I've Been Scammed
Inline Tile and Stone

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Having a general contractor's license does not qualify a contractor to be a plumber. The plumbing done during the recent bath remodel in our home is proof of that. Also, having a license does not mean that the workmanship will be acceptable.

This is what happens when your contractor buys "cheap stuff" from Home Depot and/or Lowe's.

This cheap water shutoff failed after only two years. It's a compression fitting (instead of being soldered on) and couldn't take the incoming water pressure.

The plumber said "We don't use these; they are not professional and should only be used as a temporary fix." It took him over four hours to replace it because the water at the main shutoff (sidewalk) would not shut off completely.

SureTec added the $504 plumbing bill to what Borad had to pay us, but what they paid will not come close to fixing all the things that Borad screwed up.

We were lucky to be home when this happened.

Getting the hot/cold water connections right first time should have been a no-brainer. The top horizontal pipe goes outside to an unapproved (cold water) hose bibb. The photo shows the pipes are connected (correctly) to the existing shower on the other side of the wall. They are also connected correctly to the vanity in the other bathroom. In this photo the pipes are not yet connected to the shower and vanity in the remodeled bath.
However, after they were connected, for whatever reason, Borad failed to verify the proper function of the hot/cold water prior to closing the wall and completing the shower and vanity work. After realizing his gross (and costly) error he refused to correct the hot/cold water pipes in the shower and vanity, and refused to replace the failed water temp controller in the shower. He also refused to install required shutoffs for the vanity sink water supply. Refusing to finish the job is tantamount to ABANDONING the job, regardless of how the CSLB or SureTec sees it.

This was part of a "temporary work around" to keep the water flowing in the bathroom while Borad was installing the new pipes and disconnecting old. He put the hose bibb on the cold water pipe without asking if I wanted it. Borad said he would remove the three other stubs and repair the stucco. Obviously, that turned out to be a lie...

It's sad that Borad has been in the construction business for over 20 years but he can't remember putting a hose bibb on the top pipe, which is cold water. He didn't bother to determine which pipe was cold and which pipe was hot before connecting the shower and vanity. He made the same mistake twice; in the shower and again at the vanity. He simply installed the pipes, installed the vanity, tiled the shower AND THEN checked to see if it was working properly. Of course it wasn't working properly. And then has the gall to blame it on construction of the house (on his Angie's List response to my review).
When the real plumbers installed the new plumbing, they installed a new hose bibb. Borad promised to remove the old one and patch the stucco. Of course, that didn't happen. No surprise...

I received this text from Borad on Nov 8, 2013. It says, "Hi Rick. Thinking of coming to do the doors and holder for the shower next week. Thoughts?" Notice he doesn't mention "doing" the crossed water pipes.

I responded on Nov 10, 2013 with, "Both are done. Having problems with the shower manifold. Doesn't always allow water temp adjustment. Defaults to hot when it fails." What this means is I got tired of waiting (nearly a month) for him to hang the closet doors and the shower wand holder, and hung them myself. The second part means there is no water temperature control. It's hot...all the time.

Borad responded with, "I think that's because the hot and cold a[re] switched." He acknowledged the crossed pipes but ignored the fact that it's a problem he caused due to lack of attention to details.

Two months later I had to ask him again "...when could he correct the problem. See the next section...

This is a text I sent to Borad on Jan 9, 2014, nearly three months after I paid him the final payment, less an (insufficient) amount to ensure he came back to "finish the job." My text to him says, "When can you correct the problems in the bathroom? Also, the kitchen countertops and the island require GFCI outlets. And the wiring for the undercounter lights is not grounded."

He responded, "GFCI is to be installed when 20 or so inches from a water source and the island has no source." WRONG!! LOL... Borad's comment "...20 or so inches..." is proof that he has no clue. He should know without even thinking about it. The inspector said "...within five feet of the sink, so that includes the island outlet. Actually, code says ALL outlets on the countertop AND the island are to be GFCI. Look it up. You can find it in section 210-52.

Anyway, Borad's response was, "I should be able to get out to do that in two weeks. There are three wires and one is a ground. So the circuit we pulled it from is not grounded. Hmm"

Notice he talks about the under counter lights wiring but ignores the plumbing and the GFCI outlets. He also tries to blame the ungrounded wiring on existing wiring. But he's the contractor and he's responsible for adhering to code standards and requirements, even if that means installing new wiring.

The first time my grandson's other grandfather (Ron) came into the kitchen the very first thing he said was "I can fix that for you." I said "Fix what?" He said, "That window." I already knew what was wrong with it, but I played along and said, "What's wrong with it?" He said, "It's installed crooked." Ron is a retired contractor.

It certainly is crooked. The bottom slopes to the left by more than a half inch. The top is off more than the bottom because the window is not rectangle by about half an inch. Look where the tiles meet the top of the window and notice that the corner of the tile on the right is about a quarter inch above the top of the window; on the left side the corner of the tile is about an inch above the window. It's so obviously crooked.

Notice there is no trim on the window. When I asked Borad about trim, he said, "You didn't pay for trim." That's what happens when you trust a "friend of the family" and don't have a written and signed contract, and the contractor doesn't do any planning. Lack of planning is why the black squares in the tile are not even on both sides of the window. The sink and window are not in the center of the wall, and the result is the tile work in the most obvious place (around the window) are not symetrical.

The final balance has been a topic of contention since the first day I started CSLB proceedings against Inline Tile and Stone. As of Sept 26, 2013, and after I paid $16,000, the balance was $10,700 as shown in this phone text. Since that was the last accounting provided, and there were no more "change orders," I have to assume $10,700 to be the final balance.

On Oct 16, 2013 I paid Borad $9,000 and withheld $1,700 pending completion of the project. Well, completion of the project never happened. After I started proceedings against him, he was saying I owe him $3,600. My question is: "Why would a contractor think he is owed money when he knows he didn't complete the job?"

According to his accounting, the total was $75,700 on Sept 3, 2013. I was not notified of any additional change orders after that date. As of Oct 16, 2013 I paid Borad a total of $77,000 with the idea that I withheld $1,700 (based on this text) for unfinished work. That would make the total $78,700. Borad claimed that I owed him $3,600 after I started proceedings.

How can that be? Unless, of course, it's caused by Borad's voodoo accounting.

I posted this comment on my Angie's List review: "The contractor asked that a $29,000 payment be made with three separate checks. This is a VIOLATION of FEDERAL LAW."

Borad's response was: (false, these checks were separate and for purchases for the homeowners materials at my contractor price. I did this to get the customer a contractor price thus saving him money and was not part of my accounting or contract.

His response doesn't make sense. Obviously, he forgot that he asked me, in writing, to give him three checks "to save on taxes." In addition, he already gets a contractor's discount.

This white line at the corner of the vanity top and back splash is the result of poor planning. It goes all along the back and right sides. It's there because the vanity top and back splash were installed before the back drywall and painting were complete. The wall was textured and then sanded lightly, but just enough to cause texture particles to stick to the RTV that seals the vanity pieces together. THe particles are sealed in and won't come off without removing and replacing the RTV.

Again, poor planning, or in the case of this project, no planning at all. A few conscientious contractors will post a schedule on the wall that details what will happen and when it will happen. Obviously there was no schedule for this job. The contractor treated this work as ad hoc and the schedule was planned only a day or two in advance. This is what happened when the drywall work in the bathroom got behind and the vanity top installers were allowed to install the top before the top part of the back wall was completed and painted.

The problem here is there is no trim along the edges to keep the water from seeping into the joints between the drywall and the tile. Borad did ask me if I wanted trim, and I said no, but he did not tell me that water could, and probably would, seep into the joint and cause the drywall to eventually disolve. I learned this from Ron (the retired contractor) and one of the contractors who gave me an estimate ($6,000) to repair the damage Borad left behind. A contractor who really cares about his reputation would have included the trim in the tile installation cost.

The problems here are a large hole in the 10:00 o'clock position of the temperature controller (left photo), plus it's not sealed to the tile, allowing water to seep into the wall. The problem in the center photo is obvious; and in the right photo there is a deep hole near corner of the tile. Yes, the hole is a characteristic of Travertine tile; however, these holes are supposed to be filled with grout and sealed to keep out water, dirt, and grime.

The contractor didn't bother to install floor trim to cover up the ugly joint between the floor tile and the drywall. I realized he didn't factor the trim cost into the overall cost for the bath, and told him I would do it myself.

Some contractors and "do it yourselfers" prefer the Travertine tile because, relative to other tile, it is easy to install. The pieces are big, some are huge, and the installer has to handle fewer tile to cover a given space. Especially in a shower. Plus Travertine hides a lot of mistakes that an installer makes.

On the other hand, a big mistake the installers make when using Travertine on a floor is not setting the tile so that there is an even surface on the top. Some of the floor tile in my kitchen are not even, making it difficult to slide chairs under the table. The chairs "hang up" on the uneven surfaces between adjacent tiles. Borad said that's a characteristic of Travertine, but I say that is bullsh*t!

Some contractors don't like Travertine because it's very grout intensive. A LOT of grout is needed to fill in all the cracks, crevices, and holes. More grout means more sealer, and Travertine needs to be sealed at least once a year. Borad won't tell you that. He won't even apply the required multiple layers of sealer after he installs it.

In view of all the problems I've had with this tile installation, and the problems caused by the installer, I would NEVER use Travertine again. It's best left for contractors who want to make a "quick buck" without worrying too much about quality, and for "do it yourselfers."

In many instances the electrician used drywall screws to fasten the switch to the electrical box, as shown in the left photo. What's wrong with this? The screws strip the threads in the box, they don't always fit under the cover that goes on the switch, and it's just wrong. Pure laziness. The electrician did this but the contractor allowed it.

When I questioned it, he just blew me off. The photo on the right shows the correct screws to use and they usually come with the switch. Extras are available at any hardware store.

The electrician failed to check this GFCI outlet (left photo) after he installed it. It doen't work because it's not grounded, as shown by the middle indicator lit and the bottom indicator not lit (left photo). Unfortunately, the problem is behind the wall and not at the outlet. All the electrician had to do was connect the wiring to the same source as the GFCI in the other bathroom, which is grounded as shown by two indicators being lit in the right photo. This test device does not prove that the GFCI works; it only shows that the outlet is properly grounded. The CSLB inspector used a GFCI tester to check both outlets.

This is low quality work and pure laziness. I'm wondering if the electrician is even licensed. This is what happens when the contractor uses cheap subcontractors. However, the contractor is still responsible for the electrician's work.

Even if there were no other problems in the bathroom (there are many, many more) the wall would have to be opened up just to correct this gross mistake. The CSLB electrical inspector estimated nearly $1,000 to repair the GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bath.

There were no less than four day workers on this project, all of them inexperienced. The customer pays through the nose when the contractor uses inexperienced employees. I paid $65 per hour for these guys to be trained, while the contractor paid them $40 per day...cash. Do the math...that's about $5 an hour.

Andrew was the first "day worker" on the job. He had zero experience doing construction work, or, in this case construction demo (demolition) work. It was scary as hell watching him operate the saws-all. He left in the first week to go to MIT. I'm guessing that Andrew was the "college friend" referred to in Borad's response to my Angie's List review of his company.

This kid was the second "day worker" on the job. He was a friend of Andrew; had about the same amount of construction experience (zero); and also left for college in his first week on the job.

I'm not sure what his name is; either he or the guy in the next photos was named Elliott.

The contractor didn't have workmens' comp insurance for these employees. If they had been injured on the job we, the property owners, could have been sued. That doesn't seem fair, does it? The CSLB can't even control the licensed contractors; how are customers supposed to controll them?

The next day worker on this job was my grandson, but I don't have any photos of him on the job, and I wouldn't post them here anyway. He was only 14 at the time and his job was cleaning up. Borad didn't even pay him; I had to negotiate with Borad for his pay. My grandson being on the job was how I learned about the "under the table pay arrangement."

This guy (in the photo) was the fourth day worker on the job. I don't know what his name is, but this guy or the guy above is named Elliott. He had a little more experience than the other two, but not much more. And he had zero experience laying tile, but Borad had him laying tile within a week or so.

    Click photos to see videos. They will take a few moments to load...
The fancy Decolav sink's overflow doesn't work at all, and the sink doesn't drain very well. Contractors like to install these because they are cheap (more profit) and they don't have to install that dreadful drain stopper.
I suspect the non-functioning overflow is an installation problem, and the mal-functioning drain is a Decolav design or quality problem. Search "Decolav" and learn about the manufacturing quality control problems they have.
When the sink is more than half full it will drain rapidly, with the typical water vortex. But when less than half full it takes a very long time to drain. In the video about an inch of water took over 90 seconds to drain. I added pepper to more easily see the water action...or non-action, as in this case.

If the contractor had completed a final check list prior to asking for final payment he might have avoided some of these embarassing and very costly screw ups, about $13,000 worth, of which he was only required to pay about $3,000. WOW!!! What a windfall...for the contractor. And he walked away without a conscious moral thought about not completing his contract. A final check list should have been part of the planning phase; but then, the contractor didn't do any formal planning. All of the planning was ad hoc...ALL OF IT!   NOTHING was written down.

Well, anyway, stay tuned....I still have lots of photos to post...