So today Julie and I met with our GC at San Francisco Coffee Shop to discuss all of the issues going on at the house and how we can resolve them and hopefully move forward. I prayed a lot before the meeting for the strength of silence and to be reasonable but from the moment he walked in it proved to be difficult. Forget the fact that he was late and sat down with his arms crossed while leaned back in his chair, it was more of his defensive and aloof disposition while making us feel as if we were crazy and the ones being unreasonable that tried my patience as well as tested my limits.
The purpose was to discuss and resolve the issue of the basement not being dug deep enough and how could we accomplish what was on the plans, an 8′ finished ceiling in the basement. He was quick to shift the blame to everybody except him; architect, subs, property, etc… but when I pressed him further it basically came out that he measured/calculated the needed depth incorrectly and never came back to oversee the work of his subs. While he was quick to pass the buck to everyone but himself, he is supposed to oversee the job, what really ticked me off was when we started discussing the various options that would bring us closer to that which is in the plans. It was quickly obvious and then blatantly so when he informed us that he was not going to pay for his mistake. If we wanted what was in the plans as well as discussed numerous times then it didn’t matter if he messed up, it would cost us extra, we would be the ones having to pay the extra money for a new joist system. I’m not sure if it was his arrogance or ignorance as to where his standing originated but after using a fairly elementary analogy we eventually had an agreement. Basically it was decided that he would pay for the new joist system as well as take the construction through framing and roofing all under the guidance of a structural engineer hired by us. After all was completed we would evaluate everything and decide at that time whether we would continue to move forward with him, my hope is that we would – probably stupidity, but I still want to believe in this guy.
What got me was his parting shot, he had the nerve to tell us that we had to use him, that we “had no other option than to stick with him”, that we either would have to stick with him or sell it. What an arrogant ass. I thought we were moving forward and possibly starting to move forward despite his attitude but to level such a stark comment was beyond professional.
One other interesting fact from the meeting with our GC, I would think that he has a fairly good idea about our plans. As we discussed the plans it came out that he had no idea that we were planning on connecting the existing and new basement, even though it is in the plans along with being discussed verbally and in emails numerous times. He then arrogantly informed us how that couldn’t happen but quickly backed off as I showed him on a napkin that it was achievable. I guess all of my experience of building a bird house when I was a kid paid off.
How? How did we, No how did I let this happen? How did I put us in this position? I thought that we had done the needed due diligence, we talked with his references but the guilt of putting Julie and myself in this position is unexplainable. I trusted him, thinking back there were little signs that I should have read, but this experience has become all of the bad you ever hear about dealing with contractors. Sure, I blame him, but I blame myself. I feel that I’ve tried to except some of the mistakes but this one effects not only the functionality of the house but also the value.
Sad thing is that he’s correct, we’re trapped. He knows it and I truly feel that he’s taking advantage of it.