Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sucker Punched List by Our General Contractor

Last Fall we had hired a general contractor through a contract administrator. Though it was a painful process, construction on our home at last proceeded to the final punch list in August. We had several problems with the general contractor throughout the process. But when he got the punch list of things left to do, he bailed. That was on August 29th, the third anniversary of Katrina. The contractor, Douglas Marshall Blow of Webco Gulf Coast Construction, said he was picking up his tools because Gustave was on its way, but looking back it was clear that he had no plans to return. Then when the power was out after Gustave, he texted me and said I'd soon be hearing from subcontractors because he hadn't paid them, and the contractor said he would not do the punch list. Turns out the money I had been paying to him lately was going to purposes other than paying the subcontractors. So essentially as part of our contract, if he had honored it, meant that we owed him $18K. The subcontractors who we've heard from are owed about $18K. So essentially, he gets to walk away from our contract with very little penalty as far as I can see, and while we have to pay the $18K, there is much on our house that is not finished. Moreover, many things were poorly constructed and installed, so for today example we had to pay a roofer to fix the roof vents that were never attached properly. We decided we probably didn't want a leaky roof after all. Because our contractor breached the contract, we have little recourse down the road if things go wrong.


bullet said...

What's his name and his info? People should be on the lookout.

Michael Homan said...

You can read more about our bad experience with Mr Douglas Marshall Blow, our contractor from Webco Gulf South, here:

Notice, a few others who posted to this site had a good experience with Webco Gulf South. Mine wasn't good at all unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

These homeowners are untruthful in their allegations. They repeatedly stated that they
felt they recieved more than what they paid for right up until they moved in. Their
Architect demanded that WEBCO do additional work not listed on his plans and threatened
not to pay us unless we complied. We responded by asking for Arbitration and the home
owner and Architect responded by Terminating our contract. We dont pay our
sub-contractors and/or suppliers until we are paid on a job. They were holding more than
enough money to pay all who were owed a balance.

All City of New Orleans , Historic Preservation Society, and the Architect inspections
were passed and a new Certificate of Use and Occupancy was issued. If our work was so
poor, then we should have known way in advance of any potential problems. These people
ran out of money because their Architect overbilled them and convinced them not to pay
the contractor so he could be paid. We at WEBCO dispute this claim and apologize to all
of our customers past, present and future for being forced to read these false statements.

Michael Homan said...

I'm assuming the obvious, that the "anonymous" comment above was posted by Douglas Marshall Blow, our general contractor from Webco Gulf Coast.

I stand by every word I've ever written about Mr. Douglas Marshall Blow and Webco Gulf Coast. I can document easily if this goes to court that nothing I've written has been dishonest. Moreover, there is much more to Mr Marhsall Blow than what I've written. For example, we have water damage on our ceiling because the upstairs washing machine and drain was improperly installed. There were also days where Mr Marshall Blow would sleep on the floor at my house for several hours while his employees and me would keep working. I remember working on the hot water heater while he slept. He also installed our appliances without reading the directions, and so we've had to redo many of these. He told me he was broke and was filing for bankruptcy, plus all sorts of family problems that I won't post here. In retrospect I doubt these are true. He just wanted out of the contract he signed. He owed his subcontractors more than what I owed Webco in the end, and so he got his tools before Gustave knowing he would not be back. I would be very surprised if Douglas Marshall Blow actually did declare bankruptcy and quit being a contractor in Louisiana. How pleasant life must be to not have repercussions. I know if I decided at some point I didn't like the contract and refused to pay him, then he would have taken me to court. At this point, we are not going to sue Douglas Marshall Blow and Webco Gulf Coast. Though the bills subcontractors are submitting far exceed what we owed Douglas.

In closing, I'm not saying don't hire him. You might have a great experience. However, we did not have a good experience, and we would have been much better off to have had a different general contractor.

LatinTeacher said...

I am sorry that you had a contractor who did not fulfill his obligations - might I suggest my brother? He lives in Metairie, but he does phenomenal work, especially custom woodwork.

It appears that the anonymous comments were copied and pasted with all the line breaks, as if he had done this somewhere else.

For someone who gets screwed over by the things that happen in New Orleans, you seem pretty intent on staying. Good for you. I hope you stay forever and get all the bad guys to move away.