What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

"I'm Calling Because I'm Not Sure This Is OK..."

These calls come in a lot - "I'm calling because I'm not sure this is OK..."

Then she followed by telling me how all three realtors in town she called told her to call me that she could trust me.  She looked me up on a couple of consumer sites (which I never check) and said that my reputation is stellar.  Then she said, "You're famous!"

Aw, shucks.

She had turned on her outdoor hoses for the spring and they were both dripping.  Her house is 29 years old.  The washer assemblies are probably dried out and don't close the valve.  She called a plumber in the phone book.

The "plumber" was unable to get the washer assembly out.  So he decided to take his torch to the bib to melt the solder and replace the bib.

Not only did he melt the plastic in and around the bib, he sprayed torch sparks over about a 3'x3' area.  You can see one black spot to the left of the bib.  These stains do not come off.

He told her it is "impossible" to fix this, and left it this way.

She had a sump pump hole in the basement and wanted a sump pump installed.

"Plumber" attached it into the washing machine drain line, with old material he had on his truck, and it drains to the common sanitary sewer.

That is incorrect, at least in this jurisdiction.  It must drain outdoors.

From there "plumber" removed the old bathroom sink cabinet, "installing" the new cabinet, sink and faucet.

Not bothering to score the walls before removing the old cabinet, he left holes and tore the paper off the drywall.

That brown paper underneath simply cannot be painted.

It must be treated first with shellac and primer.  That's how I do it anyway.

And then painted.

"Plumber" is demanding payment.

I gave her the name of the plumber who has taken care of my plumbing needs for 25 years.  He will take care of her right.  And also the name of a handy man to fix and paint the walls (including the drywall holes inside the house behind the hose bibs that are "impossible" to fix).

She is afraid the "plumber" will sue her if she does not pay him.  My suggestion was to tell him she is getting repairs done on the siding, walls and having the sump pump drained to code, and she will present him those bills for payment to her.  After that is done she will pay him for the cost of the sump pump (but not installation) and for the installation of the faucet and sink drain (but not the cabinet).  I told her to call me if he balks at that deal.  And to call the county, and the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, and a lawyer if he spits and fits. 

And I told her to have him call me, and after our conversation I will have his butt slung high.

My recommendation:  when people are taken advantage of, call a home inspector!  He will be objective and straightforward.  He has no financial interest in the outcome of the project, so his opinion is just that.  But get him to document what has happened.  Put the experience on the consumer sites on line!  And you might just make him famous too!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 37 commentsJay Markanich • June 27 2013 04:23AM

Comments

It amazes me these types of people manage to stay in business for more than one service call.  Great advice about calling a home inspector, though - that is the best place to get an objective assessment. 

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) about 6 years ago

It is Susan.  And I don't know either.  In the phone book?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I would tell her not to hesitate to call police if he pressures her or talks to her in a threatening manner. And I hope she documents all of this awful work before the new plumber and handyway go in and fix it. If I was her, i would begin asap reporting him to dpor and the county, check his license, file a complaint, and even consult with an attorney. These kind of people need to be put out of business. they shouldn't be allowed to deal with the public.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 6 years ago

This guy looks more like a handyman, or unhandyman than a licensed plumber! His name wasn'r Bob was it?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 6 years ago

Jay, you are definitely on the consumer's side. I think it is great that you are held in high regard ! Sure that lady will sing your praises as well. She was really taken for a ride on this job! Hope you get a chance to speak with the plumber.  

Posted by Dick and Dixie Sells, Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale (Sells Real Estate, LLC) about 6 years ago

I done did document it Jeff!  And that's why I told her to have him call me.  He will not threaten her if I am involved.  And you're right - the police are there too.

Fred - cute huh?  She says he used to work for another company in the area, a large one I would not call, but no longer does.  I wonder why...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I would love to speak with the "plumber," D&D! 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

It's amazing to see the short cuts people take.  I agree with you, call your home inspector to get a neutral opinion!        

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

Looks like another contractor who needs to go back to school for a couple years. Customer service is number one in my book.

I hear it more and more about home owners who want a " Trust But Verify Inspection".

Have a good day and do what you do best in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 6 years ago

I swear it wasn't me.  Looks worse then some do it yourself jobs by Harry Homeowner.  Once he had melted my siding I would have kicked him to the curb and not let him near anything else in my house.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 6 years ago

A&J - she was not going to call a home inspector until her realtor friends told her to call me.  She was asking them for advice!  I came up with each one!

That is a good thing to call it Clint.  I might steal that phrase for marketing purposes!  So much crappola work out there!

I knew you wouldn't do that to the sump pump Cindy.  I think the siding was done last.  He wants to come back to "fix" it.  Ummm...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay...

I would have suggested that she consult an attorney regarding any remedies. In GA she could lose her home by not paying.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 6 years ago

Bummer Plumber...sounds like a not toooo handy person !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 6 years ago

That is always an option Richard, but hopefully unnecessary.  That should be a last resort, but she has the strength in any case.

S&D - not too to say the least!  What a joke.  This guy needs to find another occupation.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Glad to see that an inspector like yourself can help those that have been cheated by the professional Jay.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 6 years ago

I think what is interesting is why she called you in the first place. You reap what you sow, and obviously you are sowing good, honest service!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) about 6 years ago

Thanks Tom.  That is my reputation too, helping others with questions or needs.

Tom W. - interestingly, one of the realtors who referred me I have never heard of!  What gets me is that she checked the consumer sites to look me up, but got the plumber from the phone book!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay -- another important reason to have good home inspectors on the quick contact list.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

Well, maybe I'm on the quick list now Steven!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

"Ruh roh," that is what a frog that can only say "ribit" would say

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

I like it when frogs think outside the ribit.

Very kindly,

Croakster

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

THAT is why we all love you, Jay!!!! You are a true professional in all you do.

By the way, congratulations on joining the Million Point Club!!!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 6 years ago

Thank you Miss Barbara.  Very much.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Congratulations Jay.  1,003,593 Points Spend it wisely.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) about 6 years ago

I need to invest it to make more Conrad!  Spending is fun though.

My post about reaching 1 mil was fun too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Hi Jay, congratulations not only on being famous but also on having passed the million point mark!  

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) about 6 years ago

Hi Jay, WOW this plumber needs to definitely find another occupation. Glad you gave her such good advice.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 6 years ago

You give great advice! Congratulations in going over the top...1 million points. Way to go!

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) about 6 years ago

Great post & congrats on your millionaire statutes

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 6 years ago

Just stopped by to congratulate you on your HUGE achievement of making it over the top of the millionaire club!  I have a very long way to go.  Great post too!

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) about 6 years ago

Thanks Silvia.  We don't know all the ways we may be out there!

Rebecca - he seems to have no idea.  He is no plumber, in my book.

Thanks Margaret.  I hope I give good advice!

Thanks for both things Hannah.

Bet - same to you that I said to Hannah!  It's been a while coming.  I have focused more on posting and the SEO of the same, and not the points.  But features are fun!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay: Your excellent reputation is well earned. Helping those who get taken advantage of. If he is licensed, wouldn't there be recourse with a consumer protection agency too?

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) about 6 years ago

Thank Hella.  I must be out there on those consumer sites and not realize how much.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Just because someone has a license, doesn't mean they do good work. As we both see and know all too well. That would really get me going as well Jay. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

Well, Jim, when Virginia became a home inspector license state about 10 years ago the quality of home inspections went down as the market flooded with home inspectors.  Anyone who could pass a test became a "home inspector."  There are probably 50 within 10 miles of my house.  As to this "plumber," I didn't tell the whole story - but we are in a circumstance I predicted many years ago we would be in as far as "professionals" in the trades.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

That's very interesting with regard to licensing home inspectors. The opposite occurred here. I guess it depends on how the regulation is written and the requirements. The newer inspectors here due to licensing and the requirements that are associated with obtaining a home inspectors license, tend to be better educated than the older, grandfathered inspectors. When you start at a higher level, you usually tend to have better trained people who have the character to go through the requirements. Certainly every licensee is an individual and each will perform the job to different degrees of competency and quality. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

I am always getting calls from agents asking me about this or that a home inspector said Jim.  I had a post a while ago about how a guy told the buyers he had seen other houses with more of this or less of that.  The sellers were forced to hire other trades to say that what the house actually had was fine.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments