LIBERTY, Mo. -- Eric Flickinger tried to sit in a chair on the new concrete pad encircling what is supposed to become a fire pit, but he could barely sit up straight. The pad is built at such a slope, the chair wouldn’t hold steady. Plus the concrete was poured so thin, it doesn’t even reach the top of the form.
“It's very depressing looking at it,” said Flickinger’s wife Sabrena.
That same concrete company also poured another portion of their patio at their Liberty home where the Flickingers say water regularly pools instead of draining off.
Plus, “It’s wavy,” Sabrena said. “It's wavy. It's like a Lays potato chip."
The concrete company owner did offer to make repairs to some areas of their patio, but the Flickingers said “no.” They said they no longer trust him. And they are not alone.
Mike McCartney also hired that same concrete company a few years ago to work as a subcontractor on several jobs for his construction company, including one at his own home in Oak Grove.
At first, McCartney was impressed with the owner.
“The way he talked he knew everything to do, but it didn't end up that way,” McCartney said.
McCartney said he had to tear out and redo two of the jobs. The only concrete work he kept was the patio—and only then because he said he couldn’t afford to tear it out and have it rebuilt.
He said every time it rains, his patio floods.
“It all runs toward the middle and leaves a big puddle in the middle,” McCartney said.
The poor workmanship made him so mad that he sued. However, he later dropped the lawsuit after the concrete company owner filed bankruptcy . McCartney was surprised when FOX 4 Problem Solvers told him that the same company, Kansas City Greenscapes, was back in business, but using a different name – Qualiright Concrete.
Qualiright Concrete is the company the Flickingers hired for their patio. Qualiright provided the lowest bid at $4,200 – something the Flickingers now regret accepting.
Qualiright’s owner Paulo Olamaleva told Problem Solvers he’d vastly underbid both the Flickingers and McCartney’s jobs and that’s why he was unable to do the work exactly how they wanted it. In fact, Olamaleva believed he’d been taken advantage of in the bidding process – although has a signed contract agreeing to the price.
Olamaleva, who lacks a city license to do concrete work in the city where the Flickingers live, maintained his work is first-rate, but says he will give the Flickingers their money back as long as they can provide proof they are having to tear out everything he’s done.
So where does that leave the Flickingers? Actually in pretty good hands. Zach Hinkle of Hinkle Hardscapes has come to their rescue.
"Ken brought this story to me and wanted us to help,” said Hinkle, referring to Ken Gibson, Hinkle’s senior designer.
“I've probably seen 20 cases similar to this where a contractor has left a patio in a condition we wouldn't consider acceptable,” said Gibson, adding that the most important thing any homeowner can do before hiring a contractor is checking references, not just on the phone but in person.
Also ask to see proof that the contractor has insurance and is licensed to do work in your city.
Hinkle Hardscapes plans to tear out and repour the Flickenger’s patio next month. Problem Solvers will be there to show you the difference.