I'm not going to just come out and say "do not do business with Al Aguirre & Associates of Riverside, Ca"
Instead I am going to relate our experiences. If you have anything to add please email us.
My Wife and I purchased some land and decided to build a house on it. Nothing fancy. Someone referred us
to Al Aguirre & Associates to do our grading plans. We were warned that he was slow, but he seemed competent and
assured us that it wouldn't take very long at all.
Well it did. I don't have the first date written down, but I think that it was around March 2003 that we
signed up with Al.
Finally, a couple of weeks turned into several months, but we got our grading plans. That was May 13, 2003 The Invoice did state that Aquirre & Associates will correct any
corrections issued by building dept. Pertain to plans prepare by us
I hadn't seen grading
plans before, so I showed them around to a few people who had. They all had concerns, so we asked Al to submit them for us. No Problem he said, his wife will do it, just
give them a blank check for the county. So we did, I dated the check in June 2003. Then began a very long and strange series of excuses.
We would ask Al if they had been submitted, and were told yes, I went to the county and asked and they said no. I asked Al and he said that he was working with
the county behind the scences, sort of a pre-aproval so that when they were submitted, there wouldn't be any problem.
Let me give you a little background on how Al Aguirre does business. Before you are a customer, he is easy to get a hold of. Afterwards, forget about it.
You will only get to talk to some poor receptionist who is getting yelled at all day long. Here are some things she told us during this time
So you get the idea. We got the royal run around. To give Al the benefit of the doubt, I think one thing that was going on, we had old percolation tests, and the county
wanted new ones. Al never told us that. Once we got new percolation tests, boom the plans were submitted. Had Al ever told us that we needed them, we would have had them done.
We have never done this before presumably Al has.
- Al will call you back today (I'd say a one in six chance of that happening, and only if he has good news)
- Al will call you back today (did I say that one allready?)
- Al will call you back today
- Al is on vacation
- (next week) Al's wife is on vacation
- Al hasn't come in yet
One hope you have of actually seeing Al is just to go to his office. While you are there you will meet a lot of other people in the same prediciment.
Shortly after we gave them our new Percolation tests, the plans were actually submitted. This was August 22, 2003. About THREE months since they were allready
So we get the corrections back from the county. Al says they are just minimal and they won't take too long at all.
Well it is now January 20th 2004. The county claims there are no corrected plans. Our house plans are approved. Our financing is ready to go, our General Contracter is signed.
The whole thing is screwed because of Al.
During this time we have been going through the whole run around with Al again. He gave my wife a list of excuses that you would not believe.
He directly lied to my wife, so I have stepped back in. You do not lie to another Man's wife, and frankly I should pursue other remedies for that.
Does anyone have any ideas how we can get this project done, here are some of my ideas
- Picket Al's office
- Contact the Better Business Bureau
- File a complaint with whoever liscenced Al
- Put a huge sign on our land
- Paste fliers all over the planning dept
- Rent the office next to Al and paint the windows with this info (one is vacant)
- Contact the lenders, developers and real estate agents in the area
- Take out full page adds in the local paper
- Legal Action
Besides the money we have wasted on Al, we have incurred a lot of additional charges. We are at risk of losing our developer, interest rates have gone up,
construction rates have gone up, a whole new series of laws and fees have been inacted by the county, and we have an interest only loan on the land. So all of that money has gone to waste.
If anyone has any ideas, or would like to share a similar experience, please contact me at Email
Update After 3 1/2 weeks of Al telling us that he couldn't get our plans submitted because his printer/computer network didn't work. We finally have a copy of the new plan. He even claims that he actually submitted it!
Well we got the plans back from the county rejected again. There was still no cut and fill on the plans. This is one of the things that the county asked for in the first go round, so it looks like Al is either incabaple or unwilling to do correct grading plans
Worse yet, the county sent us a bill for $500 more, It basically said they were going to have to do that much more work on our next submittal
We took the plans that Al submitted to another engineer. He said they were incomplete. So after a year, Al Aquirre has not submitted a complete plan.
If anyone knows how to go avert someones liscense, please let me know