On March 31 2015, I contracted with Mark Storch of Outdoor Architects to install a drainage system in my backyard. The contract estimated a start date of June 1, 2015 and completion date of July 15, 2015. Mr. Storch had done two prior hardscape designs in the past, at my previous home, with good results. I had also discussed with Mr. Storch installing a patio and doing some other landscaping work along with the drainage system installation. I had requested that the drain installation be done earlier in the spring, because I had planned for the patio to be installed, closely followed by an underground sprinkler system. However, Mr. Storch was too busy with other landscaping jobs to combine the patio installation with the drainage installation. Mr. Storch told me that he would only be able to do the patio work sometime later in the summer, with no definite start date. Therefore, since Mr. Storch could not accommodate my patio installation request, I informed him, that I had contracted with another landscaper to install the patio, so that I could have the sprinkler system installed on July 13, 2015. Mr. Storch’s crew installed the drainage system on June 3, 2015. The total cost of the installation was $1500. On June 9, 2015 I contracted with Matt Gately of Gately Scapes to install my patio. Mr. Gately began the patio installation on July 2, 2015. During the installation process we noticed a strong feces-like odor coming from all three of the drains that Mr. Storch installed. Upon examination we discovered black water was filled to the top of the drain boxes with a mold-like substance growing on top of the water. Mr. Gately also showed me that the drain pipes had not been attached properly to the drain boxes and there had been no flow of water through the drain since installation on June 3, 2015. More, importantly, Mr. Gately showed me that there was no swale in the design of the drainage system. The pipe was almost flush with the rest of the lawn, leaving no pitch in the line for the water to drain. The lack of water flow created the stagnant water growth. Also, the systems was not properly prepared. The trench should have been filled with gravel, a mesh should have been laid down around the pipe and the pipe should have been covered with another layer of gravel, before placing top soil and replacing the sod. I called Mr. Storch, and sent him pictures of the area. He informed me that he would send out a foreman. I then went on the internet to educate my self about how the drainage system should have been installed. Everything that Mr. Gately told me was true about the planning, preparation, and materials needed to perform the work satifactorily. I then asked Mr. Gately how much he would charge to repair the inadequate work that Mr. Storch had performed. He charged me $1200 to install 5 drains properly in my backyard, with the understanding that if more are needed, he will return to further seek a drainage resolution. After 3 days of heavy rain, there is no excess water in any of the 5 drains, and I have had to water the area daily because new sod was laid around the patio floor. I feel that Mr. Storch literally defrauded me out of $1500 for a job that even the do-it-your-self TV channels would have turned out better. There was nothing even close to professional about the work that Outdoor Architects performed on June 3, 2015. I would never recommend Outdoor Architects to anyone. Again, I feel that I was defrauded out of $1500 for positively poor service, because I hired another landscaper to install my patio, which meant that Mr. Storch would loose an additional $14,000-$15000 in fees. .
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