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“The Sterling Group DKI: Poor Workmanship Triggers Mental Anguish for Senior Citizen in Poor Health…

On October 22 of 2007, Steven Hartmann owner of The Sterling Group DKI submitted an estimate of $5,127.33 plus additional overcharges to Carol J. Schrader’s insurance adjuster. This estimate was for a water damaged bathroom.

Carol J Schrader (age 65) was in poor health during the time period when The Sterling Group DKI began repairing the water damaged bathroom. From beginning to end of the entire repair process the subcontractors or hired help were simply careless and disrespectful about her property.

For example:

Tools such as a wrench was dropped in the bathtub thus causing a cosmetic chip. There was no excuse for this or apologies apparently ever made to Carol J Schrader from Steven Hartmann owner of The Sterling Group DKI. Nor from any representative.

Clean-up was not thorough. In other words, in commercial construction you always protect the floor with carpet or floor protection where you are entering & leaving the place of construction or repair while preventing dust with plastic or visqueen sheeting. This was not done.

Why was my mother reportedly always forced to clean up the workers dust after they left?

For the costly repair of $5,127.33 and additional overcharges you would expect to see a newly restored bathroom considering how small it is! Would you not expect to at least see a new bath tub, toilet, and sink?

If you were repairing or remodeling your small water damaged bathroom wouldn’t you use this opportunity to replace the old/dated bathtub and Tub/shower wall with a brand new updated version? Especially, if the costs were cheaper to replace instead of repairing?

Why would you pay more money to repair something when it‘s cheaper to replace with something new? Steven Hartmann simply wanted to extract more money.

This presumptuous decision caused my mother emotional distress to the point of mentally breaking down and crying! Apparently it was a major hassle dealing with Steven Hartmann and The Sterling Group DKI about this issue. In the end she was not satisfied and ended with a lackluster remodeled bathroom.

The Mental Anguish Begins with Poor Workmanship

If a licensed general contractor like www.sterlingdki.com is experienced in water damage repair, charges you over $5000.00 to repair and fix the plumbing problem or cause of the water damage…

Wouldn’t you rightfully expect to see this remedied, instead of having the costly water damage coming back to haunt you at a later time? Especially, when this could have been easily avoided w/o getting ripped off financially then drained emotionally because of stress?

Wouldn’t you rightfully expect a licensed general contractor like www.sterlingdki.com , who claims to be experienced in water damage repair to totally fix the plumbing or water leak problem which caused the damage?

Especially, if Steven Hartmann and The Sterling Group DKI expected you to pay over $5000.00 to remedy the problem?

My mother Carol J. Schrader was already disappointed with cosmetic appearance of the remodel/water damage repair.

However, my mother and others noticed the smell of Urine in the bathroom which was disconcerting within 6 months of the plumbing repair, which Steven Hartmann owner of The Sterling Group DKI overcharged her $1513.13 for.

Carol J. Schrader, the homeowner complained about this to The Sterling Group DKI and to her Insurance adjuster, but absolutely no action was ever taken to remedy the foul smelling smell of urine.

Take the money and run should to be the new mission statement of Steven Hartmann and/or The Sterling Group DKI when it comes to customer service, instead of honesty and integrity.

My mother became really nervous about using the toilet because of all the hassles and costly damage repair bills she incurred. It was almost unbelievable to see her reaction when even mentioning the bathroom for any purpose!

A New Water Leak Appears Triggered by the Poor Workmanship of Sterling Group DKI

When Carol J. Schrader passed away in July of 2012 due to a terminal illness. The family met together at their mother’s house after her memorial service. Naturally the bathroom toilet was extensively used.

The smell of urine appeared then later on a pool of water around the toilet. Hmmm, what’s happening here? It appears the toilet wax ring needs to be replaced. Note: a wax ring can lasts up to 20 years or more w/o leaking!

So, I go buy a wax ring and remove the toilet, only to discover two wax rings are used! Wow really? Why were two wax rings used, instead of just one wax ring? It was a cheap, lazy and quick way to avoid adjusting the toilet flange above floor grade after www.sterlingdki.com just repaired the floor!

Any experienced professional plumber should know, if your toilet flange is set below floor level you will need to install a toilet flange extension before resetting the toilet to insure a proper seal against water leaks!

This was obviously not done, which indicates poor workmanship, especially when using a cheap temporary fix to prevent any water leaks. The Sterling Group DKI failed to correct a hidden water leak caused by their own ineptness, lack of concern or cheapness.

I now understand why my now deceased mother was in mental anguish! This could of have been easily fixed by www.sterlingdki.com

However, I repaired the water leak by installing a toilet flange extension. If I had not done the repair this would eventually lead to further costly water damage, which the Sterling Group DKI just repaired and then caused!

Is this an isolated case of just only one lady or senior citizen with poor health being exploited by a careless general contractor with poor workmanship? Sadly, the answer is no.

For example visit: https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/Details/lawsuits.aspx?UBI=602225530&LIC=STERLGI983NW&SAW=&CASENO=48332

You’ll find a complaint filed by Janet Hacking on 05/12/2015 in the amount of $28,434.35 against The Sterling Group DKI.

Next read the complaints on the Better Business Bureau against the Sterling Group DKI:


Next read the negative complaints on yelp against Sterling Group DKI:


FYI, Yelp hides the negative reviews!

Here’s what Yelp says: Note: The reviews below are not factored into the business's overall star rating.

They’re complaints or negative reviews on Yelp which are not factored against the overall rating of the poor workmanship and other money exploitive schemes of Steven Hartmann and/or Sterling Group DKI.

The Sterling Group DKI and its owner, Steven Hartmann has a history of poor workmanship and exploiting homeowners of their hard-earned money by gaming the Insurance company’s and it’s insurance adjusters.

Steven Hartmann, admittedly has an adjuster’s license which gives him access to legally exploit as many homeowners as possible with shoddy workmanship or uncompleted work.

FYI, insurance adjusters are typically emotionally detached from your insurance claim.

In other words, the general contractor they suggest or tell you about is not an endorsement or recommendation of their work! It simply means they are licensed to perform the work for the insurance company.

But don’t count on your insurance adjuster informing you about this. The contract is between you and the general contractor you choose. So do your homework/research before hiring any general contractor. And remember, the general contractor works for you and not the insurance adjuster.

Now, if one homeowner is complaining about a problem, then most likely they’re ten others who have experienced the same frustration triggered by The Sterling Group DKI, but won’t report it or say anything about it, for whatever reason.

If you have experienced any shoddy workmanship you have incurred damages to your property from The Sterling Group DKI. Simply click the direct link below to report damages or violations:


Remember, there is a 2 year statute of limitations for filing a claim for damages against any licensed contractor in the State of Washington.

Why was this complaint, just now filed after almost 8 years?

Let me explain, my mother was seriously ill with cancer during this time period & did not have the energy nor time to fight or challenge this unresolved poor workmanship problem with Steven Hartmann, the owner of The Sterling Group DKI.

As I said earlier in this complaint, Carol J. Schrader passed away in July of 2012.

However, it’s obviously too late to resolve this now, but not too late to warn others about avoiding the costly mistake of working with a dishonorable and unprofessional general contractor.

My mother’s Insurance claim was just recently discovered this July of 2015, together with the estimate issued by Steven Hartmann, the owner of Sterling Group DKI which gave me the details I needed to file this complaint.

I hope this complaint prevents other homeowners, especially women and senior citizens from experiencing mental anguish and learning a costly, yet avoidable frustrating lesson by not doing hiring Steven Hartmann or his company, The Sterling Group DKI.


Contact Steven Hartmann, owner of The Sterling Group DKI here:

1. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-hartmann/44/751/647

2. https://twitter.com/sterlingdki

If you're a member of Angieslist you'll be able to read a detailed negative review posted below by Janet Hacking against The Sterling Group DKI, which I mentioned earlier in this complaint.

I accidentally discovered this while searching reviews revealed on Angieslist, which supports my claim of poor workmanship and unethical business practices typified by Steven Hartmann, the owner of www.sterlingdki.com .


Reason of review: Bad quality.

Monetary Loss: $10000.

Preferred solution: Settle your case with Janet Hacking as I have nothing to gain. Warning: Don't bother even trying Legal intimidation....

I didn't like: Very poor workmanship, Irresponsible.

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