Thinking about hiring M.J.T Building Contractors AKA Mike Tallia aka Tallia-Rink LLC? Have you seen one of his "referral houses"? Before you do, you might want to read on. It could save you a lot of time, stress and money. I wish there was a website like this before I signed a contract with him in October 2007. Of course at that point the was known as MJ Building Contractors. He doesn't tell anyone (and he didn't admit to it when he was asked by another prospective client) that he had filed for Bankruptcy (link) under the name MJ Building Contractors. And now because the State of New Jersey has laws that permit these types of people to file for bankruptcy, and simply add a "T" to MJ he is back in business. MJT Building Contractors is still at the same address 41 Greenbrook Road West Milford NJ 07480, has the same phone number as his bankrupt company, he is still driving the same truck….just had to add the "T." The "Corporate" name is officially Tallia-Rink. Mike is NOT the principal, his wife Laura is. It's simply because of the bankruptcy. Its preposterous that these things are allowed to happen!
On my particular job, he was paid in full and told me when I gave him the last payment that everyone ( the subcontractors) was paid in full. I had heard rumblings so I asked him face to face. He looked straight at me and said "yes everyone."
Well at his point I still have my attorney check my property for mechanics liens against it. He said "everyone" was paid in full. Truth was, NO ONE was paid in full. That means the plumber, the electrician, the air conditioner installer, the flooring guy, the excavator, the surveyor, the lumber yard for the windows, the brick wholesaler, the local concrete yard….I even had guys from the other job he was doing on Clinton Road coming to MY house to look for him to get paid. Oh and the bricklayer was not getting paid. I had to pay him (after I had already paid in full for the brick) to stay on the job. The amount Mike Tallia scammed from him put him out of business. Ironically though, Mike Tallia kept his real estate holdings and even opened a business called "Moment by Michael" on Union Valley Road. Hard working guys are going out of business because of his lack of ethics and he is opening businesses. That's just one element, albeit one very important element of MJT Building Contractors ( or whatever name Mike Tallia uses) business practices."Moments by Michael" that's a joke.
- Window Leaks in rear windows (see photo)
- Large cracks in wall, repaired at additional cost.(see photo)
- Large bow in floor in vestibule
- Bricklayer not paid. Had to pay bricklayer $1000s more to stay on job
- Deck footing left in disrepair. Repaired at additional cost. (see photo)
- Additional deck footings installed at wrong height
- No footing under stoop
- Leaks in mudroom ceiling from horrible shower grouting job (see photo)
- Crack in stair tread
- Spindles breaking due to poor installation (see photo)
- Foundation needed to be re-tarred at additional cost.
- Bulges /cracks in ceiling. Repaired at additional cost (see photo)
- Did not get electric service turned on, We had to learn all red tape on new home.
- Left it to us to get furnace wired at additional cost
- Left us to organize propane tank installed
- Sub par cabinet job. Crown molding not mitered or placed properly
- Air conditioner condensing lines not installed
- Tile job left with many imperfections
- Did not finish installing window hardware. Had to be re-purchased
- Casement windows misplaced. (Placement was reversed, opening from outside in)
- Left us without any contractor warranties or guarantees due to non payment
- Used old, used trim to trim basement door as well as other windows
- Used old used dirty wood to place between lolly column and main beam
- Used damaged door to install in basement
- Many sub contractors still have not been paid
- Left us to install fire collars on pipes (code)
- Poor placement choices of discolored mahogany boards on deck
- Charged me $2000 for "fill" when he was billed $1175 then didn't pay sub
- Had other unpaid subs from past jobs showing up and harassing me at my jobsite
- Left me to get my own C of O
- Did not fulfill agreement in that he did not build areas that were on schematics
- That includes "Lockers" and two window seats on the plans
- Cracks in central vacuum piping. Had to fix ourselves.
- Gravel for driveway not purchased as promised
- Little to no insulation around basement door jams
- Treatment under deck not installed as promised as listed on schematic
- Several interior door scrap floor due to poor installation
- Consistent misquotes of "extras" and low balling of allowances
- Most subs left unpaid and were unwilling to finish work
- My house was left unfinished as was 179 Clinton Road, another Tallia work
- Left us to get mount our own sink and countertops
- Did not finish window trim in bedroom or base molding on stair landing
- Cracks around HVAC vents left unrepaired. Repaired at additional cost
The work preformed on my house was subpar at best. I have included some photos to document it. What's worse, there's no guarantees on the work. The sub contractors don't want to return and spend more time fixing something that they haven't been paid in full. Rightly so. I understand their position. So, of course, Mike's inabilities cost me eve more money. So what's the shoddy work? Before we look at any photos and get into the crap workmanship, I need to give you a couple of scenario's that give you an idea of Mike's "I don't really give a damn about you" attitude. It's one thing about just being an awful tradesman, there are people out there that just aren't too good at what they do, but Mike had such a disregard for me and my family. Over a year after we signed the contract the house still wasn't finished, (he told us we would be in by July). It is now November, a cold moth in West Milford. We had a water tank in the basement filled with water but no furnace, no heat at all. I was very worried about having plumbing problems due to the freezing temperatures. He wouldn't return any calls. Ultimately, that night I had to buy a space heater and drive from Suffolk County to West Milford to make sure there was heat. Even worse I had to leave on the space heater and dive back to Suffolk County. It didn't matter to Mike Tallia what was happening at my house. He continued to ignore calls despite the below freezing temperatures. I wound up having to hire my own guy to fire up the furnaces. Again to reiterate Mike was already paid in full.
There was a similar situation regarding getting the electric service to the house. The electrician wasn't around because he wasn't getting paid. Mike and his wife didn't file the proper papers. I ended up having to do all the legwork getting my electric service to the house. And as usual, it wasn't Mike's fault. It was Rockland Electrics fault. Anyway, on to the bad workmanship, it was a lot of fun redoing the work on a newly constructed house ( Could be worse I guess. I could have been the poor fellow that hired Mike Tallia on Clinton Road in the Newfoundland section of West Milford that house is vacant after a fortune was spent. Mike, according to several experienced tradesman in the area, laid the wrong footings)
For more images of his work click here