Southeast Construction & Painting is TERRIBLE!

Complaint
Review by walnbrown on 2013-08-08
Rating: StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA -- During the first week of work, an employee of Southeast Construction stole the rear storm door. The complainant reported this to Mr. F, who said he would have the storm door returned. Two months of excuses followed as to why the storm door could not be located. However, Mr. F did agree to replace it, rather than have the complainant file a police report. After the new storm door was replaced, the complainant’s wife confessed that she had paid Mr. F for the new storm door that he took credit for replacing, as she “did not want to deal with it anymore,” because Mr. F and his office manager were harassing her at work about the cost of replacing the storm door.

During the demolition stage, Southeast Construction left the job site with no covering or protection over the roof eaves, kitchen door or sliding glass door. The complainant’s wife called to inform Southeast Construction that it might rain. Two laborers arrived and hastily put up a loose covering. As soon as they left, it began pouring and for the next hour the rain drained between the exterior and interior wall and all along the inside wall of our home where the roof was left exposed. It took hours of work and all of our towels to soak up the mess. Southeast Construction came the next day with three small fans, and with the two fans we added, five fans ran 24-hours/day for 10 days to dry out the walls.

A few days after subcontractor Dave’s Roofing put on the new roof over the main house, but not over the framed back porch roof, rain water leaked through both new skylights. Mr. F blamed Dave’s Roofing for the problem, but when the owner, Dave Parker, dropped by to double-check the complaint, he noted that Southeast Construction had installed the skylights incorrectly. Mr. F reluctantly had his laborer reinstall the skylights properly.

In mid-April, the complainant observed a termite swarm emanating from a crack above his front door. He called Mr. F and asked him to investigate the situation and repair the damage. On May 1, 2012, Mr. F submitted a Change Order listing a charge of $4,866.63 for Termite Damage Repairs and $1,280.95 to install a new single French door and remove and replace two new ceiling-mount ventilation fans.

A few days prior to receiving Change Order, the complainant issued Southeast Construction a second check. Shortly after receiving the check from the complainant and submitting the new charges for the termite damage repairs and other listed work, the complainant received a call requesting a meeting from Mr. F, who came to the complainant’s home at 6 PM on a Friday evening. For over an hour, Mr. F blamed and berated the City of Tallahassee Building Inspection Division and its “incompetent bureaucrats” for delaying the project. He said they approved the permit, but now had reversed themselves to “protect their a****” for “code issues” that were “not his fault,” related to the installation of the windows and doors and the addition of electrical outlets. Mr. F went on to state repeatedly that he could not continue the work until the matter with the “incompetent fools” at the City of Tallahassee Building Inspection Division was resolved. He said that the only way to expedite the situation was for the complainant to email the Building Inspection Division, as he had “to work with those worthless a**-holes”
and could not get directly involved in having them reverse “their mistake.” Mr. F advised that he would tell the complainant what to write in his emails and edit them before the complainant sent them.

F’s behavior at that meeting should have been a red flag. In retrospect, the fact that Mr. F brought his office manager with him for support was just one sign that he was not forthright. His foul language, aggressive demeanor and nervous repetition of the same themes designed to blame the employees at the City of Tallahassee Building Inspection Division and make him look like the victim further confirm that Mr. F had a hidden agenda. Nonetheless, the complainant took the bait.

More than a month passed with minimal activity. F approach the complainant for another “drawdown,” but the complainant refused further payments until the work began again and was much further along. A few days later, F informed the complainant that the Building Inspection Division had suddenly reversed its stance. He could replace the storm door with a screen door and the addition would be considered a “sunroom.” An exterior outlet also had to be installed. This is when the complainant realized Mr. F had duped and manipulated him, as well as the City of Tallahassee Building Inspection Division, resulting in a phone conversation with Mr. F where the complainant informed him of his resulting distrust and emotional distress.

In early June, the complainant was asked to provide Southeast Construction a “punch list” of work to be completed. Workers showed up sporadically to continue on the sunroom and French drain.

Shortly after the City of Tallahassee inspector approved the completion of the Building Permit at the end of June, but before addressing many of the items listed on the punch list, F demanded another draw-down. When we did not immediately acquiesce to his demands, his office manager called my wife at work and implied that Southeast Construction might sue us for nonpayment. That call was followed by another phone call to my wife at work from Mr. F threatening to “place a lien” on our house; a practice he stated he has done “numerous times” to customers “throughout Tallahassee.”

Monday July 2nd, at 4:30 PM, Mr. F met with my wife to go over the punch list. At that time, Mr. F demanded a check, stated that he had lived up to his part of the contract and that he was effectively done with the project. Mr. F once again threatened to sue us or place a lien on our home.

For nearly five months this project moved at a snail’s pace created emotional stress for the complainant, who is retired. For more than two months, the complainant suffered problems sleeping. The fact that Mr. F repeatedly harassed, threatened to sue or place a lien on our home makes the complainant wonder how many other senior citizens he has lied to, bullied and manipulated into paying for shoddy and unfinished work.

On July 28, 2012, the complainant received a Claim of Lien in the mail dated July 26, 2012, signed by Michael S. F, Manager (Owner) of Southeast Construction, LLC.

On September 6, 2012, the complainant received a second copy of the original Claim of Lien as Registered Mail.

On July 10, 2012, the complainant hired Wilson Architecture to review the contract with Southeast Construction and provide an estimate of costs to finish work contracted with Southeast Construction. Mr. Wilson contacted a colleague, Mr. Turner of Big Bend Carpentry and Maintenance Services, to develop an estimate to fulfill the original contract, per his drawings and notes.

After several visits to the job site, Mr. Wilson forwarded architectural drawings, work notes and information and shortly thereafter, Mr. Turner emailed a breakdown of the estimate for $22,447.

More than a year later, our back porch still floods during rain storms, which was the main reason why we hired Southeast Construction in the first place, and much of the work we contracted for remains unfinished or in disrepair. It will take us another year or two to save up the money required to finish or repair the work Mr. F promised but failed to complete per our contract.
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