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Contractor barred from Westlake after failing to properly register during botched project

Contractor barred from Westlake
Contractor barred from Westlake
Posted at 7:42 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 15:51:56-05

The City of Westlake’s Building Department has barred a local contractor from registering with the city, effectively preventing the company from operating within city limits for the remainder of 2018.

Unfortunately, it’s too late for one of the contractor’s fed up customers who is more than $30,000 into an unfinished three-car garage.

City officials said they will prevent Lakewood-based ProCode Construction from registering with the building commission, because the company and owner, Michael Delmonico, failed to properly register for 2018 before resuming work on a $42,000 project on Paul Fletcher’s property. The suspension comes after News 5 raised questions about ProCode’s incomplete renovation of a Rocky River family’s home.

In March 2017, Fletcher hired ProCode Construction to build a three-car garage onto his existing Westlake home. According to the contract, the project was supposed to be completed by the end of October 2017, weather and scope-of-work permitting.

But, construction didn’t even start until late October.

“How could you go wrong? We checked him out. We went to his storefront. Now we’ve found out after the fact that he’s no good,” Fletcher said. 

Fletcher sought the services of HomeAdvisor.com, which connected him with multiple area contractors. ProCode’s estimate was neither the most expensive, nor the least expensive. Fletcher agreed to hire ProCode’s services, because Delmonico showed him a project the company was currently working on that was very similar to his. Fletcher said he felt confident in his decision based on online reviews of ProCode.

Month after month, Fletcher said Delmonico provided excuse after excuse as to why the project had not yet started. Each excuse was different, but weather was a common theme, Fletcher said. While he did not agree to an on-camera interview on the advice of his attorney, Delmonico told News 5 weather-related issues caused a backlog of concurrent projects.

Fletcher put a third of the total project cost into a down payment. The total payout was structured around certain benchmarks in the project’s completion. For example, the contract states Fletcher would have to have paid for 90% of the total project cost by the time the siding and roofing was done.

As it stands now, the entire project is nowhere near completion. Siding and a roof still need to be installed. There is exposed electrical wires. Some areas of the exterior are still missing a waterproofing membrane. There is poor patchwork in multiple areas of the interior drywall.

Nothing compares to the uneven, wavy concrete floor, Fletcher said.

“The only way you can fix this is have it ripped out and repaired,” Fletcher said. “I am not in a position to tear this thing down and start over again. I have to live with what I have and take the money that I have and try to fix and remedy this. How he can even think this is acceptable? Anybody can look at this and think it’s garbage work.”

Delmonico said he stands by his work, the concrete floor notwithstanding. He blames the condition of the concrete on “feeling rushed” by the homeowner. The concrete wasn’t poured until early this month, nearly 11 months after the contract was initially signed.

Because the disagreement between Delmonico and Fletcher appeared to have reached a stalemate, the city’s building department got involved. The building commissioner notified Delmonico that Fletcher wanted to completely cut ties with ProCode Construction. Because the structure still contains numerous discrepancies between what was originally included in the blueprint and what was actually built, an architectural firm is working to draw up new plans to shore up the remaining issues, the building commissioner said.

Fletcher wanted the three car garage in order to make more room available for his art and sculpting studio. The construction issues have put Fletcher’s business about six months behind, he said.

“With my business and what I need to do, the reason I didn’t become my own general contractor is I don’t have the time,” Fletcher said. “That’s what I paid someone else for. Now I have to be my own general contractor.”