How to deal with such landscaper

Hi, My front yard landscaping project is becoming a nightmare, I am wondering how should I proceed.
The project is to overhaul the current front yard by building a new retaining wall, re-do the irrigation and plant some bushes.
We invited 6-7 landscaping companies to bid for the project and select the lowest price. ( this might be a mistake ). Anyway the guy said it would take him a lettle bit over 2 days to finish the job. His price is $2600 and he ask $300 down. We paid him $300 that day.
At the end of the first day, the retaining wall is built up, but we can see very obvious seam between the wall and the concrete drive way of our neighbor.
So the next day we told the guy we prefer the bottom of the wall to touch the concrete line. He said he would re-do it.
But as he re-do the wall, we found that somehow it is not on a straight line and the surface of the wall is not flat either. We ask him how come it is like this.
He says 2 things, first, it is because of the stone is not uniformed, some are wider, some are higher; second, he think the wall looks beautiful.
We let him finish the wall, but it is too ugly. What we see is a twisted line and the top stone surface is tilted.
But he still says he likes the wall. And then he says it is the problem of the stone which he bought from Home Depot.
We contacted Home Depot, the manager sends a guy together with the stone company representative over and he agree to give us refund.
We tell the landscaper we will have a one week travel and we ask him to resume the work right after we are back which is this monday and finish it, he agreed.
After we are back, we ask the landscaper to return the stone, he ask for extra money for the labor to remove the current wall, return the stone, buy new stone and re-build the wall. We agree to pay him about $300 depending on the time he will spend on this.
But he said he is working on another project now, he would remove the wall and return the stone today, Tuesday and come back to build the new wall on Saturday.
My wife does not think it is fair, saying to him that with so much dirt in front of the home it will be very messy if there is rain or wind, and he already agreed to resume the project once we are back. But this guy hang up the phone, very rude.
We leave a message to this guy if he does not call us by tonight we assume he will not want to continue on the project any more. So far we do not receive his phone call.
Now we are considering to look for other landscapers to resume the job. But I can see it will be a hassel that this guy will come back to ask for the labor he already did. How to do the labor break-down then? He did not finish the job even we take the current wall, because irrigation is not finished and no bushes are planted.
Any suggestion is really appreciated.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

[ ... ] snipped
Just your losses and try a different contractor.. This guy will likely ask for more money and more delays.. If you want to see lots of this sort of problem watch "Holmes on homes" on Discovery Home or HGTV..
I think going with the lowest bidder is not the best option 99% of the time.. You get what you pay for...
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wrote:

Definitely.. we did that with our tree removal and ended up with holes in our yard, and wood sitting in our front yard for months.. it took them 7 months to finish the job. Make sure that you get details (in writing) of what the job will consist of. Be as specific as possibe (type of stone used, time frames, etc.) A good contractor will not balk at getting the details ironed out up front, because they know they do good work and aren't afraid to stand behind it.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Probably getting references and/or visiting some of his previous work is more important than just the low bid.
--
to reply, change ( .not) to ( .net)

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While I agree with the others that the cheapest guy is often the least experienced and/or least professional I can understand his having started another job. I know the construction trade well and subcontractors must keep working in order to pay their bills. Unless you were willing to pay him to sit around and not work while you're out of town you're stuck with his schedule.
-- Tara
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That's crap. If the job was done correctly in the first place he would have been finished and out of there.
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Instead of finishing right away he was asked to not work while they went out of town, if I read the OP correctly. The minute the retailer admitted the stones were faulty they lifted the liabiliity off the contractor.
-- Tara
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Understand that but if the contractor knew the stone was faulty he should have noted that at the start of the project and rectified the problem. It would seem the job would have been completed before the one week pause.
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The guy tried to work with the stone delivered and thought the wall looked nice even though the stone was uneven. The homeowners, after hearing the contractor point out that the stone was at fault but that he thought it was still nice looking, told him proceed.
I understand that you're saying the man never should have started the wall if he thought the stone wasn't perfect. However, its not unusual for things like that to become obvious only after a course or two has already been laid. That's not to say that definitely happened in this case.
When he was told to proceed with the wall by the homeowners rather than stop work/tear out/wait on new materials then he was given the green light to continue working with faulty material. I don't think he's so much at fault that he was beholden to make himself available at a precise later date when the homeowners would return. Just my opinion.
-- Tara
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Good points made Tara and I agree. Going back to the original post, it would seem the best option is to negoatiate a mutually satisfactory solution (eliminate the finger pointing) that everyone can live with. Might require some more money being thrown into the picture but in the end the job gets done and everybody is happy, maybe.
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