I was referred to Chris Kaestner, owner of Kaestner Contracting Services, by the designer I was working with on my kitchen renovation. The designer had successfully worked with him on a few projects, and thought his work was of good quality. Chris provided a detailed quote that compared favourably with others, and had three excellent references.
On May 22, 2014, Chris and I signed a preliminary agreement for my renovation. I provided Chris with a copy of my house key, and with a $5,300 deposit (10% of the projected cost). Chris committed to getting me the final contract within two business days, and projected a June 16, 2014 start date.
During the week of June 9, I contacted Chris to finalize the start date for my renovation. Chris texted my late in the week saying the start date would be delayed about two weeks, and he cited his father's illness as the reason for the delay.
Beginning the first week of July, I attempted to reach Chris by text, email and phone to determine the project start date. I didn't receive any response from Chris.
On July 17, 2014, I sent Chris a registered letter advising him that with no final contract in place and no communication from him, I would not be proceeding with Kaestner Contracting Services for my renovation. I also emailed the letter to Chris, and received a text back from him immediately. We met that evening, and Chris agreed to return my house key and deposit by July 25, 2014.
On July 24, I emailed Chris to set a time for us to meet on July 25. Chris called me during the afternoon of July 25, and asked for a two week extension, which I agreed to. Chris committed to returning my house key on July 25, half of my deposit on August 1, and the final half of my deposit on August 8, 2014.
On July 30, I emailed Chris to set up a time to meet for August 1. Chris did not respond.
On August 5, a sent a second registered letter to Chris advising him that I would be proceed with legal action to recover my deposit if he did not honour his commitment to return it in full by August 8th.
On August 8th, I received an email from Chris timestamped 7:02 pm stating that he had my key and deposit, but could not return them because he was out of the city. He again cited his father's illness.
Chris Kaestner has not yet honoured a single commitment he made to me since May 22, 2014, and still has my deposit and my house key. I will update this post when Chris honours the commitments he has made to me.