I had hired a local handy-man to rebuild my front wooden porch and skirt in the summer of 2014, along with other work, but after several months of bad work habits, I had to fire him. Still to be completed were cladding for the front porch planter boxes, building the stair railings and the porch skirt. It was now late October and I had to find someone else to complete the job ASAP.
My friend recommended that I use Renovation Ruth since she was extremely satisfied and has used Ruth's company for many projects. I contacted Ruth and she came down to inspect the work required. She said what I wanted should take 4 days, maybe a couple more depending on the design of the railings and should cost between $1,500-2,000 plus materials. She sent a quick email to confirm this. I had gotten three quotes from companies, all coming in the same amount for finishing the deck, but I decided to go with Ruth because the other two were unknowns and my friend highly recommended Ruth.
When I hired Ruth, she told me whom of her carpenters she'd send for the job. She knew that the job had to wait until our walkway got completed in early November (something the handyman I had hired was supposed to do but didn't). When the carpenter came she kept pulling him off to finish another job and bad weather got in the way of him completing the skirt of the deck. I had no issues with the work he had done, my issue was when it came time to pay for the work done until then, he told me I should pay him and not her. He gave me an invoice for $1,600 for labour -- his hours were at the top end of her quote and he hadn't yet finished the skirting. When I complained to Ruth about the job not being completed, and that his hours had come in high, she told me that I had hired him directly and that he wasn't there as her employee and I would have to negotiate with him finishing the job. This came as a complete surprise to me. I was communicating with her; all my negotiating was with her; I had even asked her to send him on a weekend when the weather was good to complete the job, which she didn't. She then proceeded to tell me that she had sent him as a favour to my friend. Nowhere was this communicated to me. I thought I had hired her company. Now forced to deal directly with her carpenter, and concerned that the work wouldn't get completed in the Spring, my husband and I held back some money owed him to insure he would return and finish the job. And since we had hired him as her employee and not engaged him as an independent contractor, we had to insist that he keep to the high end of the quote that she submitted. He agreed. We paid him $1,000 plus $360 for materials and owed him $600 for work completed and $400 to finish the skirting plus purchasing any materials needed.
This last week I had called him to schedule the completion of the job. Guess what, he's not showing up.
I wouldn't recommend using Renovations Ruth. If she's not duplicitous, she's sloppy and could have handled this much differently.
This was a small job--image the headaches of a bigger one.