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Look to the sky and give thanks. I’ve found one. Fleming Builders of Greenville, SC (and the rest of the Upstate) is the answer to my prayers. Thus far, I’ve had the absolute best experience with this construction company, a company that wasn’t afraid to come in and take over when another Greenville construction company failed horribly in trust, communication and professionalism.
The wife and I interviewed three additional contractors to come in and pick up the pieces. When I asked the first about subcontractors, he automatically assumed that I was speaking about race/culture/whatever and promptly stated that he doesn’t hire many Mexicans. STRIKE.
I informed the second one that I would be blogging about my home improvement experience and that I had done so already. He was also very hesitant to come in when the dealings with the other construction company were still open. All I can assume is that he found my blog and read about my first experience, which might have frightened him a little. However, he called back two months later when the construction market was taking a major hit. UH, STRIKE.
Jimmy Fleming, president of Fleming Builders, followed up on the original meeting frequently. He wasn’t badgering me, just a professional making sure we had all of our questions answered. He was upfront, honest, and seemingly trustworthy. I say seemingly trustworthy only because I was coming off an experience that left me lacking the trust of any contractor. He was gracious and understanding of our situation every single time we spoke.
Fleming Builders wasn’t the cheapest quote we received, which Jimmy actually said would be the case during our first meeting. However, I’m long enough in the tooth to understand that value is far more important than price. Value during such a major project is an amalgam of trust, honesty, cost, time, and quality. We finally told him that we wanted Fleming Builders to build our expansion.
Both Jimmy and I thought the process would be faster. However, our old construction company decided to play a few games and delay the dreams of our family. Long story short, our family had to put Jimmy on hold for about two months or more while we wiped our hands of dirt. As soon as the new loan was approved, Fleming Construction began work. Seriously, the permits were ready the day we signed the loan. Within days the grading started. Within a week the foundation was poured. Within two weeks the entire bottom floor was framed. The only thing holding us up right now is a forecast of four days worth of rain.
Bottom line, Fleming Builders is kind, honest, gracious, and professional. They understand proper communication and thus far have provided quality craftsmanship.
…to be continued.
One last thing. For those who have be bugging me to post the final chapter of the RC Jones / JD Hale Construction Chronicles, it’s written. Feel free to zip me an email if you would like an advanced copy.
Imagine the emotional turmoil one might experience if you were on the roof of your house. Below you see the water rising. Your house, neighborhood and friends were all being destroyed.
Personally, I would pray, as I’m sure did this one gentleman.
An inexhaustible emotional range filled the man’s head as he sat strangely assured on his roof. The water was now rising past the eves. Seemingly out of nowhere a man in a rubber dingy came paddling past. He offered the man rescue. “My God will save me,” said the man. Two hours later the national guard comes by in a outboard metal Johnboat and offered rescue. Again, “My God will save me,” shouted the man on the roof. Another hour lapsed. The flood waters were up to the man’s chin by this time. Finally the U.S. Coast Guard hovered above with basket. “My God will save me,” screamed the man who was by now standing tiptoe and struggling to breathe.
God didn’t save him.
Once in heaven, the man had a bone to pick with God. He screamed about his family. And he screamed about how young he was. “Why? WHY! Why didn’t you rescue me? I have faith. I believe. I read your word. Why did you take my life, Lord?” God looked at the man and said, “Son, I sent you a dingy, a motorboat, and a helicopter. When was the bell going to go off?”
The boys from RC Jones construction, Jim Hale, President, and Jamie Decker, project manager #2, came by yesterday to explain the additional contract changes. These encompassed the things that we were promised by John Riley, project manager #1, versus what we are actually getting. Long story short, there is an additional price tag of approximately $20,000.
My brain quickly ran the calculations of events past:
The reality of the situation is that I made my case to Mr. Hale and Mr. Decker. It’s the same story that I’ve written about in blogs previous. I then offered Mr. Hale the option to back out of the contract.
There were points made here and points made there–a back-and-forth of yes, but, and, uh, but, point, point, counterpoint continued for about 20 minutes. It was everything that we had talked about. Everything that has been written in this blog sans the mild sarcasm. It was all said again, sometimes twice. However, the bottom line was this. We paid RC Jones $10,000 down payment. RC Jones, according to the BB&T-hired appraiser, has facilitated just shy of $10,000 worth of work. Shy about $250 or something close to that.
I’m sure Ernie’s big blue house is costing something to rent. After all, RC Jones was kind enough to clean up construction debris strewn throughout my yard after only two short months. No big deal, though. What kind of summertime fun could a six-year-old have in the back yard unless he or she was forced to endure repeated tales of lockjaw.
Although I’m certain that all initial costs such as dumpster rent, building permits, etc. associated with beginning a construction project are factored into the first bank draw appraisal, Mr. Hale heavily suggested that RC Jones has much more wrapped up into my wall-to-nowhere than I could possibly imagine. He of course didn’t have a figure. I’m sure he’ll find one.
Regardless, I’m willing to take the $250 bite so that my family doesn’t have to endure this struggle any longer than necessary.
“No, I’m sorry honey, we can’t take our 10th anniversary trip to Rome. But c’mon down here and throw some of these dirt clods against our wall. It’s funner than standing in any ole Roman Apocalypse.”
Two more quick points before you learn the end of this tale. (shhh….it’s going to end with more uncertainty. don’t tell anyone.)
The emotional turmoil clearly came through as wifey preached her testimony of do-you-know-how-we-feel to those in attendance. To keep it brief, I’ll described it as akin to a roller coaster that tops the hill and leads to an increasingly faster dive of disappointment and sorrow.
After her well-deserved vent, I looked at Jim Hale and said, “Do you understand how we feel?” Yes was his answers. I then said, “If you know how we feel, then you’ll do the right thing and allow us to part company, evenly.” The room was silent. Mr. Hale was looking down at the table. Everyone in the room now understood what our family has been going through.
That’s when the meeting should have come to an end. It didn’t.
Within in five minutes it seemed like the other two in the room were completely absent of their previous emotion.
The conversation following made it pretty apparent to me that Mr. Hale and Mr. Decker were struggling with some bruised egos. Subsequently, they seemed on the defensive when the meeting came to a close. It didn’t end like I wish it would have, with a handshake and money paid for services rendered. Mr. Hale said he would have to now consult with his lawyer (…and here we go) and the State of SC Department of LLR about his liability of leaving the project unfinished. I think that seems fair enough, and it sounds reasonable. However, the tone of the departure was not one of fair enough.
As Jim and Jamie walked out the door, Jim turned to me and said, “I want you to take the blog down.”
(ppssstt…wrong words to say to a journalist, dude…just sayin’, that’s all.)
Now, I made my case during our meeting on the assumption that everyone knew about my blog. C’mon, Hoffa called me last week about it. I could only assume that everyone involved knew. Regardless, Jim made it a point to acknowledge the fact that I have written about my life in my blog. He also seemed to alluded to my blog posts as being in some fashion a bargaining chip in further discussion. This is the read-between-the-lines interpretation that I gleaned from his fairly aggressive final words. He made no such overt claims.
So on top of everything else that has happened with this fiasco, I get the feeling that my honest emotional journey through one of life’s mile points, as well as my first amendment rights, are going to factored in to how this all shakes out. The RC Jones Company could try to enforce making us pay a 25% fee for breaking the contract, in this case the fee amounts to the cost of a year-old SUV. I guess it’s reparations for all the pain and suffering I caused them.
Jim Hale could try to enforce the contract and make us abide by the full amount. Or, the RC Jones Company and my family could to part ways on an equal $10,000 fair payment for fair services deal. No harm, no foul. Have a nice day. There is also the possibility that such an agreement is dependant upon me pulling the RC Jones Chronicles as a “courtesy” for providing my family the opportunity for a fair split.
Why do my first amendment rights have to play a part of any of this? Is it fear of truth?
Mr. Hale informed me as he was leaving that he hadn’t read the blogs yet, he just knew about them. “It was your banker who told me.” He paused, looked up again and said, “Always have an exit strategy.” He then turned and walked to his truck.
I don’t know what that means. Is it a threat of some kind? Is he trying to teach me a lesson or something? Maybe he thought we were talking about presidential war politics, I don’t know. I’ll keep you posted.
As a quick side note, I’ve put together a time-lapse video of the construction project. Have a look.
Oh, wait. One last thing: It occurs to me that my blog entries are now of some value. Laughable I know, but seemingly true. Therefore, rights to the RC Jones Chronicles are now for sale. Please feel free to inquire with your best offer.
(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.
The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality