Javier Baptista AKA Terra Tiles & Pavers AKA Bapmore Investments LLC was contracted to build a driveway that involved a city sidewalk crossing and B-curb adjustment.
He laid the limestone base, rebuilt the B-curb and a 4" city sidewalk to comply with the State Code requirement of a 6" sidewalk being a part of a driveway.
After that, because of a major disagreement (read below), he was fired and replaced with a contractor who is licensed to perform both pavers and concrete work.
Because of the legal loopholes (read below) he managed to collect more than the original proposal amount (without even finishing the job!)
First, let me explain, in short, Javier's Modus Operandi.
1. Win the bid by under-balling the cost of the PROPOSAL by either hiding some vital Code requirements (such as a 6' reinforced sidewalk in my case) and placing some legal loophole keywords (in my case: Curb/Concrete Gutter: Bottom Adjustment on Exit Ways /Adjust on Corners - not a full replacement/) that an average person will never catch.
He will also recommend pavers that are complete junk. Never accept these without trying to throw dirt on them and wash them. You will see.
2. Email or give this PROPOSAL to you for consideration.
3. When you are ready to sign, he will add a couple of small print pages to the CONTRACT (watch capitalization) in which his lawyer included so many loopholes that in a case of any disagreement you promise pay ALL Javier's legal fees. To us non-layers - his lawyer will stretch time to make sure you will pay more in legal fees then you would ever for the project itself.
4. If there is anything going not HIS way, sue you.
Javier Baptista is only licensed (in his county) to lay pavers (as of 2015). He has no license to perform concrete work.
When the permit was obtained and he started preparing for work, he produced a change order and requested extra money for a sidewalk and curb (see the Curb/Concrete Gutter: Bottom Adjustment on Exit Ways /Adjust on Corners above). That added 25% to the project cost but that is not that killed the deal.
When his concrete contractor built the entrance to the driveway, he made such long transitions from the B-curb to the flat gutter that the 20' driveway entrance and only a ~17' flat gutter. The edges were elevated (images are available on request). When I asked him to fix it, he first stonewalled by saying that Hollywood will not approve it, later he asked for ~$1,500, later cut it in half but wrote a long email that absolved him from any responsibility if the City will not approve the shorter (3'+!) transitions. After consulting the City, I decided to go with a contractor that was fully Concrete licensed and took responsibility for his work.
As you guessed, Javier sued. He would not settle for partial payment. He wanted the FULL AMOUNT (with the Change Order added to it). His lawyer friend and co-coach stretched time with useless paperwork which we could not understand at the time. After 6 months of paper pushing we were presented with the CONTRACT that my wife signed (see above) and we settled, paying his legal fees of $4,000.
SUGGESTION: if you would like to hire a lawyer to do your paver related work, Javier Baptista is your man.
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