Homeowner, contractor dispute quality of landscaping work

PHOENIX - After years of saving up, Greg and Jessica Gasch were finally ready to install the backyard of their dreams.

"We wanted somewhere for our family to be able to have fun and relax," said Greg.

They took their time looking for a landscaper. Which included getting several estimates and verifying licenses.

After a recommendation from their neighborhood Facebook page, the San Tan Valley couple decided on Last Call Install.

Jessica says their backyard was transformed. "We were super happy with the landscaping in the beginning."

But after a couple of weeks their yard had large puddles all over. They figured the ground was not draining properly.

Since the work came with a warranty, they asked Last Call to come back and check it out. And the company did. Repeatedly.

The Gasch's say at first, they were told it was just some temporary pooling.

Then that the sod hadn't established. Then that an irrigation valve needed to be replaced. Finally one day they say the company just didn't show up.

With a water bill costing them hundreds of dollars, the Gasch's complained about their experience online and they let me know.

Last Call Install says the backyard had drainage problems before they worked on it.

Owner Mark James sent us an email saying: "The lack of care and damage to the installed products was clearly caused by the homeowner."

The couple also filed a complaint with Arizona Registrar of Contractors .

Last Call Install did show up for that appointment.

The Gasch's shared their cell phone video of the inspection with us. In the video, the rep from Last Call install says the excessive water could be from any number of sources. From the ground being too hard, to sprinkler timers, to run off from the neighbor's backyard.

In the end, the ROC inspector found that it is the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that the yard drains properly.

They were issued a corrective worker and given 15 days to fix the drainage problems.

That did not happen.

Right now the Gasch's are in a holding pattern, waiting to see whether or not the ROC formally reprimands the company.

Doing that could help them recoup some of their payment, by entitling them to make a claim against the contractor's surety bond or file a claim with the state's Residential Contractor Recovery Fund.

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