We signed an agreement for an extension with a covered porch with Tri-State Home Renovation and his representative Mike Sciubba in February 2015. Prior to signing the contract we told Mike that my wife was pregnant and she was due in October and that it was essential to have this project done BEFORE the baby was due or else we would not do it. Mike said: ‘don’t worry about it that’s 8 months away’. The contract stipulated the work would be completed on July 31, 2015. A deposit of 10% was paid. Work commenced on June 10, 2015. We had a bad feeling from the beginning when only one person showed up to dig out the foundation and lay re-bar and he had to hired my neighbor's son for the day to help him. The township failed the foundation inspection because the re-bar was not drilled into my current foundation. It took them several weeks to come back and put the cinder-blocks up. The foundation was failed again by the inspector for some other reason. More weeks went by before that was fixed. The deadline of July 31st came and went and we had nothing more than a foundation. We also had about 14 yards of hazardous construction debris in my backyard because they never rented a dumpster and they just threw the waste all over my yard.
Throughout the first 3 months they came to work less than 10 days with a crew of only 2 people and Mike kept telling us he needed more money for material. Given the history of the first 3 months where money was given and no work was done, we started to refuse to give him more money. He then became enraged and threatened to walk off the job, put a lien on us and cause physical harm if we did not give him more money. We backed down and gave him more money because we feared he would run with the money he already had which was over 15k and hardly any work had been performed and my wife was having anxiety attacks due to this that were affecting her pregnancy. After we gave him the money he once again disappeared for 6 weeks. We would call and call to find out what was going on. He would never return our calls and all communication with this guy was done thru texts. This added more anxiety for my wife that affected her pregnancy even more. When material was delivered, there was never enough of it to finish what they were working on. This led to them cutting corners in workmanship and safety issues related to framing. (examples given below). By the end of August we had already given him over 50% of the contracted amount and only had the foundation with floorboards and nothing else. We posted a bad review about Mike Sciubba and Tri-State Renovation on Angie's List. Mike called us infuriated in the middle of the night and threatened that he would not return to work again unless we took the bad review down from Angie's list. Again after getting his wishes, they did not return to work for 3 weeks.
At this point, we hired an attorney who wrote him a letter requesting that he return to work and provide a timeline for completion and to keep in mind that he was already in default of the contract and my wife was pregnant. The letter also stated that the debris needed to be removed from the yard since it was a hazard to our family. Mike then requested to our attorney that we give him an extension to September 15th to complete the job. The attorney gave him until September 30th to complete the job in its entirely. During this time Mike requested an additional $5000. We gave him the money and again didn't show up for weeks to do work. Off course, the deadline of September 30th came and went and we weren't even 40% finished. The attorney then sent him another letter stating he would no longer be paid until work was performed first. This made Tri-State send workers for a period of about 10 days to move along the project. During this period, while my wife just about ready to give birth, they showed up at 7:00pm and were hammering until 10:00pm until the cops were called on them.
My wife gave birth to our baby on October 15, 4 months after the beginning of this project and we only had about 50% of it completed. Mike then requested an additional $8000 to ‘speed up the process’ he said, for Trex decking material, sheet rock, siding, heating and A/C vents and dumpster to clean the yard. Out of all those items only sheet rock and some siding was delivered. The siding was only partially completed and the sheetrock was put up. However the sheetrock work was so horrible that we finally fired them. So we hired a contractor to fix the sheetrock, and in the process many other issues were found by the new contractor that needed to be corrected. Not only did we have to hire a contractor to finish the job but also other contractors to go back and correct work that was already performed by Tri-State. There were structural and cosmetic issues along with unsafe, not up to code and unethical issues. Examples of such practices was buying less insulation than was needed, so they pulled the pink insulation off the face paper, then stapled the face paper to the ceiling joist making it appear as if the area was insulated and used the pink insulation that was pulled off in other places where they were short. The venting boards were not installed all the way up the ceiling rafters as required by code, they were only placed at the edges where the soffit vents are. In addition to being only at the ends they were installed backwards thus making them totally useless and also not stapled to the roof as required by code, but with insulation in front, the inspector could not see the scam. Hurricane brackets required by code were installed backwards preventing the sheetrock from being installed properly. One of the ceiling joist on the A frame part of the deck, was cut short and was not attached to the main center joist or the outside frame over the deck. This joist was therefore "floating" and not doing any weight bearing and as such weakening the weight bearing structure of the roof over the deck. There are many more issues that we have documented and we have signed affidavits by the contractors who performed the corrections.
Everything that we stated in this review is factual and backed by pictures, video, text messages between us and Mike Sciubba from TriState Renovations and signed affidavits by the contractors who performed the corrected work stating in detail the poor and unsafe quality of workmanship performed by TriState Renovations. We have spent as much money fixing issues that were supposed to be 'done' by Tri-State as we have bringing the project to completion. It is now the end of December and we are still working on this project to get it completed. This company has robbed our family of our summer, our Thanksgiving and our Christmas holidays as we have been consumed in terms of time, money and aggravation trying to bring the project to completion. My wife has had to deal with people working and hammering away thru her entire pregnancy and the first couple of months while caring for our newborn. Remember we said we wanted this project finished before the baby was born or we would not do it.
Our intent here is to make people aware of the lack of professionalism, poor workmanship and dishonest ways this company does business. Mike is very good at selling you promises and lies and will tell you whatever you want to hear as long as you give him money. Once he has your money be ready to be SOL because he knows he has the upper hand. We were told by every contractor that came after him to fix the issues and finish the project that Tri-State operates under the old saying "robbing Peter to pay Paul". They are always behind the eight ball and this was confirmed to us by one of his own subcontractors. If you chose to do business with this company be VERY aware! Our advice is to first do a search online for this business (you will be amazed by what you find), then hire an attorney to draw up a contract with a payment schedule and completed work schedule and last but not least PRAY. We have filed a claim with the NJ division of consumer protection and the BBB. We will also file a lawsuit once we complete this project and we know the exact amount of extra money we had to spend to get it done and correct all the issues created by Tri-State Home Renovation.