New Reviewer

Jim Twa, Top Notch Builder

I have no complaints about Jim Twa Construction or Jim Twa as a builder. I moved to this area from Chicagoland. I found out about Jim Twa on the Internet. We converse online even before I moved to this area. I purchased an existing lot near downtown Grand Haven 614 Fulton Street. He gave me great advise about building in the city of Grand Haven. Jim Twa designed a beautiful house that fit wonderfully in our neighborhood. Jim drew custom plans. Twa revised those plans many times to fit my wife's and family's wishes. He worked well with the city of Grand Haven. His pricing was reasonable and we received his "artful" craft with great appreciation. If you want to talk directly to me, call Rev. Henry Reyenga at 616-745-**** or email me at hreyenga@***.com
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ID
#582538 Review #582538 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Grand Haven, Michigan
Pros
  • His passion for his craft
  • His creative and high quality work
Reason of review
Good quality
New Reviewer

Building Contractor Totally Botched Our New House

We hired Twa Construction ( Jim Twa ) to build a 1,344 sq. ft. house on our property. Based on plans we provided, Twa completed the floorplan and elevation drawings, and attempted to obtain a building permit. However, we were unaware that the house would not fit within the setbacks the city requires, and had to abandon these plans. We found a similar plan online and gave it to Twa to complete and submit to the city. The second set of plans were approved and a permit was issued. Good to go. Twa started by having a sub-contractor do the excavation for the foundation and basement, and had a second sub pour the concrete footings for the foundation. The next day I looked at the footings and discovered that Twa was BUILDING THE WRONG HOUSE! I immediately called him and left him two voice-mails and an email specifically telling him he was using the first set of plans...the ones that were not approved. He called me the next day, seeming not to understand the messages, and it took me a few minutes to convince him. Bear in mind he not only gave the sub the wrong plans, but when he laid out the house on the empty lot, he didn't notice that the house extended four feet past the survey stakes! It's a little house...a small lot...and four stakes with ribbons on them. This is NOT complicated. The 1st and 2nd set of plans were similar enough that about 75% of the footings could still be used, provided splices were made in the footings and some new footings were poured. At this point I didn't trust Twa to get it right, so I checked with the building inspector and learned that a proper splice required that the concrete be cut off clean and square, and then drilled to accept pieces of steel reinforcing bar (rebar). The rebar would then have to be glued into the holes with epoxy. Without the reinforcement, there would be weak spots in the footings where the new concrete was joined to the old. With the rebar glued in place, the concrete forms could be set up and approved by the building inspector before the new pour. I emailed Twa with these details, telling him exactly what the city required, and said I would agree to the repairs if they were done correctly. The sub set up the forms for the new pour, but I noticed they had put rebar in 2 of the splices and hadn't used the epoxy, and in the third splice, they had used no rebar at all. I was hoping they were planning to finish the rebar and epoxy before they poured. At any rate, the inspector would catch the error. However, the next day, they poured the concrete without the required inspection. No epoxy, no rebar, no inspection. I called the inspector and "blew the whistle" on Twa. The inspector scheduled a meeting with me at the site. I invited Twa. At the meeting Twa screamed at the inspector and me, and would not acknowledge what he had done. We fired Twa on the spot. His behavior had been erratic from the beginning of the project. You could have a conversation with him one day and two days later, he would have no memory of what was discussed. We could tolerate a little general goofiness, but not this level of incompetence and deception. Getting rid of Twa was/is not easy. The $10,000 we had given him up front was way more than enough to cover his costs for the botched project. I confirmed this by contacting the subs directly and learning what they had charged. Twa inflated our final bill so that the total was about $300 over the $10,000 we had given him, and told us he was putting a lein on our property. He even charged us for the second concrete pour...the one that was supposed to correct his mistake. He almost tripled the cost of the drawings, and added a $500 "contract termination fee". At what point do you take responsibility for your mistakes!?! Adding insult to injury: This Spring, the city told me that our $1,378 building permit can't be transferred to another builder, and belongs to Twa...who bought it with the money we gave him. The city received a letter from Twa, requesting a refund to HIM. The city apologized to me, but said they had done only about $300 worth of inspecting on the project and would be refunding over $1,000 to Twa. We abandoned the project over the course of the winter, and in the Spring of 2013, we hired a new builder. We decided we would talk with the city to see if we could or should use the un-inspected, un-reinforced footings. We reasoned that with some extra rebar in the poured concrete walls that would rest on top of the footings, it would be a compromise we could live with. The inspector said they would approve it if I hired an independent engineer to inspect the footings and provide a written a report stating they would be structurally okay. The engineer charged me $500 and the city accepted his report and said they will issue a new permit. Thinks are looking up, right? Fat chance. With the new builder in place, and the city about to issue a new permit for another $1,378.00, I received a call from the condo development next to our property. They wanted to know if I could really build on my lot and whether I had the proper setbacks and approval from the city. I told them, of course I do. I have to be 6 feet from the property line to the edge of my roof overhangs, and we're good with a few inches to spare. But wait, I realized....didn't Twa Construction lay out the house on the lot!?!?!? Uh, oh. I grabbed a measuring tape, string, pencil, paper, and other tools to get an accurate measurement at the site. I took the measurements, did the simple math, and discovered that the East and West sides of the house would be 9 inches less than the required six feet from the property line. Twa had not only started out by building the wrong house, he put the wrong house in the wrong place! I called the new builder and he rushed over to re-measure with me. Yup...9 inches wrong. I'm guessing that when Twa laid out the house, he totally forgot about the city code that requires that the setbacks include the overhangs. I had discussed the overhangs with Twa several times in person and in email....amazing. And there's no "fudging" on this project. Nosy condo neighbors have already had their board president measure our project, reminding him to not forget the overhangs. Grrreat. So, for $10,000.00, I now have *** in the ground, with concrete footings that have to be completely torn out and hauled away. Then the soil will have to be compacted (at additional expense), and new footings will have to be poured. I have absolutely NOTHING of value for my $10.000. But...it gets worse. Really! I just found out that Twa NEVER PAID THE CONCRETE GUY! That means another lein on my property for close to $4,000.00. Should you hire Twa Construction? I don't think so. Mistakes happen. Even big mistakes. But, in my opinion...and I think I've earned this opinion...Twa Construction's special blend of incompetence, deception, and total lack of ability to take responsibility makes them a company you should NEVER hire for any job.
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4 comments
#1799451

Ditto

#931053

We have read many reviews about Twa contruction and this is the only bad one we found but when we read the comment left here, we decided to hire Twa construction anyway. They added an edition to our house and made up a design to fit what we wanted.

The job was done fast and under budget. The quality of this was wonderful, we will hire them again and we are happy we ignored this bad review.

#779602

As a reader, I am disappointed to read such a vulgar review. As far as i know they have been in business for 3 decades and they do really great work.

Sometimes mistakes happen but you the writer are a unhappy person who shouldn't write out of your unhappiness. If you ask me (and you should, as i am a level headed person who looks at both sides of every story) you (the reader) should not base one's option on what people say over the internet when they show all their anger in a review. I have known them for a very long time and many others know them as hard workers who take pride in their work. I will always hire them because when you show respect and trust you will get far in life.

The writer of this bad review is a prime example of a person who thinks he know everything about every job that there is. I can tell he (the complainer) left out many things and added many things to make Twa co. look bad. So please don't base your option on this article because it has been copied and pasted everywhere that I have seen.

It was even reworded in a lot of the reviews but same person.

#931379
@PissedConsumer779602

Jim Twa doesn't need me to make him look bad. Do you, Jim.

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ID
#407476 Review #407476 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$10000

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