Stairway to.....      Oops!
One of Haince's assignments was to replace the existing stairway between the 2nd and 3rd floor. It was perfectly functional but he maintained that it did not meet building standards. (After Haince's departure, subsequent contractors, as well as HRM building inspectors, said that the stairs could be grandfathered but needed risers installed between the steps - an essentially trivial chore.)

Nevertheless, Haince insisted that the stairs be replaced and the clients agreed to a milestone payment of $6000 upon completion.

Yvan had constant money problems, but Yvan had work-arounds, as discussed on the Main Page. But his stair building performance is a classic.

As discussed on the Money page, (which follows this page) Yvan asked for a loan of $4000 on September 8th "to keep him alive" because he had been shut down by a Halifax building inspector on August 20th and couldn't work until a permit was issued - an event which would not occur until late September.

On November 18th, Yvan asked for $2000 as "advance payment against stairs milestone". The clients didn't want to but they paid it: anything to avoid another hissy-fit and more lost time.

On November 25th, Yvan sent the clients an email in which he announced that he had unilaterally applied the $4000 which he had received as a loan on September 8th to the milestone payment for having completed the stairs. The clients found that the stairs had not been finished, and in fact had not even been started. A tense conversation followed, in which Yvan (a) demanded $20,000 to finish the project, (b) wanted until December 8th to finish it, and (c) wanted the clients to cover his payroll.

The clients said "no" to all three requests, and furthermore demanded an immediate return of (in their opinion) the fraudulently-obtained $6000 progress payment for a project (the stairs) which hadn't even been started yet. Haince simply said no.

After Haince was fired, a new contractor was brought in who did in fact replace the 2nd - 3rd floor stairs. Cost? $6000.

Up to this point, the clients had paid Haince $72,000 - most of it in cash (see the Money page). Alarmed by the ongoing hemorrhaging of  money and the distressing lack of progress, they decided enough was enough. The clients said no further payments would be made until the project was finished, at which time a settling of accounts would take place, but the $4000 loan was payable - right now. The loan repayment, of course, did not happen.

Only limited activity took place over the next month (none of it related to the stairs). The dormer window was installed, after the clients paid the supplier for the window. That seemingly trivial act seems to have led to an episode of Credit Card Fraud.

Around the time he was thrown off the project on December 29th, Yvan (or his crew) cut out a load-bearing section of the stairs between the 2nd and 3rd floor. Reason unknown, but another contractor had an interesting theory  - when an opening for the dormer was created several weeks earlier, a boom truck was used to move in a significant quantity of 4 x 8 sheets of exterior insulation (wrong kind) and drywall. Whatever it was, it made a stack about three feet high. Most of that material - paid for by the client - was never used, but disappeared after Haince was fired on 29 December, 2014. The contractor's theory was that the post had to be removed because otherwise the stairwell was too narrow to move 4 x 8 sheets of anything through it and therefore could not be removed from the house. It may also explain why it took Haince five days - in spite of being nagged on a daily basis to get out and threatened with having his tools deposited on the front lawn - to vacate the premises. He simply had more "stuff" to remove from the house than anyone realized. Strictly a theory but an interesting one.

This stack of drywall was present on the 3rd floor on the 30th - the day after he was fired. A few days later it was all gone. Click on the thumbnails for full-sized images.

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