Daggett Builders, Inc.
Design & Build, Bathroom & Kitchen Remodels, Sunrooms & Conservatories, Greenhouses, New Construction, Window Replacement, Four Seasons Sunroom Dealer, Velux Certified Installer, Cold Wet Basement & Drainage Solutions, Ice Dam Removal with our Artic Steamer, Ice Dam Prevention Call us 207 354 6177. We love problem solving and making people happy. Your Home, Your Dreams, Your Builder
Serving Midcoast Maine, Wiscasset to Belfast, 20 miles inland and the islands. Our office and shop are located in Cushing, ME which is on the coast between Friendship and Port Clyde.
Christopher, the owner, takes courses on the science of building every year. He works to stay abreast of regulations. Chris and our employees attend safety classes on a regular basis. We have been featured twice in Maine Home & Design, and twice in Architectural Digest.
The job consisted of shoring up the underpinnings of a sagging porch. We did the work correctly and even managed to take some of the sag out of the porch without damaging the delicate old window panes. We started and finished it on time and in less than 48 hours, cleaned up, and charged them less than our estimate. As this client stated, we did spend “a bit of time on communication”. It was actually quite a bit of time and at no charge. We charged only for the actual hours that our employees spent on site, plus the cost of materials marked up as per our contract.
The owners told us they had invited lots of builders to look at this porch project and were unimpressed with them for various reasons. They were right to be careful and to choose a builder whose employees are properly trained to do the job correctly and safely. It was a typical old fashioned sun porch with large windows made of small panes of old glass. The work was simple, yet not necessarily easy. The biggest risk was to those old antique windows, which as we know from experience, break very easily. We gave them a Detailed Fixed Price Contract which described, what we considered to be, the best solution.
The owners wanted to keep their costs down and possibly do some of the work themselves. After several more meetings, e mails, and phone calls, we agreed on a solution that would be less expensive and, while not what we would normally have done, certainly adequate. The owner architect sketched up a plan and we wrote up a detailed description for the new Time & Materials Contract, signed on Oct. 10, 2012. The owners asked if they could save money by applying for the permit and digging the post holes themselves, if they had time. We said yes, thus the T&M Contract, and provided them with the additional instructions they needed, in writing.
I showed the job to our project supervisor and gave him a written copy of the Job Description.
Unfortunately, I forgot to also give him a copy of the sketch that the owner had provided. It was a simple enough job that the sketch should not have been absolutely necessary but I take full responsibility for forgetting to give it to our employee in charge. As this client said in a subsequent e mail “The fact is that if we hadn't discovered the error by chance -- that one of your workers asked me if it was okay to remove some trim and through this conversation went on to mention a couple of details that I knew were not what we had agreed to -- the job would not have gone as planned.”
When this client called me I was caught off guard. The employee in charge is a very experienced carpenter, whose opinion I respect highly. My first thought is that he must have discovered something under the porch and had a good reason for wanting to make a change. To quote our client’s words “ This is when I called Chris. And initially Chris tried to tell me that the worker had found new information and was changing his mind about the plans -- it wasn't until a few minutes into this very frustrating conversation that Chris finally admitted that he had not even shown the workers the plans.” She is correct. I should have listened without comment and simply told her to I would take care of it. I did take care of it. When she mentioned the sketch, I realized that I had forgotten to give it to our employee. Knowing she had a copy, I asked her to give it to him. I then called him to tell him to do the job exactly as per the plan, no matter what.
I called the owners after the job was complete and left a message to say I would be happy to speak with them. They never returned my call. I then mailed them our Client Satisfaction Survey in a self addressed stamped envelope but it was never returned. Two months later this review was posted on Houzz.com and I have to take responsibility for my actions. I am actually glad it happened because it finally gave us a chance to talk. It is a hard lesson to be publicly taken to task but it is an effective learning tool. There is always room for improvement no matter how long one has been in business.