It has now been 5 1/2 months since work started on our pool. If you had told me back in May when we started this project that I would be sitting here in October with an unfinished pool, I would not have believed you. We had recommendations from people who had used King Pools and Design to do their pools. Craig King had been in business for 20 years and we found nothing but positive recommendations for him and his company. Everything started off great. Workers were here almost every day and progress was quickly being made. We had no reason to think he was going to take our money and then stop working. But that is exactly what happened. As soon as he got the bulk of our money, work came to a screeching halt.
The last time work was done was on July 13th , which is now over three months ago. There were workers here on August 9th who haphazardly tossed in some drains, which have to be completely redone. By the terms of our contract, all work was supposed to be done within 90 days of excavation. Excavation was started on May 8th, 167 days ago. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but at this point I have zero faith that Craig King is ever going to get our pool done. The worst part is that we have given him tens of thousands of dollars for equipment he never delivered and for work he never completed. That is a huge amount of money to us. We used our life’s savings to pay for this pool and now we are out most of that money and will have to find a way to come up with additional funds to pay someone else to finish our pool.
I’ve spent the past few weeks getting everything together I need to file a complaint with the Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB). (If you need to file a complaint in California, see this page.) I got that in the mail last week and yesterday I received a letter stating Craig has 7 days to resolve this problem, if he doesn’t take care of it by then they will assign an Enforcement Representative to investigate my complaint. I seriously doubt Craig will contact me. I haven’t heard from him in over a month now. He doesn’t answer my emails and his phone rolls to voicemail, which is full.
In addition to filing this complaint, I have filed a claim on his bond. In the state of California, contractors are required to have a $12,500 bond. Since Craig took my money and didn’t provide me with the equipment I paid for or do the work I paid him for, I can place a claim on that bond. You can get the contact information on a contractors bond by searching the license number at the CSLB website. I mailed my claim in this week. The bond company will investigate and hopefully eventually I will be able to get money from his bond.
Just when I’d come to terms with the fact that Craig has taken off with my money, likely never to be heard from again, subcontractors start showing up at my door. Surprise! He didn’t pay the subcontractors that worked on my pool! Seems they can’t get a hold of Craig either. From talking to them, it appears he hasn’t paid anyone in about six months. They were interested in finishing the project and alluded to “lien rights” if we didn’t use them. After searching the CSLB website I learned that they lost their lien rights when they didn’t file a preliminary lien within 20 days of starting work on my pool. You can read all about mechanic’s liens in the state of California here. Apparently these guys have been enabling Craig by continuing to start project without having been paid for other project. I can’t help thinking that if these guys had put their foot down sooner, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now with an unfinished pool.
If you came upon this blog post while searching for information on Craig King or King Pools & Design because he has left you with an unfinished pool, I’d like to hear from you. Please post a comment so I can get in touch with you. I’ve been told by the electrician and plumber that worked on my pool that he hasn’t paid them for six jobs.