Main Services: Cement concrete work.
Salesi Construction is specializing in cement concrete work. We are also satisfying our customer's project and we work as a team. Price is
^^Broom Finishing^^Expose^^Patio Slab^^
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Work Description: Concrete removal and replace of sidewalk, driveway, and garage.Comments: Please read fully and feel free to contact me about any questions!
This review is for the removal and replacement of both our garage slab and our driveway. The garage floor slab was supposed to be a smooth finish slab like most garages with a broom finish for the driveway, walkway, front steps.
From the very beginning, when we first got our estimate from Salesi, we had a slightly unsure feeling about working with him due to his poor communication skills (he has a heavy accent as well) and his verbal expressions of 'really wanting this job'. He gave us a bid for the work to be done and we told him we would get back to him as we had other contractors coming in to provide bids as well. Without contacting him first, he called us back several times asking if we had made a decision. Then about a week after his first bid he sent us a second bid which was $1,800 lower than his original bid. I could not find any real reviews of his work but since his price came in at the second lowest of all our bids and he seemed to really want the job and told us it would be a 3-4 day project we decided to hire him.
Two weeks later he started the demo on our garage which seemed to go smoothly. We were home most of the time working on other projects related to this one. Two days after demo he poured the concrete for the garage floor. We were not home during this process because the heat and water for the house had been turned off in order to remove the furnace and water heater to pour the concrete.The following day we stopped by to see how the new concrete looked and were surprised to see that the surface of the concrete was NOT smooth but had 'swish' marks created by their buffing machine everywhere and in some places tiny voids on the surface. A family friend who is familiar with the process of pouring concrete said that this normally happens when the person using this machine tries to buff or smooth the concrete before it is sufficiently cured. It has to still be moldable but stiff enough to support the machine. He said he didn't think the concrete had set enough before they used the machine. After talking to the neighbors they told us that the crew was working until almost 9PM the night they poured. At first I thought, 'Wow they work hard.' But then I realized that this was an example of poor time management by Salesi and his crew. He did not start pouring the concrete until the afternoon and should have started earlier on it. It also tells me that he was probably tired of waiting for the concrete to set up and wanted to go home so he prematurely buffed the concrete which resulted in a poor quality surface finish. As a home owner spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a project, that is very upsetting. When we mentioned the swish marks he told us 'Over time that will wear away.' This, is a blatant lie. Maybe over decades of time concrete will wear but certainly not any time soon. If it was going to wear away, so would my brush stroke finish on the driveway! After this, he made relief cuts in the slab which were not straight, were chipped, and uneven. In addition, when the HVAC representative came back to install the furnace he showed us where Salesi and his crew had damaged the duct work and it now needed to be replaced. We weren't happy with the situation but found that firing a contractor could turn into a nightmare for home owners and technically, legally the garage slab was structurally sound and was not cause to fire him. We just hoped for a speedy conclusion of the project as well as better workmanship.
Despite the fact that he had two weeks to apply for the permit required for the driveway before breaking ground, he did not apply for the permit until he already started demolition. During the extremely long process of getting the permit we ran into many problems including paying for his bond fee which was an additional $525 we did not expect but we were so far behind schedule we just wanted to keep the ball rolling. However, rather than starting the demo on the driveway in order to be prepared for pouring concrete as soon as the permit for the approach (only the first 3-4ft of the driveway closest to the road) he did not show up for three days before I called him and asked him why demolition was not happening. He proceeded to tell me that 'The city would stop' him because we did 'not have the permit' yet. Again, a lie. We own 95% of the driveway except the first 3-4ft of approach. He could have been doing the demo on everything except the last piece. He came to demo the driveway the next day and finished the demo up to the approach the following day which only further supports that the city stopping him from demolition prior to the permit was a lie.
Due to his poor time management skills and poor planning we were now stuck with a demolished driveway for several weeks while waiting for our permit to go through. During this time he approached us about additional charges for the demolition of the driveway. These additional charges were never mentioned previously, nor were we even told or aware of the fact that there was anything out of the ordinary with the project which is a requirement by state law. Your contractor must inform you immediately of any additional changes or charges and an amendment is made to your contract. He requested an additional $1,500. He did not provide us with an itemized list of where the $1,500 was spent except that he said the demolition cost more than he originally planned. We spoke with an attorney who advised us not to pay the additional amount and that this was something contractors often did. They bid lower on a job in order to beat their competition while planning on charging for additional charges later in the project to recoup their money. The money he was asking for was surprisingly close to the amount he cut from his first bid in order to get this job. We obviously refused to pay any extra money as we had already signed a contract which did not include any information regarding additional charges for the demolition and the attorney advised against it as this is a common scam. After the project finished he did show us receipts for rental of a dump truck and waste receipts but they did not come anywhere close to a number like $1,500. Even if you generously factored in wages for up to 3 workers.
A week later, with no work being done on our driveway, he asked us for more money from the remaining 50% balance of the job in order to pay for the materials needed to pour the concrete and finish the job. We were utterly shocked that he had already blown through 50% of the total cost of the job. Again, we refused as advised by our attorney because our contract specifically states 50% deposit up front and 50% upon completion of the job. It was all shocking and raised several red flags. Unfortunately it was not worth it to try to take things to court and frankly was easier to let him complete the project than it would have been to fire him, hire a new contractor to finish the project, and then go to court regarding the balance he thought he would have been owed.
Once the permit. And through we asked him about getting an inspection for the permitted approach prior to pouring the driveway and he had said he already called and left a message with the inspector so we left for work that day excited that this project was wrapping up. Little did we know that he did call and leave a message but when the inspector didn't come that day Salesi decided to just start pouring concrete the following day without the inspection! We had no idea this happened. Unfortunately the next time we saw Salesi he was completing the broom finish on the freshly poured concrete so his job was mostly complete less the curing of the concrete itself. We decided to pay him at this time since we were going to be working and wouldn't see him the next day. There was heavy rain in the days following the pouring of the concrete and there was a lot of weird spots in the concrete where we suspected weakening of the materials due to saturation with water. He never even covered up the wet concrete to protect it from water! Some of the concrete was crumbly on the edges and a sandy later formed on the top. I took pictures and sent them to him in a text message and I called him to tell him I was concerned for the quality of the work done. He said he would come the next day or by the next week at the latest to check on the driveway. He even left a bunch of orange cones, a broken take, and some other misc tools at our house so we thought he had to be coming back at some point. Salesi never showed back up at our house. We tried contacting him several times but never heard anything back from him. We got a notice on our door saying that we had failed city inspection due to several requirements not being met for the approach including insufficient thickness and the pipe for the drainage underneath not being exposed on either end of the driveway. We again tried contacting Salesi to ask if he was going to fix the issue. When we couldn't get a hold of him we called the Inspector. The inspector told us that he told Salesi he needed a pre pour inspection and wouldn't be there until the following day and that he didn't know why he poured without his inspection. He also said when he talked to him that Salesi said he would fix the driveway but this never happened. Now we are stuck with a driveway that didn't pass inspection and a contractor that won't take our calls and we are out $14,000 for something that quite honestly looks like crap. This was the worst, most frustrating and devastating experience I have ever had with a contractor.
Salesi's very poor communication skills, his poor planning and time management, the poor quality of the relief cuts as well as the surface finish in the garage, the poor workmanship of the driveway, failed inspection and the scammy way he tried to get more money from us causes me to urge you not to hire this man! Originally Salesi told us the project would take about 3-4 days but from the time we signed our contractual agreement to the completion of the project it took over 2 months. I understand inclement weather or permit set backs but that is a very unreasonable amount of time for this sized project especially considering he told us it would take less than a week to complete. Technically the job is not even done yet because we have been informed by the city that we did not meet all the requirements and have failed inspection!
Please think this through before you decide to hire Salesi Construction, or any contractor. Do your research, understand specific terminology for bids, quotes, and estimates and learn about the Washington Consumer Protection Act which protects homeowners from fishy contractors that bid low in order to beat their competition then come back asking for much more money later for unreasonable or undocumented expenses! And above all else ask for references and read reviews!
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