You could call the story of Andre Harris’s deck a side-splitter.
“It shouldn’t be splitting in a year’s time. And then this,” says Andre, pointing to a strip of wood coming off one of the main supports.
Andre would call it a work of horror.
“The more I look at it, the more I find and it’s a scary thought,” he says.
Andre and his wife, Lori, paid about $12,000 to have a main beam that twists away from the house on one side, and turns towards the home on the other.
It didn’t look safe to me.
“No, it isn’t. And the city inspector told them it wasn’t safe,” says Andre.
The company behind this build? The big-box home improvement giant, Lowe’s.
“And when we would try to sell our house, God only knows what would happen to us,” says Andre. “Would we have to tear the deck down?”
The Harrises bought the deck from Lowes and had it built in 2018.
“We’re ready to paint our deck and noticed there’s all these cracks and everything, and screws are coming out,” says Lori.
They went to Lowe’s to have someone look at the deck.
“All of a sudden, there was like a delay, delay, delay,” she remembers.
It took months before the Harrises could get Lowe’s, the deck builder, and the city inspector involved. And then Andre learned there was another problem with the deck.
“The guy never got a permit in the first place,” says Andre.
That’s surprising, considering the contract states Lowes would “obtain all contracts as needed.”
Next, the City of Kent put a stop-work order on the deck.
An inspector found that there should be approved metal hangers or clips attached to support beams. Other work needs engineer approval. Finally, the inspector says a small, exposed hole cut into the house and the deck for the bathroom exhaust is deficient.
It’s supposed to be bigger, so not all the air is getting out, that’s supposed to be getting out. And now Andre and Lori have to worry about mold growth in their home.
“A Iot is sticking inside the house,” says Andre. “And he also said ‘who knows what goes inside there?’”
Frustrated, after waiting for months to get the work done, the couple called us and we contacted Lowe’s.
In a statement, Lowe’s says:
“We are truly sorry for the experience Mr. and Mrs. Harris have had and continue to work with them directly to resolve their concerns.”
And just last week, the company presented its offer.
“Give us a full refund plus an additional $8,000 to sign off and hold them not responsible for anything,” says Lori.
Lowes is also sending people out to inspect for mold.
Just today, the Harris family decided to take Lowe’s offer. They’ll have $20,000 to build a brand new deck.
Even if you hire a big box contractor, you still have to double-check their work. Find who’s really doing the work, and make sure they are getting the right permits. Get frequent progress updates.
The Harrises will make sure of that this time around. Because they don’t want their story to become a sequel.
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