Let’s start with what Landfare promised on the project outset and let’s compare to what actually happened. After signing the initial contract and statement of work (SoW) I received the following:

Hello All,

I trust everyone is well!
Firstly, thanks to XXX for bringing us all together.  And of course, thanks so much to XXX and XXX for awarding Landfare the contract.  We are very grateful and excited to be a part of this project.
Our official launch day is Tuesday 10/27/15.  Please expect Ohio Utilities Protection Services to be marking lines toward the end of next week.  We do not know what time or the exact day they will arrive but they will need access to the entire property.  If necessary, we could wait until we are on site daily to have them mark lines so that there is not a security issue presented with gates being left unlocked for access.
Our typical workday is between the hours of 8:30a-5p depending on schedule, weather etc.  We typically manage a 2 man crew with supplemental crew members as the demand requires along with sub-contractors where applicable.  We will put forth a schedule in 2 week increments as the weather causes a constant state of fluctuation with longer periods of work predicted when we enter “high visibility” periods of the project.  We do prefer to enter the site and gain a clear understanding of the scope prior to beginning a schedule.  I can however tell you that this project will be requiring around 8-10 weeks to complete.  Please be aware however that as we approach colder temperatures, the timeline may slide.
I know XXX mentioned that we plan to meet on site Wednesday 10/21 at 9:15a for a pre-construction meeting.  We can hopefully address the temporary gates/access etc. at that time.
XXXXX, our Construction Director, will be managing your project.  His information is below:
[email protected]

Of course you are welcome to contact John or myself anytime as well.

Please know that we wish for this process to be marked by open, honest communication which will lead to your utmost satisfaction upon our completion.

See you soon!

Zachary Miller GM

What actually happened?

First, 8-10 weeks? In retrospect that was not even in the realm of possibility. Zach was onsite still fixing issues on June 21, 2017 that were related to the initial statement of work. Of course, I know that we had added a few items mid-project when I was still under the ill informed impression that Landfare could deliver quality work, but even in 2017, they were STILL trying to get things from the initial SoW to a point of completion.

Let’s give Landfare the benefit of the doubt and add a full month to the project time line they told me above. After all, as Zach said, the weather may not cooperate as we were heading into winter. That’s 14 weeks total ending around February 2, 2016. Let’s review what was actually happening at that time frame. They had not even progressed to the point of being able to lay our porch limestone. This was in the initial SoW and a basic deliverable for the project.

Let’s add two more months to the project (why not?) and look at our progress in the first week of May 2016. In the initial SoW they were to dry lay a brick tree lawn in the front of the house and they had not started that work as of early May. Remember, this is all hypothetical and I am adding 3 months to the 8-10 week time line mentioned above. Without any real hiccups in the initial project SoW they were already at twice the estimated time line.  All told, Landfare failed to estimate the time their project would take and as the customer, that meant I was not be able to plan my life accordingly. It drags on a person (and their neighbors!) to have loud work early every morning for months past the estimated project time frame.

There is also a mention of a schedule being published every two weeks. This sounds grand. Let me be blunt, in nearly two years I never received a schedule like this EVER from Landfare. Not. One. Time. When I would ask for such things it was ignored.

Lastly, let’s talk about the so called “construction director” who we’ll call Josh. One would expect this construction director to be in constant contact with you, the client. One would expect this person to be your point of contact throughout the project. One would expect this person to be the first line of defense to identify quality issues. None of this was the case. The person who was the construction director in the case was essentially the guy doing much of the work and as we talk about elsewhere, his work was not good. He was not inspecting the sub’s work either. We’ll talk about the masons in particular and their issues elsewhere, but this construction director concept was a sham. Zach was the closest thing on the project to a construction director and Zach certainly wasn’t on the job site consistently to demand quality and call out issues. That ended up being my job in time. Why did I pay Landfare a markup to manage them? Had I wanted that job, I would have hired subs myself.

Landfare did not deliver on any of the main items called out in their kick off email. In retrospect, Landfare was off track on day one.


Don’t accept an open ended contract. I was foolish and thought that Landfare would be incented to complete the work to a high level of quality and in a timely manner. After all, I was sure they have a reputation to maintain and had other jobs to move onto therefore such a contract clause would not be unnecessary. Not having such a clause provides no accountability for time lines. The project could drag out forever and there is no contractual recourse… which happened to me.

The contractor working on my interior renovation provided exactly this.

All Work to be performed under this Contract shall be substantially completed 44 weeks after on-site commencement. Substantial completion of this project is the date when construction is sufficiently complete so that owner can occupy or utilize the project for the use for which is was intended.

Note, in this case the contractor has stated when the project will be substantially complete and has defined what substantially complete means. Do not enter into a contract that does not stipulate such things lest you have a contractor in your yard for well over a year after the promised completion date. This is a powerful tool to hold a contractor in breach of contract when they simply are not timely.

Additionally, this new contractor has provided me with a 2 page Gantt chart of all work to be performed with specific deadlines and time lines. I KNOW they are budgeting 60 days to complete my tile work. Landfare never provided anything like this to me. Their project management was wholly inadequate and dare I say, non-existent. From my perspective, they did whatever whenever they got around to it as I had no real evidence to the contrary.

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