Eugene Simionescu Construction

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Danger danger danger.....
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TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN -- 4000 sq. ft home- $550,000. project (excluding building site).

Due to numerous and costly violations the county building inspector cited, the disappearing down payment ($20,000),incorrect applications and substandard workmanship Simionescu construction decided to quietly slither off the job before we could completely grasp the depth of deception we were in the midst of. Then came the $ 70,000. lien as a parting gift.
We contracted with Simionescu Construction owned by Eugene Simionescu, to build our new home. We were introduced to many of the subcontractors that came with familiar company names and good reputations and surveyed the job with them so they could provide bids before the job commenced. Once the project was started unknown/different subs showed up to work. We learned much later that a common practice of Simionescu Construction is to bring the reputable companies in to bid on a job and meet the homeowners then "low ball" an unexperienced, unemployed or unprofessional subcontractor to work for less than the bid presented to the homeowner by the reputable one. We learned too that many subs were kept on the job by shorted paychecks with lame excuses at weeks end as insurance of their return on Monday. Needless to say eventually we were left with an unfinished home that required costly corrections and repairs in order to receive a certificate of occupancy. Substandard workmanship and more so unsafe applications had to be destructed and remodeled to prevent extensive future damage. To legally move in and get a certificate of occupancy we had to spend an additional $50,000 cash above the contract to complete the house on our own. We speculate that some of the materials billed to us never made it to our project and most likely ended up at another "spec" home site being conveniently built simultaneously by Simionescu Construction (we had the opportunity to do the math after he left by demanding invoices from the suppliers through our attorney) most would not release them without an attorneys corre$pondence.

Several subcontractors went unpaid even though Simionescu construction still had not disbursed the down payment. Of course we were unaware of that until the builder walked and subcontractors and suppliers needed and deserved their pay. We had to pay them from funds other than the first installment given to Eugene Simionescu.

Beware if you do not have enough personal cash reserve beyond what a construction loan through a financial institution has loaned. This outfit knows how to use the system to tie up a loan in an attempt to blackmail a consumer into accepting their underhandedness. By the grace of God we were able to finish the project. We had to deplete our retirement account and take a huge tax hit for doing so early. We brought the structure to a degree of completion, enough to finally receive a C of O almost two years later! We had to prove to the bank with fifty thousand dollars of receipts that we brought the house to livable conditions before they would release what small portion was left to be disbursed of the loan. We haven't the funds left for final carpentry, fixtures, hardware, window blinds, exterior paint, gutters or to correct the multitude of unfinished projects and the shoddy work etc..... We at least have finally gotten to the point we can live in it and not in another monthly rental!!!!

So we've learned that unscrupulous construction companies can put a lien on a project even though all draws were current and paid. In doing so put a freeze on the construction loan for the term of the lien which is a year here. There's an additinal $16,000. in legal fees to navigate through their tactics and protect our home and property. The only cost to Simionescu Construction to file a lien through an attorney is approx $200.-$300. To protect our home ....$16,000 and mounting!!!!!
After Simionescu construction filed a $70,000 lien against our home we never heard from the construction outfit again.... Why? Because it was a fraudulent claim!!!! It was smoke and mirrors to tie up our finances for a year!!! I can only speculate that at that point the ominous situation facing us of 12+ additional months of household storage fees, moving our family (children)again, additional monthly rent, vehicle storage, and an unfinished $500,000. project with a frozen construction loan, was a tactic employed by Simionescu Construction to bully us into accepting their substandard work, deception and thievery. Unless a homeowner has a large cash reserve to ultimately bring a project to fruition the wretched general contractor can hold all the cards for a grueling period. But that time does come to an end eventually and then the facts begin to emerge.

We have the grounds to litigate and have all the documentation to substantiate and further prove these claims. We've been warned though that the chances of collecting on a favorable judgment from a cad are a million to one (nonexistent).
I can only hope by relaying this disaster here, I can prevent another family from enduring long term stress and financial ruin of this magnitude.
A post was also made on by another person devastated by Simionescu construction.

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User Replies:
Anonymous on 12/01/2007:
Your biggest mistake was paying them in full. Never, ever do that. Always make 'progress' payments. The subcontractors have a right to place a lien on the property even though they general contractor failed to pay them. It appears you have a very good case against the general contractor. Hopefully once you win then don't suddenly go bankrupt.
Living the Nightmare on 08/04/2008:
We are living the same type of nightmare with our builder!!! We started building August 1, 2007 and we still can not even insulate due to a list of code violations. The builder walked away in Feb. 2008 and told us that the house was as good as its going to get. They then filed a lien against our property for more than what we owed them. We never received notice to file a lien, and it is for more than our contracted amount which voids the lien... so I was told. But I guess we will have to spend thousands to get it off, does this seem right to anyone.
We added 4 feet of roughed in square footage to the house(352 square feet), which I am told should have cost around $3000.00. They are charging us $16,000, when I inquired about adding the square footage they told me that (I would not even notice it on our bill) Any changes to the contract had to be in writing and this change was not. They gave me the $16,000 bill 4 months after I added the square footage and the house was up.
We have 30 windows that have to come out, they were just put into the rough opening and do not pass code on any level. The windows are being held in by the trim (they sent me 1957 installation instructions, at that time they did not require any flashing etc...they did not think I would notice) The siding has to come off, the Tyvek was not taped or wrapped right, it has to be come off... we are missing MAJOR supports in our home. Part of the roof leaks and is already patched with tar...We had to install hot water heat because the way the house was designed we could not get heat from the basement unless we lowered our ceiling by a foot.... and the list goes on and on. Now why would anyone be expected to pay for a home that does not pass code, and we can not even work on? We have gotten 3 estimates and it is going to cost us approx. $30,350 to fix the house so we can move forward, and $20,000 to remove the mold. Yes mold....... Health hazard mold. We had it tested by an environmental company. When we told the builder he told us that he sees it in all their homes.
We contacted an attorney in Feb. 2008, and still continue to fight with them. We have spent $11,000 on the attorney and have gotten really no where. The builder can lie and nobody cares. I think it is a crime what they did to us and our family. They have stolen 9 months of our lives...
They should be shut down!
cherrypicker on 08/05/2008:
To Living the Nightmare: I am so very sorry that you must endure what we and many others have had to to build a new home. Just reading your post sickens me as it brings so many raw emotions back. The situations vary in depth but are numerous. Only recently are we beginning to heal emotionally almost two years after the devastation. Financially we are ruined and recovery from that will be much longer. As I stated in the original post (I'll paraphrase). Using our personal funds (once a lien has been submitted the loan freezes) to navigate the fraudulent lien (large attorneys fees), rectifying the violations and substandard applications, destruction and rebuilds to get a certificate of occupancy in order to move in legally. Seasonal rents, storage fees, the vaporized down payment etc...forced us to withdraw from our IRA prematurely and the taxation from doing so has quite frankly broken us. But I digress.

I feel for you and can only offer that it will cost much more to try to penalize your contractor (with no guarantees) than simply dealing with the tangible devastation at hand. We were advised that if we decided to pursue the matter and prevail, there was absolutely no guarantee that we would be able to recover any monetary compensation. Remember, only those of good character and integrity can be expected to abide by the law and it's decisions. There is no honor among a den of thieves.
(This worked for us) Throughout the whole ordeal, we constantly reminded ourselves that our children were healthy and good.
And they still are!
GT resident on 04/30/2012:
The whole story is not here. I know simonescu construction and have had great work done by them. They were always on time and cleaned up after completion. In your case you also "forgot" to mention that Simonescu construction was not the original general contractor on this project, or even the second! You can't blame the last company for the mistakes the first and/or second made...
In a separate issue, according to public record there is NOT any judgment against Eugene or Simonescu Construction.
justcheckin on 08/08/2012:
Same here.... I had a bad time with that guy. Paid him and got him on his way.
TC Resident on 09/26/2012:
If the aforementioned accusations aren't realistic, why have they remained posted for years without reprisal from Simionescu Construction?
Because he hasn't a leg to stand on, that's why!!!
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