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A distressing 3-month saga - would not recommend

1 out of 5, reviewed on Feb 24, 2017

We are waiting for our new fence to be completed almost three months after construction commenced. I have overseen many home renovation projects in my time but I have never received such terrible service before. Here is a brief summary of the saga we have been through:
* When the fence was first 'finished' I was a bit shocked to find gaps under the fence of up to 50cm! (not mm, centimetres!!). About a dozen massive gaps ranging from 30-50 cm had been left. It was almost funny to watch my medium size dog walk under the fence without needing to bend down at all. The project manager (PM) did not believe us initially and we had to press him to come and see the work. When at last he came (reluctantly), he agreed that the gaps were not reasonable and that they needed to be fixed.
*Then began a long series of phone calls to the PM to find out when the work would be done. We have dogs, and so we needed the fence to be in place quickly. We came back from a holiday early to meet the PM on a day he had agreed to come. Only to be told that he had decided (without telling us or making alternate plans) to go to QLD for a holiday and didn't know when he'd be able to complete the work. This continued on and on - changing plans, not returning calls etc.
*After three months of chasing him we have finally had the gaps fixed. However, the results are not good. Many of the posts and panels have been badly gouged and scratched, some of the posts have been accidentally cut into, the contractor has used all different coloured screws, the fence post caps are missing from most of the posts. It looks like a fence we've had for five years - not the brand new $8,000 colourbond fence we will soon be receiving an invoice for.
* On the first visit when we were arranging the quote I had asked the PM not to use CCA treated timber due to high traffic from young kids and dogs in that area (this timber is not recommended for use around young children). CCA treated timber was used. I was told that if we wanted it fixed we would have to pay extra. I told them that we'd be willing to pay extra to get hardwood sleepers, or a different kind of treated pine instead (there are many different types that are fine to use around kids). However, the next day, the contractor went ahead and installed the fence without any sleepers at all - meaning we had a collapsed soil slope where we should have had retaining wall as quoted. This created about half of the 30-50cm gaps I spoke about above. When I called the PM to tell him that we still needed to have a retaining wall at the bottom of the fence to fill the gaps and retain the soil from next-door (as per our original quote) he said he believed that we had told the contractor to install the fence without sleepers and that we would now have to pay to have the fence taken down and reinstalled once the retaining wall was complete! Needless to say we had not told the contractor to install a fence without the retaining wall (why would we do that?!). In fact, I had texted the contractor a couple of days before to enquire what material they would be using for the retaining wall sleepers as I hadn't heard anything. When I challenged what the PM was saying I was yelled at and sworn at. It was awful.
* I would never have thought that building a fence would be so stressful. I would not recommend using this company. They were very polite when quoting and the price was about average (I didn't go with the cheapest quote, thinking that I was paying extra for a good outcome!). However, once we had engaged them our experience has been terrible communication, poor workmanship, and very unprofessional behaviour. It appears as though the company subcontracts the work to contractors that they don't appear to manage well or to communicate regularly with.

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