Taja Construction, Taja Investments, etc,…by whatever name, Mr. Michael Watson (purple vans and signs in various parts of DC) gets 1 star for being able to drum up business despite a lengthy record of grievances from those who have been unlucky enough to cross his path professionally, be it directly or indirectly. Admittedly, that takes some talent. The bottom line is this: for your own benefit, hire a lawyer and conduct due diligence when searching for any judgments, business reviews, and other telling information/press that will shed light on Taja/Mr. Watson’s professional record. Had I done that, I would not have had to submit this review. Also, know the identity and reputation of the builder/contractor behind your new DC residential or commercial purchase!
I hired Taja Investments to perform a full renovation of a home I owned in NE Washington, DC, in February 2012, because his price point was better (a.k.a. much cheaper) than established firms in the area. In addition to misusing a line of credit issued to him, an infraction to which he admitted in court, Mr. Watson and his team failed to complete construction in such a way that would be deemed even remotely acceptable by any home inspector worth his or her salt. To name a few issues: the master bathroom shower was not installed properly, creating a massive leak into the living room; the “historic” skylight was left as is, allowing debris and vermin into the home via the roof; the deck was installed so poorly that there was an 18″ gap left between the first and second landing (conceivably where stairs should be); a large portion of the electrical outlets did not work; the junction box and water heater were not installed according to code (a plumber mentioned that the basement would eventually flood); windows and walls that would leak whenever it rained due to poor installation; and the list goes on. I have a 50+ page inspection report that verifies these claims.
Of course, we eventually went to court so that I could recover damages from money he misappropriated from my personal credit card account, to put it mildly, as well as other damages. In the end, I must relay an important cautionary tale: the day or two it takes you, the private homeowner or business owner, to do some research on this business may save you valuable time and money on the tail end. More importantly, before you buy a renovated house in Washington, DC, FIND OUT WHO THE CONTRACTOR IS BEHIND THE PROJECT. Your realtor is obliged to divulge that information to you (and it can save you money and guard your safety).
There are decent and respectable contractors out there. Check Angie’s List for reviews as another part of your exploratory process. And remember a word from the recently enlightened to the wise (for having read this review, of course): you always get what you pay for.