Title of Complaint: Inline Tile and Stone...shoddy work and abandoned job when the going got tough.
Inline Tile and Stone, license #789209, (aka Inline Kitchen and Bath), both owned by Duane Borad, charged me over $77,000 for shoddy work, incomplete work, and then abandoned the kitchen and bath remodel job after he screwed up the bath plumbing. To add insult to injury, he still insists that I owe him over $3,600.
My very first clue to what was forthcoming was the "light blue concrete" Borad ordered for the driveway. I now have a "two-tone" driveway. I should have cancelled the job right then.
The CSLB cited Borad for ten violations, including: no building permits; no workmen's comp for employees; no 3-day notice to cancel; departing from building standards (which probably means he didn't have plans); no written change orders, etc. But for some unknown reason they didn't cite him for the big one---ABANDONING THE JOB.
Shoddy work includes the mis-matched concrete in the driveway, kitchen window installed crooked, cheap kitchen cabinets from IKEA, warped kitchen cabinet doors, no (required) GFCI outlets in kitchen; bath GFCI not installed properly and doesn't work; bathroom plumbing hot/cold water lines crossed in bath; shower temperature control valve failed (no water temp control), shower fixtures not sealed to tile, no water shut-off valvess for the vanity sink, and many other nickel-dime items that Borad failed to complete.
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. It is connected (correctly) to the existing shower and vanity on the other side of the wall. 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 translates to ABANDONING the job, regardless of how the CSLB or SureTec sees it.
I have three independent estimates at about $6,000 to get the bath plumbing repaired. The repair requires tearing out a wall in two places--behind the shower and behind the vanity. According to my texts and emails, I gave Borad over three months to make the repairs, after I paid him (holding back $1,300), but he refused. The CSLB and SureTec (the bonding company) favored Borad's undocumented version of events rather than the evidence I provided. Both the CSLB and SureTec have been useless in my effort to get proper restitution from Borad.
Borad provided a very weak un-signed estimate for the bath but no written contract or change order for the kitchen, hence a lot of items that would normally be in a contract were "left out," such as window trim, floor transition strips, tile trim between the tile and the drywall in the bath, and baseboard. Since they weren't in the contract, and there was no written change order for the $56,000 kitchen, some of these items became unwritten and unapproved change orders. Other change orders, like the tile trim, window trim, and floor transition strips were simply refused by me because by then I'd had enough of Borad's "nickel and diming me."
Because of unwritten change orders the original cost of $68,700 for the bath and kitchen was over $80,000, some of which I refused to pay because of shoddy work, abandonment, and absolutely no formal accounting.
I must warn consumers that the California Contractors' State License Board (CSLB) is virtually useless when it comes to "punishing" or even "admonishing" licensed contractors. They go out of their way to protect them, as told to me by CSLB Investigator Greg Holmes, and generally just "slap them on the wrist." Yes, they did cite and fine Borad, but his fines were minimum, and, when inspecting Borad's work they grossly underestimated the bath repair cost.
The bonding company, SureTec, is even worse. After all the hassle with the CSLB, the consumer must AGAIN prove absolutely 100% that the contractor is at fault, yet, in our case, the contractor has absolutely NO PAPERWORK to show what he did. In spite of his lack of paperwork our claim was simply flushed down the toilet by SureTec.
Borad has some favorite sayings. "You didn't pay for that" and "That's extra" are two of his very favorite. Obviously, if it wasn't listed in the contract that didn't exist then you didn't pay for it and it must be extra work. LOL...
"My computer crashed..." is his excuse for not having the proper paperwork and accounting. That was the first thing he said to the CSLB (and SureTec) when they asked for documentation. How very convenient for Borad and the CSLB and SureTec... A legitimate businessman would have backed up his computer at least weekly.
A license issued by the CSLB DOES NOT mean the contractor is honest and does good work. It simply means that the contractor passed a test and paid his fees. Sometimes dishonest contractors are caught and cited for "cheating their clients" or for "cheating the system;" However, that rarely happens. I know of at least one contractor who, for over twenty years, paid his employees daily and did not withhold state and federal taxes, and did not have workmens' comp insurance. The CSLB's primary emphasis is busting unlicensed contractors because that is very easy to do. Licensed contractors are not monitored and are rarely cited for anything, including not getting permits. (See the Permits page.) They are never cited for doing shoddy work, although many do shoddy work. You have to figure that out for yourself.
Check Inline Tile and Stone's license (#789209) CITATION VIOLATIONS before you hire them.
You should not have to endure the hassles and headaches that we have endured with Inline Tile and Stone, the CSLB, and the SureTec bonding company.