If you’re reading a review looking for a red flag on hiring (or working with) Ridgestone, this is it.
We started work with Ernesto and truly believed he was a kind, grandfatherly type man. He seemed knowledgeable and made us feel comfortable. Things proceeded this way (or so we thought) until well into our extensive addition project.
What we now know is that Ernesto (& Rosemary) are highly disorganized and unfortunately, highly unethical. There were countless things that came to light once we were living back in our house. Work was very delayed, so we were living there through much of it. Subcontractors complained endlessly and many said they weren’t willing to work for him again for countless, disappointing reasons.
We learned that he had flooded our basement and not told us, something we didn’t really believe until we found inches of water and mold in bins of our things. The Ministry of Labour was called by a neighbour because they witnessed unsafe work practices and the representative from the MOL blatantly called out Ernesto for ignoring his requirements. Things went missing from our house and were never returned. Extensive damage was caused across the house (in areas that were not intended to be worked on) and they were either never fixed or we had to pay significantly for it.
For both homeowners and subcontractors, be wary that they did not pay one of their large subcontractors. This progressed until the subcontractor was forced to hire a lawyer and threaten a lien on our house (look into how the Construction Act of Ontario works - homeowners are responsible for the debts of your contractors). Eventually Ernesto agreed to have us pay the amount owing to the subcontractor, but it took lots of stress and difficulty.
Lastly, over a year later we learned that they never sent the final details to the city to close the permit. In exchange for sending this, they are now “adjusting” our bill to be $5k (even though we’ve been paid in full for over a year… and in reality, the debacle with lawyers and the subcontractor caused us to lose more money beyond what we owed). Evidently this seems intentional and a last ditch cash grab when they think we’re backed into a corner.
Overall - the project went far over budget, well over time. The work was average, but in many cases a struggle to get things done right. Regardless, you want a contractor that you can trust. If you’re looking for a reason to look elsewhere, let this be it.