In August 2015 i made the horrible mistake of hiring Everlast Construction (lic 986126) to remodel our kitchen and redo the plumbing and electrical in our house as well as redo the flooring and build a new deck. It took them over 7 months to finish this. Five of those months we had no working kitchen. Over 6 of those months we didn’t even have a backyard because they used our backyard as a garbage dump. All this time for a kitchen approx 130 sq ft.
The lies from Everlast started on day 0 – before we even signed the contract. They made a big deal of showing how the final payment would be a lump payment of almost 40% of the total project and told us no one else would do that. Since this was the first time we hired a contractor I believed them. Later I learned having a large lump payment at the end is standard business practice. However, with everlast when all was said and done, we only had about 7% left to pay, because soon after they started working, they began demanding money way ahead of the payment schedule that was agreed to in the contract. The first time they demanded money ahead of the schedule we decided to give it to them since they did start work right away. Moving forward though we felt trapped into giving into their subsequent demands since by that point if we fired them, we would of had a half demolished house and no money left to hire someone else to finish the work.
We were told they had over 300 employees, and yet almost all the work on our house was done by subcontractors of the lowest caliber.
At first I thought they were going to be great. We signed the contact and the very next day, they had guys over starting work. Our kitchen was totally demolished in 2 days. Fast work right? Too bad they did all this with no plans and no permits. They completely destroyed our kitchen before we agreed on any layout or design of the kitchen, which then allowed them to charge us extra for things later on saying they weren’t included or to suddenly limit our choices of materials even though at the start there were no such limits.
They did the same thing to our deck 2-3 weeks later – totally demolished it even though we had no plans. And surprise surprise, months later when we were asking them about when they would start to actually build the replacement deck we wound up having to pay extra. And again – demo of the deck was done before we had plans or a building permit. Deck demo was started at the end of August 2015 – they wouldn’t even start on building the new deck until the end of Jan 2016.
Which leads me to the project being shutdown for about a month when the county building department showed up and issued a stop work notice for unpermitted work. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise since if the building department hadn’t been here to check their work, I think they would have made many more mistakes considering how many corrections the building department had to tell them to make.
The lies continued to keep coming. When asked about the lack of permit, I was told they applied for it and everything was ok. They kept telling me this up until the day we got shut down for not having a permit. When I asked them about this, they blamed it on the subcontractor who was doing the demo work claiming he was supposed to handle it.
Everlast Construction’s idea of managing a project is very simple: call up a bunch of subcontractors and tell them where to show up. And that’s pretty much it. The only time the project ‘manager’ showed up, was to collect a check. I had to be home every single day work was being done, because I became the defacto foreman for the job. I had to tell the subs what needed to be done. I had to show them the plans we had because they never saw them prior to showing up. I had to manage and schedule all the inspections.
One of the things they did wrong because no one coordinated with the subcontractors – they installed wiring for a vent to be installed over the oven. Only they left the wires hanging out of the ceiling in the completely wrong spot. The vent is supposed to be installed where that ceiling fan is – a ceiling fan I had to remove because none of the subs were told to remove it. After I removed the fan, I had to tell them where to correctly place the wires.
Another mistake they made which you can see in the photo – they used the wrong sheetrock. They are supposed to use water resistant sheetrock, which is a blue/purple color. I didn’t know about this until after most of the work in the kitchen was done.I was contacted by everlast’s lawyer and told water resistant sheetrock is not required in the kitchen. I contacted the building department and they confirmed this. So I’m retracting my statement that they used the wrong sheetrock. They used the correct sheetrock.
The flooring in our kitchen is missing in one corner of the kitchen because the cabinets were installed before the flooring was done. And the flooring was not fully installed because they were waiting for a new sliding door out to the deck to be installed. Which Everlast claimed was backordered for months, even though it’s a standard size door.
The island they built for us is 4 inches shorter than what we agreed on. They charged us extra for having a waterfall down the side of island. This is something that should be been listed in the plans and worked out before any work is done. But if it was in a plan, they wouldn’t be able to claim it as an extra cost later on. They charged us about $3000 for a waterfall down either side. A quote I got from someone else to do do the counters for the entire kitchen was $9000. Of the $9000, $1700 was for the waterfall, almost half of what everlast charged. And that total also included a 4 inch quartz backsplash around the countertop edge – something Everlast failed to install because they would have had to buy another slab according to what the countertop installer told me.
We had them replace all the windows in the house, except for a big window in the living room. I asked the subcontractor who came to measure the windows to measure the living room window and let me know how much it would cost to replace that window as well. A few weeks later when he came to install the windows, he replaced that big living room window. At the time I thought Everlast replaced the window for us to make up for all of their mistakes up till that point. But no. That window was replaced by mistake, because 2-3 weeks later when the ‘manager’ showed up again (to collect another check from us), that’s when they first learned that the window had been replaced and a few days later they demanded $1000 for it. Which by the way is more money then the most expensive quote I got earlier in the year to replace that window.
As part of the electrical work they had to install smoke detectors. The detectors are supposed to be hardwired into the electrical. When the building inspector came on one of their inspections, the pulled down the smoke detector they installed and discovered it was never wired up. They just attached it to the ceiling and left it unwired. I also think that the first electrician working on our house was unlicensed based on a report I saw from the CSLB. I’m waiting for everlast to provide me with the electrician’s license number if he was really licensed.
Another electrical mishap was with the placement of an outlet in the kitchen. The building code requires outlets every 3 or 4 feet. The first group of electricians installed an outlet under one of the kitchen windows to meet this requirement, but it was too low. When the cabinets and kitchen countertop were installed, it completely covered the outlet. This was an issue I mentioned to Everlast multiple times. When things were finally wrapping up and we were getting final inspections done, it failed because of that missing outlet. We would have to rip open the wall AND the countertop to install the outlet. Fortunately we didn’t have to do that because the building department gave us a waiver if we installed an extra outlet at the end of the counter to make up for the one that was missing.
One of the reasons they claimed they needed more money was to hire more guys so they could work on the outside and inside at the same time. This never happened. They didn’t start on the deck until 6 months into the project.
When they finally did start on the deck I think they found the most unqualified subcontractor they could find. His license has expired and he has an outstanding bond payment that needs to be resolved before he can renew it. He was originally building the deck on top of piers that were just resting on the ground. He didn’t put concrete posts into the ground until the building inspector came and told him he had to do that. The deck was also built lopsided, something so obvious you could see it with the naked eye. The work he was doing was so shoddy that the building inspector actually called me a few hours after he left to make sure I understood all the issues.
They drilled holes into the side of my house to attach part of the deck to the house. Even though this is allowed, the inspector said it would have been better if they just used piers since holes in the house are just more places for insects to get into the structure of the house. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware of these options until they had already done it.
They installed a vent pipe in the garage ceiling. They failed to seal the opening they made in the roof so now it leaks whenever it rains. When they moved our dryer, they left the gas pipe uncapped even though the gas was still flowing through that pipe. They did at least turn off the valve for that pipe.
Everlast has a pattern of behavior that seems pretty clear in hindsight. They like to act like they are doing you favors, when really all they are doing is lying. We were told we could get flooring up to $2.50 sq/ft. The flooring we originally picked out was $2.49 sq/ft. However, Everlast suggested flooring from republic flooring which we actually liked better and agreed to let them install that. Afterwards they told us the flooring really cost $3.50sq/ft but they did us a favor and didn’t charge us extra. I made ONE phone call and got a quote of $2.40sq/ft, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Everlast paid even less since they probably buy in bulk.
In hindsight it also seems clear why they demo’ed our kitchen and deck so quickly and why they used our backyard as a garbage dump. I think they demo’ed everything so we’d feel trapped into giving into their demands for more money. And I think they use the backyard as a dump to save money on renting a dumpster AND to try to hide the fact that any work is being done since they were doing all the work without any permits or inspections – a dumpster would be very visible sitting in the driveway .
Not once, ever, did anyone from everlast offer an apology or offer anything to make up for all these delays and mistakes and lack of oversight. When the project was finished and Everlast wanted their final payment, they even screwed that up and thought we owed them $20,000 more than we did since they somehow lost $20,000 in payments we gave them.
When I told them we wouldn’t be paying them any money because of these issues, they still didn’t really offer an apology or any compensation. It wasn’t until I posted a negative review of the company on yelp that the owner, Ariel, contacted me and offered a lien waiver on the unpaid balance ONLY if I removed my negative review. I refused.
I have since been contacted by several people on yelp who have had similar problems with everlast and have posted their own reviews. It looks like one of them removed their review after Ariel threatened to put a lien on their house if they left the review up.
They did finish all the work, but it took around 7 months for it to finally get finished. We had no working kitchen for 6 months, I had to be home constantly to manage the work because no one from Everlast managed it. I would certainly never hire them again and I don’t think they should be in business.