Oh, where to begin.
At first, when Gus and Daniel came for an estimate, I was quite impressed with their professionalism and knowledge. They gave a quote that was in line with expectations and other quotes I had received, so I decided to go with them.
However, the day of, it was not Gus and Daniel who came to do work on my stairs. Okay, fine, I can live with that. But to be honest, I went with Stair Star because I liked Gus and Daniel, I judged them as the workmen I would want in my house, and not the two randoms.
Although I was told that all wood would be precut, and I did not have to do anything to prep my house (aside from removing carpet from the stairs), the two randoms start bringing in huge power tools and setting them up in my main room (which is basically my entire first floor). Off I run to grab all my tarps and bed sheets so I can cover every inch of my main floor, so saw dust doesn't ruin my couch, dining room set, TV, computer, window dressings, aquarium, etc. I should also mention that my main floor had brand new hard work flooring which I made very clear I did not want scratched or gouged. Seems like common sense to me.
Let me be clear on this: I have a large covered porch not 5 feet away from where they set up the power tools. They could have done all the work there, outside, but they did not want to. They could have also used the work shop I have in the basement.
The two randoms were fine throughout the day. Very polite. My issues are with their worksmanship.
End of the day, I have an entire main floor completely covered in sawdust. I mean COMPLETELY. Floor, walls, furniture, windows, everything. They did a very quick job sweeping - and dumped it all in my garden! I would have preferred they left it all for me to clean (which I had to do anyways), instead of dumping sawdust all over my front garden. Several weeks later, and that sawdust is still there - it is surprisingly difficult to remove. They also left a large pile of wood on my front porch. Perhaps I shouldn't have assumed, but I did believe they should have at least cleaned that up after themselves.
Here is a summary of why their worksmanship was so poor:
- They sanded the stairs against the grain. Any beginner DIY'er knows to never sand against the grain.
- They used cheap veneer for the stringers - it was already broken in many places by them.
- On that cheap veneer, they used an absurd amount of glue, which seeped through and now the stain won't stick. So I have splotchy stain on the sides of my stairs. And where they did not smooth out the glue, I have large bumps under the veneer.
- Stairs are not level, tilting downward. Makes it fun to not slip off the step sometimes.
- They used cheap putty to fill in the huge gaps left where the steps meet the wall. This also does not take stain to match the wood, and is coming off in chunks.
- All this I could live with, however, they gouged my brand new hard wood floor in at least 9 places I have found so far and placed innumerable scratches. I know these are all from them, as they are in exactly the spots they had put the large sawing machines, and there were no gouges in that area before. I am pretty anal about my floor, so I have to admit I kinda memorized where the (very few) scratches were beforehand.
I do a lot of work myself in my house, and the stairs were the one thing I felt I needed professionals to do. However, after this, I am confident I could have done just as good a job for a lot cheaper, and without completely ruining my brand new hardwood floor in the process.
After I had gone over all this, I called Daniel listing my concerns. Of course, I have yet to hear back from him. So, to sum it up, I feel completely ripped off, and now my brand new hardwood floor looks old and ruined. My brand new stairs also look about 10 years old.