We hired Kaestner Contracting services in October of 2013 for a large project. This $100,000 project was to renovate our kitchen and bathroom and to build a rental unit (including a walk-out) in our basement. He approximated would take 3 months. Nine months later the project is not finished. He has left an unsafe construction site and substantial damage to our property and our neighbour’s.
We are splitting our review of Kaestner Contracting services into two separate posts. We are hoping for some resolution over the week, so will wait to comment on all of the rest of our experience (good and bad) of hiring Chris Kaestner as our general contractor but did not want to wait on sending out this warning.
We have paid him 97% of the total cost (including the almost 20% increase in the estimate as the costs came in higher than his initial quote), despite the standard holdback of 10%, because he is inexperienced and we wanted to support this new business. We get details of this in our second post.
Although communication was fine in the beginning, the past few months have been incredibly frustrating. There is significant work yet to be completed yet we did not hear from Chris Kaestner for a month, despite sending him numerous texts, e-mails and voice-mails. Communication had been getting unreliable as challenges mounted, and we had many conversations with him where we expressed understanding for the mounting obstacles. All we asked for was honest and timely communication. This ceased entirely one month ago.
This past winter, we passed Chris’s name on to a friend’s neighbour for a job with a much smaller scope. They experienced the same break-down in communication when things started to become challenging. Chris Kaestner stopped returning calls, texts or emails.
Chris Kaestner did finally set a meeting time with us last Tuesday, but did not show up for it, and communication has ceased again. We have sent him numerous emails, texts and phone messages since that non-meeting, and we have heard nothing back from him.
In our second post which will occur before August 1st, 2014 we will review our experience with Chris Kaestner on the following basic expectations of a general contractor:
Quality of work
Management of permit process
Hiring of and managing sub-trades
Disposing of waste and general tidiness
Care of purchased supplies
Monitoring schedules and cash flow
Reliability and work ethic
- Approximate cost of services: