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11/26/2014
By: Raven M.
Vega Pool's & Spa Remodeling
This is a very muddled review for what was a very muddled job.Shawn was prompt at responding to my quote and questions. He is very personable. He answered all of my detailed questions regarding the spa unit, and accommodated several special requests, as well as suggesting some of his own to make the finish nicer.The first quote that I received was for a 5 foot long, double sided kitchen/bar with a large Primo grill and refrigerator, and a large spa with steps and a metal handrail. The price I was quoted was $11,500 (a discount of $750 for doing both jobs at the same time).What I signed a contract for was a 7' single sided kitchen against a wall, large Primo grill, no refrigerator, a large spa with stone veneer, and a "custom handrail". The price was $14,390 - a difference of $2890.So, $3000 for adding stone facing and making the kitchen single sided, with no fridge, but 2' longer. Keep this in mind.The job itself took over a month. Some of this was due to the wacky weather, which is completely understandable. I was never told when they were coming via text or call, they just showed up. Much of the crew who did the actual work spoke very little English, making communication difficult as I had to play "telephone" with Shawn and the crew.The "custom handrail" that I had been mistakenly lead to believe would be wrought iron in verbal conversation turned out to be a two rough 4x4 post/2 rail wooden handrail. At first it looked very very bad and I had to call/text/email to get it sorted. First the rails were at two extremely noticeable and different angles; the wood hadn't been sanded at all and was full of splinters; and it had a two tone stain job that didn't match the spa, the steps, or my home exterior. Weird color.The grill was a major problem. First it was placed where when you opened the lid, it was hitting the house. Once that was addressed, it turns out that these grills don't even open 90". They did replace the springs with something stronger to support the lid weight better, but I am afraid of this falling and hurting someone.Once the spa was delivered, we discovered that we actually liked the wood siding it has and opted not to do the stone veneer. There was also no backsplash on the kitchen. When it came time to settle up today, I was told that the stone veneer was only a $900 difference, not the $2000 I had assumed based on all the numbers I had at hand (I thought a difference of $1k should cover the kitchen extension) When I asked for an itemization, I was handed something that does NOT match the original partial itemization.Original: spa, electric, concrete - $9098. Today's itemization - $9905.When I called Shawn on this number fudgery, he told me that well, the electric ended up costing more. That was NEVER, in over a month's time with frequent communication, told to me. Not one word. Nor is that my problem - what I signed was a contract, not an estimate.I got tired of arguing and we settled on a deduction of $1300. I am left very unhappy with this job from the wooden handrail to the grill I can't use and now no stone and an increased cost.I do not recommend Vega unless you watch them like a hawk and get an exact itemization at every planning stage and one written onto the contract itself. While their end work looks good, it took me a lot of complaints and requests to get things fixed that shouldn't have happened to begin with.Shop elsewhere.
Tips & Advices
If there is ever a dispute regarding payment over the course of the project, a contractor or subcontractor could place a payment claim, or lien, on your property. To avoid this, ask the contractor to sign a lien release, which is a legal agreement that states that any payment accepted is final. This can come in handy if a contractor has his or her own payment issues with their subcontractors. Signing a lien release form certifies that any payment made by a client to the contractor is enough to pay for any goods or services rendered.
Absolutely ask. Paying too much up front offers the homeowner minimal leverage if the quality of work does not meet expectations or contractual specifications. Try to establish a reasonable pay schedule, such as paying 10 percent of the total cost for each 10 percent of the work that is completed. Include this payment plan in the contract, as well.
Before any money changes hands, there should be a contract to sign. Make sure the specifics of the work and all costs are listed in the contract, including details. If you forget to have something included in the contract after signing it, there's rarely a chance of recourse.
Ask the contractor for proof of their certification before signing anything, as well as their proof of insurance. You should also check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they offer coverage for contracted work. You may want to call your insurance provider and ask for more details on what your plan will and won't cover.
Yes. Plans for how the work site will be cleaned at the end of each day as well as at the conclusion of work need to be put in writing. An experienced general contractor should make every effort to keep the workspace clean and prevent dirtying or damaging any other area. Even so, talk with the contractor about the daily schedule, the logistics of transporting workers and equipment, and how cleanup will be handled.

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