Everlast Construction Sucks

A detailed account of Everlast Construction's (lic 986126) dishonest shady business practices

Everlast Construction does a horrible job remodeling a kitchen

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.

Everlast uses our backyard as a garbage dump

Everlast uses our backyard as a garbage dump

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.

Everlast demolishes our deck, leaves trash in backyard

Deck being demolished by Everlast Construction

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.

Everlast construction shoddy kitchen work

Everlast leaves wires hanging out of ceiling and forgets to remove fan

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.

Everlast Construction builds a lopsided deck

Everlast Construction builds a visibly lopsided deck

Lopsided deck built by Everlast Construction

Lopsided deck built by Everlast Construction

Finished deck from Everlast Construction

This is what the finished deck from Everlast Construction looks like

Finished deck by Everlast Construction

This is what the finished deck from Everlast Construction looks like

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 then filed a complaint with the CSLB. At which point Everlast’s lawyer contacted me and offered us $10,000 if i dropped the complaint, which I also 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.

Ariel Baleli tried to friend my father on facebook

I have no idea what he was trying to accomplish by doing this, but Ariel sent a friend request on facebook to my father. Contacting family members who had absolutely nothing to do with any of this seems like the way a professional would react, right? Just for the record, my father never saw any of the work being done and wasn’t even in the same time zone while Everlast Construction was making a mess. Just one more reason to stay as far away from Everlast and Ariel as possible. I’ll include a screenshot showing the request – all the legit friend requests I’ve blurred out for privacy reasons.

I still get complaints from victims of Everlast

Looks like Everlast and Ariel are still doing business as usual, unfortunately. Just got contacted by someone today who said they are getting ripped off by Everlast. And I was contacted by another person last month as well. I can’t stress enough – if you’ve been their victim, file complaints with the Contractor State License Board, and post honest reviews where ever you can. And don’t be afraid to reach out to the local news and tv stations. They will do consumer watch dog reports sometimes and shining some light on what Everlast is doing would go a long way to stop them.

Ariel tries to attack/slander me

So apparently this website is getting under Ariel’s skin because he’s been contacting me, threatening me and now posting bogus reviews on my business in an effort to get me to take down this website.

This is just more proof about how dishonest he is. He accuses me of being dangerous, of blackmailing him, of being a nut case.

I’m attaching a screen shot of the bogus review he posted because hopefully yelp will be removing it shortly.

He’s also threatening me by posting his own blog about me. He blatantly lies about me, claiming I attempted to blackmail him ” he try to blackmailed me and told me if i won’t pay him money he will make my life a living hall “

Well folks, that’s called slander because it’s completely untrue. If it were true, he’d have something to back it up. Unfortunately for Ariel, I saved copies of every communication I had with his company so I can provide proof for all my claims. I’ll also be saving all these threats from him since if he is dumb enough to try and take me to court, it’s not going to go well for him. I wonder if he knows that extortion is a felony in California that can have a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 4 years in prison.

This is just some of the stack of evidence I have against Everlast

Would you trust someone that does this?

I found an interesting page regarding Ariel Baleli.  Interestingly, from the page link it appears as thought it was meant for a lock smith. But the content of the page appears to be advertising a company called localwms.com. They appear to be advertising their services to help companies counter negative reviews by posting their own positive blog posts and press releases which make the company look better.

Here is a quote from the page:

This [countering negative reviews] can be done through press releases, blog posts and articles that portray your company or website in a positive light.

Would you want to do business with someone that does that?

I’ve taken a screen shot of the page just in case it gets removed.


Spam attack

Over the last two days and continuing right now, this site has basically been under a spam attack. As of right now there are over 1600 spam posts submitted to this site in the last 2 days or so. Normally, if i get one spam post a week, that would be a lot.

Is Ariel Baleli or someone else from Everlast Construction behind this? I don’t know, although I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he is.  I had several blogs over the years, this one being the newest one. And this is the ONLY blog I’ve had that has ever been flooded with spam like this.

Fortunately for me this doesn’t matter since i have effective filters in place that have caught all the spam and it doesn’t cause me any problems at all. I can only hope if Everlast is behind this that they at least spent a lot of money to do it, since it would be a waste of money.

What you can do if you were a victim of Everlast Construction

So I’ve had a few people contact me recently saying everlast construction is still engaging in their dishonest business practices. There are a few things you can try doing.

  1.  They hate it when anyone brings public attention to their work, so posting honest reviews about them on yelp, home advisor, angies list, buildzoom or any other place where they have reviews. Everlast posts fake reviews on most of these sites so any honest reviews will help.
  2. Contact the Contractors State License Board and file a complaint. You can email Thomas Jager at thomas.jager@cslb.ca.gov. He’s the investigator who handled my case.
  3. Try and do all communication with Everlast through email or txt messages, that way you have a record of everything that was said.
  4. Contact some of the local TV and print news outlets. Many of them have consumer watchdog type departments. I actually got the local CBS station to come interview me on camera, but they haven’t aired it yet. Maybe if they get enough people complaining they’ll decide to air it. You can email cbs at consumerwatch@kpix.com
  5. If everlast threatens you with legal action, don’t immediately assume they have the upper hand. They seem to like to depend on people being ignorant of the law and using that to scare people. I would get a short consult with a lawyer – many will give you 30 minutes for free. Or at the very least do some research of your own.
  6. Sometimes it takes a while, but you can have an impact. Everlast used to be Diamond certified, and now they are not.

To any other people who feel like they were ripped off by everlast

If everlast did a poor job, I encourage you to file a complaint with the CSLB. The one shred of hope I had was that maybe they’d eventually clean up their act. But the last few people who have contacted me makes it seem as though that will never happen.

So if you hired them to do some work for you and you feel like they did a poor job, contact the Contractors State License Board and file a complaint. I filed a complaint and not much came of it, but they said they do keep all complaints on file so maybe if they get enough complaints, they’ll actually do something useful, like revoke their license.

A quick update

I just thought I would post a quick update since there hasn’t been anything new posted on Everlast Construction in a while.

As of this writing, I’m discussing a settlement and/or going to mediation/arbitration with everlast. They of course are sticking to their usual routine of not admitting to do anything wrong at all and acting like they are the victims.  If i do reach a settlement with them, there’s a good chance I will probably have to take down this site and not reveal any details of the settlement. But I will keep this site up, and updated, as long as I can.

The contractor Everlast Construction hired to build my deck has a citation

When I created this site and made the initial post, I mentioned that the guy they hired to build the deck had his license suspended. Everlast Construction’s lawyer sent me a cease and desist letter  claiming I’m defaming them and part of their claim is that ABA Construction, the one they hired to build the deck, did not have his license suspended. It just hasn’t been renewed. Which is technically correct.  What they didn’t mention in their cease and desist letter is that ABA wasn’t allowed to renew their license due to an outstanding bond payment. And now as of the date of this posting, ABA also has a citation against them as well dealing with workers comp.

So I guess saying his license was suspended was really a horrible defamation against Everlast <— sarcasm  

Everlast is taking me to civil court

Well unfortunately the judge granted Everlast Construction’s request to transfer the case to civil court. I prefered going to small claims since it would be quicker and simpler and then I would have some official documentation proving what type of company everlast is.

But if Ariel thought going to civil court would scare me off, he was wrong. Although it’s more complicated to go to civil court versus small claims, I’m still going to take them to court. Only now I’m going to increase the amount of damages I am claiming.

So all Ariel really did was make things worse for himself since at the end of the civil trial, Everlast will owe me even more money and a judgement in my favor will be even more convincing proof as to the type of company Everlast Construction is.

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