Paul Davis Restoration was recommended to us by our homeowners insurance company State Farm Insurance. Sometime in early October 2010 is when this all started and it went on until December 31st. Our insurance claim was for a flooded basement in which we had approximately four inches of water. We were asked by Paul Davis Restoration to sign a work authorization to allow them (Paul Davis Restoration) to begin the work.
The first part of the job was to remove the asbestos floor covering. The first day of the asbestos removal we got a visit from the State of Connecticut Health Department for a random inspection of the contractor. THANK GOD FOR THAT! As soon as the state inspector stepped into the basement he found numerous serious health violations and was ready to shut down the job and issue citations. These violations had put my family in grave danger of breathing in asbestos and having it circulate through out our home.
Some of the violations included removing asbestos without having any water setup on the jobsite for dust control, NO plastic was put up to seal off the area and protect the rest of the home from asbestos dust. I distinctly heard a chisel for about 10 straight minutes before the state inspector had arrived. The State of Connecticut Health inspector had asked the worker point blank if he had in fact removed any asbestos with a chisel before the necessary preparations were properly in place (a serious violation). The asbestos removal worker looked the state inspector in the eye and told him that he had not been removing any asbestos tiles with a chisel. I am a witness that he had, in fact, been doing just that. Also, there were loose crumbs of material on the chisel next to the very area in question. They also, without asking or even informing us smashed out our basement window out so they could ventilate the space. We work from home and are there all day, it is not as if they have to call us and wait to get a call back.
When they had finally finished the job they just left without even cleaning the broken glass out of the driveway or replacing the broken window or even mentioning it at all. We were left with an unsecured broken window and not to mention the cold air was rushing in. We made several calls to them that day and finally someone showed up at 9:30 PM to put a piece of flimsy plastic over the hole, not to fix the window or to even sweep up the broken glass that was just left in the driveway. That happened in mid November. After calling and complaining for a few more weeks regarding being stuck with just a piece of plastic over the window, on Christmas Eve someone finally came out to take the window to repair it in a shop and they then secured it with a piece of plywood. At that point we were told that it would take approximately one week for us to have our window back. So far it has been 3 weeks and no call or update or window. We still have a boarded up window on our home, why.
The next incident to report occurred in early November as Paul Davis Restoration was removing items from the basement in preparation for the asbestos removal. In moving some items near our furnace the workers must have broken something on the furnace and tried to fix it. Because after the workers had left that day we noticed the house was cold. We continued to turn up the thermostat but it was to no avail. After a while I went down to the basement to check out the furnace. I found that someone had turned off the burner switch on the side of the furnace. I then turned it back on. After a while I noticed we were no warmer. I checked the furnace again a little more closely only to find that 3 manual zone valves were closed, why. I then opened the valves and we got heat but only to one half of the house. Paul Davis Restoration then called their plumber who came out and found there was also one more additional (a fourth) manual valve which was in the closed position, for some reason. That still did not fix the problem. The Paul Davis Restoration plumber then changed around some wires on the furnace went upstairs to the thermostat and played around with some more wires then told us that we needed to have a completely new wiring job done. That is impossible as the furnace had been working perfectly fine before Paul Davis Restoration touched it. As a matter of (recorded) fact, every year before we turn on our furnace for the season we have the Gas Company come out to fully inspect the furnace and all working parts, zones, etc. to ensure everything is working properly. Our inspection was done two weeks before and there were no problems. Paul Davis Restoration broke my furnace and still has not fixed it like they said they would! To this day I have to cycle the furnace on and off by using the burner switch at the top of the stairs.
Another incident occurred when the professional moving crew from Paul Davis Restoration (the same ones that broke the furnace) moved approximately $800 worth of latex paint to the freezing temperatures outside in a storage POD. Wouldnt a professional moving crew know what they are moving and/or check these things? Not only that, they actually left without giving me the key to the locked storage POD. Not only that, when I discovered all of my new paint was now outside in freezing temperatures I called to inform them what they had done and asked for the key, and I asked again and again and again for weeks for that key. WHY? After two months they finally got around to giving me the key but then it was much too late to save my property. The approximately $800 worth of paint was destroyed by the many freeze and thaw cycles that it had been put through. There is more regarding this incident which I will explain later.
A few incidents also happened with the electrician. Again, we work from home and are home all day it is not like they have to track us down to ask a question. For some unknown reason and again without asking or even informing us, the electricians took it upon themselves to just move two of our ceiling lights. These lights were on the ceiling in the center of the room. Why would someone just choose to relocate these lights to 18 inches away from the wall and without even asking us. Not only that they cut several large wholes in our ceilings and of course just left them. Not only that but they eliminated some switches and outlets without asking i.e. in 2 places where we had four light switches they replaced them with only one switch, why? They also removed a ceiling light and did not let us know about it or replace it, it just disappeared. In another area they chose to just eliminate our ceiling light completely and replace it with a plug, a plug in the ceiling, who would put a plug in the ceiling? All of these lights were working fine why did they even touch them?
Paul Davis Restoration then started to work on the sheetrock in early December. The workmanship was extremely amateur to say the least. For example the sheets of drywall are supposed to be butted up tight together (check any how to or youtube video). Every single joint, from end to end, had enough space between them to put your whole hand through. The tape job resembled more of a stucco job rather than a thin coat of compound. Not to mention it took 2 of their professional sheet rockers more than two weeks to hang just 20 sheets of drywall and that does not include any taping. Again, the small amount of taping that was done looked more like a stucco job than drywall taping. Not very professional at all if you ask me.
I then decided that I did not want Paul Davis Restoration on the job any longer and that is when Tom the owner showed up. He agreed that all of the damage to our property was his companies fault and that he would fix it (to this day, I am still waiting). He asked me for a second chance to get it right. I explained to him the proper way to install and cut drywall and he reluctantly agreed. He then left the job and the crew resumed using a saw to cut the sheetrock instead of a sharp razor knife. I have Never seen anyone especially professional sheet rockers make long cuts on sheetrock using a saw, that is improper. The proper way is to use a sheetrock knife one of which was not even on the jobsite! Not only that, in several places they used 3 and 4 pieces of drywall, pieced together like a puzzle, where there should have been only be one sheet installed. Also, all of the holes for the switches and outlets were cut way over sized and the plate covers will never cover those holes. Also, we were told that we would have the green drywall in our bathroom as required by building code and we did not. I then decided again that Paul Davis Restoration was not experienced enough to work in my home. Tom the owner showed up at the job once again. He did not see anything wrong with the sheetrock or taping job but asked for a third chance and said that he would send a new crew over. When the new crew came to look at the job the day before they were to start, I went over all of the workmanship issues again with them and the owner and they were still reluctant to admit any workmanship issues. Not only that but the owner Tom had informed me that sanding between each coat of taping compound was essential. Even the instructions on the bucket of compound will tell you that sanding is done only at the end and should be very minimal at that.
Back to the $800 worth of paint which was destroyed. Paul Davis Restoration after arguing with me for days had agreed, once again, that it was their fault and they would replace it. I have the voicemail to prove it. But when it came time to actually write the check I was told that the only way they would reimburse me for the property that they had damaged was to have them finish the job, period.
That is when I contacted the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. I was informed that Paul Davis Restoration was in violation of Connecticut Consumer Protection laws for not providing me with a written estimate and a legally binding contract. I contacted Paul Davis Restoration for just that and I was informed that the cost of the job was none of my business and they would not be giving me any estimates written or otherwise. With regards to the legal contract that I had requested I was told that the work authorization I had signed was the legal contract required by the state and that is all they will be giving me. They informed me, and with an attitude that this was business as usual for them and they have given me as much as they give all of their customers. Clearly a violation! I was also berated by Paul Davis Restoration management for having conversations with my own insurance company and informing them all about the experience I had been having with Paul Davis Restoration. Why?