Wow. So this was a nightmarish, miserable experience all around, which I’m willing to explain in painful, long-winded detail. In short, though: Gino is something like a con man who will spend most of his time trying to convince you his work is great when it’s actually very sloppy and lazy. Stay away unless you just enjoy going to war with a handyman who, in fairness, tries — but simply doesn’t understand what good is, or why someone’s word is important.
My experience was cry-till-you-laugh bad, and how he has bamboozled people into thinking he’s good is, in actuality, his greatest skill.
That’s all. No? You’d like to know more?
My wife and I hired Gino to handle about a dozen tasks around our house, ranging from medium to very small. Our top three priorities were the installation of a stairwell railing, the mounting of a garage door opener, and stopping a ceiling leak in our sun room. Lesser projects included making adjustments to our front and back doors, sealing a french drain panel in the backyard, putting in a pantry door latch, making it so a light chain switch stopped sticking, and so on.
He began by sending me to Home Depot for materials, which I agreed to because I hoped it would save some time. I wasn’t thrilled about this, though, because I told him I was working from home that day and needed to get on various conference calls. Didn’t I hire *him* to handle all this? I returned home to find him sitting in his truck, talking on the phone — he took a lot of phone breaks throughout the day — but then he got to work. I noticed that morning that he didn’t bring many tools with him; in fact, he had to borrow my power sander and electric saw (neither of which he bothered to put back after he used them).
Yada, yada, yada … Hours passed. He stopped often to talk with me, about sports, about my neighborhood, about whatever. He disappeared for an hour, unannounced, and returned with weather stripping I had casually mentioned in an earlier conversation but made clear was not something I really wanted done that day. While I was on a conference call at one point, he ran my electric saw, frightening the people I was on the phone with. He later got mad because I was on the phone so much.
He never touched the garage door opener, did a very strange and sloppy job on the staircase rail (splotched stain, a really rough finish, and you should see the joint he attempted), and the ceiling still leaks. So much for my three highest priorities.
Oh! And he didn’t bother cleaning the garbage and wall shavings he produced throughout my house, left a big pile of sawdust on my back patio, and tossed two scrap pieces of wood NEXT to the outdoor garbage cans instead of inside them. I don’t understand stuff like that.
I basically paid Gino $520 or so to fix my front door and install the pantry latch. Otherwise, the backdoor still doesn’t latch correctly, and the upstairs light switch still sticks. Where he installed weather stripping on the front door, the door doesn’t close properly and must be slammed to be locked.
As he was leaving, I told him I was pretty disappointed with the stairway railing, and he replied that he stands by his work and would return to make any corrections if I was unhappy.
I emailed Gino early the following week for him to return and further work on the railing, and he responded that he wouldn’t be available to come by for several weeks. I found this unacceptable, especially considering I paid him so much for pretty sloppy work, but he refused to budge.
I called him, and he tried to convince me the stair rail looked fine, and I told him that, Gino, it most definitely does not look fine. He said he was too busy to come fix it, and when I told him the ceiling still leaked, he became defensive. He did a lot of shouting and talking over me, insisting that the work was done at a high level. As for the leaking roof, he said he did the best he could and that my roof was just old and that he wasn’t capable of fixing it. There was no mention of the roof’s age when he was here that day.
So I asked for a partial refund, and he offered to send me $125. I thought this was fair, since he did spend his entire day at my home but that I would have to hire someone else to fix these things. I asked him when I could expect it, and he said I would “get it when you get it.”
Almost two weeks passed before a check arrived, along with a note that said he changed his mind. The check was for $75. This is just wrong, kind of Gino in a nutshell, and after I threatened legal action to recover the entire amount I initially paid him, he sent the remaining $50.
He’s just a shyster, that’s all. As another reviewer put it, he talks a good game. I don’t doubt that he is capable of putting together some Ikea furniture or painting a wall, but he simply can’t do bigger projects. He’s not an engineer. He’s not a carpenter. And, saddest of all, he’s not honest.