H2Oasis Ponds Reviews (4)
Review: I hired H2Oasis Ponds at the end of June to build a garden pond and plants in my backyard totaling $7200. I gave the owner a $4000 deposit to order materials and begin work. He promptly cashed my check within days of receiving it. mr. M[redacted] told me that my pond would be started 2 weeks from receiving the deposit. On July 5 th I tried to call Mr. M[redacted] to get a better idea of a start date. hIs phone went to voice mail and could not take messages. I then decided to email him. He did not respond to my email after several days so I began to worry. I then began to search his business out on the internet and found several bad reviews including some that stated the Mr. A m[redacted] had taken their money and had run without completing the job. I then contacted Mr. M[redacted] again via email and explained my concern. He finally responded and told me he would start my job within 2 weeks which would be on July 25th. I have tried to contact him several times since then. His phone is no longer in service and his website is now down. He is not responding to emails.Desired Settlement: I would like to get my $4000 refunded back to me.
Review: H2Oasis Ponds was hired in April 2013 to construct a pond in accordance with the owners design concepts for a natural pond discussed at some length prior. A primary motivating concept was a positive water feature visible from the kitchen and deck and the site was marked accordingly as work began. Construction, estimated originally to be 10 working crew days, extended into June and early July. The crew operated with little to no oversight from the business owner and the lower water feature was not integrated. That and several other quality and service issues resulted in complaints on June 30, July 11, July 14, and others. A punch list of six issues was discussed and requested for completion, but **. [redacted] failed to show up in person to see the issues. Remaining issues include:-Filter under provisioned and installed so that it blocks the AC-Provide integrated lower water feature per motivating design-Remove debris (large roots), repair lawn-Grade and mulch all work areas per original agreement-Leave permanent (buried and marked) wiring for the electric pumps-Relocate fixtures that interfere with planned patio (area was marked, but apparently not communicated to the non-English speaking crew)The crew left damages extended beyond the work area to the front lawn and to an ornamental tree in what appeared to be intentional destruction. The owner, **. [redacted] threatened me when I complained of cleaning up beer cans from his workers.Payments totaling $28900 were made between April 16, 2013 and July 5, 2013. As H2Oasis Pond has been unwilling or unable to complete the work, I have already engaged other contractors to remedy the defects and to complete the work. The estimated additional cost to me will be $5,000 to $6,000.Desired Settlement: Refund $5,000 toward additional costs I have incurred to fix items and complete the original work (provide integrated lower water feature, re-install and upgrade filter unit, re-route plumbing around patio, grade and mulch the entire work area, clear and haul debris, and repair front lawn.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: [redacted] <[redacted]>
Date: Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Subject: Complaint of [redacted] against my company, H2Oasis Ponds
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Cc: "[redacted]" <[redacted]>
Complaint of [redacted] Dear Sir or Madam: I am responding to a complaint you sent to me, apparently on the 16th of August, with a ten-day response window. However, I only received this in the mail yesterday. With respect to **. [redacted]’ complaints, I don’t even know where to begin because this was one of the most difficult customers I have ever dealt with. He appeared angry all the time and was cursing my staff, even using the “f” word to them. He accused them of leaving beer cans on his property and they do not even drink. They are Christians. I installed the filtration near the air conditioner because the complainant told me that was the best place to put it;He has the best filter you can put in a pond. He was requesting one that goes into a swimming pool, and that will not work in this type of setting;He refers to my crew as “non-English speaking” which is why he was cursing them … he thought they did not understand him, but they understood him. They speak enough English to take directions from me and to do a good job;The damages the complainant is referring to were not caused by my crew; however, I did go out there to attempt to make him happy and he refused to give me egress to his property;He paid me the full agreed upon contract price upon the satisfactory completion of his job, so why is he now stating that I didn’t complete the work? Nevertheless, I attempted to appease him and he would not allow me onto his property.I added an additional waterfall for him, as well as other extras, which were not in the contract and I did not charge him extra for it; If he wishes to pursue this matter further, I will be reporting him to the Civil Rights Organization for discrimination. He cursed my crew and was constantly calling them names, because he didn’t think they understood English. I have emails from him with these demeaning comments in them, as proof of his discrimination.There were multiple other contractors on his property at the same as my crew was, building decks, doing excavation work, pouring concrete, and other renovations, so how can he be sure it was not one of those people who did whatever damages he is claiming? He told me that he had surveillance cameras on his property and that he had video tapes of my crew drinking beer on the job. I asked him to show me the videos, as I would immediately fire any of my crew members if they were indeed drinking on the job. He couldn’t come up with the video for me to look at. I was willing to come back and do whatever I could to appease this man, even though we had finished the contracted work and he had paid me the full contract price, but he refused to allow me onto his property. I hope this will enlighten you as to my countless attempts to appease this disgruntled customer who appears to be disgruntled with life itself. I believe that if I had built him a pond out of gold, he would still have been complaining. I have dictated this response to my mother, so this is her email address at her office in the District of Columbia. Please let me know if you have any further questions or need further clarification.
I reject on the basis that it does not address the facts and costs presented in the complaint, it is argumentative and goes well beyond a misunderstanding or personal dislike. These are facts:
 I have to date incurred additional expenses of over $2000 to remove 3 truck loads of debris associated with the pond construction, grading and mulch (all in the original statement of work) that are needed so the pond can function as something other than a mud puddle. The filters installed are neither the "best" and more importantly by all references to manufacturer or third party recommendations for sizing they are not sized appropriately for the volume of the pond. The main biological/bead filter appears to be a contraption that H2Oasis cobbled together from parts to squeeze additional profits. It is not a "name brand" and it simply does not filter the pond adequately. The 55 watt UV filter likely could perhaps suffice for a shaded pond of half the volume. The continued presence of green turbid water after 8 weeks of operation speaks for itself.
Review: I signed a contract with [redacted] the owner of this company to build a fish pond in my back yard for $12,100. I gave him a $7,000 deposit on Thursday 10/31/2013 and the work was to be started on Monday Nov 4. He has postponed the start date of my project for a total of 5 times for various reasons, the last excuse he had was his supplier did not deliver the parts he ordered. After he failed to return my calls on 2 consecutive days, I notified him by email on 11/23/2013 that I'd like to cancel the project and have my $7,000 deposit back. He replied to my email that he agreed with the cancellation but he could not return my $7,000 until he gets his money back from his suppliers. I gave him one week to return my deposit and he is still looking for excuses to keep my deposit longer.Desired Settlement: First I'd like to get my $7,000 deposit back and then I'd like him to come back to clear out his unused material and debris left on my property. He has to return my $7,000 before he is allowed to enter my property to retrieve his unused materials.
Review: This complaint concerns H2Oasis Ponds LLC and its owner, Terry [redacted] (aliases – [redacted], Shawn M[redacted], T.S. M[redacted], and Terry M[redacted]). I was induced by Mr. M[redacted]'s false representations (including that he was a properly licensed and insured contractor, that he performed skilled work, and that he would start the project quickly) to enter into a contract and provide a large advance for construction of a large koi pond. After over 7 months of excuses, Mr. M[redacted] finally started work. However, due to repeated and continuing misrepresentations and delays, financial inability to pay his laborers, poor workmanship, failure to perform in accordance with the contract and, finally, evidence that Mr. M[redacted] intended to cheat me by installing lesser capacity equipment than specified in the contract, the contract was terminated. I advanced Mr. M[redacted] a total of $19,100 for construction of the koi pond. Mr. M[redacted] agreed to refund my money based on his incurred costs. However, Mr. M[redacted] refuses to provide any substantiation for his costs. He claims, without any documentary justification whatsoever, that he only owes me a refund of $4,600. Based on a generous estimate of Mr. M[redacted]'s incurred costs prepared by a reputable koi pond contractor, I assert that Mr. M[redacted] owes me a refund of $10,833. This amount does not include correction of the poor work performed by Mr. M[redacted]. Although Mr. M[redacted] agrees that he owes me a refund, and despite my numerous attempts to resolve the matter and repeated demands for payment, Mr. M[redacted] has failed to refund my money.
On October 16, 2014, I paid Mr. M[redacted] an advance of $13,800.00. I was induced to pay this amount upon Mr. M[redacted]’s false representation that he was properly licensed and insured, that going to start construction quickly and that he needed the high down payment to order materials and filter and other equipment, which he said are expensive.
However, Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis did not start construction until over seven months later on May 26, 2014, after many lengthy delays and a plethora of excuses.
On May 30, 2014, I paid Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis another $5,000.00 as per our contract, despite very little progress on the work, his crew not working a complete week and only one man of the four man crew working while the others idled.
Beginning on May 30, 2014, there was evidence that Mr. M[redacted] diverted funds that I had paid him for his laborers. Despite the $13,500.00 previously paid and the $5,000.00 payment earlier that day, at the end of the day on May 30, 2014, after loitering for several hours, his crew informed me that they were waiting for Mr. M[redacted] come to pay them, but he was not showing up or answering phone calls. Mr. M[redacted] had promised me his crew would work on Saturday because the job was so delayed. However, the next day, May 30, 2014, Mr. M[redacted] told me that the men “had decided to take Saturday off”, obviously because they had not been paid.
This scenario repeated at the end of the following week, June 6, 2014, when Mr. M[redacted]’s crew informed me that he was not paying them, he did not have any money, and all of his customers are mad. Following that, on June 10, 2014, instead of completing my project as promised, Mr. M[redacted] informed me that his men refused to work the next week because he had not paid them.
On June 10, 2014, Mr. M[redacted] texted me that his “whole company is upside down.” It appearing that Mr. M[redacted] did not have the financial wherewithal to complete the project despite the now $18,500.00 I had advanced him, I asked Mr. M[redacted] to immediately deliver all of the materials and equipment that Mr. M[redacted] repeatedly represented to me that he had bought and paid for with the monies I advanced him. Mr. M[redacted] failed to do so.
Mr. M[redacted]’s crew worked a couple of days the week of June 16, 2014. However, on June 20, 2014, Mr. M[redacted] informed me that he again “could not make payroll.” Despite many delays and a plethora of creative excuses designed to mislead me, at Mr. M[redacted]’s request and upon his (mis)representation that (i) he had paid for the filter, other equipment and rocks, which would all be delivered Monday, June 23, 2014, and (ii) he would finish the project within a week, I paid Mr. M[redacted]’s foreman $1,500.00 for labor for the previous week. I paid because I was induced by Mr. M[redacted]’s false representations and urgently needed to get the job done. However, at the time, I clearly informed Mr. M[redacted] that if his men did not appear for work and the filter and rocks were not delivered on Monday, June 23rd, I would take action to secure refund of monies advanced. Mr. M[redacted] said he understood and assured me that he would perform as promised. Yet, the men did not show up for work on Monday, June 23, 2014, nor were the filter or rocks delivered as promised.
Mr. M[redacted] was again untruthful and did not follow through on his promises. It was also apparent that Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis did not have the financial capability to complete the project, despite significant advancement of funds. In addition to his delays and falsities, by this time it was apparent that Mr. M[redacted]’s and H2Oasis’s performance was subpar and in breach of the contract. On June 23, 2014, after contacting his supplier and discovering not only had Mr. M[redacted] not paid for the filter, but he apparently intended to cheat me by installing a much smaller filter than specified in the contract, I asked and Mr. M[redacted] agreed to terminate the contract.
In total, I have advanced Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis a total of $19,100.00 for construction of a koi pond.
Failure to Perform in Accordance with the Contract -
In addition to the numerous delays before and after project start, failure to pay his workers, and multitudes of excuses, false promises and misrepresentations, Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis have breached the contract and performed negligently. These breaches include, but are not limited to the following:
• Delivered the wrong rocks – Mr. M[redacted] and his foreman both informed me that the rocks Mr. M[redacted] delivered are not suitable for coping. These unsuitable rocks are now littering my yard and I will have to pay to have them removed.
• Failed to deliver enough rocks - Not only did Mr. M[redacted] deliver unsuitable rocks, but he did not deliver enough suitable rocks. On or about June 19, 2014, I was informed by Mr. M[redacted] and his foreman that I need at least 5 more pallets. Subsequently, I have been informed that I need at least 10 - 15 more pallets of rocks to complete the pond.
• Failed to install 2 bottom drains as specified in the contract – Bottom drains for a koi pond are critical and very important. Thus, the contract specifically provides for two bottom drains. However, each time I questioned when Mr. M[redacted] was going to install the bottom drains, he waved me off, saying that he is “a professional” and would take care of it. I am now informed that because Mr. M[redacted] installed the liner and ½ of the coping rocks, the work will need to be torn out in order to remediate and install the drains.
• Failed to order the [redacted] 140 filter model specified in the contract – The contract specifies the [redacted] 140 filter. However, on June 23, 2014, when I contacted Mr. M[redacted]'s supplier, I was informed not only that had he not paid for the filter as he repeatedly falsely represented he had, but he ordered the much less expensive [redacted] 50 filter. The [redacted] 50 filter is only rated for ponds up to 5,000 gallons. My pond is specified at 15,000 gallons and I specifically requested the largest filter, the [redacted] 140 filter, which model is specified in the contract.
• Failed to dig pond to the depth of 5 feet – The contract specifies a pond depth of 5 feet. Instead, the actual depth of the pond as dug is 4 feet. Depth of a koi pond is critical, which is why I specifically contracted for a 5 foot depth pond.
• Failed to dig pond to dimensions of 35’ x 14’, as specified in the contract - The dimensions of the pond that Mr. M[redacted] dug are actually 27’ x 15’ x 4’ deep. Thus, the pond as dug is 8 feet shorter than specified in the contract. The pond is also 1 foot wider than specified in the contract. Unfortunately, one of the effects of this is that the liner Mr. M[redacted] installed is too narrow. I have been advised that it does not extend far enough under the coping and, if not corrected, I will have continual problems with leaking. Mr. M[redacted] knew this when he installed the liner (I recall him expressing concerns), but he went ahead and installed an incorrectly sized liner anyway.
• Poor quality workmanship - I have been advised by a very reputable koi pond contractor that Mr. M[redacted] has failed in number of respects to perform a quality koi pond build. These include, but are not limited to:
o Failure to reinforce pond walls with block to prevent the walls from collapsing under the weight of boulders. In fact, in at least two areas the walls of the pond have already collapsed.
o Failed to properly construct piers for stepping stones. Mr. M[redacted] constructed piers out of exposed cinder block filled with concrete. I have been informed that not only will this result in unappealing aesthetics, it will cause continual PH problems with pond water.
o Failed to properly install liner and underlayment. The wrinkles in the liner were not smoothed before installing the rocks, which results in a poor appearance. Worse, neither the liner nor the underlayment is of sufficient width or, in certain areas, thickness. As discussed above, the effect of too narrow liner is that the pond will continually leak. The underlayment in a number of areas is even narrower than the liner or missing, which will result in compression tears. Finally, the underlayment and liner should be several layers thick under the boulders to prevent compression tears. Mr. M[redacted] installed only single layers of each and these single layers do not extend far enough under the boulders. The net effect is, if not corrected, the pond will continually leak.
o Sited the pond too low. I have been informed that the pond is set too low into the landscape at the low end, which will result in flooding when it rains as well as contamination of the pond water by lawn water run-off.
o “Volcano” type waterfall. From the very beginning of our discussion of the pond, I told Mr. M[redacted] emphatically that I did not want a high “volcano” type waterfall; rather I desired gradual waterfall. During performance I repeatedly expressed concerns that the berm for the waterfall was too high. However, each time I complained, Mr. M[redacted] waved me off, saying that he is "a professional,” and that the berm would be lowered somewhat when the rocks were installed. I have now been informed that the berm is indeed far too high and will not only need to be lowered significantly, but moved back to create a gradual waterfall. In addition, I have been informed that the liner Mr. M[redacted] installed is not long enough to accommodate a gradual waterfall.
o Failed to properly install plumbing. Mr. M[redacted] completed very little plumbing on the project; however, the plumbing that was performed is not correct. Mr. M[redacted] used too narrow pipe, too shallow fittings and, where buried, did not bury the pipe deeply enough.
On June 23, 2014, we agreed to terminate the contract. In addition, Mr. M[redacted] agreed to refund my money. Mr. M[redacted] said that he would examine his costs and calculate what is owing to me. However, instead of basing his calculation on actual costs incurred, Mr. M[redacted] now asserts that he is entitled to retain $14,500.00, based percentage of “completion of work” and that I am only entitled to a $4,600 refund. I do not agree to Mr. M[redacted]'s proposed refund amount.
First, under Virginia law, the measure of damages for breach of construction contracts is not based on the percentage of completion of work. Rather, the amount of damages recoverable for breach of contract is that which will put the injured party (me) in the monetary position she would have been in had the contract been correctly performed. Nichols Const. Corp. v. Virginia Machine Tool Co., LLC, 276 Va. 81, 661 SE2d 467 (2008); Mann v. Clowser, 190 Va. 887, 59 SE2d 78 (1950). The breaching party (Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis Ponds LLC) is responsible for all direct and proximate damages resulting from the breach. See, Haas & Broyless Excavators Inc. v. Ramey Bros. Excavating Co., Inc., 233 Va 231, 355 SE2d 312 (1987). Therefore, Mr. M[redacted] and H2Oasis Ponds LLC is liable for not only for all costs to correct his poor performance, but for my re-procurement costs, i.e., all costs I incur in having another contractor complete the pond in accordance to the specifications of the agreed upon contract. This includes all necessary remedial work.
Second, simply stated, the pond is not 60% completed. By email dated June 26, 2104, Mr. M[redacted] stated that he:
Excavated large koi pond with rented backhoe
Cleaned hold and covered bottom with sand put geotextile fabric underlayment in and around it
Installed 45 mil Epdm liner installed I skimmer excavated Burma [sic] and graded installed a [sic] buried 4 rolls of 2 inch black flex pipe installed large and med fieldstone rocks
$14500 of completed work and labor and rented materials
While Mr. M[redacted] excavated the pond (to the wrong dimensions), constructed a (too high) berm, installed sand and underlayment and liner (incorrectly), partially installed and plumbed the (too small) skimmer, partially buried 2” flexible PVC pipe (which should be 3” pipe), installed fieldstone around only ½ of the pond, there is still a large amount of work to be done. This includes, but is not limited to:
• Delivery and installation of at least 10 - 15 pallets of rock
• Construction of waterfall
• Completion of stone path across water
• Delivery, installation and plumbing of filter and UV sterilizer
• Delivery, installation and plumbing of 2 bottom drains
• Delivery, installation and plumbing of pumps
• Installation of plumbing and valves
• Soil grading
• Delivery and installation of mulch
Importantly, delivery of a significant (both in terms of volume and cost) amount of materials and equipment is outstanding. Given the cost of at least additional 10 - 15 pallets of rock, the filter, pumps and UV sterilizer, all expensive items, it is simply not plausible to assert that work is 60% complete.
For settlement purposes only, I am willing to compensate Mr. M[redacted] for reasonable costs incurred in performance; to the extent is fairly and properly attributable to my project and not the result of his mistake or errors. However, Mr. M[redacted] refuses to provide any documentation of costs.
Since Mr. M[redacted] refused to provide me with his costs, I have had the project examined by an experienced, qualified and highly respected contractor. Following is an estimated breakdown of work performed and cost incurred to date of termination:
Excavated hole (cost included below)
Geotextile fabric and EPDM liner, 49’x 23’ $1,500
Flexible 2” PVC Pipe, 100’ $300
Skimmer Box $500
6 Pallets stone, @ $500 per pallet $3,000
CMU, 24 $200
Labor, $1,500/week for 2 weeks (generous) $3,000
Machine rental, 3 days $2,000
Profit @ 20% (generous) $2,100
Less 2 days for rental of incorrect bucket ($1,333)
Less corrective demo ($3,000)
Grand Total Costs $8,267.00
Payments made to date $19,100
Less your cost ($8,267)
Refund Owed $10,833
Based on the above calculation, Mr. M[redacted] owes me a refund in the amount of $10,833. Note that I have included a twenty percent (20%) profit for Mr. M[redacted]. Given the extreme delays, his failure to perform and his dishonesty, this offer is very generous. Note also that this amount does not include costs that I will incur in completion of the pond as specified in the contract, including complete correction of poor workmanship. The full amount of damages I have suffered as a result of Mr. M[redacted]'s acts and omissions is currently estimated at $38,520.00.
Since June 23, 2014, I have repeatedly requested that Mr. M[redacted] pay me the money he owes me or else present evidence of his actual costs. Finally, on Friday, July 4, 2014, Mr. M[redacted] stated, “Ill [sic] give you a check in 1week [sic]” or by July 11, 2014. However, Mr. M[redacted] failed to refund any monies to me on July 11, 2014. As of the date of this complaint, Mr. M[redacted] has not refunded any monies owed me.Desired Settlement: Under Virginia construction law, H2Oasis Ponds/Mr. M[redacted] is liable for amount of damages which will put the injured party (me) in the monetary position I would have been in had the contract been correctly performed. He is responsible for all direct and proximate damages resulting from his breach of contract (currently estimated at $38,520.00). However, I am willing to settle the matter for a refund of $10,833.