The job was finished and he was good about coming when he said he would, but we were unsatisfied with the overall experience:
1) Job took about 6 weeks longer than promised due to poor planning and management of subcontracting.
2) Lots of damage to our floors, furniture, cabinetry, doors, etc. - we had to fight to have some of the damage repaired.
3) Space was not kept clean as promised.
4) Lots of errors due to poor communication and an inability to follow directions (plumbing had to be re-done because he didn't read tub installation instructions and he tried to extra-bill for that; holes were cut inproperly in drywall and had to be patched (resulting in an unprofessional finished look); hardware not installed as specified; register in the middle of a room, etc. etc.). This was particularly frustrating.
5) He does not admit to errors (or blames the subcontractors) and tries to extra bill for work that has to be re-done (we didn't let him get away with that).
6) Tries to extra-bill for items included in quote and renege on items said to be included at time of quote - MAKE SURE YOU GET A VERY DETAILED QUOTE and write everything that is said down to reference throughout the job.
7) Dishonest about pricing and materials. He tried to use MDF instead of pine trim (as promised) and will take short-cuts - STAY ON TOP of the work being done each day! Also, if you need to be credited for an item on the quote, he will not credit the overhead, etc originally charged. We also supplied pine wainscoting for the job and the excess material we were planning to keep went missing from the house.
8) He uses subcontractors, some that he's had experience with, others not, so you don't know what you're getting. We had TERRIBLE plumbing subcontracting.
9) He is good at laying tile - nice finished product (although he got grout and glue everywhere and didn't clean it up - including glue on the hardwood, which doesn't come off). Would not recommend him for any caulking - very sloppy and he doesn't even clean the area beforehand - we have debris and food crumbs stuck in ours!!
Our advice if you are thinking of using him:
1) We had a very large job that he was not skilled enough to handle. If you have a smaller job (such as tiling floors or shower walls) he may be a better choice.
2) Get a very detailed quote and know what you're paying for - ask him about materials being used and which work he sub-contracts.
3) Be careful. He comes off as a trustworthy and personable guy, which is why we hired him, but we caught him in MANY half-truths, and omissions. Example: we received a (fraudulent) extra-bill for a full day of electrical for the job. We called the electrician directly to get more of an explanation as to why this extra electrical was required, only to find out that the electrician had no idea because he hadn't even billed the contractor yet!!!
4) Do your research and know your stuff. When he tells you something can't be done a certain way, this is not always the case, and it may be his way of trying to take short-cuts or cover up an error (Example: our hardwood was installed with nailholes in the wood along every wall - he told us this is the way hardwood is laid, which is untrue).
5) Move all your furniture yourself and make sure it is completely out of the area being worked in - or it WILL get damaged.