing about gravel.

    He also didn't mention until last night that he was a tile layer and hadn't laid pavers before. I thought he knew what he was doing. I should have asked for pictures and references. I had no idea this was going to be this complicated.

    Anyway, it sounds like I have just wasted a lot of money for nothing!

    By the way, we're in Florida.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    As I said, get some professionals out and get some bids; then you can make informed decisions on where to go from here.

    Yes, Joe, gravel, then sand.
     
  10. dandelionheart

    dandelionheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also would never hire a contractor/handyman by the hour + supplies... And I'm surprised that if this fella is used to laying tile all the time that he would even lay out pavers that way, because that would be a tile waster as well. [​IMG] I'd have him finish up and consider this a lesson for any future home improvements. [​IMG] Next time have references (best thing is to ask friends who they used) and a bunch of bids. In the meantime, let him know that he is taking much much longer to do this than anyone ever thought and ask for a deadline and hour estimation of what is left. I think that will light a fire under him. Oh, and we also like guys that will stick advertising signs in our yard when they are working... shows that they are proud of their work!
     

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