My business partner and I had a very bad experience with Doug and Becky from Mountain Construction. I really hope we can save others the headaches of trying to work with them. Our experience was very costly.
We have a business whose goal is to buy foreclosures, fix them up, and rent them. My partner was advised by a real estate agent that Doug at Mountain Construction would be dependable and reasonable. After working with them on one debacle of a project, we're convinced that they are neither. It was a lesson in sheer frustration trying to work with them.
We enlisted their help while looking at properties in the suburbs of Atlanta. They came well recommended from the aforementioned real estate agent who said they were reliable and that they did good quality work. We had them look at potential properties to help us ascertain the level of investment required to bring them to a rentable state. On the front side, Doug had all the right answers & seemed to know what he was talking about. He seemed passionate for his work, and reliable. As it turned out, all he was really good at was talking a good game.
Things started out well enough. Doug seemed to dig right in & attack our first project with gusto However, we soon realized that it was all a smoke-and-mirrors show, when it became glaringly clear, in the absence of someone overseeing him at all times, that he had lots of other projects going on, apparently with deadlines looming. That kept him from meeting ANY of the deadlines that WE had agreed upon. It went downhill almost from the start.
After Doug ended up missing the first few deadlines, and sensing that having someone overseeing his work would be money well spent, we ended up hiring another real estate agent we had worked with before who knew a good bit about sound construction to be sort of a general contractor. His experiences with contractors would be valuable, we surmised. At the get-go, he let us know that Doug and Becky were using the same tactics that contractors are known for to delay the project--bad communication, missed deadlines with the work seemingly at a standstill. My partner kept giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I saw the writing on the wall pretty soon, and encouraged him to cut the ties & losses. It soon became apparent that they had other projects elsewhere that they were devoting themselves to that were preventing them from working on ours as agreed.
When I drove out to the house one day to take some photographs, after talking with Doug and being told that it would be a good time, it became crystal clear that the work was not only at a standstill, but that Doug couldn't even bring himself to tell me, knowing that I was driving about 45 mins. each way to come and take pics of the progress, that there had been NONE, and that the place was not in any kind of presentable condition. The finish that he had previously told us was already on the floors had not been done. There were gouges all over the new wood floors where he had improperly and hurriedly used a belt sander, obviously in a huge hurry to get SOMETHING done. We decided to cut the ties after this last display of the absence of any kind of good faith.
We ended up spending WAY more money than we should have on the project. Doug left SO many t's uncrossed and i's undotted. We had to hire yet ANOTHER contractor, and ended up paying twice for many of the projects he'd started but never finished, or started and hurried through, and subsequently had to be redone. The floors had to be resanded and finished, doors had to be changed out, overspray on the ceiling from the wall painting he did all had to be touched up--with some areas quite high in the loft type living room and foyer. During the walkthru, Doug kept at his game, keeping the us distracted with his "look over here!" way of keeping us from focusing on all the shortcomings of his half-baked work. My partner, who should have been present, was out of town when we paid and released Doug, & was furious when he saw what he had paid for. Their final insult? They wouldn't even give us the courtesy of an invoice that they agreed to provide at the walkthru.
It is such a shame that contractors like Doug stay in business in these times. One would think this would be a good time for the weeding out of the dead wood of this industry with the increased competition, but in the world of contractors, I guess that's a pretty steep hill to climb.