An Elk Grove senior once again has a patio cover after CBS13 worked with the contractor who agreed to rebuild it. Carol Evans hired College Works Painting to paint her house and patio cover. She was horrified when she walked outside to see it reduced to a pile of debris.
“The whole patio cover is removed,” said Evans. “I came out and saw the pile, well, I was devastated.”
Her $3,556 contract was to paint the entire house. It included $625 for the patio cover.
After it was written up, she says she asked the workers to remove a dirty fiberglass sheet off the top of the patio cover.
“I said this fiberglass up here, I would like it removed. Can you do that? and he said, ‘No my company won’t let me do that,'” recalled Evans.
But then she says a second worker said they could do the work for $200. But of course, hours later she saw the patio cover torn down.
Evans says College Works was working with her to replace the patio cover until a pricey $9,000 bid came in from their own contractor. She recalls a phone conversation with the company, “‘Our attorneys say we don’t have to pay for it. We have three witnesses that say that’s exactly what you wanted.'”
“The days of a verbal agreement and a handshake are long gone when it comes to contracting,” said the Contractors State License Board’s Melanie Bedwell.
She says when you ask a contractor for more or less work, the contractor should put it in writing.
“Any time you make a change from that original contract, which would be called a change order, you need to also document that and both parties need to sign it,” said Bedwell.
Nothing was ever put in writing about removing any part of Carol’s patio cover, and she wonders if a painting company is even allowed to do that kind of work.
“Demolition is not part of their classification. That would be called working out of classification,” said Bedwell.
Working out of classification is against the law, but College Works told us they could tear down the patio cover, issuing the following statement to CBS13:
College Works wants to be the best contracting experience for all of our customers. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction, and we put ourselves in our customers shoes if there is ever a complaint.
As soon as we realized there was a problem with Ms Evans’ job, we moved to solve the problem and make sure Ms. Evans was satisfied. Anytime we have a customer problem, we move very quickly to solve it. This problem is bigger than most, and was resolved after just over two weeks. Moreover, it is our understanding that Ms. Evans is pleased with the resultant paint job and the resolution as to the patio cover.
As you stated in your summation, there was a misunderstanding on Ms. Evans’ job site. We contracted to paint the home and patio cover, in the spring. When we showed up to do the work, she asked for a price to “take it down.” Given that our license allows us to do work that is incidental to the paint job, we proceeded to quote her a price for this additional work. We believed she agreed and we did what we thought she wanted. Unfortunately, we did not document the contract modification in writing (even though it is our standard practice to do so).
Although we believe her instructions were clear, we give our clients the benefit of the doubt, and as such maintained in constant communication with Ms. Evans to reach a resolution. We would like to notify you that we successfully resolved Ms. Evan’s complaint; and while we believe Ms. Evans’ instructions were clear, we have contracted to replace Ms. Evans’ old and damaged patio cover with a brand new patio cover. As is our company culture, Ms. Evans is proof that our client’s are given the benefit of the doubt; and as I mentioned above, she is very pleased with the resultant outcome.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.
Matthew Stewart, CEO, College works painting.
“I hate to even look out the window,” said Evans.
That changed after College Works agreed to pay to rebuild her cover. She says she’s now very happy to have it resolved.
“I’m glad you people shook them up,” said Evans.