Why you don't want to hire The Custom Edge
Anyone wishing to have quality concrete work done that is considering The Custom Edge owned by Shawn and Jamie Braddy should continue looking. The Custom Edge lacks experience, professionalism, attention to detail and customer service to provide anyone with a top-notch finished product.
Since it would appear Shawn and Jamie are posting beneficial comments for themselves or paying others to do so I want to make this complaint quite clear. You can see the pictures and judge for yourself at www.myspace.com/unprofessional_edge Feel free to post comments or request further information.
Let me start by explaining the project. I contracted The Custom Edge to (1) build a stamped concrete pad in my back yard. It was actually two round pads joined by a sidewalk. One pad was for a gazebo and the other for a fire pit, (2) refinish the concrete surrounding my pool to match the stamped concrete, (3) remove an existing sidewalk at the front of the house that would flood anytime it rained and replace it with the same colored and stamped concrete used in the back. (4) About 175 feet of curbing. All of which was painted on the ground with white spray paint. I even repainted it twice as it started to fade because I wasn't going to be here when they did the forms and I didn't want any mistakes. My wife and I sat on our back porch and walked around our yard with Jamie Braddy to explain the project and obtain an estimate. Jamie walked around our yard with a measuring wheel, paper and pencil in order to calculate her measurements. At this point, we started looking at color and pattern samples. The pool surface could not be stamped like the newly poured concrete, but it could be refinished to match the stamped concrete. We chose the colors for both. Jamie explained to us that the colors would match exactly and the only difference between the stamped concrete and the refinished concrete would be the texture and the spacing. Since they have to use stencils, the lines in between will be a little bit larger. I was good with that. Jamie explained the process to my wife and me when she gave us the estimate. The crew will show up the day prior and build the forms. Shawn will stop by that day or the next and check their work. They will pour the pads in the rear and the front sidewalk on the same day. Then they will move to the pool. The pool will take 14 days until it can be used. They will put down plastic over the pool to protect the coping and keep unwanted material out of the pool. She demanded that we wouldn't even know that anyone had been there when they were finished. The edging is the last thing they will do.
I also inquired as to how they would get the concrete into my back yard as I didn't want the concrete truck in my driveway. I was assured that they would use a Georgia buggy to transport the concrete from the road and there was no issue. We went to their business site on Owen Drive to see samples of their curbing and stamped concrete. We were convinced and wrote a check for more than 50% of the project that day (21 May 09). I made a few changes to the plan, Jamie returned to our home and measured again and updated the estimate about 2 weeks prior to their arrival.
Now, let's move to game day:It all started on day one. Let me explain: A few of their workers showed up the week prior and build the forms. I was away on business but when I returned, I immediately noticed that the forms were anywhere from 1 to 3 inches above the ground. Having some knowledge of concrete forms and being blessed with common sense I found this somewhat odd. On the day the concrete truck was scheduled to arrive at 8am (22July09) the owner, Shawn Braddy and his crew arrived at 7:30am. This was the first meeting for Shawn and I, and Shawn's first meeting with the job site. After introductions were completed, I immediately asked him why the forms were so far of the ground. And yes, it was all the way around, not on the ground in places and high in others to create drainage. Shawn immediately grabbed a level and started adjusting the forms. The circle for the fire pit wasn't even built yet. Since they didn't bring appropriate form material, they ended up using JOINTING MATERIAL as part of the form for the fire pit. When Shawn brought me a paper to sign that they form was correct is when I started wondering if I had hired the right company.
Then they miscalculated how much concrete they needed and had to order another truck to finish pouring our pad. After nearly two hours waiting for the additional truck to arrive, the concrete had started to cure. They added the color, roughed up the edge of the curing concrete and added the additional concrete needed, approximately 1.5 to 2 cubic yards I might add. When I questioned the owner about how this was going to work out and look upon completion, I was told that "it would be fine and was nothing to worry about". Well, you can look at the pictures and judge for yourself. But I can tell you that the line where they seemed the concrete together is very noticeable. Oh, and to top it all off, Jamie now wants to blame ME, the customer, for her inability to calculate the proper amount of concrete. Since they made me sign a waiver stating they weren't responsible for any damages I had no recourse when they drove their Georgia buggy over part of my fence and a dog septic tank. Just fixing/replacing these two items will cost me around 100 bucks. When the truck arrived they had put plastic down in my driveway and I felt pretty good that they were going to be as neat as possible. Well, when they were finished I walked around front to find that they had moved the trucks location and there was no plastic. There was a 10' by 10' spot in my front yard now covered with red concrete. I was assured "it will bounce; it's nothing to worry about". So, he had one of his workers rake and power wash my grass on 4 different occasions. Guess what, I'm still waiting for it to bounce. Even after I expressed my distaste of this, they did it again when they poured the sidewalk in the front. They even washed out and rinsed their Georgia buggy in my front yard. Unfortunately I was away on business again, but was told yet again, it will bounce……still waiting for that to happen.Then, the owner walks me around and shows me a crack, the full width and depth of the sidewalk. He did offer to cut that portion out and redo it. However, "if we do that, there is no guarantee I can match the color….as a matter of fact, I can almost guarantee you that I won't be able to match the color and you will notice it." Geez, what a decision to make….have a section of your sidewalk that is noticeable a different color, or live with the crack…. I decided to live with the crack. There was some concrete left over, but not enough to do the entire sidewalk in the front. They could have ordered another truck to finish the front sidewalk, except they didn't have enough color. So, since they miscalculated in the back and used all of the color in the second truck to finish the back, they cut themselves short on color to complete the sidewalk in the front. They didn't return to do the sidewalk until 5AUG09, some 14 days later, but I'll get to the sidewalk in a little bit…. What about the sections of concrete that had no stamp at all and a "mock stamp" was engraved using a grinder? How professional is that. Look at picture labeled "grinded concrete". They showed up the next day, 23 July and power washed the concrete around my pool and used a blower to blow off the pads in the back. They were gone by 10am. They didn't show up again until the 28th of July. At this point, they started grinding the pad….normal stuff. Shawn complained that there were a few paw prints on the concrete around the pool. I apologized for that and explained that we'd done our best to keep them off of it. I washed the deck myself to remove the paw prints. No matter, they wouldn't start the pool for another 2+ weeks. Did they honestly expect us to be able to keep our dogs off of the pool surface for 2-3 weeks?
Now, it appears as though they've taken on another job. I had to call Shawn to find out when they were coming to work. He left my house on at least two occasions that I know of to go and work at other job sites. Somewhat humorous when you consider that Jamie guaranteed my wife and me that once they started our house, they wouldn't take on any other jobs until ours was complete. What a lie that was!
They reappeared on 3AUG and started the curbing. I guess they finished the other job and now had time for me again. They completed around 120 feet of curbing this day. When Shawn finished sealing the curbing in the front he moved to the back at around 4pm to seal (for the first time) the concrete pads in the back. Now, anyone that has lived in NC for anytime in the summer knows that thunderstorms come primarily in the afternoon, sometimes almost every afternoon. Shawn finished and told me he hoped the rain would hold of until it dried. Well, it didn't. Within 10 minutes it was pouring the rain down. There were puddles of water that were covered with a layer of sealant as a large portion of the sealant was washed away. Since it rained so hard, sand was splashed onto the pads and eventually dried in the cracks along with the sealant and there were huge bubbles everywhere since the water had gotten under the sealant. "Not an issue, I have some stuff that will turn that to liquid and we can power wash it off". Over the course of the next 3-4 weeks, the pads were sealed 3 more times in an attempt to fix, or cover up the flaws from the first mistake of sealing right before it rained. You tell me, if you're a concrete guy and you know the stuff has to dry before it rains wouldn't you do it in the morning instead of the afternoon when you can look around and see the rain clouds in every direction?!?!By the way, I called the manufacturer that makes the sealant Shawn used to ask what causes it to bubble. I pretended that I had done it myself just for the sake of argument and I was told that I had put it on entirely too thick. "This product will not bubble up unless you're doing something wrong".
There are numerous pictures available for you to see what a *** poor job they did in finishing the concrete and judge for yourself.
Now comes the sidewalk in the front (5AUG). Shawn was busy doing curbing on the side of the house and left this task up to some subcontractors he had on site for assistance. Look at pictures……… They didn't line the stamps up properly. There are places that are over stamped and under stamped. Why should I have to see this and point it out to Shawn to be fixed if he is in fact a true professional? The answer, I shouldn't! But guess what, I did. Then I was told that I was being petty and nit picking. Guess what happened again when they sealed the sidewalk….. That's right, it poured the rain down. Believe it or not, Shawn still hasn't learned from his mistakes as he finished it at 4:25pm and it started raining even before he could get the stuff loaded into his truck. What an ***! I mean come one, how *** can you be?!?
Now comes the pool. They put the base coat down (a dark brown) on 7 August. It looked pretty good when he put it down and my wife and I found ourselves daydreaming about how good it was going to look. They showed back up on 9 August and put the stencils down. A very tedious job I might add. They also taped the stairs, hot tub, railings and put plastic on the coping and "IN" the pool. I questioned Shawn as to whey the plastic was laying on the bottom of the pool and he assured me that "I've done this before" and that he was making sure he kept our pool clean. I thought WOW; I guess he knows something I don't. They showed back up on 16AUG to work on the pool again. By this time, it had rained and rained and rained. What was once a dark brown grout was now the same color as the concrete it covered. Again, Shawn assured me that it was going to be OK. Once he started spraying over the stencils I became very worried. I asked my wife her opinion and she agreed. I stopped Shawn immediately and asked if he had the correct color as it looked orange to me instead of red. Shawn explained that "he thought" it would darken up when he got additional coats on it and then sealed it. I said "what do you mean, you think?" He then assured me that it would. As he continued I became even more worried and decided to call Jamie to make sure there wasn't some kind of a mix up in the ordering process or a misunderstanding of some kind. My wife is the one who initially made the call and Jamie immediately became irate with my wife. I took the phone as I knew my wife was extremely upset and I felt I could better keep my cool and deal with the situation. That lasted right up until Jamie told me that "I knew this was going to happen, I knew she wasn't going to be happy". I kept my cool and asked Jamie what color it was. She told me to go and read the bag. I told her that Shawn said that it was brick red, but it was orange to me. She said, "well, you picked the color". She added "You picked it, I didn't…I've never even seen those colors before". At this point I became extremely irritated. If she was now telling the truth, which meant that she had sat on my porch and lied to my wife and I as she told us both that "we've done this color a lot and I think you'll really like it". It was like a bad movie of some psycho who had lost her medication. I assumed that as a customer with a concern or a complaint that I had the right to voice it…. Not with this company! I knew that conversation was getting me know where so I hung up and went back out to talk to Shawn. He told me that he WOULD NEVER recommend that people try to match the colors the way that we had. Funny, this is the first time I'd heard that. As a matter of fact, one of the personalities of his wife had recommended the colors and explained how nice they would look. At this point I was utterly disgusted with both of them and my wife and I decided to just let it play out…. Oh, he did offer to spray over it a different color if we didn't like the final result…..of course he would have to charge us extra for that.We were not at home when Shawn put the next coat/coats on the pool surface, but he obviously did something different. He also repainted the lines brown that had faded to the color of concrete. Well, in the end it is red, but it's nowhere near the red of the stamped concrete like Jamie said that it would be. Guess what, I know this will surprise you, but the plastic "in the pool" didn't do much. Check out the pictures of all the debris WE had to get out of the pool.
He showed up wanting paid because he said he was done. I was out of town on business and my wife told him that he would have to wait until I returned to inspect his work. He tried to call me and left 2 messages on my voice mail. I called Shawn back and got his voice mail….Talk about professional, his voice mail is Jamie saying "do not leave a message as this voice mail is not checked". How professional is that!?!? Anyway, I called Jamie to ask her to have her husband call me. I was going to explain to him that I would be home at the end of the week and would check his work at that time. If I was satisfied that he was done, I would write him a check. At this point Jamie went ballistic and started threatening me with interest and a lien on my house. She started talking about taking me to court. I laughed at her and told her that "if we go to court, you'll leave there owing me money so you better be careful about what you wish for". She then stated that "you've done this to every contractor that's been to your house." I have no idea what she was talking about. We've lived in the house for a year now and had 3 separate contractors on site. I have formed a friendship with one where he stops by just to visit, I tipped one of the others $200 bucks for the outstanding job he did and have had the third contractor back a second time to fix something else. As she continued to run her mouth incoherently I hung up the phone. I called Shawn back and he answered. He told me how my wife had disrespected him….. I told him that I would be back in town on Friday and we could meet then and go over the job. I also told him that if he was the owner of The Custom Edge that he needed to get his employees in check. I explained to him how unprofessional his wife was and that if he wasn't careful he was going to force me into taking them to court. After he acknowledges his wife's unprofessionalism he apologized and stated that "we didn't need to go to court". He continued by stating that we could work this out and come to some resolution.I returned and was disgusted yet again. Look at the pictures of the pool. The coping was red, brown, or covered with sealer. Oh yeah, remember me saying that they manufacturer said you couldn't put it on too thick or it would bubble. My wife saw the kid that Shawn dropped off to do it, since Shawn had started another job the week prior. Anyway, this guy was tipping up the bucket and pouring globs of sealant onto the deck and then spreading it with a roller. A portion of which ended up in my pool and left very pronounced run lines over the coping and liner.
I sometimes regret not taking them to court, but have chalked it up to a very expensive lesson learned. I write this in hopes that I stop someone from making the same mistake in thinking they are hiring a capable and professional company when in reality they would be hiring a couple of thieves masquerading as concrete professionals.
Several of my neighbors have stopped by to admire the new work we've had done and ask if we would recommend The Custom Edge. Once they see the product they understand why our answer is *** NO! Truth be told, they did a pretty good job on the curbing, but that's it. To top it off, their unprofessional attitudes are horrendous. Shawn stood out there and told me how great his work is and how he is the only one in Fayetteville that does quality work. I know for a fact that isn't true. They told us they were the cheapest in town at 7.75 per linear foot. Well, my neighbor had it done for 3.50 a linear foot. And, I am having more done by the same company in the same pattern that I already have for more than 3 dollars a linear foot cheaper. So, not only are they unprofessional, but they are liars.
I still have blue tape around my hot tub, I had over 5 pounds of tape and debris in my pool, I had to go behind them and pick up cigarette butts and water bottles, I have red concrete spatter on my porch railing, house and garage door, I have to repaint the coping around my pool because they rubbed it down to the metal trying to clean it after I demanded that they did, I am left with an unprofessional job and clean up, but they are finished.
I have posted the pictures online so you can judge for yourself. Go to www.myspace.com/unprofessional_edge If you wish to ask questions or talk to us, leave a contact number on the MySpace account and we will contact you. We can also pass along other sources we've found since then that can testify to the above as well as their own horror stories of how their jobs turned out.One more thing: They demanded we settle the balance of our bill with a certified check. There demand went unanswered as I told them both that I had no intention of providing them with a certified check. I told them I would pay them from the same account I wrote the first check. I couldn't figure this part out until I found out that another customer had payed with credit card and their bank went in and pulled the payment back from the Custom Edge's account once they viewed the pictures and the customer filed a law suite against them. By the way, the customer won and Custom Edge lost.
I feel like I've held my tongue and been professional for long enough and everyone needs to know exactly how horrible this company is. Shawn, although a generally nice guy, is by no means a professional when it comes to concrete. His entire crew, minus 1 man was hired just prior to coming to my job site. Maybe I just look at things differently as a retired Army guy, but I don't think so. I will tell you this, had he worked for me and I came behind him to check his work, he would've been relieved on the spot and probably recommended for administrative punishment under the UCMJ. I apologize if that doesn't make any sense….bottom line is that if I owned a company and he worked for me; upon inspection of his work I would either fire him or dock his pay. He has no idea what Attention to Detail is, contrary to his opinion. Jamie, she is a mean, dishonest and hateful person. She will lie to you and tell you whatever she thinks she must to get you to sign a contract. I don't know how she sleeps at night or looks in the mirror.
Neither my wife nor I have ever been the kind of people that wishes badly onto others, but to not do that in this case demands a lot. We both just hope that we will stop someone else from making such an expensive and stressful mistake by putting the information out there for you to decide.
Review about: Concrete.