These delays have been quite prolonged in some cases. It took APB 2 and a half years to complete Ellen Lenchner’s house in Coffey Park. “They took their ass time,” she said. Single and retired, she ended up paying her rent and mortgage out of pocket for 19 months after her insurance money ran out. How did she do it? “I am in debt right to my eyes,” she said. “But I am at home.”
Lack of experience
Wilson and Johnson, who have decades of construction experience, believe that APB, with its experience in housing estates, may have been hampered by its lack of experience in building custom homes.
“Subdivisions are productions, like an assembly line,” said Lanterman, Bates’ former business partner.
“Once you’ve finished the first two or three, you should be able to do the rest well. “
When it comes to custom homes, however, “you’ll get your head on a plateau if you’re not careful.”
Mark Gnat, who worked for APB as an on-site superintendent for six months, said his “organization was sloppy at best.” The APB office, he said, was understaffed for the number of projects undertaken by the company, which led to “a lot of detail and black holes.”
He left the company because he was fed up with the owners and contractors “taking over”.
“I’ve known them for a long time and we have a working relationship,” Gnat said of the employees at Calvi Construction and Hogan Plumbing. “You haven’t fucked your best guys, you know?” “
A bitter pill
During an unscheduled visit to their property one February morning, the Ghigliazza noticed that Bates, who they said had them ghosts, was already there. So they stood at the door, where he was supposed to stop and talk to them on the way out.
When Bates got out of his truck, John got right to the point: “What’s going on with our electricity, our water, and our septic tank? Where is it located? What’s your plan? “
The contract they signed says nothing about connecting public services, according to the Ghigliazza. For a year and a half, however, in all of their conversations and site visits with APB, “there was never, ever a time when they said, ‘You know, you’re going to have to cover this,’ or ‘ It is your responsibility to bring utilities to the house, ”John said.
In their many discussions with APB about septic tanks, for example, the Ghigliazza often mentioned the possibility of installing a larger tank, and paying the builder for the extra cost. “And no one ever said, ‘What do you mean by the extra cost – you cover ALL the costs,'” John noted.
Until that February morning, when Bates looked at the couple and said, “I never bid. I only offered to build your house.
“I looked at it,” John remembers, “and I said, you’re a fucking con artist.”
For Bates to throw this at him, “two years after this ordeal started,” John said, “it was a tough pill to swallow.”
After explaining that “I can’t speak to any of the contractual elements,” Stutes pointed out that “a number of plans” for the houses they are building “have arrived with a lot of missing information.”
“If there was an oversight or miscommunication,” he said, “from all I know, nothing was done intentionally or to deceive them.”
It is a cold comfort for the Ghigliazza. But they will hold out in these cabins in Rio Nido, which are shrinking day by day, because the principle is important. They are happy to draw attention to their plight, even if APB does not budge.
“I want people to know who this business is,” John said. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
You can contact editor Austin Murphy at 707-521-5214 or [email protected] or on Twitter @ ausmurph88.