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Bad Deck by Mac Renovations

We hired a deck install from Lowe's of West Columbia and they hired Mac Renovations to do the installation. The job was scheduled to start on Sept 6, 2013. By 1pm, Mac Renovations had not showed up to begin so I called the store to check. They checked with the contractors office and told me that they would begin Sept 9th because a supervisor had called in sick or something. OK - stuff happens. But no one from Mac Renovations had to called to tell me or reshedule. I had been told that the deck would be mounted on concrete footers. Instead, they dug holes, dropped 4x4's into the holes and poured concrete into holes and added water. I questioned this since it isn't what we were expecting and was major concern to my husband. We were told they couldn't use footers because the deck was so low to the ground. The deck is low, about 12 - 18 inches in most spots. But this wasn't unknown. Mac Renovations had sent a man out to the house to measure and look at the site before we arranged with Lowe's for the deck install. No one said anything until they showed up to begin the work and then they didn't give us a choice in the matter or discuss the change with us. The deck was framed well otherwise. Our only issue with the framing was that we had asked from the beginning if the joists would be placed 12 inches on center and we'd been told they would be. When they started framing it at 16 inches on center I called the store to ask about the change. The contractor had just told me "This is how we do it" when I asked them. The Project Specialist checked with the manufacturer of the composite deck boards we were using and told me they advised that 16 inches on center was correct since the boards were being placed perpendicular to the joists so we accepted this alteration. After the deck was framed we expected the hand rail posts to be attached to the frame with carriage posts since this was another item we had specifically asked about before buying the install. Instead they layed all the deck boards. Then they cut holes in the boards and pushed the railing posts through the holes and screwed them to the frame using ledgerloks (long screws). When I questioned this they did add carriage bolts to 3 of the 10 posts but not the other 7. I asked why not and they said they couldn't. No other explaination and I haven't gotten any other explaination from Lowe's either when I've complained to them. Likewise the deck bench installed. It was supposed to attached to the frame using carriage bolts but it just screwed down to the deck boards. All in all - Mac Renovations did an amateur job building our deck. In addtion, they didn't want to communicate with us during the construction and made changes without consulting with us or explaining what was being done. I wouldn't recommend hiring them to build a deck or let them build it if you hire a deck install through Lowe's.They also didn't appreciate it when I asked questions about the construction or what was going on even though it was my deck and we were paying for it. Lowe's offered to send them back to make corrections but why would I want them back? They had the opportunity to build the deck right the first time. Especially since I asked why it was being done the way they were doing it and they didn't want to discuss it then. Why would I trust them to come back and do it any better the second time?
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1 comment

You probably should have let them come back out.

I understand the lack of confidence but at least give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes.

I equate it to going out to a steak house. If you ordered a well done steak and it came out rare would you send it back or just eat the rare steak because you wouldn't trust them to do it any better the second time.

#459205 Review #459205 is a subjective opinion of poster.

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Matt DiBarra

Matt DiBarra is well-known as The Undercover Contractor. He is the owner of DiBara Masonry company in Los Angeles that specializes in house repairs, restorations, and new installations.

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