Biggest mistake of my life!

Without trying to make this a rant, I would like to summarize what a terrible experience we had with L&N Contractors. On June 10, 2015 we discovered mold in our basement wall. My wife was quite concerned because we just had a newborn who was not quite 5 weeks old so she went to Angie’s List to find a contractor who had experience in this type of work. We called Pam Lowe of L&N and she came over to give us an assessment. Ms. Lowe looked at the wall and the property and determined we had a problem with our front window well and that’s where the leak originated from and that we would need to get the window well dug out, the carpet in the basement removed, and the drywall that had the mold on it cut out and replaced. She urged us that this was indeed a potentially serious health matter that could cause significant harm to our baby if we did not immediately begin correcting the problem. She repeatedly stressed that we could be looking at very serious health consequences for our baby and potentially us. We have some savings but are in no way independently wealthy. Ms. Lowe said her initial assessment would be $5,000-10,000 to do the project. She needed a down payment and to sign a work order if we wanted her help and we agreed because we were worried for our child. She said she would come by the next day with a formal contract. The next day Ms Lowe arrived and presented a contract that would cost us $15,250 for her to do the work. She felt we had to do all 4 of our window wells (put French drains in them) or we were going to have this problem repeat somewhere else in the basement again. I had already written the initial $5000 check and this should have been the red flag about the troubles we were going to have but we decided we better go ahead and get the problem fixed. The red flags just multiplied however as I looked further into the contract. She said the project would run from 6/10-7/20, which seemed like a long stretch of time to replace drywall, carpet, and put drains in 4 window wells. In addition, just to continue that day she insisted on another $8000 so before any work even occurred I had paid $13K of the total $15K bill (I later learned this is not a standard practice from contractors but I soon realized why this occurred with L&N). I will fast forward to what issues occurred during this project with L&N. 2 days after beginning the project Ms. Lowe was there with one of her workers tearing out the carpet and drywall and they got ready to leave when a downpour began. Ms. Lowe had taken off our window well cover and told my wife that her and her worker were going to stay and bail the water out of it so as to not have any other flooding occur. After staying there an extra 2 hours, she told my wife that we would be billed her after hours rate for 2 people (so 4 hours total), and she was leaving a fan she rented there an extra day as well because of this rain and that we now needed to pay her an additional $1250.00. Her worker stood around while she bailed the well and now we were going to be out over $1000 more. Her contract protects her from ever having to do anything “out of scope” and ensures she can determine what that is and if you as the consumer do not immediately pay it, she can stop working immediately on the project and sue you in small claims court for the entire cost of the project, even if she does not finish it. Thus, we had to pay as we barely at this point had any work done and had paid $13K. So she waits a few days to write up the change order for this and calls us the next week when she is not scheduled to be there saying she needs the money right then. We explained we were at our daughter’s doctor and she had made no arrangements to meet us at our house for the money. She tells us she needs the money that day to make payroll. We had already paid $13K but she needed the extra $1250 just to make payroll. We told her we would have to give it to her the next day and she was unhappy with that but did come over and get the money the following morning. The next two months there were only more issues. Her contract said she would be finished 7/20; she finished the project on 8/3, making all sorts of excuses about all the floods going on in basements in Colorado and not having people to do it. I asked her for an itemized bill to present to the insurance company so I could see if I could recoup some of this cost but she never provided one. I had an attorney contact her about writing a statement on how she thought the flooding occurred in the first place, even telling her she would be paid her rate of $125/hr to do it, and she never responded. The “extremely dangerous mold” that she scared us with when she met us was carried out through the window and thrown in the garbage. Clearly it was not nearly as hazardous as we were led to believe. When she finally got around to laying carpet on 7/20, she needed the remainder of the money (less $350) in order to pay her carpet installers even though the $2250 balance was to be paid at the completion (the vents still needed to be cleaned as part of the contract at the end). I paid it because I felt bad for the people working for her. In the last few days prior to the project finishing, my wife asked her why she did not ask her if she could put a different type of baseboard on the wall in the basement and she proceeded to scream at her, telling her that what she did was industry standard, and berated her for questioning her. We were shocked that she lashed out like that, especially to a customer who had just paid her $16,500. I know this was long and I can tell you I left quite a few details out. I want to protect other homeowners from ever having the experience like we did and to not use L&N. We realize now after getting some legal advice from people familiar with general contractors that we likely overpaid by $8,000-$10,000 for the work we got done. That was our fault for not taking a step back and getting more quotes. This is flat out the worst experience I have ever had in my life making any large purchase. I wish I could change who I picked but please trust me, future consumer, to avoid L&N Contractors. I would never want anyone to go through what my family and I had to endure. I have no personal vendetta but as a consumer I wished someone had written a review like this so I would have known not to use L&N’s services.
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ID
#698608 Review #698608 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Aurora, Colorado
Reason of review
Poor customer service

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