Create A Floor Reviews (1)
My wife and I and our three young children recently moved to San Antonio as part of a military move. We purchased a foreclosed home with a plan to remodel it with stained concrete floors. We searched for several contractors online and contacted several that we thought had experience and good online reviews. Unfortunately, the only one that was available during the time period we preferred was CCS.
The first warning sign with CCS is that [redacted] showed up two hours late for our initial estimate. He had promised to be at our house between 8:00 and 8:30. At 8:30 I called his office to find out where he was and he answer the phone. He had completely forgotten about our appointment. He explained that he was “leaving now” but didn’t end up showing up until around 10:30. Meanwhile, me, my wife, and our three kids sat in the house (which did not have running water at the time) and waited.
The second warning sign with CCS is their standard contract. CCS requires half of the payment up front and “receipt” of the other half within 3 days of the project’s completion. Their contract goes on to state that they will seek a contractor’s lien on the home if they do not receive the second half of the payment within that 3 days. Clearly, disputes with customer’s over payment is something CCS has thought a lot about and had a lot of experience with. We have since learned that many other contractors don’t require upfront payment because they let their work speak for itself. CCS can’t afford to do that because their work is simply substandard.
The first day of the job (Aug 2013), [redacted] showed up about 4 hours late. This was a recurring them every time [redacted] was scheduled to come to our house and do work. He always had some other job he had to “stop by and do one thing really quick.” Really quick always turned into 4 hours. Job scheduling is clearly a problem for [redacted] and [redacted], who either perpetually underestimate the amount of time it takes to do these jobs or work at a uncommonly deliberate pace.
The job was schedule to last for 5 days and it turned into 7. My final big mistake was that I met [redacted] at the job site on the final day and paid [redacted] the second half of the bill without carefully inspecting the job. The floors were wet and [redacted] said we needed to wait at least 12 hours before walking on the floors. Since we only had 3 days before payment needed to be received, I wrote a check based on what I could see from the front door, which was wet and covered in a thick layer of wax.
All along [redacted] assured me that the floors were looking great and to call him if we needed anything else. He assured me he always stood by his work and sees all jobs to complete, no matter what. This was simply a lie, as we quickly learned.
The next day we came back to the home to start moving in and the floors looked awful. Everything from the uneven overlay to the botched application of the stain to the botched application of the sealer and wax. I can honestly say that of the approximately 1100 square feet of work, there was one patch of 50 square feet or so that looked like a professional job, the rest looked like the stain had been spilled on the floor by accident. There were large black puddles (we chose a medium brown color) right next ghastly white spots.
[redacted] had told us that it would take a couple of days for things to “wear in” and while we had our significant doubts, we were trying to give [redacted] the benefit. After a few days we called up [redacted] and [redacted] and explained that we thought there were major problems with our floor. We sent pictures and [redacted] agreed to come back out and look. Unfortunately, it took him two weeks to come back and take a look. As soon as he did he said, “yep, this is awful, I’ll come back and fix it, I always stand by my jobs and I will not stop until this job is fixed”, or something like that. Unfortunately again, it took another two weeks for [redacted] to come back to fix it, sending us back to a hotel for three days while [redacted] attempted to fix the problem. He made slight improvements in certain places by stripping the wax and seal and attempting to put the sealer back on but as we had suspected, this was a botched job from the beginning and resealing and waxing did not fix the problem.
After that attempt to fix it, we decided to get another contractor to take a look at our floors. We wanted another opinion. The contractor agreed to come out, showed up exactly at the time he said he would, and took a look at our floors. Quite frankly, this contractor was horrified. Even the 50 square foot section that we deemed “acceptable” did not meet industry standards according to this contractor. This contractor was not trying to make a sales pitch to us and he advised us to seriously consider going with some other flooring option, like laminate or carpet. If we wanted him to try to fix our floors, he urged us to go look at his showroom first so we would get an idea of what his work quality standard is and what we could expect our floors to look like if we wanted to stick with concrete floors. He also suggested that we attempt to get money back from CCS since CCS had clearly failed to meet even bare minimum industry standards.
After meeting with this other contractor, I again contacted [redacted] and [redacted] (In October 2013) and politely explained that we had another concrete professional take a look at the floors. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible, explaining that I understand sometimes things don’t go as planned and I did not want to get into a dispute with CCS but that we needed to fix our floors. I asked for 50% of our payment to be refunded so we could have our floors fixed. We have not heard from [redacted] or [redacted] since. I have sent approximately a dozen emails and left about a dozen messages and [redacted] and [redacted] refuse to engage us in any discussion. They have their money and that’s all they care about. I have even tried calling from unknown phone numbers but they carefully screen all their calls. I suspect they both have a fair amount of experience in avoiding dissatisfied customers. Once we brought in another contractor to inspect [redacted]’s work, they likely realized they couldn’t continue to tell us that they provided a quality product. [redacted] has an enormous ego and views himself as a recognized expert in San Antonio concrete staining and likely didn’t take too kindly to another contractor questioning his work.
After about 4 weeks of being ignored by CCS, we finally decided to simply move on. We visited the other contractors showroom and were blown away by the way he was able to overlay and stain concrete. He explained to us that we could expect our floors to look like that if we hired him to fix our floors but that he would have to start over (i.e. grind our floors down, overlay them again, stain, seal, and wax). This contractor quoted us a very good price (I think he cut us a break because he felt badly for how we had been treated by CCS) and we hired him to fix our floors. He showed up on time on day one with a professional crew. They worked tirelessly to get the job done and literally transformed our floors from disaster to spectacular. After they completed the work, I sent [redacted] and [redacted] one last email to show them the before and after pictures and again asked that they consider refunding half of our payment. This was in late November of 2013 and as you might guess, I’m still waiting for a response.
Maybe the most disappointing part of our experience with [redacted] and CCS is that [redacted] was fairly vocal in his religious beliefs. He frequently spoke about how he goes to church and how he would have trouble doing certain jobs (such as evicting people from homes) because of his belief system and how he prides himself in how he treats people. The way [redacted] and [redacted] have treated us, mainly by ignoring us ever since we requested a partial refund and informed them that we sought a second opinion on our floors, is contrary to any legitimate customer service standard, let alone a model of Christian behavior.
Our experiences with these two contractors were as different as day and night. Aside from the stark contrast if work quality, the second contractor did not require any upfront payment. I suspect the second contractor never or rarely has disputes with customers over payment. Even though we had already paid to have our floors done once and paying for them a second time was a huge budget hit, we were happy to pay the second contractor because he and his team did such a great job and treated us with the utmost respect. I cannot say the same for [redacted] and [redacted] at CCS who took advantage of our trusting nature.