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Chicago Stair and Components also doing business as Acorn Stair / Poor quality of materials and horrible installation of Custom home stairs

1 111 Avalon Industrial ParkwayWentzville MO, IL, United States
Contact information:
Phone: 877-992-2676

I had called Acorn Stair of Chicago on 12/28/07, I spoke with Larry Pecor I, he stated to me that they were the best in the business, I would be completely satisfied with the work that they do, and their price would never be beat. He asked me to get him a copy of the stairs from our blueprint; I did so and mailed it to him. Over the phone I had explained the type of stairs I wanted as far as a craftsman style, with square balusters and square newel posts. He called me a few days later to set up an appointment to meet with him and stated I should bring a check for $2500 as that was ½ of the job based on the original estimate of $4546. Over the phone he stated to me that the price was for; the stairs 1st to 2nd floor in Oak and 3 box newels @ $300 each. When I met with him on 1/4/08 he showed me the estimate and we changed the type of wood from Oak to Poplar which he stated would be close to the same price, and I was told if we needed 2 more newel posts it would be $250 additional per newel. But he would not come to measure until a deposit was made to them. I signed the original estimate and gave him a check for $2500.000. He talked how it was a family business and all about his family, that they were good catholic people. A few weeks later his son Larry III came to our project location and took the measurements; I stated to him that I felt that the stairs would run into an existing column. He said to me that he was the best in the business and knew what he was doing, that we would be completely satisfied with the work. On 2/12/08 I received a much higher quote of $6188 on the stairs as well as a drawing showing how the stairs would lay out. As he drew it, the existing column, he showed being over further than it was and he stated we would need 2 additional newel posts at the start of the stairs, he also stated that I should remove a second non load bearing column as he felt it wouldn’t look right. Being that he is supposed to be the professional and knew how to measure for stairs (the best in the business) and that I had already expressed my concern at the column being in the way I trusted in his accuracy. When asked why the price was so much more I was told that, I was not quoted on what I wanted but on standard parts and that because he told me to remove the second column I would need even more materials. I was upset by this and requested to discontinue work with them as I felt that I had been misled not to mention the job was now coming very close to another estimate I had gotten for pre finished stairs (these were not prefinished and I was not told this until he was their measuring). He began to get very abrupt with me, telling me that “they already had a lot of money into the job and that now I was just wasting his time. That if I wanted to go elsewhere he would now have to deduct and unspecified amount of money for all the work they had done.” (Which I didn’t understand as I have received many free estimates in the course of building this house). I was really beginning to feel strong-armed and uncomfortable with the whole deal. He spoke to me in a manner that was neither professional nor fair. My husband and I decided that we would let them finish the job so as not to loose money for them just giving us a quote, since we were not told upfront what the cost of a quote would be, they could feasibly keep as much of our money as they wanted. I sent him the additional money to make up the ½ down based off of the new estimate. It was at this time that he stated I was verbally abusing him and no longer wanted to deal with me but would deal only with my husband and assured my husband that he would be completely satisfied with the completed work. When the installer came to put in the stairs we received a phone call that “the stairs ran into the column and how would we like them to handle this.” Being that they were supposed to be the best in the business we were not sure why it was our problem now that they measured wrong and why we were supposed to figure out how to remedy the problem. My husband had to leave work early in order to meet with the installer. I was very frustrated as I had specifically told him at the time of measuring that this would happen. We were told to move the column, and that the column was not in this spot when he measured and so forth. My husband spoke with Larry III and explained to him how to handle the issue with the stairs and the column, and stated that the newel posts were not needed as the column serves this purpose and that there is no room for them due to the column. Since I had explained this in the beginning we didn’t feel we should have to pay for the newel posts. He gave my husband the run around, and as my husband was to busy at work to play phone tag, I called to explain how unfair I felt he was being to charge us for his mistake. He gave me a hard time over the phone raising his voice and finally said “Why does everything have to be such an issue with you Kim, huh, why does everything have to be such an issue with you; ok Kim, you win, I’ll credit you the $500 ok, you win is that what you want” and then hung up on me. He told the installer that he must receive the remaining payment in full that same day, which made no sense, because the installer had not even started, It took the installer 4 days to complete the install, he left after the first full day and went back to Missouri and returned with his son who was their during the entire time. We had been back thruought the weekend and the stairs were not nearly complete by the end of the day on Sunday. Because we live 45 minutes away from the project we were unable to get there, upon his completion. We paid as requested even prior to us seeing the work completed. After completion we saw the stairs and to our disappointment, we found some of the materials that were brought out for the install were substandard. Some of the balusters were gouged; others had stains on them as if discolored from being tied and stored for a long period of time. The installer even stated that the materials had been sitting around for a few years. He said that a few years back the owner, Larry III was going through a divorce and was trying to hide money and so he purchased a bunch of material and it has been sitting in storage. This information was never shared with Larry Pecor III at the request of the installer. The balusters were not lined up evenly, which the installer blamed on poor materials. The third stair was not level and a return piece was cut and installed incorrectly. My husband went through marked and counted the affected balusters and called Larry III with a count so that when the installer came back he would have what he needed. My husband told him we would need 3 dozen balusters. During the installation, the installer stated it would have been easier to install if a wall had been built and the column wrapped prior to install. We had specifically asked Larry III if we should go ahead and do this ahead of time and he told us not to. The installer came out the second time with only 13 balusters. The installer also said per Larry; that he would be back on 4/7/2008 with more balusters and to complete the return piece. My husband spoke with Larry III a day or so later and asked him to come and look at the issues that were left with the stairs, and expressed his concern with how the whole job was starting to look reworked and damaged. Larry said he was planning to be in the area about the same time as the installer and would call my husband. My husband called Larry on Friday 4/4/2008 and left 2 messages. When we had not heard back my husband called again on Monday 4/7/2008 and Larry proceeded to tell him they were not going to complete the job since he had deducted the $500.00 for the newel posts and “Your wife is a ###” so basically we were out of luck. As it stands now the stairs are incomplete and we still have stained, warped and gouged balusters, and an incomplete return at the bottom of the stairs and just a nightmare of a mess. We do not want them back in our home as I will not be called a ### and then let them into my home to do who knows what. As far as him not wanting to finish the job because he gave me a credit for the 2 newel posts, he took those with him. I do not have them so; I do not understand that statement. I will be contacting another stair company for an estimate to complete the job; I would like to be reimbursed by Chicago Stair also doing business as Acorn Stair for the work. I will now have to pay someone else to finish and repair the work I have already paid Chicago Stair to do. I have a Final Waiver if Lien signed by them stating that they completed the work. The last we heard from them is that they were going to put a lien against us, and I’m not really sure why. I paid $6100.00 for these stairs and just paid another $900.00 to have them reworked. The new company stated they would have done the job for $4500.00

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