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Areas needing work
Molding or baseboards,
Hanging pictures or mirrors,
I hired Al Hansen (Al’s Flooring, LLC) to complete a 2 story staircase remodel in my foyer; wood baluster conversion to hollow wrought iron. Based on the lengthy list of services he claimed he was extremely qualified to complete, I asked Al to complete other projects in my house. Overall, my experience was not a good one and this is why: • Al bid on my baluster replacement project he had no knowledge/experience completing and did not bother to research prior to beginning. I actually had to send him instructional links and YouTube videos he didn’t bother to research himself. • His bid was very reasonable (8 projected hours) but he announced he charged by the hour vs. project bid. It didn’t make sense to me at first. No other contractor ever did that. But the job was a simple one and at 8 hours, the bid was reasonable based on my research. Even if it went an hour or so over bid, I was perfectly fine with that. • On the 1st full day on the baluster project, 25 of 93 balusters were replaced. He projected another full 8 hour day and even a 3rd day to complete the project. In short, he bid projecting approximately 8 hours and changed that to approximately 20+ hours for what multiple sources suggest is often a 1 day job. At $480 cash/day, my $480 project bid suddenly became nearly $1500! • I had researched the project extensively (and he hadn’t) and multiple sources indicated a “very simple” project that anyone with basic DIY experience could complete. Multiple sources suggest it was a 1 day job. Should have been a cinch for a 16+ year professional handyman. • Several times, he stopped his work (but not the ticking clock) and explained how difficult and complex the project was- not realizing I had already done extensive research and knew it was simple. Especially with power tools, which he deliberately elected NOT to use for baluster trimming. He chose to trim every one of the 93 hollow metal balusters with a hand saw, which was extremely inefficient. But racked up plenty of extra hours. Every source that gave directives on how to complete this project suggested using glue/epoxy to properly set the balusters. He deliberately did NOT heed this suggestion, so every one of my balusters is loose and twirls around and around if touched even slightly. • And, one baluster either wasn’t shipped or it was damaged during installation and I was not informed. He didn’t even offer to return to install it when it arrives. I’m left with that incompletion to figure out on my own. Just like everything else. Read on…. • ANOTHER ISSUE: Charging an hour to install a Hunter Express easy install fan (Channing model) that had a SHATTERED glass globe. He sat on my couch, slowly unwrapping every part of the fan explaining how he thoroughly checks every piece prior to installation. (Seriously!) I left him to do his work. Approximately an hour later, he announces he’s done. I am shown my new ceiling fan, installed in my ceiling, with a SHATTERED glass globe. I am charged a full hour for the installation that should not have exceeded 20 minutes, especially for a professional, and it’s completely defective and he knew it. Now I have to figure out how to fix this problem. He knew if he had pointed this out to me, I would have canceled the install and and returned the fan to Home Depot. If he installed it, he figured he’d get paid. As I’m left with the mess to figure out on my own. Shameless. • ANOTHER ISSUE: Charging at least 2 hours to install a bathroom ceiling vent fan that went horrible awry, as it was explained to me. Instead of approaching me early in the install to explain there was a problem, he proceeded to putter for hours in my basement (clock ticking!) and I was left with crooked vent fan literally dangling from a massive HOLE hand cut in my suspended ceiling tile! And he presented it to me with a lengthy, detailed explanation how it was so difficult and took SO much labor. Had I known, I would have scratched the project altogether. But he got at least 2 paid hours and I got a nightmare. He did try to remedy it but it’s still not right and I was not reimbursed for the ceiling materials he destroyed. • ANOTHER ISSUE: One day, he arrived at 9am, took approximately a half hour lunch and left at 4:30pm. I was charged 8 hours when he was on site only 7. He stated his day actually ran from 8-5:30pm and I owed him $60/hour, and that included “travel time” to and from Green Bay, and he was actually giving me a deal! Nowhere did I agree to pay him $60/hour to drive and from Green Bay. And Green Bay to Appleton is a half hour each way. 60 miles tops, round trip. A truck should get around 20 mph, so approximately 3 gallons of gas. At $2.29/gallon = about $6.87 in gas. • SYNOPSIS: Day 1: Paid $400 cash (6 hours @ $60/hour + $40 in lumber) o Electric fireplace installed in wall- easy access, not difficult for DIY per multiple sources. Charged $40 for lumber to create reinforcement for fireplace. o Removed (1) six foot x two foot counter and (1) 37” x 19” counter/unhooked faucets from each o Removed one small row of upper cabinets screwed into drywall o Moved (1) outlet approximately 10 inches on a wall o Installed bathroom ceiling vent fan o THIS WAS BILLED AS 6 HOURS OF SOLID WORK + $40 in lumber/materials. I seriously question both the billed hours and the actual cost of lumber. • SYNOPSIS: Day 2: Paid $480 cash (Was at house for 7 hours, charged 1 hour of travel) o Installed 25 of 93 balusters o Installed (1) ceiling pendant light o Installed (1) Hunter Express/easy install ceiling fan with shattered glass o Presented with a receipt from Menards for dowels used for balusters (NO instructions or directives I researched on this project called for dowels at any time) and 2 drill bits and 1 hacksaw blade ($16.77) - To be reimbursed at completion of project. o I communicated via text that the paltry amount of work completed for $480 cash on this day was not acceptable. $480 was the total he bid to complete the entire baluster project and he essentially completed only ¼ of that project and spent 2 hours putting up a pendant light and a shattered ceiling fan. (The 2 combined should have been only 1 hour or less and not 2 full hours). o He suggested he return the next day and work on the remaining 68 balusters until completed for $400. (Keep in mind, this is nearly double the initial bid for a simple DIY project. But still better than the 20+ hours he was initially trying to convince me it should take!) o I proposed an additional $300 (An extra 5 hours beyond the initial bid @ $60/hour which seemed more than generous on my part.) He sent a very unprofessional “Fine then” text in reply! To his employer! • SYNOPSIS: Day 3: Paid $316.77 by check ($300 agreed upon + $16.77 for materials) o He arrived at about 8:45am and completed 31 balusters by about 11:30am (Note: he completed 25 balusters in 5-6 hours the day prior). He wasn’t on the hourly clock today! o By lunch at about 12:30 or so, he had completed about 4 more, pushing the total to 35 of 68. o The afternoon slowed to a snail’s pace. He made an attempt to correct the botched vent fan in the basement and it’s still not correct, but slightly improved. Again, no reimbursement for the ceiling material HE damaged. o One baluster was either missing from my shipment or he damaged it and didn’t tell me. Either way, at about 5:30pm, he announced he was done and nonchalantly pointed out that my project isn’t complete. He made no suggestion that he would return to install the mysteriously missing baluster when it finally arrived. As with everything else, I’m left holding the bag and left to figure out how to fix it myself. o He didn’t bother to cover any of my brand new carpet or expensive wood floor and furniture when he was cutting away the wood balusters, so I had a massive mess! Of course, I was left to clean that up. He didn’t bother to put any of the balusters in my trash can. He threw them all on my garage floor. Again, I was left to clean up the mess. o I’ve never had a contractor leave me with such a mess. Especially not one that charged so much and I offered cash to. o I demanded he return the drill bits I was charged for (he only returned 1 of the 2) and the hacksaw blade he charged me for and he audibly complained and mumbled to and from his truck to return the hacksaw blade I had paid for. Never ONCE when another contractor worked in my home did he charge me for TOOLS. It’s fair to charge a customer for materials for the project that remain in the home but never have I had a contractor hand me a receipt for anything tool-related. • Overall, the entire experience was a disappointment. I paid $880 in cash + $316.77 by check over 3 days. I supposedly received about $1200 in services = about 20 hours @ $60/hour. I feel I was overbilled at least 7-8 hours, which is significant in a 3 day period. Plus my project is still incomplete, my bathroom vent fan isn’t right and I have a ceiling fan with a smashed glass globe to deal with. I don’t call that value for $1200. • I have about 6000 square feet in my house on a double lot in a nice neighborhood, nice vehicles, my fiance’ works overseas and is gone right now. I offered cash and extremely flexible hours. I think he saw an opportunity for easy money, limitless hours and figured I had deep pockets and wouldn’t notice the daily overbilling. • If you hire Al by the hour, you had better stand over him and supervise every minute. Research your own projects so you know the complexity, tools and materials required and ballpark timeframe for completion. Especially if you have a nice house and cash at hand. Don’t let him dictate to you how lengthy or difficult a project is; if he’s paid by the hour. If a problem arises, he won’t tell you. He’s not concerned about you, the quality of the work or the aftermath you’re left fixing or cleaning up yourself.Dec 5, 2018Verified
Right on time real nice guy did great work and even had no problems with my dogs being all over himMay 9, 2018Verified
Al was right on time for the estimate and job (rare these days). He did quality work in a timely fashion at a good price.Apr 9, 2018Verified
Al and crew were professional and cleaned up behind themselves. Floor looks awesome we are in love with it. I would recommend Al with high marks.Apr 11, 2017Verified
Al was great! Could not have asked for a better job installing my storm door. I will for sure be using him again on my kitchen remodel.Feb 5, 2017Verified
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- What types of customers have you worked with?Maintenance
- What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?You will get the best quality of work that money will buy, and you get to pick out the quality of product that you want.And there will never be any concerns!