Vanden Construction / Buyer beware
Be advised that we recently (November, 2004) had a bad experience with Vanden Construction operating out of Hawthorn Woods, IL. Contractor's name is Paul Vanden (full last name is Vandendolder). The work involved a fireplace and additional work on our basement.
At the mid-way point of the project the contractor became adversarial with simple requests for work updates, insisted on payment for work yet to be completed, and quit the job before full completion as outlined in the proposal. We did not even find out he had quit the job until significant time had passed and we called him only learn via a return voice mail that he had quit. The contractor's stated reason for leaving unfinished work and failure to correct errors in the work performed was that our expectations as the homeowner's (and paying customers) were too high! (Our standards for quality work were reasonable and clearly expressed up front prior to any services being engaged). He became personal and insulting during a follow-up meeting set up in an attempt to arrange a possible resolution. He also left that meeting abruptly, about 15 minutes into the meeting. If you do any work with this company we would strongly suggest you; put every item in writing (the contractor suffered from several memory lapses on our project); do not pay for any work ahead of completion; and be sure to manage the details. Most important, clearly state what your expectations of quality are and ask if he is capable of meeting them, or will he consider them unreasonable. We are now left in need of finding other contractors to repair work which was completed and complete work which should have been, but was not, completed. Buyer Beware.