Project date: Hired June 2017- Completed August 2018
Absolutely one of the worst general contracting experience we have encountered. We hired Steve Shields, based on his friendly demeanor and down home charm and what we thought was a sincere conversation about his ability to do the job. We actually had a good, comfortable feeling that we had hired the right guy. Our mistake, we didn't do our homework. He came highly recommended from a realtor source we ran into at an open house. Again, we should have checked his references. Little did we know that one our dear friends had hired him to do their floors in their Indio home, and had we known sooner than 4-5 months into our job we would have saved ourselves a lot of heartache. They were extremely dissatisfied with his nonchalant attitude and sloppy performance. No sense of urgency when working with Steve.
He quoted us 4 months to complete our job. It took him 41/2 months just to get plans through the city. 13 months to complete our remodel. Here is the problem with Steve and his crew. He is a poor communicator, has no control over his subs, they are unprofessional and sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. No respect for our property, even when we complained numerous times, still no improvement. They would literally step over the trash on job site than as soon pick it up.
Here is the list of deficiencies, inadequate planning, and incompetent service he delivered on this project:
1. Quoted us 4 months project time and delivered it 13 months and some things are still not working. Had project manager that was inept at managing and his supervision was just as inept. He blamed his subs for being "sub par" and that it was hard to find good help. I wish he had disclosed this up front to us.
2. The sloppiness of his workers and his indifference to it. No matter how many times we pointed it out him and his crew, they made no effort to improve. He cost me over $ 2000 dollars just in gardening bills alone because his tile and plaster guys used my lawn as trash dump. I sill have to replace the tile in the front breezeway because they made no effort to clean as they went. I have photos of trash upon trash in the breezeway, side yard, pool area, and the interior of the house and his project manager would virtually step over before picking it up after we expressed our disappointment. Him and his crew had no regard or respect for our property. Gates and other walls still have remnants of their sloppiness. Just as recent as this past weekend we were cleaning up scratches, black marks, and boot marks off the floors and walls. It is just incomprehensible. He was to cheap to provide a dumpster on site or a port a potty.
3. No virtual renderings except for a few kindergarten type drawings he sent us. We made it very clear we wanted virtual renderings of all that he was going to do, and he advised he could provide it, but did not.
4. It took him 41/2 months just to get the permits and plans approved. And he covered up the fact that the he did not submit the plans until August. I found that out from the building department. He did not need to demo in early June knowing it could take months to get permits.
5. He took the liberty to throw out my refrigerator with out my authorization or permission.
6. Perhaps if he would have worked a weekend or two or during the holiday season like he said he did, he could have cut off some valuable time. But no, that was out of the question. He and his project manager were more out of town then were in town. Vacation after vacation while my project stalled. No effort to do better even when he acknowledged our concerns.
7. The communication was horrible between him and his crew. For instance, the electrical was an abomination. I cannot tell you how many times his electrician had to go back and repair something he screwed up. The dimmers , the outlets, the track lighting, etc... we would relay to him and it still didn't get done right the first time, second time , third time...
8. He took the wrong measurements for our fridge that I ordered. Did not fit the opening. That cost me an additional $2500. Just par for the course.
9. The shower tile all wrong and had to be redone. Again no communication with his vendors. Time and time again. in fact, the vendors he used were reflective of his indifference and incompetence. Ferguson's in Palm Desert, horrible service and follow up. Never heard from the salesperson after initial visit and consultation.
10. He placed the steam activator in the worst spot in the shower where it could burn your legs. No planning, no communication with his plumber.
11. The garage electrical and lighting was a disaster. Did not work for months.
12. I still don't have a working doorbell because of electrican's incompetence.
13.The pole in the kitchen window. Your crude rendering did not display it, yet it was in until we complained. Yes, he fixed it, but at more expense to me.
14. The sump pump he recommended has not worked properly since the get go. It now cools ok, but makes a loud sound like it's going to give out at any moment.
15. The door to the kitchen doesn't close properly. He had advised us that because of the heat it swelled, but that was not the case. I had a locksmith fix it and it works perfectly now. The screws his guys used were only 3/4 inch and they did not leave enough clearance.
16. Irems stolen from out of the garage.
17. No concept of time management.
18. Did not remember change orders from October 2017 vs January 2018.
19. Totally botched cable line installation with Time Warner/Spectrum. He personally missed three appointments with them. Even after I had him authorized on my account so he could communicate with them directly. i have emails from him stating he was going to be there on a certain day for the appointment and just did not show. His excuse was "things happen". Very unprofessional.
20. Numerous complaints from my gardener about his guys just tearing up the lawn and bushes.
21. The cleaning crew he had come in to clean our place was as incompetent as him. They made more of a mess we had to clean up after them. And adding insult to injury he told us that he wouldn't hire them to clean his own home, he had someone different, but they apparently were good enough to clean OUR HOME. Just Unreal!!
I can go on and on, but the bottom line is Steve just did not care enough. His lack of professionalism, disregard for timelines, incompetent leadership resulted in a horrible experience versus what was we thought was going to be a fun project. He took all the joy out of it for us. It was a horrible journey with him and we expressed this to him many times. He insisted though that because he thought we would we be happy with the work and final result, that it would compensate for the dismal and cringe worthy journey. NO WAY!! The way this project has gone does not indicate to me that there won't be future problems. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE.